Building a framework for a geriatric acute care model

Marie Boltz (New York University College of Nursing, New York, New York, USA)
Elizabeth Capezuti (New York University College of Nursing, New York, New York, USA)
Nina Shabbat (New York University College of Nursing, New York, New York, USA)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Publication date: 5 October 2010



The purpose of this mixed methods study is to define the core components of a system‐wide, acute care program designed to meet the needs of older adults.


Concept mapping methodology (multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis) was used to obtain data describing the core components of a geriatric acute care model. The input of 306 “stakeholders” (clinicians, administrators, consumers, educators, and researchers) was obtained through a world wide web interface, supplemented with consumer interviews.


The findings yielded eight clusters describing components of a geriatric acute care program: guiding principles, leadership, organizational structures, physical environment, patient‐ and family‐centered approaches, aging‐sensitive practices, geriatric staff competence, and interdisciplinary resources and processes. A total of 113 items that describe dimensions of quality were identified with these clusters.

Practical implications

The clusters and dimensions provide a framework for a hospital to use to plan, implement, and evaluate an acute care model for older adults.


There is not a common understanding of what constitutes a comprehensive set of resources, programs, and activities to address the needs of hospitalized older adults and their families and the staff who serve them. Concept mapping was an effective method of engaging the perspectives of various stakeholders in creating a framework to address these needs, as well as useful in illuminating areas for future research.



Boltz, M., Capezuti, E. and Shabbat, N. (2010), "Building a framework for a geriatric acute care model", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 334-360.

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