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Using the Bergman-Paris Question to screen seniors in the emergency department

  • Antoine Laguë (a1) (a2) (a3), Philippe Voyer (a1) (a2) (a3), Marie-Christine Ouellet (a1) (a2) (a4), Valérie Boucher (a1) (a2) (a3), Marianne Giroux (a1) (a2) (a3), Mathieu Pelletier (a2) (a5), Émilie Gouin (a6), Raoul Daoust (a7), Simon Berthelot (a1) (a2), Michèle Morin (a1) (a2) (a3), Thien Tuong Minh Vu (a8) (a9) (a10), Jacques Lee (a11), Audrey-Anne Brousseau (a12) (a13), Marie-Josée Sirois (a1) (a2) (a3) and Marcel Émond (a1) (a2) (a3)...



In the fast pace of the Emergency Department (ED), clinicians are in need of tailored screening tools to detect seniors who are at risk of adverse outcomes. We aimed to explore the usefulness of the Bergman-Paris Question (BPQ) to expose potential undetected geriatric syndromes in community-living seniors presenting to the ED.


This is a planned sub-study of the INDEED multicentre prospective cohort study, including independent or semi-independent seniors (≥65 years old) admitted to hospital after an ED stay ≥8 hours and who were not delirious. Patients were assessed using validated screening tests for 3 geriatric syndromes: cognitive and functional impairment, and frailty. The BPQ was asked upon availability of a relative at enrolment. BPQ’s sensitivity and specificity analyses were used to ascertain outcomes.


A response to the BPQ was available for 171 patients (47% of the main study’s cohort). Of this number, 75.4% were positive (suggesting impairment), and 24.6% were negative. To detect one of the three geriatric syndromes, the BPQ had a sensitivity of 85.4% (95% CI [76.3, 92.0]) and a specificity of 35.4% (95% CI [25.1, 46.7]). Similar results were obtained for each separate outcome. Odds ratio demonstrated a higher risk of presence of geriatric syndromes.


The Bergman-Paris Question could be an ED screening tool for possible geriatric syndrome. A positive BPQ should prompt the need of further investigations and a negative BPQ possibly warrants no further action. More research is needed to validate the usefulness of the BPQ for day-to-day geriatric screening by ED professionals or geriatricians.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Dr. Marcel Émond, CHU de Québec - Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, 1401, 18e rue, H-608, Québec, QC, G1J 1Z4; Email:


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