Variability in the clinical management of iron deficiency anaemia in older adults

results from a survey of UK specialists in the care of older people

Alison I. C. Donaldson, Roy L. Soiza (Corresponding Author), Katherine J. Hands, Miles Witham, Phyo K. Myint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Iron deficiency anaemia in older adults is common, but its management presents unique challenges in diagnosis and management. Little is known about compliance with current best practice guidelines. Methods: We undertook an online survey of physician members of the British Geriatrics Society to ascertain how they managed older patients with potential iron deficiency anaemia. Results: There were 141 respondents (96% from UK). Almost a third indicated they would accept haemoglobin levels <100 g/dl without further investigation. A quarter said they would only occasionally or never check ferritin levels. Only 30% would sometimes or always use parenteral iron when oral supplements were not tolerated. Conclusions: Responses suggest a high level of variation in clinical practice and low adherence to best practice guidelines. Possible explanations include an inadequate evidence base to guide management and a lack of knowledge on the challenges of managing iron deficiency anaemia in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Drug Safety
Volume10
Early online date13 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Iron-Deficiency Anemias
Practice Guidelines
Ferritins
Hemoglobins
Iron
Physicians
Surveys and Questionnaires
Population

Keywords

  • ageing
  • anemia
  • audit
  • blood
  • elderly
  • haemoglobin
  • iron
  • treatment

Cite this

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title = "Variability in the clinical management of iron deficiency anaemia in older adults: results from a survey of UK specialists in the care of older people",
abstract = "Background: Iron deficiency anaemia in older adults is common, but its management presents unique challenges in diagnosis and management. Little is known about compliance with current best practice guidelines. Methods: We undertook an online survey of physician members of the British Geriatrics Society to ascertain how they managed older patients with potential iron deficiency anaemia. Results: There were 141 respondents (96{\%} from UK). Almost a third indicated they would accept haemoglobin levels <100 g/dl without further investigation. A quarter said they would only occasionally or never check ferritin levels. Only 30{\%} would sometimes or always use parenteral iron when oral supplements were not tolerated. Conclusions: Responses suggest a high level of variation in clinical practice and low adherence to best practice guidelines. Possible explanations include an inadequate evidence base to guide management and a lack of knowledge on the challenges of managing iron deficiency anaemia in this population.",
keywords = "ageing, anemia, audit, blood, elderly, haemoglobin, iron, treatment",
author = "Donaldson, {Alison I. C.} and Soiza, {Roy L.} and Hands, {Katherine J.} and Miles Witham and Myint, {Phyo K.}",
note = "Acknowledgements We would like to thank the British Geriatrics Society for hosting the survey link and formally endorsing the survey through its electronic communications. We gratefully acknowledge the participants of the survey. Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1177/2042098619854870",
language = "English",
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pages = "1--10",
journal = "Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety",
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T2 - results from a survey of UK specialists in the care of older people

AU - Donaldson, Alison I. C.

AU - Soiza, Roy L.

AU - Hands, Katherine J.

AU - Witham, Miles

AU - Myint, Phyo K.

N1 - Acknowledgements We would like to thank the British Geriatrics Society for hosting the survey link and formally endorsing the survey through its electronic communications. We gratefully acknowledge the participants of the survey. Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Background: Iron deficiency anaemia in older adults is common, but its management presents unique challenges in diagnosis and management. Little is known about compliance with current best practice guidelines. Methods: We undertook an online survey of physician members of the British Geriatrics Society to ascertain how they managed older patients with potential iron deficiency anaemia. Results: There were 141 respondents (96% from UK). Almost a third indicated they would accept haemoglobin levels <100 g/dl without further investigation. A quarter said they would only occasionally or never check ferritin levels. Only 30% would sometimes or always use parenteral iron when oral supplements were not tolerated. Conclusions: Responses suggest a high level of variation in clinical practice and low adherence to best practice guidelines. Possible explanations include an inadequate evidence base to guide management and a lack of knowledge on the challenges of managing iron deficiency anaemia in this population.

AB - Background: Iron deficiency anaemia in older adults is common, but its management presents unique challenges in diagnosis and management. Little is known about compliance with current best practice guidelines. Methods: We undertook an online survey of physician members of the British Geriatrics Society to ascertain how they managed older patients with potential iron deficiency anaemia. Results: There were 141 respondents (96% from UK). Almost a third indicated they would accept haemoglobin levels <100 g/dl without further investigation. A quarter said they would only occasionally or never check ferritin levels. Only 30% would sometimes or always use parenteral iron when oral supplements were not tolerated. Conclusions: Responses suggest a high level of variation in clinical practice and low adherence to best practice guidelines. Possible explanations include an inadequate evidence base to guide management and a lack of knowledge on the challenges of managing iron deficiency anaemia in this population.

KW - ageing

KW - anemia

KW - audit

KW - blood

KW - elderly

KW - haemoglobin

KW - iron

KW - treatment

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