Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Geriatrics, 2nd Edition, is written for clinicians who provide care to older adults. In the context of our evolving health care system and a rapidly aging population, clinicians are continually adapting their practice to meet the needs of their older patients. Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Geriatrics provides a framework for using the functional and cognitive status, prognosis, and social context of patients to guide diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. In this edition, authors apply the principles of geriatric medicine, in different care settings to address common clinical scenarios and common geriatric conditions encountered by clinicians in the care of older adults.
In the first section, Principles of Geriatric Medicine, the authors examine how the care of older adults differs from the more disease- or organ-focused care geared toward younger adults. The introductory chapter describes the theoretical framework of geriatric care. Each subsequent chapter provides an in-depth review of fundamental components of care, for example, the correlation between a person's physical function and their living environment, and the management of multiple chronic conditions and medications in older adults. This section concludes with a discussion of the intersection between geriatrics and palliative care and the application of ethics and informed decision-making principles in the care of older adults.
Care Settings, the second section, presents the different health care system settings in which clinicians provide care to older adults. Beginning with an overview of transitions in care between settings, the section focuses on the cornerstones of care for older adults in the ambulatory clinic setting, in the emergency department, in the hospital, in long-term care facilities, and in home care settings. Also included are special situations such as addressing the needs of older patients in the perioperative period or the needs of those with chronic health conditions who are planning to travel.
In the third section, Common Geriatric Conditions, authors discuss approaches to managing medical conditions in older adults, applying and integrating the current knowledge base to guide decision-making. Some of the clinical challenges included are evaluating delirium, dementia, and cognitive impairment, managing gastrointestinal and abdominal complaints, and responding to sleep disorders in the older adult.
The Common Clinical Scenarios section addresses some of the special considerations and unique needs encountered in clinical practice with older adults, such as treating vulnerable subpopulations of older adults (eg, those who are lesbian or gay, those with low literacy, or those who are homeless).
The final section is Beyond Clinical Practice, which guides clinicians in weighing evidence from new studies to optimize their ability to provide evidence-based care to older adults. The section ends with a broader look at how healthcare systems in the United States and internationally (Japan, Israel, China, and Sweden) are responding to population aging.
We thank our authors for their contributions to the second edition of Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Geriatrics, and we look forward to advancing the care of older adults.
Brie A. Williams, MD, MS, and Anna Chang, MD
Cyrus Ahalt, MPP
Helen Chen, MD
Rebecca Conant, MD
C. Seth Landefeld, MD
Christine Ritchie, MD, MSPH
Michi Yukawa, MD, MPH