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Two ARC-GM Related Papers Featured in The British Geriatrics Society Themed Collection on Age and Ageing

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Two ARC-GM Related Papers Featured in The British Geriatrics Society Themed Collection on Age and Ageing

The British Geriatrics Society Age and Ageing medical journal recognises the importance of evidence synthesis in research and actively supports this method as an effective and objective means of keeping up to date with the latest evidence in older adult care. Their recent themed collection, features important evidence synthesis papers from the journal published in recent years addressing various topics related to health and social care for older individuals.


From the broad range of publications available, the journal has chosen to feature two studies linked to the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester (ARC-GM) reflecting the significance of NIHR ARC-GM’s work in this area.


A rapid evidence synthesis (RES) of Virtual Wards (a virtual ward uses the systems and staffing of a hospital ward while enabling the patient to get the care they need where they live), led by Dr Gill Norman, evaluated this service using international evidence to inform local Greater Manchester work.


Researchers searched databases to address clinical and cost-effectiveness, barriers and facilitators for staff, patient or carer experience for virtual wards, hospital at home or remote monitoring alternatives to inpatient care. The data indicates that outcomes such as mortality and admissions to residential care are probably as good or better with hospital-at-home compared to traditional hospital care. However, uncertainties exist regarding cost-effectiveness, and there is insufficient evidence on the financial impact for patients and caregivers.


Dr Gill Norman commented:


"We were pleased to see the Virtual Wards rapid evidence synthesis featured in this collection, and the level of interest in it. It's based on work to support evidence-based decision making within Greater Manchester but this paper has helped us contribute to the national conversation around virtual wards. Use of existing evidence syntheses in this kind of work supports timely decision-making for safe and effective care, avoids research waste and helps with planning future work."


More information about NIHR ARC-GM’s approach to Rapid Evidence Synthesis (RES), and a downloadable version of the Virtual Ward RES is available here.


Read the paper in full:


  • Norman G,Bennett P,,  Vardy E., Virtual wards: a rapid evidence synthesis and implications for the care of older people, Age and Ageing, Volume 52, Issue 1, January 2023, afac319,


Another important contribution to the collection is a systematic review and meta-analysis of instruments addressing concerns about falling in older individuals and those at an elevated risk of falls. The research team looked at 58 studies focussing on four measurement tools, findings suggest that there is evidence for excellent measurement properties of all four.


Lead author on this paper, Dr Lisa McGarrigle said:


"We are very pleased to see our review on measures of concerns about falling included in this collection. The review exemplifies how evidence on the reliability and validity of assessment tools can be synthesised to guide best practice. Findings from this review were used to inform the recently published World Guidelines for Falls Prevention in Older Adults, also published in Age and Ageing."


Read the paper in full:


  • McGarrigle L, Yang Y, Lasrado R, Gittins M, Todd C., A systematic review and meta-analysis of the measurement properties of concerns-about-falling instruments in older people and people at increased risk of falls, Age and Ageing, Volume 52, Issue 5, May 2023, afad055,


The full British Geriatrics Society Evidence Synthesis for Older Adults, An Age and Ageing themed collection can be accessed here:



Published: 19/12/2023

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