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Emergency Care For The Elder With Abdominal Pain

Emergency Care For The Elder With Abdominal Pain

University of Nebraska College of Medicine
Ed Vandenberg, MD, MPH
National Institute on Aging
POGOe Id: 
Date Posted: 
Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 

This unit, using a case-based question and answer format, reviews the key issues in the care, evaluation and management of acute abdominal pain in the elderly. This one hour CEU accredited unit is divided into 3 modules of 15-20 minutes each. Its design allows delivery as either a lecture or voiced for a distance web-based module or self-directed learning. Each module ends with case-based questions and answers.

Educational objectives: 

The learner upon completion will gain basic knowledge in the evaluation, care and management of the elderly with acute abdominal pain. They will be able to describe the unique issues of the elderly with this acute condition.

Module 1 & 2:

  • List the unique features and (atypical) presentations of abdominal pain in elders
  • Identify priorities for initial triage
  • List initial management to stabilize
  • List appropriate historical information to elicit
  • Describe appropriate physical exam
  • List appropriate and timely lab and diagnostic evaluation

Module 3:

  • Describe the presentations and diagnostic approach to other diagnostic possibilities of acute abdominal pain in this population.
Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

Eighteen Practicing NPs, Physicians, Pharmacists, PAs have completed this product.

Blackboard distance based learning as part of a Minifellowship in Geriatrics.

I. Implementation:

  1. For lecture presentation: There are no special implementation requirements other than familiarity with the technology to use PowerPoint. Presenters should be comfortable enough with content to facilitate a robust discussion.
  2. For use in distance learning: The material was originally adapted to Blackboard learning systems, however using the PowerPoint system as we have, it can be adapted to many distance based learning systems. For optimal learning, we recommend the addition of speaker voicing (audio) to explain the slides, and the learner should also have the ability to read the lecture notes.

II. Benefits and practical tips:

  1. For lecture and self learning: The 15-20 minute modular format is concise and partialized, allowing presenters to select the most relevant information for their audience.
  2. For use in distance learning: Our feedback is that the 15-20 minute segments are popular, the learners cite that it is less intimidating to do, the questions at the end create a break and closure, and the 1 hour credit for completion of the three module unit is attained "painlessly".
Learning resource types: 
Other Learning Resource Type: 
Already Expired Email Date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 4:23pm
Already Expired Email 1 month date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 2:33am
Expired Email Date: 
Friday, March 30, 2018 - 8:21am
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:
Dr. Ed Vandenberg

Suggested Citation:
Dr. Ed Vandenberg. Emergency Care For The Elder With Abdominal Pain. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2007 Available from:


Submitted by kareemah65 (not verified) on

Very helpful.