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"Implementation of Multidisciplinary approach and Clinical pathway at the Geriatric Psychiatry Unit of University Psychiatric Clinic Ljubljana, Slovenia"

Authors:

Polona Rus Prelog ,

University Psychiatric Clinic Ljubljana, SI
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Anja Kokalj Palandačić

University Psychiatric Clinic Ljubljana, SI
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Abstract

Introduction: Mental health of the elderly population poses an increasing health, social and economic problem. With ageing, we are facing the increase of people living with dementia and other mental health issues, whereas the ways of treatment and social care services are still not sufficiently adapted to their needs. The common challenge is thus the optimisation of management, including acute hospital care and rehabilitation, social care services, as well as further care directions and coordination.

Theory: National Institute for Public Health of Slovenia estimates the number of people with dementia in Slovenia was 33.000 in 2018. This represents 1.60% of the total Slovenian population (2.067.284 people in 2018). At the University Psychiatric Clinic Ljubljana, the specialised ninety-bed unit of Geriatric Psychiatry with five inpatient and one outpatient ward, provides baseline screening, assessment and comprehensive diagnostic work up for elderly persons with mental health issues and cognitive decline. A multi-disciplinary team works together and forms a consensus diagnosis and recommends pharmacological and psychosocial interventions appropriate to each individual. In addition, a dementia education programme is offered to primary caregivers. Dementia-associated behavioral and psychological changes are the most common syndromes treated, but there are other important psychiatric conditions which present with subjective or objective dysmnesia and behavioral changes. Patiens are discharged back to their living enviroment or to a nursing home or other facility.

Highlights: We will present the implementation of the »Clinical pathway for old age mental health and frailty assessment« that optimised the approach and treatment of patients, admitted to our ward. All the patients are admitted to our unit through the emergency room. With the implementation of the clinical pathway in 2020, we managed to optimise the multidisciplinary cooperation of different profiles (geriatric psychiatry specialist, neurologist, specialist of internal medicine, occupational therapist, clinical psychologist, physiotherapist, social worker, nurses, patient's relatives or primary caregiver). This way, we also re-formed the home discharges of patients that require further care and monitoring at the primary level with a more specific short and long term care plan, that involves different services according to their needs.

Conclusion: With implementation of the »Clinical pathway for old age mental health and frailty assessment« we optimised the coordination of care after hospital discharge, especially at the primary level, improving the quality of life of people with dementia and other mental health issues in older age, living at home.

 

Implications for applicability and limitations: One of the limitations is a short period of time the clinical pathway is used, but since the implementation we keep optimising the care for elderly for safer aging at home.

 

How to Cite: Prelog PR, Palandačić AK. \"Implementation of Multidisciplinary approach and Clinical pathway at the Geriatric Psychiatry Unit of University Psychiatric Clinic Ljubljana, Slovenia\". International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):465. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.ICIC22385
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Published on 04 Nov 2022.

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