Objective: To summarize the processes used to develop a curriculum and model of care for the emergency medical treatment of elder patients and to assess the efficacy of the teaching material in a pilot course.
Methods: A survey of emergency medicine (EM) residency directors and geriatric fellowship directors was used to identify key topics for inclusion in the didactic material. An interdisciplinary consensus process was used to develop didactic as well as teaching material in geriatric EM. Pretests and posttests were administered to 46 participants in the initial course to assess knowledge gain. Subjective course evaluations were also done.
Results: Test scores significantly increased from 54% correct on the pretest to 77% correct on the posttest (p < 0.001). Significant improvement in knowledge as judged by pretest and posttest results occurred in 6 of the 7 teaching modules. Subjective evaluations demonstrated good to excellent ratings for each module as well as the overall workshop.
Conclusions: The process of developing a curriculum for geriatric EM is described. The initial training of instructors was effective in improving participants' knowledge of geriatric issues in EM. Participants considered the training to be effective. The effect of the training on the emergency care of elder persons remains to be determined.