CME: A Strategy for Decreasing Influenza’s Impact

CME: A Strategy for Decreasing Influenza’s Impact

Research indicates that about 60% of influenza-related hospitalizations occur in adults aged 65 and older during most influenza seasons in the United States. Many of these patients are frail and at increased risk for functional decline. However, few studies have assessed the need for extended care admissions due to functional decline from influenza-associated hospitalizations among community-dwelling older adults. Additionally, whereas studies have shown that prompt treatment with influenza antiviral agents can reduce the duration of illness and prevent influenza-related complications, data are limited on the benefit of antiviral treatment in this patient population.   Examining the Issue For a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, Nancy M. Bennett, MD, MS, and colleagues analyzed predictors of extended care and the potential mitigating effect of antiviral treatment among community-dwelling patients aged 65 and older. Participants were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza during the 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 influenza seasons. Extended care was defined as placement in a skilled nursing facility on hospital discharge. Treatment was categorized as early (4 days or less) or late (more than 4 days) in reference to the date of illness onset. “We also assessed a series of variables to determine which predicted loss of functional status and extended care placement,” says Dr. Bennett. The researchers found that among more than 6,500 participants, 18% were discharged from the hospital to extended care facilities. “These patients went from living independently to requiring significant care,” Dr. Bennett adds. A univariate analysis found the following to be predictors of discharge to extended care: Increasing age (10% among those aged 65 to 74, 16% for those aged 75 to 84, and 30%...
A Strategy for Decreasing Influenza’s Impact

A Strategy for Decreasing Influenza’s Impact

Research indicates that about 60% of influenza-related hospitalizations occur in adults aged 65 and older during most influenza seasons in the United States. Many of these patients are frail and at increased risk for functional decline. However, few studies have assessed the need for extended care admissions due to functional decline from influenza-associated hospitalizations among community-dwelling older adults. Additionally, whereas studies have shown that prompt treatment with influenza antiviral agents can reduce the duration of illness and prevent influenza-related complications, data are limited on the benefit of antiviral treatment in this patient population.   Examining the Issue For a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, Nancy M. Bennett, MD, MS, and colleagues analyzed predictors of extended care and the potential mitigating effect of antiviral treatment among community-dwelling patients aged 65 and older. Participants were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza during the 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 influenza seasons. Extended care was defined as placement in a skilled nursing facility on hospital discharge. Treatment was categorized as early (4 days or less) or late (more than 4 days) in reference to the date of illness onset. “We also assessed a series of variables to determine which predicted loss of functional status and extended care placement,” says Dr. Bennett. The researchers found that among more than 6,500 participants, 18% were discharged from the hospital to extended care facilities. “These patients went from living independently to requiring significant care,” Dr. Bennett adds. A univariate analysis found the following to be predictors of discharge to extended care: Increasing age (10% among those aged 65 to 74, 16% for those aged 75 to 84, and 30%...