May 4, 2021

Announcements

Share your thoughts on dementia and brain health aging research in Canada
CIHR Research Initiative on Dementia and Brain Health Survey

Deadline May 17th
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Aging is consulting to inform the development of new initiatives related to research on dementia and brain health in aging.
You are invited to participate in this survey to provide feedback on the preliminary researchthemes that have emerged from the consultations to date, as well as input on additional topics / themes. The deadline to complete the survey is May 17, 2021.

Auditor General of Ontario says that there are “a lot of systemic issues that need to be overcome” when it comes to fixing Ontario’s LTC sector
Ontario’s long-term care sector wasn’t ready or equipped for COVID-19: report

28 April
Ontario’s long-term care sector and the ministry that oversees it were not “prepared or equipped” to handle the litany of issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the province’s auditor general.

The report on pandemic readiness and response in long-term care, issued by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk on Wednesday morning, says that by the time the novel coronavirus started to ravage Ontario’s long-term care homes in March 2020, it was obvious “aggressive infection prevention, detection and patient care actions were needed — and needed quickly — to prevent staggering death rates” in the LTC community.

That didn’t happen.

Office of the Auditor General of Ontario report on LTC readiness for Covid-19 in Ontario
COVID-19 Preparedness and Management Special Report on Pandemic Readiness and Response in Long-Term Care

Office of the Auditor General of Ontario
21 April 2021
This report contains 16 recommendations with 55 action items to address our audit findings. There should be no surprises in the content and recommendations in this report. Many of the issues and recommendations have either been highlighted or recommended previously by this Office, or were the subject of public discussions or publications amongst the various stakeholders we met with during our audit, as well as other interested groups and individuals. Given the longstanding nature of these issues and the risks of severe outcomes, there is a need to keep decision-makers’ attention focused on what needs to change, even though vaccines have helped to significantly reduce COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths in long-term care homes.

New article on LTC policies in Canada during the pandemic
An Analysis of the Long-Term Care Policy Mandates Implemented in Canada during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Access if not affiliated with University of Alberta

Just DT, Variath C.
Healthc Q 2021 Apr;24(1):22-27.
The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had a catastrophic impact on Canada’s long-term care system. This report compares the experiences of the five Canadian provinces that were most affected by COVID-19. This includes a comparison of the five mandates that provincial governments implemented in order to protect long-term care residents. Findings from this report indicate that the Canadian provinces whose long-term care systems were most devastated by COVID-19 failed their residents by responding too slowly compared with provinces with similar long-term care systems. This lesson should guide policy reform to safeguard residents during the second wave and beyond.

New article on using SNA to develop and evaluate complex interventions
Value of social network analysis for developing and evaluating complex healthcare interventions: a scoping review
Access if not affiliated with University of Alberta

Smit LC, Dikken J, Schuurmans MJ, de Wit NJ, Bleijenberg N.
BMJ Open 2020 Nov 17;10(11):e039681-2020-039681.
OBJECTIVES: Most complex healthcare interventions target a network of healthcare professionals. Social network analysis (SNA) is a powerful technique to study how social relationships within a network are established and evolve. We identified in which phases of complex healthcare intervention research SNA is used and the value of SNA for developing and evaluating complex healthcare interventions. METHODS: A scoping review was conducted using the Arksey and O’Malley methodological framework. We included complex healthcare intervention studies using SNA to identify the study characteristics, level of complexity of the healthcare interventions, reported strengths and limitations, and reported implications of SNA. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews 2018 was used to guide the reporting. RESULTS: Among 2466 identified studies, 40 studies were selected for analysis. At first, the results showed that SNA seems underused in evaluating complex intervention research. Second, SNA was not used in the development phase of the included studies. Third, the reported implications in the evaluation and implementation phase reflect the value of SNA in addressing the implementation and population complexity. Fourth, pathway complexity and contextual complexity of the included interventions were unclear or unable to access. Fifth, the use of a mixed methods approach was reported as a strength, as the combination and integration of a quantitative and qualitative method clearly establishes the results. CONCLUSION: SNA is a widely applicable method that can be used in different phases of complex intervention research. SNA can be of value to disentangle and address the level of complexity of complex healthcare interventions. Furthermore, the routine use of SNA within a mixed method approach could yield actionable insights that would be useful in the transactional context of complex interventions.

New article by Shannon Scott
Understanding Parents’ Experiences When Caring for a Child With Functional Constipation: Interpretive Description Study
Access if not affiliated with University of Alberta

Thompson AP, MacDonald SE, Wine E, Scott SD.
JMIR Pediatr Parent 2021 Jan 20;4(1):e24851.
BACKGROUND: Pediatric functional constipation (FC) is a common but serious medical condition. Despite significant effects on children, families, and the health care system, the condition is typically undertreated. Parents carry the primary responsibility for complex treatment programs; therefore, understanding their experiences and needs may offer a critical perspective toward improving clinical care. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to understand and give voice to parents’ experiences and information needs when caring for a child with FC. The ultimate objective is to build an evidence base suitable for creating a digital knowledge translation tool to better support parents caring for a child with FC. METHODS: This qualitative design used an interpretive description methodology to generate findings aimed at improving clinical care. One-on-one, in-depth interviews were completed either in person or through web-based teleconferencing to explore parents’ perspectives. Data collection and analysis occurred concurrently. RESULTS: Analysis of 16 interviews generated 4 major themes: living in the shadows; not taken seriously, with a subtheme of persevering and advocating; missing information and misinformation; and self-doubt and strained relationships. One minor theme of affirmative influences that foster resilience and hope was identified. CONCLUSIONS: Parents have unmet needs for support and information related to pediatric FC. To address gaps in current care provision, decision makers may consider interventions for clinicians, resources for parents, and shifting care models to better meet parents’ needs.

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