BACKGROUND: People aged ≥ 65 years comprise around 1 in 5 emergency department (ED) presentations. Many of these presentations occur due to complications associated with chronic diseases and frailty. This review aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of available research regarding models of care for frail older people presenting to the ED.
METHODS: The Joanna Briggs Institute scoping review framework will be used to guide this review. Literature searches will be conducted in the following electronic databases (from January 2009 onwards): CINAHL via EBSCOhost, Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, SocINDEX. Grey literature will be identified through searching Google Scholar. This review will consider primary research studies (including observational and interventional studies) published in English on models of care for frail older people (aged ≥ 65) presenting to the ED. Two researchers will independently screen all citations, full-text articles, and abstract data. Potential disagreements will be resolved through discussion with a third researcher. Data extracted from included studies will include the following: author(s), year of publication, country, research design and aim, time frame of the study, study population and sample size, data collection methods, definition of frailty, model of care, and key findings that pertain to the ability to inform this review. The strength of the body of evidence will be assessed using the National Health and Medical Research Council level of evidence hierarchy body of evidence matrix. Data will be presented in a tabular format and accompanied by a narrative that describes the characteristics of the body of literature.
DISCUSSION: Despite the increased number of ED presentations for frail older people, there has been no synthesis of the sources of evidence of model of care for frail older people in the setting of emergency care. The results of this scoping review will provide an overview of different models of care and help inform future research in the development of models of care for frail older persons, tailored to the healthcare system in the emergency context.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: This scoping review has been registered in the Open Science Framework (osf.io/h2t94).