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Adult nursing
Select groups of older adults may benefit from emergency-based short-stay unit admission, as compared to standard medical admission
  1. Úna Kerin
  1. Adult Nursing, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ms Úna Kerin, Adult Nursing, Birmingham City University, Birmingham B15 3TN, UK; una.kerin{at}

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Commentary on: Strøm C, Rasmussen LS, Löwe AS, et al. Short-stay unit hospitalisation vs. standard care outcomes in older internal medicine patients-a randomised clinical trial. Age Ageing 2018;47:810-817. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afy090.


  • Preliminary data suggests emergency-based, short-stay units reduced: functional decline, adverse events, readmission rates and hospital stays.

  • Short-stay units reported similar 90-day mortality rates to standard medical admissions.

  • Multicentre international studies are required.

  • Future research should include a cost-analysis and powered studies to detect minimal differences in 90-day mortality.


In most countries, demand exceeds availability of acute healthcare resources.1 An aged population with complex biopsychosocial needs are an increasing healthcare challenge.2 Older adults regularly require extended periods of hospitalisation, and are more at risk of developing adverse, hospital-acquired sequelae.2 3

Short-stay units (SSU) are speculated to be cost-effective …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.