Research undertaken by the Unit has focused on multidisciplinary, clinically based research into geriatric syndromes, particularly the evaluation of cognition in culturally diverse populations. Other areas of interest include the evaluation and management of acutely unwell older people in the Emergency Department and inpatient settings, long-term outcomes of service provision, dementia care in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, advance care planning and end-of-life care. Projects include large-scale externally funded studies and unit-based quality improvement projects.
Highlights during the report period include:
Completion of an NHMRC-funded grant on dementia in CALD communities, focusing on the perspectives of family carers and health service providers. The project targeted four CALD populations in south western Sydney (Arabic, Spanish, Chinese and Italian). Results from the project were reported in six peer-reviewed journal papers.
Securing a $324,000 grant from Alzheimer's Australia that involved initiating and leading a consortium of researchers and practitioners from across Australia to develop a nationally-focused website and campaign to promote advance care planning.
Development of an online education program on behalf of the University of Wollongong to support overseas qualified nurses working in dementia care settings
Participation in a project with the Clinical Excellence Commission called ‘Top 5’ to improve care of patients with dementia. The Unit is supplying outcome data on falls, complaints, diagnosis of dementia and anti-psychotic use.
Development of systems – in collaboration with Emergency Department staff – to improve the identification and admission pathways of frail older patients and patients with delirium.
Analyses from the Unit’s comprehensive patient database including coding and casemix review, falls mapping and review of IIMS data.
Participation in the Koori Growing Old Well Study – an NHMRC project investigating dementia within Aboriginal communities.