Prof Julie Considine cropCongratulations to Professor Julie Considine and her team on being recently awarded Best Scientific Paper at the International Conference for Emergency Nurses and having their research published in the International Emergency Nursing Journal.

After receiving an Eastern Health Foundation Innovation & Research Grant in 2019, Professor Julie Considine and her team set out to measure the impact on older people who have a long stay in the Emergency Department.

"We focussed on the physical and psychological impact on older people who stayed for more than four hours," explains Professor Considine. “We measured anxiety, comfort and safety levels”.

"We know that older patients are likely to be more seriously ill when they arrive," says Professor Considine. 

"Compared to younger patients, older patients are also more likely to need hospital admission. They often spend more time in the Emergency Department as well.

"This group of patients are commonly impacted by cognitive impairment, delirium, anxiety and depression," she explains, "so we tend to see a higher risk of rapid decline once they arrive at the hospital."

"We wondered if the time they spent in the Emergency Department had an adverse effect on their health, so we applied for an Eastern Health Foundation Research and Innovation Grant to find out”.

The study, funded entirely by a generous donation from Zouki, concluded that levels of anxiety and comfort in older patients who had an extended stay in the Emergency Department were relatively similar to those who had a shorter stay.

"The good news is that the impact of an extended length of stay appears minimal," says Professor Considine. "There were no strong associations identified between length of stay and comfort during Emergency Department care".

“This research reassures us that the care we are providing in our Emergency Departments at Eastern Health is meeting the needs of older patients who are clinically stable and able to communicate freely. We are now focusing on vulnerable older persons who may have issues with cognition or communication, who are in isolation for infection control, or who are clinically unwell.

“It’s really important that we work out a way to evaluate anxiety and comfort in this group of older persons with complex care needs,” she explains.

Professor Considine and her team would like to thank the philanthropic community of donors who made this, and other research projects, possible.

"Research is over and above our core funding for healthcare," she explains. “Our research would not be possible without our wonderful donors!”

As Veronica Lyons, Director, Eastern Health Foundation further explains, "community generosity means Eastern Health researchers are better able to discover new treatments and improve care."

“Philanthropic individuals, businesses and community groups provide seed funding, ongoing financial support and significant donations so researchers can focus on enhancing patient care,” says Veronica.

“Donors who support research make a difference in the lives of our patients every day, and help improve healthcare for all of us.”

Find out more about the Eastern Health Foundation Research & Innovation Grants program at easternhealthfoundation.org.au