Project area or title
Probing Cognitive Baselines Before Major Surgery: Predicting Dementia Risk in the Elderly
In the latter decades of life, the likelihood of requiring elective surgery escalates due to organ function decline, joint wear, and increased susceptibility to diseases like atherosclerosis and cancer. While surgery often remains the most viable solution to these medical issues, it unfortunately leads to diminished daily functioning and cognitive skills for many older adults, resulting in a significant drop in quality of life. This raises the pivotal question: Is surgery always in the best interest of the elderly?
Addressing this query necessitates a multidisciplinary collaboration, ensuring that the views of patients and their families are at the forefront.
This proposal aims to use ecological momentary assessments of elderly patients before surgery to create a prognostic tool. This tool will predict common post-surgery complications, such as delirium-associated symptoms and chronic pain, which contribute to decreased quality of life and functional loss. Importantly, we’ll evaluate quality of life using metrics that the patient deems significant.
Such a tool aligns with the NICE guideline for ‘shared-decision making’, promoting a collective approach wherein clinicians, patients, and carers collaborate to determine an evidence-based treatment plan. The goal is to uphold the functional capacity and quality of life of older adults for as long as feasible.
University of Birmingham