Multicomponent hospital-led interventions to reduce hospital stay for older adults following elective surgery: a systematic review

Nunns M, Shaw L, Briscoe S, Thompson Coon J, Hemsley A, McGrath JS, Lovegroveo CJ, Thomas D, Anderson R
Record ID 32018000269
Authors' objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of hospital-led multicomponent interventions to reduce hospital stay for older adults undergoing elective hospital admissions.
Authors' results and conclusions: Findings: A total of 218 articles were included, with 80 articles from 73 effectiveness studies (n = 26,365 patients) prioritised for synthesis, including 34 randomised controlled trials conducted outside the UK and 39 studies from the UK, of which 12 were randomised controlled trials. Fifteen studies included cost-effectiveness data. The evidence was dominated by enhanced recovery protocols and prehabilitation, implemented to improve recovery from either colorectal surgery or lower limb arthroplasty. Six other surgical categories and four other intervention types were identified. Meta-analysis found that enhanced recovery protocols were associated with 1.5 days’ reduction in hospital stay among patients undergoing colorectal surgery (Cohen’s d = –0.51, 95% confidence interval –0.78 to –0.24; p < 0.001) and with 5 days’ reduction among those undergoing upper abdominal surgery (Cohen’s d = –1.04, 95% confidence interval –1.55 to –0.53; p < 0.001). Evidence from the UK was not pooled (owing to mixed study designs), but it echoed findings from the international literature. Length of stay usually was reduced with intervention or was no different. Other clinical outcomes also improved or were no worse with intervention. Patient-reported outcomes were not frequently reported. Cost and cost-effectiveness evidence came from 15 highly heterogeneous studies and was less conclusive. Conclusions: Enhanced recovery and prehabilitation interventions were associated with reduced hospital stay without detriment to other clinical outcomes, particularly for patients undergoing colorectal surgery, lower limb arthroplasty or upper abdominal surgery. The impacts on patient-reported outcomes, healthcare costs or additional service use are not well known.
Authors' methods: Comparative studies were sought that evaluated the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of relevant interventions in elective inpatients with a mean or median age of ≥ 60 years. Study selection, data extraction and quality assessment were completed independently by two reviewers. The main outcome was length of stay, but all outcomes were considered. Studies were sorted by procedure, intervention and outcome categories. Where possible, standardised mean differences or odds ratios were calculated. Meta-analysis was performed when multiple randomised controlled trials had the same intervention, treatment procedure, comparator and outcome. Findings were explored using narrative synthesis.
Authors' identified further reserach: Further studies evaluating of the effectiveness of new enhanced recovery pathways are not required in colorectal surgery or lower limb arthroplasty. However, the applicability of these pathways to other procedures is uncertain. Future studies should evaluate the implementation of interventions to reduce service variation, in-hospital patient-reported outcomes, impacts on health and social care service use, and longer-term patient-reported outcomes.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2019
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Full HTA
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Aged
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Length of Stay
  • Hospital Administration
  • Patient Care Team
  • Safety Management
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.