Introduction The Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is an evaluation conducted on older people to detect limitations of health in multiple domains. However, CGA is a time-consuming assessment and so the use of abbreviated screening instruments, as the Vulnerable Elders Survey (VES-13) has been proposed. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of the VES-13 in elders who live in Brazilian long-stay institutions.
Methods This is a study with elderly residents of long-stay institutions in four Brazilian cities. The assessment of functional, emotional and cognitive domains was performed with CGA and with VES-13. Individuals were scored separately with both instruments and classified accordingly. The proportion of positives identified in each domain with the CGA was compared to that of the VES-13. The characteristics of the targeted group were compared with those not selected using the χ2 test.
Results These are preliminary results for 340 elders. Mean age was 75.5 years and 304 (89.4%) were considered as vulnerable (score ≥3). VES-13 identified correctly 90.5% of the elders with cognitive impairment, 99.3% of those with dependence in ADL, 99.5% of those in IADL and 86.9% of those who had depression. Compared to those not selected targeted individuals were older (80 years or more), male, had cognitive impairment and were dependent in ADL and in IADL (p<0.001).
Conclusions VES-13 performed well as a screening instrument in this particular setting, identifying the majority of those elders with functionality problems, cognitive impairment and depression and who would need further evaluation with CGA.
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