The modified Hospital Elder Life Program: adapting a complex intervention for feasibility and scalability in a surgical setting

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine; Meyers Primary Care Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



Aged; Evidence-Based Practice; Feasibility Studies; Health Services for the Aged; *Hospitals; Humans; *Surgical Procedures, Operative


Geriatric Nursing | Geriatrics


The purpose of this article is to provide the rationale and methods for adapting the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP). The HELP is a complex intervention that has been shown to reduce rates of delirium and functional decline. However, modification of the program may be required to meet local circumstances and specialized populations. We selected three key elements based on our prior work and the concept of shared risk factors and modified the HELP to include only three shared risk factors (functional, nutritional, and cognitive status) that were targeted by three nursing protocols: early mobilization, oral and nutritional assistance, and orienting communication. These protocols were adapted, refined, and pilot-tested for feasibility and efficacy. We hope by reporting the rationale and protocols for the modified HELP, we will advance the field for others adapting evidence-based, complex nursing interventions.

DOI of Published Version



J Gerontol Nurs. 2014 May;40(5):16-22. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20140110-01. Epub 2014 Jan 21.Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of gerontological nursing

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID