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Variations in older people's emergency care use by social care setting: a systematic review of international evidence

Lookup NU author(s): Kelly Brotherhood, Dr Ben Searle, Dr Gemma Frances SpiersORCiD, Professor Barbara Hanratty



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press. BACKGROUND: Older adults' use of social care and their healthcare utilization are closely related. Residents of care homes access emergency care more often than the wider older population; however, less is known about emergency care use across other social care settings. SOURCES OF DATA: A systematic review was conducted, searching six electronic databases between January 2012 and February 2022. AREAS OF AGREEMENT: Older people access emergency care from a variety of community settings. AREAS OF CONTROVERSY: Differences in study design contributed to high variation observed between studies. GROWING POINTS: Although data were limited, findings suggest that emergency hospital attendance is lowest from nursing homes and highest from assisted living facilities, whilst emergency admissions varied little by social care setting. AREAS TIMELY FOR DEVELOPING RESEARCH: There is a paucity of published research on emergency hospital use from social care settings, particularly home care and assisted living facilities. More attention is needed on this area, with standardized definitions to enable comparisons between studies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brotherhood K, Searle B, Spiers GF, Caiado C, Hanratty B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Medical Bulletin

Year: 2024

Volume: 149

Issue: 1

Pages: 32-44

Print publication date: 01/03/2024

Online publication date: 18/12/2023

Acceptance date: 28/11/2023

Date deposited: 25/03/2024

ISSN (print): 0007-1420

ISSN (electronic): 1471-8391

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/bmb/ldad033

PubMed id: 38112600


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Funder referenceFunder name
National Institute for Health Research