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WINNER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SPONSORED AWARD FOR THE HIGHEST QUALITY RESEARCH
001 A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL TO EVALUATE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF COMMUNITY PARAMEDIC PRACTITIONERS MANAGING OLDER PEOPLE CALLING THE EMERGENCY SERVICES WITH MINOR CONDITIONS
E. Knowles, S. Mason, B. Colwell, S. Dixon, J. Wardrope, J. Nicholl.Health Services Research Section, Scharr, University Of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Introduction: A pre-hospital service led by paramedic practitioners with extended skills aimed to assess and treat minor acute injury or illness among older people in the community avoiding transfer to the emergency department.
Objectives: To evaluate the experience and health outcomes of older people after minor acute health events.
Methods: A randomised controlled trial conducted between September 2003 and October 2004 where weeks were randomised to the paramedic practitioners service being active (intervention) or inactive (control). The service was activated by a 999 call to the emergency services.
Follow-up was at 3 and 28 days after treatment. Outcomes included time to complete the initial care episode, attendance at the emergency department, hospital admission, health status at 28 days and patient satisfaction.
Results: From 4175 eligible calls to the emergency services, 3018 older people were recruited, 1549 into the intervention arm and 1469 into the control arm. Considerable differences were found between intervention and control groups. Overall, patients in the intervention group were less likely to be …