Radboud University Medical Center

Department of Geriatric Medicine




The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Survey Minimum DataSet (TOPICS-MDS) is a public data repository which contains information on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of older persons and informal caregivers across the Netherlands. The database was developed at the start of The National Care for the Elderly Programme on behalf of the Organisation of Health Research and Development (ZonMw – The Netherlands), in part to ensure uniform collection of outcomes measures, thus promoting comparability between studies. 53 different research projects have contributed data to this initiative, resulting in a pooled dataset >43,000 older persons and >9,000 informal caregivers. The dataset can be reused free of charge.


Current work

TOPICS-MDS is collected in studies in Memorabel, also on behalf of ZonMw, and will be added to the TOPICS-MDS database. We expect researchers can reuse this data from 2020 onwards. Furthermore, TOPICS-MDS has been shortened into TOPICS-SF (Short Form) for the use as a PROM (Patient Reported Outcome Measure) in clinical practice. The Dutch Association of Clinical Geriatrics (NvKG) has selected the TOPICS-SF as PROM for the older patient receiving geriatric care and found that the TOPICS-SF is feasible in practice. In 2018-2019 TOPICS-SF is implemented in 12 hospitals in the Netherlands. Additionally, the TOPICS-SF will be tested in older persons with cancer.


Mission and goals

The mission of TOPICS-MDS is to represent the values of older persons in research and clinical practice. Our main goal is to promote standardization in clinical practice in order to improve patient centered care. Additionally, we focus on promoting standardization in geriatric practice, in order to better compare data and make more impact. Lastly, we stimulate reuse of the TOPICS-MDS database to efficiently contribute to knowledge on older persons (care).