Geriatric Psychiatry Inpatient Primer for Residents

  • Nishina A. ThomasEmail author
  • Erin Van Enkevort
  • Robert K. Garrett
  • Mary (Molly) E. Camp
In Brief Report



The authors describe a novel curricular intervention that enhances first- and second-year psychiatry residents’ geriatric psychiatry knowledge while preparing them for overnight call.


A brief, four-page document covering evaluation and management of common clinical scenarios in older adults, including agitation, falls, insomnia, chest pain, abnormal vital signs, and review of pharmacologic interventions, was presented to first- and second-year psychiatry residents. The residents completed an anonymous survey including their comfort level in answering pages and knowledge-based questions regarding evidence-based interventions both before and after the intervention. The pre-survey and post-survey were analyzed using the Wilcoxon-signed rank test, paired T test, and Mann-Whitney U test.


The residents demonstrated statistically significant changes in first-line medication choices for common clinical scenarios such as non-aggressive agitation and insomnia. They were less likely to choose medications that should be avoided in elderly based on expert panel recommendations.


Findings support the need for educational interventions designed to help residents taking call with geriatric patients. The results demonstrated an improvement in clinical knowledge following this brief intervention.


Geriatric psychiatry Education Curriculum development 



We would like to acknowledge the University of Texas Southwestern psychiatry residents who participated in the surveys, as well as the North Texas Veterans Affairs Hospital in Dallas, TX for serving as the teaching site where we conducted this study. This does not imply the endorsement of data or conclusions from either institution.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Residents who participated in the surveys were informed that participation was voluntary.

Ethical Considerations

According to local guidelines (SOP 151-100) of the Dallas VA Medical Center, this study did not meet criteria for human subjects research and therefore was exempt from IRB review.


The authors declare the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford UniversityPalo AltoUSA
  2. 2.Geisinger Medical CenterDanvilleUSA
  3. 3.University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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