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Blick über die linke Schulter einer Patientin. Ihr am Tisch gegenüber sitzt eine Ärztin im kurzärmligen weißen Kittel, die auf einem Klemmbrett Notizen macht.


Care situation of elderly people in emergency and acute medicine: evaluation of subjective needs and unspecific complaints

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More and more older, multimorbid patients are treated and cared for in emergency departments in Germany. So far, there is little research data from Germany on what constitutes this patient group and the care situation of older emergency patients has not yet been adequately investigated with regard to the status quo, deficits and potentials. The EMAAge II research project therefore examines various aspects of the situation of older emergency patients.

In addition to multimorbidity and limited communication skills, the challenges in this patient group are the occurrence of unspecific complaints such as malaise, deterioration in general condition or weakness. The spectrum of possible diagnoses ranges from psychosocial care problems to life-threatening illnesses. Research suggests that there is an increased mortality rate among patients presenting to the emergency department with unspecific complaints. This is due to the fact that serious illnesses are recognized with a delay and complex, time-consuming examination processes are necessary.

Our focus is on ...

  1. the subjective experiences and needs of older patients with and without a migrant background during and after an emergency stay. For this purpose, qualitative interviews - with a subsample of older patients of Turkish origin - are carried out.
  2. Analysis of care trjectories of older patients during the emergency admission stay by using the method of participant observation
  3. Description of the characteristics of older emergency room patients on the basis of treatment data: Determination of the proportion, the care processes, the morbidity and mortality and the use of the health system by this patient group. Evaluation of the unspecific complaints regarding adverse events, morbidity and the use of resources of the health system in comparison to international studies of adverse events, the morbidity and by emergency room patients with unspecific complaints.
  4. Online-based, representative survey on the use of, experiences with and requirements for emergency care

Goals of the study

EMAAge II builds on the findings of the EMAAge project from the first EMANet funding phase.

The aim of the study in phase II is to analyze the current care situation of older, multimorbid emergency patients and to identify the potential of patient-centered, age-sensitive emergency care.

To this end, the patient's perspective should be placed in the foreground and the (subjective) needs of the patients should be researched. In addition, EMAAge II examines a special subgroup of older emergency patients, who often pose a particular challenge for providers, but have not yet been analyzed in Germany: patients with unspecific symptoms


  • Mag. art. Johannes Deutschbein, Institut für Medizinische Soziologie und Rehabilitationswissenschaft, Link
  • Dr. rer. biol. hum. Anna Schneider, Institut für Medizinische Soziologie und Rehabilitationswissenschaft, Link
  • Dorothee Riedlinger, Emergency department, Charité Mitte and Virchow-Klinikum (CCM / CVK), Link
  • M. Sc. Kristina Franz, Clinic for geriatrics and geriatric medicine, Link