Grants & Awards
New TREC Article
Measuring Work Engagement, Psychological Empowerment, and Organizational Citizenship Behavior Among Health Care Aides
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PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Health care aides (HCAs) provide most direct care in long-term care (LTC) and home and community care (HCC) settings but are understudied. We validate three key work attitude measures to better understand HCAs’ work experiences: work engagement (WEng), psychological empowerment (PE), and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB-O). DESIGN AND METHODS: Data were collected from 306 HCAs working in LTC and HCC, using survey items for WEng, PE, and OCB-O adapted for HCAs. Psychometric evaluation involved confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Predictive validity (correlations with measures of job satisfaction and turnover intention) and internal consistency reliability were examined. RESULTS: CFA supported a one-factor model of WEng, a four-factor model of PE, and a one-factor model of OCB-O. HCC workers scored higher than LTC workers on Self-determination (PE) and lower on Impact, demonstrating concurrent validity. WEng and PE correlated with worker outcomes (job satisfaction, turnover intention, and OCB-O), demonstrating predictive validity. Reliability and validity analyses indicated sound psychometric properties overall. IMPLICATIONS: Study results support psychometric properties of measures of WEng, PE, and OCB-O for HCAs. Knowledge of HCAs’ work attitudes and behaviors can inform recruitment programs, incentive systems, and retention/training strategies for this vital group of care providers.
Learn all about what TREC and its team members have been up to.
New articles by Dr. Shannon Scott
What is a clinical pathway? Refinement of an operational definition to identify clinical pathway studies for a Cochrane systematic review.
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Clinical pathways (CPWs) are a common component in the quest to improve the quality of health. CPWs are used to reduce variation, improve quality of care, and maximize the outcomes for specific groups of patients. An ongoing challenge is the operationalization of a definition of CPW in healthcare. This may be attributable to both the differences in definition and a lack of conceptualization in the field of clinical pathways. This correspondence article describes a process of refinement of an operational definition for CPW research and proposes an operational definition for the future syntheses of CPWs literature. Following the approach proposed by Kinsman et al. (BMC Medicine 8(1):31, 2010) and Wieland et al. (Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 17(2):50, 2011), we used a four-stage process to generate a five criteria checklist for the definition of CPWs. We refined the operational definition, through consensus, merging two of the checklist’s criteria, leading to a more inclusive criterion for accommodating CPW studies conducted in various healthcare settings. The following four criteria for CPW operational definition, derived from the refinement process described above, are (1) the intervention was a structured multidisciplinary plan of care; (2) the intervention was used to translate guidelines or evidence into local structures; (3) the intervention detailed the steps in a course of treatment or care in a plan, pathway, algorithm, guideline, protocol or other ‘inventory of actions’ (i.e. the intervention had time-frames or criteria-based progression); and (4) the intervention aimed to standardize care for a specific population. An intervention meeting all four criteria was considered to be a CPW. The development of operational definitions for complex interventions is a useful approach to appraise and synthesize evidence for policy development and quality improvement.
Management of Bronchiolitis in Community Hospitals in Ontario: a Multicentre Cohort Study.
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OBJECTIVES: Bronchiolitis is the leading cause of hospital admission for infants, but few studies have examined management of this condition in community hospital settings. We reviewed the management of children with bronchiolitis presenting to community hospitals in Ontario. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed a consecutive cohort of infants less than 12 months old with bronchiolitis who presented to 28 Ontario community hospitals over a two-year period. Bronchiolitis was defined as first episode of wheezing associated with signs of an upper respiratory tract infection during respiratory syncytial virus season. RESULTS: Of 543 eligible children, 161 (29.7%, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 22.3 to 37.0%) were admitted to hospital. Hospital admission rates varied widely (Interquartile Range 0%-40.3%). Bronchodilator use was widespread in the emergency department (ED) (79.7% of patients, 95% CI 75.0 to 84.5%) and on the inpatient wards (94.4% of patients, 95% CI 90.2 to 98.6%). Salbutamol was the most commonly used bronchodilator. At ED discharge 44.7% (95% CI 37.5 to 51.9%) of patients were prescribed a bronchodilator medication. Approximately one-third of ED patients (30.8%, 95% CI 22.7 to 38.8%), 50.3% (95% CI 37.7 to 63.0%) of inpatients, and 23.5% (95% CI 14.4 to 32.7) of patients discharged from the ED were treated with corticosteroids. The most common investigation obtained was a chest x-ray (60.2% of all children; 95% CI 51.9 to 68.5%). CONCLUSIONS: Infants with bronchiolitis receive medications and investigations for which there is little evidence of benefit. This suggests a need for knowledge translation strategies directed to community hospitals.
Editorial in JAMDA on TREC paper
Clinical Burden, Quality of Care, Organizational Context: Different Lenses to Optimize Care for Older People
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In this issue of the Journal, Estabrooks et al 4 reported on a retrospective analysis of longitudinal survey data from 36 Canadian nursing homes that examined the influence of organizational context on symptom burden in the final year of life between nursing home residents with and without dementia. The study symptoms are all commonly seen in nursing homes and include pain, behavioral disturbance, delirium, skin breakdown, dyspnea, and urinary tract infection (although strictly speaking this is more appropriately classified as a diagnosis rather than a symptom). The authors found that symptom burden increased as end of life approached, which is not surprising. They also discovered, however, that symptom burden differed between nursing homes with different modifiable features of organizational context. The findings suggested a possible nexus among symptom burden, quality of care, and organizational context.
The Context and Implementation of Complex Interventions (CICI) Framework
Guidance for the Assessment of Context and Implementation in Health Technology Assessments (HTA) and Systematic Reviews of Complex Interventions: The Context and Implementation of Complex Interventions (CICI) Framework (UK)
The purpose of this guidance is to facilitate the systematic assessment and documentation of the context and implementation of a complex intervention. It introduces an overarching framework of the interacting dimensions of context (including setting) and implementation. This framework comprises eight domains of context (i.e. setting, geographical, epidemiological, socio-cultural, socio-economic, ethical, legal and political) and four domains of implementation (i.e. provider, organisation and structure, funding and policy) including definitions and descriptions of each of these domains.
Grants & Awards
Active and Assisted Living Programme: Living well with dementia
The aim of this call is to support innovative, transnational and multi-disciplinary collaborative projects with a clear route to market and added-value for the different types of end-users. A key priority underlying this challenge will be to bring together technologies and services to create ICT based solutions addressing the aspirations and challenges that will enable the wellbeing of people with dementia and their communities (family, caregivers, neighbourhood, service providers, care system, etc…).
Health Care Administration and Organization
Health Care Innovation and Quality Assurance
Research Practice and Methodology
The Strategic Action Field Framework for Policy Implementation Research
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Drawing upon the theories of social skill and strategic action fields (SAFs), this article presents a SAF Framework for Implementation Research. In the framework, policy implementation systems are conceptualized as multilevel SAFs that form around a public service intervention. Within this context, socially skilled actors leverage diverse sources of authority—including but not limited to political authority—to enable change or stability to a public service intervention. While the framework has underpinnings in field theory, it is able to encompass multiple theoretical perspectives, including complexity theories, organizational theories, economic theories, and theories of human behavior. Importantly, the SAF Framework allows for the integration of results relevant to both management and policy—change in implementation systems, and change in the behavior or conditions of an external target group.
Collaborative research and the co-production of knowledge for practice: an illustrative case study.
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BACKGROUND: In 2008, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) began funding a major 5-year pilot research programme of translational research in England, establishing nine ‘Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care’ (CLAHRCs). A number of evaluations were carried out to examine whether or not the various collaborations worked as intended and why. In this paper, we examine what the theory of co-production adds to understanding of processes of knowledge creation and translation we observed in one of the CLAHRCs. METHODS: A case study of a successful knowledge translation project was identified from our wider realist evaluation of the mechanisms of closer collaboration at play in the CLAHRC. In the project, a computer simulation model of an emergency pathway for acute ischaemic stroke was built to explore if and how the time between the onset and treatment of the condition could be minimised by redesigning the pathway. The aim of the case study was to improve our understanding of the nature and workings of the mechanisms of closer collaboration that were associated with the more successful projects by examining the relevance of the theory of co-production. Qualitative methods of analysis were used to explore the fit between the mechanisms of closer collaboration we observed in the realist evaluation and the principles of co-production we identified from the literature. RESULTS: We found a close fit between the nine mechanisms of closer collaboration at work in the project and the principles of co-production (active agents; equality of partners; reciprocity and mutuality; transformative; and facilitated). The successful style of collaborative working exemplified by the project was consistent with a strong form of co-production. CONCLUSIONS: In our view, the theory of co-production provides useful insights into what it is about the qualities of collaborative working that inspire the requisite mechanisms for generating knowledge that is translated into practice. The theory provides a potentially useful basis for future knowledge translation programmes and projects in applied health research in a range of contexts.
Relationships between duration of practice, educational level, and perception of barriers to implement evidence-based practice among critical care nurses.
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Globally, a greater emphasis has been placed on the delivery of safe, patient-centered, evidence-based nursing care. As point-of-care providers, critical care nurses play a key role in ensuring that patients receive the safest, most effective treatment available. In order to deliver scientific-based care, critical care nurses must stay abreast of the current trends, as well as engage in the evidence-based practice process. This study aimed to describe research activities, to identify barriers to implement evidence-based practice and to explore professional factors related to the use of evidence-based practice among critical care nurses at three teaching hospitals in south-eastern United States. METHODS: A survey design and convenience sampling method was used. A sample of 30 critical care staff nurses participated in the study. A 61-item online questionnaire composed of a demographic survey – BARRIERS scale – and Evidence-Based Practice Questionnaire was used. Simple descriptive statistics, Pearson’s product moment correlations, and independent-sample t test procedures were used to analyze the data. RESULTS: Critical care nurses’ reported positive attitudes, but viewed knowledge and use of evidence-based practice less favorably. These results may indicate that having a positive attitude towards evidence-based practice does not necessarily translate to knowledge and use of the evidence-based practice process in clinical practice. An unwillingness to change and time constraints were identified as the top barriers to use evidence-based practice in this study. Perceptions of barriers to use evidence-based practice were higher in those critical care nurses who had less practical experience and educational preparation. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that critical care nurses possess the foundation to engage in the evidence-based practice process; however, their knowledge, practice, and attitudes just need to be cultivated and strengthened. Understanding the nurses’ professional factors, current use and barriers to implement evidence-based practice is an essential step to ensuring competency and value for engaging in the evidence-based practice process. The results of this study support the need for future research to address barriers that impact critical care nurses’ ability to deliver state-of-the-science care.
FITS into practice: translating research into practice in reducing the use of anti-psychotic medication for people with dementia living in care homes.
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OBJECTIVES: This paper reports on the acceptability and effectiveness of the FITS (Focussed Intervention Training and Support) into Practice Programme. This intervention was scaled up from an earlier cluster randomised-controlled trial that had proven successful in significantly decreasing antipsychotic prescribing in care homes. METHOD: An in depth 10-day education course in person-centred care was delivered over a three-month period, followed by six supervision sessions. Participants were care-home staff designated as Dementia Care Coaches (DCCs) responsible for implementing interventions in 1 or 2 care homes. The course and supervision was provided by educators called Dementia Practice Development Coaches (DPDCs). Effectiveness data included monitoring antipsychotic prescriptions, goal attainment, knowledge, attitudes and implementation questionnaires. Qualitative data included case studies and reflective journals to elucidate issues of implementation. RESULTS: Of the 100 DCCs recruited, 66 DCCs completed the programme. Pre-post questionnaires demonstrated increased knowledge and confidence and improved attitudes to dementia. Twenty per cent of residents were prescribed antipsychotics at baseline which reduced to 14% (31% reduction) with additional dose reductions being reported alongside improved personalised goal attainment. Crucial for FITS into Practice to succeed was the allocation and protection of time for the DCC to attend training and supervision and to carry out implementation tasks in addition to their existing job role. Evaluation data showed that this was a substantial barrier to implementation in a small number of homes. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: The FITS into practice programme was well evaluated and resulted in reduction in inappropriate anti-psychotic prescribing. Revisions to the intervention are suggested to maximise successful implementation.
How do health care organizations take on best practices? A scoping literature review
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AIMS: The aims of this scoping literature review are to examine and summarize the organizational-level factors, context, and processes that influence the use of evidence-based practice in healthcare organizations. METHODS: A scoping literature review was done to answer the question: What is known from the existing empirical literature about factors, context, and processes that influence the uptake, implementation, and sustainability of evidence-based practice in healthcare organizations? This review used the Arksey and O’Malley framework to describe findings and to identify gaps in the existing research literature. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were developed to screen studies. Relevant studies published between January 1991 and March 2014 were identified using four electronic databases. Study abstracts were screened for eligibility by two reviewers. Following this screening process, full-text articles were reviewed to determine the eligibility of the studies by the primary author. Eligible studies were then analyzed by coding findings with descriptive labels to distinguish elements that appeared relevant to this literature review. Coding was used to form categories, and these categories led to the development of themes. RESULTS: Thirty studies met the eligibility criteria for this literature review. The themes identified were: the process organizations use to select evidence-based practices for adoption, use of a needs assessment, linkage to the organization’s strategic direction, organizational culture, the organization’s internal social networks, resources (including education and training, presence of information technology, financial resources, resources for patient care, and staff qualifications), leadership, the presence of champions, standardization of processes, role clarity of staff, and the presence of social capital. CONCLUSION: Several gaps were identified by this review. There is a lack of research on how evidence-based practices may be sustained by organizations. Most of the research done to date has been cross-sectional. Longitudinal research would give insight into the relationship between organizational characteristics and the uptake, implementation, and sustainability of evidence-based practice. In addition, although it is clear that financial resources are required to implement evidence-based practice, existing studies contain a lack of detail about the cost of adopting and using new practices. This scoping review contains a number of implications for healthcare administrators, managers, and providers to consider when adopting and implementing evidence-based practices in healthcare organizations.
Figuring out fidelity: a worked example of the methods used to identify, critique and revise the essential elements of a contextualised intervention in health policy agencies
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BACKGROUND: In this paper, we identify and respond to the fidelity assessment challenges posed by novel contextualised interventions (i.e. interventions that are informed by composite social and psychological theories and which incorporate standardised and flexible components in order to maximise effectiveness in complex settings). We (a) describe the difficulties of, and propose a method for, identifying the essential elements of a contextualised intervention; (b) provide a worked example of an approach for critiquing the validity of putative essential elements; and (c) demonstrate how essential elements can be refined during a trial without compromising the fidelity assessment. We used an exploratory test-and-refine process, drawing on empirical evidence from the process evaluation of Supporting Policy In health with Research: an Intervention Trial (SPIRIT). Mixed methods data was triangulated to identify, critique and revise how the intervention’s essential elements should be articulated and scored. RESULTS: Over 50 provisional elements were refined to a final list of 20 and the scoring rationalised. Six (often overlapping) challenges to the validity of the essential elements were identified. They were (1) redundant-the element was not essential; (2) poorly articulated-unclear, too specific or not specific enough; (3) infeasible-it was not possible to implement the essential element as intended; (4) ineffective-the element did not effectively deliver the change principles; (5) paradoxical-counteracting vital goals or change principles; or (6) absent or suboptimal-additional or more effective ways of operationalising the theory were identified. We also identified potentially valuable ‘prohibited’ elements that could be used to help reduce threats to validity. CONCLUSIONS: We devised a method for critiquing the construct validity of our intervention’s essential elements and modifying how they were articulated and measured, while simultaneously using them as fidelity indicators. This process could be used or adapted for other contextualised interventions, taking evaluators closer to making theoretically and contextually sensitive decisions upon which to base fidelity assessments.
Management Involvement-A Decisive Condition When Implementing Evidence-Based Practice
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BACKGROUND: Even though health professionals have a positive attitude toward evidence-based practice (EBP), they have limited skills when it comes to implementation of EBP. A postprofessional program in EPB has been offered at Bergen University College since 2004. To date, there is limited knowledge of how the graduates of the program implement and make use of the EBP principles in their working environment in different healthcare settings. AIM: The aim of the study was to explore the facilitators and strategies to successful implementation of the steps of EBP as experienced by health professionals who had completed a postgraduate program in EBP. METHODS: Grounded theory was used in gathering and analyzing data from single and focus group interviews of 20 health professionals who had attended a postprofessional program in EBP. Inclusion criteria also required current clinical practice. RESULTS: This study identified a specific set of activities used by health professionals when implementing EBP within their service organization. Creating an interest and understanding of EBP amongst their colleagues appeared to be a challenge, which they addressed by using the generated grounded theory of “tailoring principles.” The dominant condition of this theory was management involvement. LINKING EVIDENCE TO ACTION: This study highlighted the importance of middle-range managers’ coordinating and supporting role as a decisive component in the process of implementing EBP to clinical settings in Norway. Moreover, the dynamic complex process of “tailoring principles” also showed how the production of a clinical protocol became an outcome of implementation effectiveness as well as input for further intervention effectiveness. Tailoring the principle of EBP to the organizational and cultural context facilitated the implementation of EBP.
Action to Support Practices Implement Research Evidence (ASPIRE): protocol for a cluster-randomised evaluation of adaptable implementation packages targeting ‘high impact’ clinical practice recommendations in general practice
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BACKGROUND: There are recognised gaps between evidence and practice in general practice, a setting which provides particular challenges for implementation. We earlier screened clinical guideline recommendations to derive a set of ‘high impact’ indicators based upon criteria including potential for significant patient benefit, scope for improved practice and amenability to measurement using routinely collected data. We aim to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a multifaceted, adaptable intervention package to implement four targeted, high impact recommendations in general practice. METHODS/DESIGN: The research programme Action to Support Practice Implement Research Evidence (ASPIRE) includes a pair of pragmatic cluster-randomised trials which use a balanced incomplete block design. Clusters are general practices in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK), recruited using an ‘opt-out’ recruitment process. The intervention package adapted to each recommendation includes combinations of audit and feedback, educational outreach visits and computerised prompts with embedded behaviour change techniques selected on the basis of identified needs and barriers to change. In trial 1, practices are randomised to adapted interventions targeting either diabetes control or risky prescribing and those in trial 2 to adapted interventions targeting either blood pressure control in patients at risk of cardiovascular events or anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation. The respective primary endpoints comprise achievement of all recommended target levels of haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), blood pressure and cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes, a composite indicator of risky prescribing, achievement of recommended blood pressure targets for specific patient groups and anticoagulation prescribing in patients with atrial fibrillation. We are also randomising practices to a fifth, non-intervention control group to further assess Hawthorne effects. Outcomes will be assessed using routinely collected data extracted 1 year after randomisation. Economic modelling will estimate intervention cost-effectiveness. A process evaluation involving eight non-trial practices will examine intervention delivery, mechanisms of action and unintended consequences. DISCUSSION: ASPIRE will provide ‘real-world’ evidence about the effects, cost-effectiveness and delivery of adapted intervention packages targeting high impact recommendations. By implementing our adaptable intervention package across four distinct clinical topics, and using ‘opt-out’ recruitment, our findings will provide evidence of wider generalisability. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN91989345.
Patient-mediated knowledge translation (PKT) interventions for clinical encounters: a systematic review.
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Patient-mediated knowledge translation (PKT) interventions engage patients in their own health care. Insight on which PKT interventions are effective is lacking. We sought to describe the type and impact of PKT interventions. METHODS: We performed a systematic review of PKT interventions, defined as strategies that inform, educate and engage patients in their own health care. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library from 2005 to 2014 for English language studies that evaluated PKT interventions delivered immediately before, during or upon conclusion of clinical encounters to individual patients with arthritis or cancer. Data were extracted on study characteristics, PKT intervention (theory, content, delivery, duration, personnel, timing) and outcomes. Interventions were characterized by type of patient engagement (inform, activate, collaborate). We performed content analysis and reported summary statistics. RESULTS: Of 694 retrieved studies, 16 were deemed eligible (5 arthritis, 11 cancer; 12 RCTs, 4 cohort studies; 7 low, 3 uncertain, 6 high risk of bias). PKT interventions included print material in 10 studies (brochures, booklets, variety of print material, list of websites), electronic material in 10 studies (video, computer program, website) and counselling in 2 studies. They were offered before, during and after consultation in 4, 1 and 4 studies, respectively; as single or multifaceted interventions in 10 and 6 studies, respectively; and by clinicians, health educators, researchers or volunteers in 4, 3, 5 and 1 study, respectively. Most interventions informed or activated patients. All studies achieved positive impact in one or more measures of patient knowledge, decision-making, communication and behaviour. This was true regardless of condition, PKT intervention, timing, personnel, type of engagement or delivery (single or multifaceted). No studies assessed patient harms, or interventions for providers to support PKT intervention delivery. Two studies evaluated the impact on providers of PKT interventions aimed at patients. CONCLUSIONS: Single interventions involving print material achieved beneficial outcomes as did more complex interventions. Few studies were eligible, and no studies evaluated patient harms, or provider outcomes. Further research is warranted to evaluate these PKT interventions in more patients, or patients with different conditions; different types of PKT interventions for patients and for providers; and potential harms associated with interventions.
Strategic Communication Intervention to Stimulate Interest in Research and Evidence-Based Practice: A 12-Year Follow-Up Study With Registered Nurses.
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Bridging the research-practice gap is a challenge for health care. Fostering awareness of and interest in research and development (R & D) can serve as a platform to help nurses and others bridge this gap. Strategic communication is an interdisciplinary field that has been used to achieve long-term interest in adopting and applying R & D in primary care. AIM: The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of a strategic communication intervention on long-term interest in R & D among primary care staff members (PCSMs) in general and registered nurses (RNs) in particular. METHODS: This prospective intervention study included all members of the PCSMs, including RNs, in a Swedish primary care area. The interest of PCSMs in R & D was measured on two occasions, at 7 and 12 years, using both bivariate and multivariate tests. RESULTS: A total of 99.5% of RNs gained awareness of R & D after the first 7 years of intervention versus 95% of the remaining PCSMs (p = .004). A comparison of the two measurements ascertained stability and improvement of interest in R & D among RNs, compared with all other PCSMs (odds ratio 1.81; confidence interval 1.08-3.06). Moreover, the RNs who did become interested in R & D also demonstrated increased intention to adopt innovative thinking in their work over time (p = .005). LINKING EVIDENCE TO ACTION: RNs play an important role in reducing the gap between theory and practice. Strategic communication was a significant tool for inspiring interest in R & D. Application of this platform to generate interest in R & D is a unique intervention and should be recognized for future interventions in primary care. Positive attitudes toward R & D may reinforce the use of evidence-based practice in health care, thereby making a long-term contribution to the patient benefit.
Evidence-based medicine – an appropriate tool for evidence-based health policy? A case study from Norway
Evidence-based policy (EBP), a concept modelled on the principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM), is widely used in different areas of policymaking. Systematic reviews (SRs) with meta-analyses gradually became the methods of choice for synthesizing research evidence about interventions and judgements about quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. Critics have argued that the relation between research evidence and service policies is weak, and that the notion of EBP rests on a misunderstanding of policy processes. Having explored EBM standards and knowledge requirements for health policy decision-making, we present an empirical point of departure for discussing the relationship between EBM and EBP.
Trainees’ Self-Reported Challenges in Knowledge Translation, Research and Practice.
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BACKGROUND: Knowledge translation (KT) refers to the process of moving evidence into healthcare policy and practice. Understanding the experiences and perspectives of individuals who develop careers in KT is important for designing training programs and opportunities to enhance capacity in KT research and practice. To date, however, limited research has explored the challenges that trainees encounter as they develop their careers in KT. AIMS: The purpose of this study is to identify the challenges that KT trainees face in their KT research or practice. METHODS: An online survey was conducted with a sample of trainees associated with the Knowledge Translation Trainee Collaborative or the KT Canada Summer Institutes, with written responses thematically analyzed. FINDINGS: A total of 35 individual responses were analyzed, resulting in the identification of six interrelated themes, listed in descending order of prevalence: limited availability of KT-specific resources (54%), difficulty inherent in investigating KT (34%), KT not recognized as a distinct field (23%), colleagues’ limited knowledge and understanding of KT (20%), competing priorities and limited time (20%), and difficulties in relation to collaboration (14%). DISCUSSION: KT trainees experience specific challenges in their work: limited understanding of KT in other stakeholder groups; limited structures or infrastructure to support those who do KT; the inherently interdisciplinary and applied nature of KT; and the resultant complexities of scientific inquiry in this field, such as designing and testing multifaceted, multilevel implementation strategies and accounting for contextual factors. LINKING EVIDENCE TO ACTION: KT training and capacity-building efforts are needed to better position health systems to routinely adopt knowledge into healthcare policy and practice.
A Study of Chief Nurse Executives Indicates Low Prioritization of Evidence-Based Practice and Shortcomings in Hospital Performance Metrics Across the United States.
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Although findings from studies indicate that evidence-based practice (EBP) results in high-quality care, improved patient outcomes, and lower costs, it is not consistently implemented by healthcare systems across the United States and globe. AIMS: The purpose of this study was to describe: (a) the EBP beliefs and level of EBP implementation by chief nurse executives (CNEs), (b) CNEs’ perception of their hospitals’ EBP organizational culture, (c) CNEs’ top priorities, (d) amount of budget invested in EBP, and (e) hospital performance metrics. METHODS: A descriptive survey was conducted. Two-hundred-seventy-six CNEs across the United States participated in the survey. Valid and reliable measures included the EBP Beliefs scale, the EBP Implementation scale, and the Organizational Culture and Readiness scale for EBP. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Core Measures and the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) were also collected. RESULTS: Data from this survey revealed that implementation of EBP in the practices of CNEs and their hospitals is relatively low. More than one-third of the hospitals are not meeting NDNQI performance metrics and almost one-third of the hospitals are above national core measures benchmarks, such as falls and pressure ulcers. LINKING EVIDENCE TO ACTION: Although CNEs believe that EBP results in high-quality care, it is ranked as a low priority with little budget allocation. These findings provide a plausible explanation for shortcomings in key hospital performance metrics. To achieve higher healthcare quality and safety along with decreased costs, CNEs and hospital administrators need to invest in providing resources and an evidence-based culture so that clinicians can routinely implement EBP as the foundation of care.
Translating a health service intervention into a rural setting: lessons learned.
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Limited research exists on the process of applying knowledge translation (KT) methodology to a rural-based population health intervention. METHODS: This study reports on the implementation and translational stages of a previously described Co-creating KT (Co-KT) framework in the rural town of Port Lincoln, South Australia (population: 14,000). The Co-KT framework involves five steps: (i) collecting local data; (ii) building stakeholder relationships; (iii) designing an evidence-based intervention incorporating local knowledge; (iv) implementation and evaluation of the intervention; and (v) translating the research into policy and practice. Barriers and enablers to the overall Co-KT implementation process were identified. Our intervention focused on musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. RESULTS: Although the Co-KT framework was valuable in engaging with the community, translating the final intervention into daily clinical practice was prevented by a lack of an accessible policy or financial framework to anchor the appropriate intervention, a lack of continued engagement with stakeholders, access problems to general practitioners (GPs) and Allied Health Professionals; and the paucity of referrals from GPs to Allied Health Professionals. Consequently, while many aspects of the intervention were successful, including the improvement of both function and pain in study participants, the full implementation of the Co-KT framework was not possible. DISCUSSION: This study implemented and evaluated a Co-KT framework for a population with MSK conditions, linking locally generated health care system knowledge with academic input. Further policy, health system changes, and on-the-ground support are needed to overcome the identified implementation challenges in order to create sustainable and effective system change.
The development of SAGE: A tool to evaluate how policymakers’ engage with and use research in health policymaking
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It is essential that health policies are based on the best available evidence including that from research, to ensure their effectiveness in terms of both cost and health outcomes for the wider community. The present study describes the development of SAGE (Staff Assessment of enGagement with Evidence), a measure that combines an interview and document analysis to evaluate how policymakers engaged with research (i.e., how research was searched for, appraised, or generated, and whether interactions with researchers occurred), how policymakers used research (i.e., conceptually, instrumentally, tactically, or imposed), and what barriers impacted upon the use of research, in the development of a specific policy product. A multifaceted strategy was used to develop the SAGE interview and the accompanying interview-scoring tool. These included consultations with experts in health policy and research, review and analysis of the literature on evidence-informed policymaking and previous measures of research use, qualitative analysis of interviews with policymakers, and pilot-testing with senior policymakers. These steps led to the development of a comprehensive interview and scoring tool that captures and evaluates a broad range of key actions policymakers perform when searching for, appraising, generating, and using research to inform a specific policy product. Policy organizations can use SAGE to not only provide a thorough evaluation of their current level of research engagement and use, but to help shed light on programs to improve their research use capacity, and evaluate the success of these programs in improving the development of evidence-informed policies.
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Health Care Administration and Organization
Nursing home nurses’ experiences of resident transfers to the emergency department: no empathy for our work environment difficulties.
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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore the experiences of nursing home nurses when they transfer residents from nursing homes to the emergency department in Taiwan. BACKGROUND: The transfer of residents between nursing homes and emergency departments challenges continuity of care. Understanding nursing home nurses’ experiences during these transfers may help to improve residents’ continuity of care. However, few empirical data are available on these nurses’ transfer experiences worldwide, and none could be found in Asian countries. DESIGN: Qualitative descriptive study. METHODS: Data were collected from August 2012-June 2013 in audiotaped, individual, in-depth interviews with 25 nurses at five nursing homes in Taiwan. Interview transcripts were analysed by constant comparative analysis. RESULTS: Analysis of interview transcripts revealed that the core theme of nursing home nurses’ transfer experience was discontinuity in nursing home to emergency department transitions. This core theme comprised three themes: discontinuity in family involvement, discontinuity in medical resources and expectations, and discontinuity in nurses’ professional role. CONCLUSIONS: Nursing home nurses need a working environment that is better connected to residents’ family members and more immediate and/or easier access to acute care for residents. Communication between nurses and residents’ family could be improved by using text messages or social media by mobile phones, which are widely used in Taiwan and worldwide. To improve access to acute care, we suggest developing a real-time telehealth transfer system tailored to the medical culture and policies of each country. This system should facilitate communication among nursing home staff, family members and hospital staff. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Our findings on nurses’ experiences during transfer of nursing home residents to the emergency department can be used to design more effective transfer policies such as telemedicine systems in Taiwan and other Asian countries or in those with large populations of Chinese immigrants.
Intended and unintended consequences of minimum staffing standards for nursing homes.
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Staffing is the dominant input in the production of nursing home services. Because of concerns about understaffing in many US nursing homes, a number of states have adopted minimum staffing standards. Focusing on policy changes in California and Ohio, this paper examined the effects of minimum nursing hours per resident day regulations on nursing home staffing levels and care quality. Panel data analyses of facility-level nursing inputs and quality revealed that minimum staffing standards increased total nursing hours per resident day by 5% on average. However, because the minimum staffing standards treated all direct care staff uniformly and ignored indirect care staff, the regulation had the unintended consequences of both lowering the direct care nursing skill mix (i.e., fewer professional nurses relative to nurse aides) and reducing the absolute level of indirect care staff. Overall, the staffing regulations led to a reduction in severe deficiency citations and improvement in certain health conditions that required intensive nursing care.
Assessing time use in long-term institutional care: development, validity and inter-rater reliability of the Groningen Observational instrument for Long-Term Institutional Care (GO-LTIC).
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BACKGROUND: Limited research has examined what is actually done in the process of care by nursing staff in long-term institutional care. The applied instruments employed different terminologies, and psychometric properties were inadequately described. This study aimed to develop and test an observational instrument to identify and examine the amount of time spent on nursing interventions in long-term institutional care using a standardized language. METHODS: The Groningen Observational instrument for Long-Term Institutional Care (GO-LTIC) is based on the conceptual framework of the Nursing Interventions Classification. Developmental, validation, and reliability stages of the GO-LTIC included: 1) item generation to identify potential setting-specific interventions; 2) examining content validity with a Delphi panel resulting in relevant interventions by calculating the item content validity index; 3) testing feasibility with trained observers observing nursing assistants; and 4) calculating inter-rater reliability using (non) agreement and Cohen’s kappa for the identification of interventions and an intraclass correlation coefficient for the amount of time spent on interventions. Bland-Altman plots were applied to visualize the agreement between observers. A one-sample student T-test verified if the difference between observers differed significantly from zero. RESULTS: The final version of the GO-LTIC comprised 116 nursing interventions categorized into six domains. Substantial to almost perfect kappa’s were found for interventions in the domains basic (0.67-0.92) and complex (0.70-0.94) physiological care. For the domains of behavioral, family, and health system interventions, the kappa’s ranged from fair to almost perfect (0.30-1.00). Intraclass correlation coefficients for the amount of time spent on interventions ranged from fair to excellent for the physiological domains (0.48-0.99) and poor to excellent for the other domains (0.00-1.00). Bland Altman plots indicated that the clinical magnitude of differences in minutes was small. No statistical significant differences between observers (p > 0.05) were found. CONCLUSIONS: The GO-LTIC shows good content validity and acceptable inter-rater reliability to examine the amount of time spent on nursing interventions by nursing staff. This may provide managers with valuable information to make decisions about resource allocation, task allocation of nursing staff, and the examination of the costs of nursing services.
Contributing influences of work environment on sleep quantity and quality of nursing assistants in long-term care facilities: A cross-sectional study
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The effect of shift work on nurses’ sleep is well-studied, but there are other challenging aspects of health care work that might also affect the sleep of direct caregivers. This study examined the influence of the long-term care work environment on sleep quantity and quality of nursing assistants. A cross-sectional survey collected data from 650 nursing assistants in 15 long-term care facilities; 46% reported short sleep duration and 23% reported poor sleep quality. A simple additive index of the number of beneficial work features (up to 7) was constructed for analysis with Poisson regression. With each unit increase of beneficial work features, nursing assistants were 7% less likely to report short sleep duration and 17% less likely to report poor sleep quality. These results suggest that effective workplace interventions should address a variety of work stressors, not only work schedule arrangements, in order to improve nursing assistants’ sleep health.
The Administrative Policy Quandary in Canada’s Health
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This chapter examines the process for administrative health service policy development with respect to information sharing and decision-making as well as the relationship of policy to decision making. The challenges experienced by health service managers are identified. The administrative health policy experience in Nova Scotia is described. There is a need for integrated policy at multiple levels (public, clinical, and administrative). The quandary is that while working to share health information systems, most Canadian health service organizations continue to individually develop administrative health policy, expending more resources on policy writing than on translation/education, monitoring, or evaluation. By exploring the importance and nature of administrative policy as a foundation for quality improvement in healthcare delivery, a case is made for greater use of health informatics tools and processes. © 2014, IGI Global.
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Health Care Innovation and Quality Assurance
Pain Management Algorithms for Implementing Best Practices in Nursing Homes: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial
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To enhance pain practices in nursing homes (NHs) using pain assessment and management algorithms and intense diffusion strategies. DESIGN: A cluster, randomized controlled trial. The intervention consisted of intensive training and support for the use of recommended pain assessment and management practices using algorithms (ALGs). Control facilities received pain education (EDU) only. SETTING: Twenty-seven NHs in the greater Puget Sound area participated. Facilities were diverse in terms of size, quality, and ownership. PARTICIPANTS: Data were collected from 485 NH residents; 259 for the intervention and 226 for the control group. MEASUREMENTS: Resident outcomes were nursing assistant (proxy) report and self-reported resident pain intensity. Process outcomes were adherence to recommended pain practices. Outcomes were measured at baseline, completion of the intervention (ALG) or training (EDU), and again 6 months later. RESULTS: Among 8 comparisons of outcome measures between ALG and EDU (changes in 4 primary pain measures compared at 2 postintervention time points) there was only 1 statistically significant but small treatment difference in proxy- or self-reported pain intensity. Resident-reported worst pain decreased by an average of 0.8 points from baseline to 6 months among the EDU group and increased by 0.2 points among the ALG (P = .005), a clinically nonsignificant difference. There were no statistically significant differences in adherence to clinical guideline practice recommendations between ALG and EDU following the intervention. CONCLUSIONS: Future research needs to identify and test effective implementation methods for changing complex clinical practices in NHs, including those to reduce pain.
Project ACHIEVE – using implementation research to guide the evaluation of transitional care effectiveness.
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Poorly managed hospital discharges and care transitions between health care facilities can cause poor outcomes for both patients and their caregivers. Unfortunately, the usual approach to health care delivery does not support continuity and coordination across the settings of hospital, doctors’ offices, home or nursing homes. Though complex efforts with multiple components can improve patient outcomes and reduce 30-day readmissions, research has not identified which components are necessary. Also we do not know how delivery of core components may need to be adjusted based on patient, caregiver, setting or characteristics of the community, or how system redesign can be accelerated. METHODS/DESIGN: Project ACHIEVE focuses on diverse Medicare populations such as individuals with multiple chronic diseases, patients with low health literacy/numeracy and limited English proficiency, racial and ethnic minority groups, low-income groups, residents of rural areas, and individuals with disabilities. During the first phase, we will use focus groups to identify the transitional care outcomes and components that matter most to patients and caregivers to inform development and validation of assessment instruments. During the second phase, we will evaluate the comparative effectiveness of multi-component care transitions programs occurring across the U.S. Using a mixed-methods approach for this evaluation, we will study historical (retrospective) and current and future (prospective) groups of patients, caregivers and providers using site visits, surveys, and clinical and claims data. In this natural experiment observational study, we use a fractional factorial study design to specify comparators and estimate the individual and combined effects of key transitional care components. DISCUSSION: Our study will determine which evidence-based transitional care components and/or clusters most effectively produce patient and caregiver desired outcomes overall and among diverse patient and caregiver populations in different healthcare settings. Using the results, we will develop concrete, actionable recommendations regarding how best to implement these strategies. Finally, this work will provide tools for hospitals, community-based organizations, patients, caregivers, clinicians and other stakeholders to help them make informed decisions about which strategies are most effective and how best to implement them in their communities. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered as NCT02354482 on clinicaltrials.gov on 1/29/2015.
Consensus-Derived Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfer (INTERACT)-Compatible Order Sets for Common Conditions Associated with Potentially Avoidable Hospitalizations.
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Considerable research over the last several years has demonstrated that a substantial number of hospitalizations of nursing home residents, as well as older people living in the community receiving long-term care services, may be avoidable. In a study supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), 39% of close to 1 million hospitalizations in 2005 of dual eligible Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries were for hospitalizations considered potentially avoidable. Five conditions accounted for 80% of these 382,846 hospitalizations: pneumonia, congestive heart failure, urinary tract infection, dehydration (including acute kidney injury), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/asthma.
An overview of potential labor-saving and quality-improving innovations in long-term care for older people.
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OBJECTIVES: Increasing demands in long-term care for older people and a decrease in workforce availability can be expected in the future. These developments challenge the sustainability and quality of long-term care for older people. To address these challenges, long-term care organizations are forced to innovate. The aim of this study is to provide an overview of potential labor-saving and quality-improving innovations long-term care organizations are working on and to assess the self-reported extent of effectiveness. DESIGN: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. METHODS: In total, 32 long-term care organizations in the region of Limburg in The Netherlands were invited to participate in the study. The inventory was performed by means of semistructured interviews with chief executive officers, managers, and staff members of the long-term care organizations. Based on the interview data, all innovations were described in a standardized form and subsequently checked by the participants. All innovations were clustered into product, process, organizational, and marketing innovations. RESULTS: In total, 26 long-term care organizations delivering home and/or institutional long-term care for older people participated in the study. Overall, 228 innovations were identified; some innovations were described in a similar way by different organizations. The majority of innovations were product innovations (n = 96), followed by organizational innovations (n = 75), and process innovations (n = 42). In addition to the main types, 15 other innovations incorporating characteristics of different types of innovations were detected. Little evidence about the effectiveness of the innovations was reported by the organizations. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that a large number and a broad variety of innovations have been implemented or are currently being developed in long-term care organizations for older people. However, according to the organizations, there is relatively little (scientific) evidence confirming the effectiveness of these innovations. More research is needed to evaluate the effects of the innovations and to indicate whether they provide real solutions to future challenges.
Quality improvement in population health systems.
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Quality improvement methods have achieved large sustainable changes in health care quality and health outcomes. Transforming health care into a population health system requires methods for innovation and improvement that can work across professions and sectors. It may be possible to replicate improvement successes in healthcare settings within and across the broader systems of social, educational, and other human services that influence health outcomes in communities. Improvement methods could translate the rhetoric of collaboration, integration and alignment into practice across the fragmented health and human service sectors in the U.S.
The facilitators and barriers associated with implementation of a patient-centered medical home in VHA
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The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is a team-based, comprehensive model of primary care. When effectively implemented, PCMH is associated with higher patient satisfaction, lower staff burnout, and lower hospitalization for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions. However, less is known about what factors contribute to (or hinder) PCMH implementation. We explored the associations of specific facilitators and barriers reported by primary care employees with a previously validated, clinic-level measure of PCMH implementation, the Patient Aligned Care Team Implementation Progress Index (Pi(2)). METHODS: We used a 2012 survey of primary care employees in the Veterans Health Administration to perform cross-sectional, respondent-level multinomial regressions. The dependent variable was the Pi(2) categorized as high implementation (top decile, 54 clinics, 235 respondents), medium implementation (middle eight deciles, 547 clinics, 4537 respondents), and low implementation (lowest decile, 42 clinics, 297 respondents) among primary care clinics. The independent variables were ordinal survey items rating 19 barriers to patient-centered care and 10 facilitators of PCMH implementation. For facilitators, we explored clinic Pi(2) score decile both as a function of respondent-reported availability of facilitators and of rating of facilitator helpfulness. RESULTS: The availability of five facilitators was associated with higher odds of a respondent’s clinic’s Pi(2) scores being in the highest versus lowest decile: teamlet huddles (OR = 3.91), measurement tools (OR = 3.47), regular team meetings (OR = 2.88), information systems (OR = 2.42), and disease registries (OR = 2.01). The helpfulness of four facilitators was associated with higher odds of a respondent’s clinic’s Pi(2) scores being in the highest versus lowest decile. Six barriers were associated with significantly higher odds of a respondent’s clinic’s Pi(2) scores being in the lowest versus highest decile, with the strongest associations for the difficulty recruiting and retaining providers (OR = 2.37) and non-provider clinicians (OR = 2.17). Results for medium versus low Pi(2) score clinics were similar, with fewer, smaller significant associations, all in the expected direction. CONCLUSIONS: A number of specific barriers and facilitators were associated with PCMH implementation, notably recruitment and retention of clinicians, team huddles, and local education. These findings can guide future research, and may help healthcare policy makers and leaders decide where to focus attention and limited resources.
New approaches to evaluating complex health and care systems
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Tara Lamont and colleagues discuss how researchers can help service leaders to evaluate rapidly changing models of care, with a range of approaches depending on needs and resources. The NHS has many examples of effective service changes that took too long to implement, from structured patient education in diabetes to enhanced recovery programmes in surgery. Other initiatives have seemed promising but didn’t deliver—or made things worse. For example, telephone triage and some types of case management increase demand for services rather than divert pressure from urgent care.3 Without the right evaluation, it is difficult to know which innovations are worth adopting. The scale of opportunity and real costs of implementing untested innovations and ignoring lessons learnt elsewhere are substantial.
Study protocol Implementation of the Veder contact method (VCM) in daily nursing home care for people with dementia: an evaluation based on the RE-AIM framework.
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People with dementia in nursing homes benefit from person-centred care methods. Studies examining the effect of these methods often fail to report about the implementation of these methods. The present study aims to describe the implementation of the Veder contact method (VCM) in daily nursing home care. METHOD: A process analysis will be conducted based on qualitative data from focus groups with caregivers and interviews with key figures. To investigate whether the implementation of VCM is reflected in the attitude and behaviour of caregivers and in the behaviour and quality of life of people with dementia, a controlled observational cohort study will be conducted. Six nursing home wards implementing VCM will be compared with six control wards providing Care As Usual. Quantitative data from caregivers and residents will be collected before (T0), and 9-12 months after the implementation (T1). Qualitative analysis and multilevel analyses will be carried out on the collected data and structured based on the constructs of the RE-AIM framework (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance). CONCLUSION: By using the RE-AIM framework this study introduces a structured and comprehensive way of investigating the implementation process and implementation effectiveness of person-centred care methods in daily dementia care.
UK quality statements on end of life care in dementia: a systematic review of research evidence.
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BACKGROUND: Globally, the number of people who die with dementia is increasing. The importance of a palliative approach in the care of people with dementia is recognised and there are national polices to enhance current care. In the UK implementation of these polices is promoted by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Dementia Quality Standards (QS). Since publication of the QS new care interventions have been developed. AIM: To explore critically the current international research evidence on effect available to inform NICE Dementia QS relevant to end of life (EOL) care. DESIGN: We used systematic review methods to seek the research evidence for three statements within the Dementia QS. These are those that recommend: (1) a case management approach, (2) discussing and consideration of making a statement about future care (SFC) and (3) a palliative care assessment (PCA). We included evaluative studies of relevant interventions that used a comparative design, such as trials and cohort studies, and measured EOL care outcomes for persons dying with moderate to severe dementia. Our primary outcome of interest was whether the intervention led to a measurable impact on wellbeing for the person with dementia and their family. We assessed included studies for quality using a scale by Higginson and colleagues (2002) for assessment of quality of studies in palliative care, and two authors undertook key review processes. Data sources included Cinahl, Embase, and PsychINFO from 2001 to August 2014. Our search strategy included free text and medical subject headings relevant to population and recommended care. RESULTS: We found seven studies evaluating a care intervention; four assessed SFC, three PCA. None assessed case management. Studies were of weak design; all used retrospective data and relied on others for precise record keeping and for accurate recall of events. There was limited overlap in outcome measurements. Overall reported benefits were mixed. CONCLUSIONS: Quality statements relevant to EOL care are useful to advance practice however they have a limited evidence base. High quality empirical work is needed to establish that the recommendations in these statements are best practice.
Changes in Consumer Demand Following Public Reporting of Summary Quality Ratings: An Evaluation in Nursing Homes.
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OBJECTIVE: Limited consumer use of health care report cards may be due to the large amount of information presented in report cards, which can be difficult to understand. These limitations may be overcome with summary measures. Our objective was to evaluate consumer response to summary measures in the setting of nursing homes. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: 2005-2010 nursing home Minimum Data Set and Online Survey, Certification and Reporting (OSCAR) datasets. STUDY DESIGN: In December 2008, Medicare converted its nursing home report card to summary or star ratings. We test whether there was a change in consumer demand for nursing homes related to the nursing home’s star rating after the information was released. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The star rating system was associated with a significant change in consumer demand for low- and high-scoring facilities. After the star-based rating system was released, 1-star facilities typically lost 8 percent of their market share and 5-star facilities gained over 6 percent of their market share. CONCLUSIONS: The nursing home star rating system significantly affected consumer demand for high- and low-rated nursing homes. These results support the use of summary measures in report cards.
The Nursing Home Compare Report Card: Perceptions of Residents and Caregivers Regarding Quality Ratings and Nursing Home Choice
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the perceived usefulness of publicly reported nursing home quality indicators. STUDY SETTING: Primary data were collected from October 2013 to August 2014 among a convenience sample of persons (or family member) recently admitted or anticipating admission to a nursing home within 75 miles of the city of Philadelphia. STUDY DESIGN: Structured interviews were conducted to assess the salience of data on the Medicare Nursing Home Compare website, including star ratings, clinical quality measures, and benchmarking of individual nursing home quality with state and national data. DATA COLLECTION: Interviews were transcribed verbatim, independently coded by two reviewers, and agreement determined. A thematic analysis of transcripts was undertaken. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Thirty-five interviews were completed. Eighty-three percent (n = 29) were caregivers and 17 percent (n = 6) were residents. Star ratings, clinical quality measures, and benchmarking information were salient to decision making, with preferred formats varying across participants. Participants desired additional information on the source of quality data. Confusion was evident regarding the relationship between domain-specific and overall star quality ratings. CONCLUSIONS: The Nursing Home Compare website provides salient content and formats for consumers. Increased awareness of this resource and clarity regarding the definition of measures could further support informed decision making regarding nursing home choice.
Knowledge ‘Translation’ as social learning: negotiating the uptake of research-based knowledge in practice
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BACKGROUND: Knowledge translation and evidence-based practice have relied on research derived from clinical trials, which are considered to be methodologically rigorous. The result is practice recommendations based on a narrow view of evidence. We discuss how, within a practice environment, in fact individuals adopt and apply new evidence derived from multiple sources through ongoing, iterative learning cycles. DISCUSSION: The discussion is presented in four sections. After elaborating on the multiple forms of evidence used in practice, in section 2 we argue that the practitioner derives contextualized knowledge through reflective practice. Then, in section 3, the focus shifts from the individual to the team with consideration of social learning and theories of practice. In section 4 we discuss the implications of integrative and negotiated knowledge exchange and generation within the practice environment. Namely, how can we promote the use of research within a team-based, contextualized knowledge environment? We suggest support for: 1) collaborative learning environments for active learning and reflection, 2) engaged scholarship approaches so that practice can inform research in a collaborative manner and 3) leveraging authoritative opinion leaders for their clinical expertise during the shared negotiation of knowledge and research. Our approach also points to implications for studying evidence-informed practice: the identification of practice change (as an outcome) ought to be supplemented with understandings of how and when social negotiation processes occur to achieve integrated knowledge. This article discusses practice knowledge as dependent on the practice context and on social learning processes, and suggests how research knowledge uptake might be supported from this vantage point.
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Research Practice and Methodology
Professional medical writing support and the quality of randomised controlled trial reporting: a cross-sectional study
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Authors may choose to work with professional medical writers when writing up their research for publication. We examined the relationship between medical writing support and the quality and timeliness of reporting of the results of randomised controlled trials (RCTs). DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. STUDY SAMPLE: Primary reports of RCTs published in BioMed Central journals from 2000 to 16 July 2014, subdivided into those with medical writing support (n=110) and those without medical writing support (n=123). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of items that were completely reported from a predefined subset of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) checklist (12 items known to be commonly poorly reported), overall acceptance time (from manuscript submission to editorial acceptance) and quality of written English as assessed by peer reviewers. The effect of funding source and publication year was examined. RESULTS: The number of articles that completely reported at least 50% of the CONSORT items assessed was higher for those with declared medical writing support (39.1% (43/110 articles); 95% CI 29.9% to 48.9%) than for those without (21.1% (26/123 articles); 95% CI 14.3% to 29.4%). Articles with declared medical writing support were more likely than articles without such support to have acceptable written English (81.1% (43/53 articles); 95% CI 67.6% to 90.1% vs 47.9% (23/48 articles); 95% CI 33.5% to 62.7%). The median time of overall acceptance was longer for articles with declared medical writing support than for those without (167 days (IQR 114.5-231 days) vs 136 days (IQR 77-193 days)). CONCLUSIONS: In this sample of open-access journals, declared professional medical writing support was associated with more complete reporting of clinical trial results and higher quality of written English. Medical writing support may play an important role in raising the quality of clinical trial reporting.
Developing a system that can automatically detect health changes using transfer times of older adults.
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BACKGROUND: As gait speed and transfer times are considered to be an important measure of functional ability in older adults, several systems are currently being researched to measure this parameter in the home environment of older adults. The data resulting from these systems, however, still needs to be reviewed by healthcare workers which is a time-consuming process. METHODS: This paper presents a system that employs statistical process control techniques (SPC) to automatically detect both positive and negative trends in transfer times. Several SPC techniques, Tabular cumulative sum (CUSUM) chart, Standardized CUSUM and Exponentially Weighted Moving Average (EWMA) chart were evaluated. The best performing method was further optimized for the desired application. After this, it was validated on both simulated data and real-life data. RESULTS: The best performing method was the Exponentially Weighted Moving Average control chart with the use of rational subgroups and a reinitialization after three alarm days. The results from the simulated data showed that positive and negative trends are detected within 14 days after the start of the trend when a trend is 28 days long. When the transition period is shorter, the number of days before an alert is triggered also diminishes. If for instance an abrupt change is present in the transfer time an alert is triggered within two days after this change. On average, only one false alarm is triggered every five weeks. The results from the real-life dataset confirm those of the simulated dataset. CONCLUSIONS: The system presented in this paper is able to detect both positive and negative trends in the transfer times of older adults, therefore automatically triggering an alarm when changes in transfer times occur. These changes can be gradual as well as abrupt.
Head to head comparison of the propensity score and the high-dimensional propensity score matching methods
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BACKGROUND: Comparative performance of the traditional propensity score (PS) and high-dimensional propensity score (hdPS) methods in the adjustment for confounding by indication remains unclear. We aimed to identify which method provided the best adjustment for confounding by indication within the context of the risk of diabetes among patients exposed to moderate versus high potency statins. METHOD: A cohort of diabetes-free incident statins users was identified from the Quebec’s publicly funded medico-administrative database (Full Cohort). We created two matched sub-cohorts by matching one patient initiated on a lower potency to one patient initiated on a high potency either on patients’ PS or hdPS. Both methods’ performance were compared by means of the absolute standardized differences (ASDD) regarding relevant characteristics and by means of the obtained measures of association. RESULTS: Eight out of the 18 examined characteristics were shown to be unbalanced within the Full Cohort. Although matching on either method achieved balance within all examined characteristic, matching on patients’ hdPS created the most balanced sub-cohort. Measures of associations and confidence intervals obtained within the two matched sub-cohorts overlapped. CONCLUSION: Although ASDD suggest better matching with hdPS than with PS, measures of association were almost identical when adjusted for either method. Use of the hdPS method in adjusting for confounding by indication within future studies should be recommended due to its ability to identify confounding variables which may be unknown to the investigators.
Subgroup analyses in confirmatory clinical trials: time to be specific about their purposes
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It is well recognized that treatment effects may not be homogeneous across the study population. Subgroup analyses constitute a fundamental step in the assessment of evidence from confirmatory (Phase III) clinical trials, where conclusions for the overall study population might not hold. Subgroup analyses can have different and distinct purposes, requiring specific design and analysis solutions. It is relevant to evaluate methodological developments in subgroup analyses against these purposes to guide health care professionals and regulators as well as to identify gaps in current methodology. METHODS: We defined four purposes for subgroup analyses: (1) Investigate the consistency of treatment effects across subgroups of clinical importance, (2) Explore the treatment effect across different subgroups within an overall non-significant trial, (3) Evaluate safety profiles limited to one or a few subgroup(s), (4) Establish efficacy in the targeted subgroup when included in a confirmatory testing strategy of a single trial. We reviewed the methodology in line with this “purpose-based” framework. The review covered papers published between January 2005 and April 2015 and aimed to classify them in none, one or more of the aforementioned purposes. RESULTS: In total 1857 potentially eligible papers were identified. Forty-eight papers were selected and 20 additional relevant papers were identified from their references, leading to 68 papers in total. Nineteen were dedicated to purpose 1, 16 to purpose 4, one to purpose 2 and none to purpose 3. Seven papers were dedicated to more than one purpose, the 25 remaining could not be classified unambiguously. Purposes of the methods were often not specifically indicated, methods for subgroup analysis for safety purposes were almost absent and a multitude of diverse methods were developed for purpose (1). CONCLUSIONS: It is important that researchers developing methodology for subgroup analysis explicitly clarify the objectives of their methods in terms that can be understood from a patient’s, health care provider’s and/or regulator’s perspective. A clear operational definition for consistency of treatment effects across subgroups is lacking, but is needed to improve the usability of subgroup analyses in this setting. Finally, methods to particularly explore benefit-risk systematically across subgroups need more research.
The use of purposeful sampling in a qualitative evidence synthesis: A worked example on sexual adjustment to a cancer trajectory
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BACKGROUND: An increasing number of qualitative evidence syntheses papers are found in health care literature. Many of these syntheses use a strictly exhaustive search strategy to collect articles, mirroring the standard template developed by major review organizations such as the Cochrane and Campbell Collaboration. The hegemonic idea behind it is that non-comprehensive samples in systematic reviews may introduce selection bias. However, exhaustive sampling in a qualitative evidence synthesis has been questioned, and a more purposeful way of sampling papers has been proposed as an alternative, although there is a lack of transparency on how these purposeful sampling strategies might be applied to a qualitative evidence synthesis. We discuss in our paper why and how we used purposeful sampling in a qualitative evidence synthesis about ‘sexual adjustment to a cancer trajectory’, by giving a worked example. METHODS: We have chosen a mixed purposeful sampling, combining three different strategies that we considered the most consistent with our research purpose: intensity sampling, maximum variation sampling and confirming/disconfirming case sampling. RESULTS: The concept of purposeful sampling on the meta-level could not readily been borrowed from the logic applied in basic research projects. It also demands a considerable amount of flexibility, and is labour-intensive, which goes against the argument of many authors that using purposeful sampling provides a pragmatic solution or a short cut for researchers, compared with exhaustive sampling. Opportunities of purposeful sampling were the possible inclusion of new perspectives to the line-of-argument and the enhancement of the theoretical diversity of the papers being included, which could make the results more conceptually aligned with the synthesis purpose. CONCLUSIONS: This paper helps researchers to make decisions related to purposeful sampling in a more systematic and transparent way. Future research could confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis of conceptual enhancement by comparing the findings of a purposefully sampled qualitative evidence synthesis with those drawing on an exhaustive sample of the literature.
Partnering with health system operations leadership to develop a controlled implementation trial
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BACKGROUND: Outcome for mental health conditions is suboptimal, and care is fragmented. Evidence from controlled trials indicates that collaborative chronic care models (CCMs) can improve outcomes in a broad array of mental health conditions. US Department of Veterans Affairs leadership launched a nationwide initiative to establish multidisciplinary teams in general mental health clinics in all medical centers. As part of this effort, leadership partnered with implementation researchers to develop a program evaluation protocol to provide rigorous scientific data to address two implementation questions: (1) Can evidence-based CCMs be successfully implemented using existing staff in general mental health clinics supported by internal and external implementation facilitation? (2) What is the impact of CCM implementation efforts on patient health status and perceptions of care? METHODS/DESIGN: Health system operation leaders and researchers partnered in an iterative process to design a protocol that balances operational priorities, scientific rigor, and feasibility. Joint design decisions addressed identification of study sites, patient population of interest, intervention design, and outcome assessment and analysis. Nine sites have been enrolled in the intervention-implementation hybrid type III stepped-wedge design. Using balanced randomization, sites have been assigned to receive implementation support in one of three waves beginning at 4-month intervals, with support lasting 12 months. Implementation support consists of US Center for Disease Control’s Replicating Effective Programs strategy supplemented by external and internal implementation facilitation support and is compared to dissemination of materials plus technical assistance conference calls. Formative evaluation focuses on the recipients, context, innovation, and facilitation process. Summative evaluation combines quantitative and qualitative outcomes. Quantitative CCM fidelity measures (at the site level) plus health outcome measures (at the patient level; n = 765) are collected in a repeated measures design and analyzed with general linear modeling. Qualitative data from provider interviews at baseline and 1 year elaborate CCM fidelity data and provide insights into barriers and facilitators of implementation. DISCUSSION: Conducting a jointly designed, highly controlled protocol in the context of health system operational priorities increases the likelihood that time-sensitive questions of operational importance will be answered rigorously and that the outcomes will result in sustainable change in the health-care system. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02543840 ( https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02543840 ).
Emerging Knowledge Synthesis Methods
These 6 articles describe the approach and results of a scoping review on emerging knowledge synthesis methods. Across these articles, we will not only identify and describe unique knowledge syntheses methods found in the literature, but also their relative strengths and weaknesses, the overlap between methods, the integration of different methods, and recommendations on when and how these emerging knowledge synthesis methods can be used to answer potential research questions.
- Engaging researchers on developing, using and improving knowledge synthesis methods: Introduction to a series of articles describing the results of a scoping review on emerging knowledge synthesis methods.
- A scoping review identifies multiple emerging knowledge synthesis methods, but few studies operationalise the method.
- Knowledge synthesis methods for integrating qualitative and quantitative data: A scoping review reveals poor operationalisation of the methodological steps.
- Knowledge synthesis methods for generating or refining theory: A scoping review reveals that little guidance is available.
- Knowledge synthesis research: a bibliometric analysis.
- Conceptual recommendations for selecting the most appropriate knowledge synthesis method to answer research questions related to complex evidence.
Take the money and run? Redemption of a gift card incentive in a clinician survey.
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BACKGROUND: Clinician surveys provide critical information about many facets of health care, but are often challenging to implement. Our objective was to assess use by participants and non-participants of a prepaid gift card incentive that could be later reclaimed by the researchers if unused. METHODS: Clinicians were recruited to participate in a mailed or online survey as part of a study to characterize women’s primary health care provider attitudes towards breast and cervical cancer screening guidelines and practices (n = 177). An up-front incentive of a $50 gift card to a popular online retailer was included with the study invitation. Clinicians were informed that the gift card would expire if it went unused after 4 months. Outcome measures included use of gift cards by participants and non-participants and comparison of hypothetical costs of different incentive strategies. RESULTS: 63.5 % of clinicians who responded to the survey used the gift card, and only one provider who didn’t participate used the gift card (1.6 %). Many of those who participated did not redeem their gift cards (36.5 % of respondents). The price of the incentives actually claimed totaled $3700, which was less than half of the initial outlay. Since some of the respondents did not redeem their gift cards, the cost of incentives was less than it might have been if we had provided a conditional incentive of $50 to responders after they had completed the survey. CONCLUSIONS: Redeemable online gift card codes may provide an effective way to motivate clinicians to participate in surveys.
How do authors of systematic reviews deal with research malpractice and misconduct in original studies? A cross-sectional analysis of systematic reviews and survey of their authors.
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To study whether systematic reviewers apply procedures to counter-balance some common forms of research malpractice such as not publishing completed research, duplicate publications, or selective reporting of outcomes, and to see whether they identify and report misconduct. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of systematic reviews and survey of their authors. PARTICIPANTS: 118 systematic reviews published in four journals (Ann Int Med, BMJ, JAMA, Lancet), and the Cochrane Library, in 2013. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Number (%) of reviews that applied procedures to reduce the impact of: (1) publication bias (through searching of unpublished trials), (2) selective outcome reporting (by contacting the authors of the original studies), (3) duplicate publications, (4) sponsors’ and (5) authors’ conflicts of interest, on the conclusions of the review, and (6) looked for ethical approval of the studies. Number (%) of reviewers who suspected misconduct are reported. The procedures applied were compared across journals. RESULTS: 80 (68%) reviewers confirmed their data. 59 (50%) reviews applied three or more procedures; 11 (9%) applied none. Unpublished trials were searched in 79 (66%) reviews. Authors of original studies were contacted in 73 (62%). Duplicate publications were searched in 81 (69%). 27 reviews (23%) reported sponsors of the included studies; 6 (5%) analysed their impact on the conclusions of the review. Five reviews (4%) looked at conflicts of interest of study authors; none of them analysed their impact. Three reviews (2.5%) looked at ethical approval of the studies. Seven reviews (6%) suspected misconduct; only 2 (2%) reported it explicitly. Procedures applied differed across the journals. CONCLUSIONS: Only half of the systematic reviews applied three or more of the six procedures examined. Sponsors, conflicts of interest of authors and ethical approval remain overlooked. Research misconduct is sometimes identified, but rarely reported. Guidance on when, and how, to report suspected misconduct is needed.
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Low stimulus environments: reducing noise levels in continuing care.
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In the low stimulus environment project, we aimed to reduce the levels of intrusive background noise on an older adult mental health ward, combining a very straightforward measure on decibel levels with a downstream measure of reduced distress and agitation as expressed in incidents of violence. This project on reducing background noise levels on older adult wards stemmed from work the team had done on reducing levels of violence and aggression. We approached the problem using quality improvement methods. Reducing harm to patients and staff is a strategic aim of our Trust and in our efforts we were supported by the Trust’s extensive programme of quality improvement, including training and support provided by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the trust’s own Quality Improvement team. Prior to the project we were running a weekly multi-disciplinary quality improvement group on the ward. We established from this a sub-group to address the specific problem of noise levels and invited carers of people with dementia on our ward to the group. The project was led by nursing staff. We used a noise meter app readily downloadable from the internet to monitor background noise levels on the ward and establish a baseline measure. As a group we used a driver diagram to identify an overall aim and a clear understanding of the major factors that would drive improvements. We also used a staff and carer survey to identify further areas to work on. Change ideas that came from staff and carers included the use of the noise meter to track and report back on noise levels, the use of posters to remind staff about noise levels, the introduction of a visual indication of current noise levels (the Yacker Tracker), the addition of relaxing background music, and adaptations to furniture and environment. We tested many of these over the course of nine months in 2015, using the iterative learning gained from multiple PDSA cycles. The specific aim was a decrease from above 60dB to below 50dB in background noise on the wards. Following our interventions, we have managed to decrease noise levels on the ward to 53dB on average. The success of this project to date has relied on the involvement of ward staff and carers – those most affected by the problem – in generating workable local solutions. As many of the change ideas amounted to harm free interventions it was easier for us to make a case to test them out in the real-life setting. Nevertheless we were surprised at how effective such seemingly simple ideas have been in improving the environment on the ward. We have incorporated the change ideas into routine practice and are advising other wards on similar projects.
The forgotten people in British public health: a national neglect of the dying, bereaved and caregivers.
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The clinical and social epidemiology of living with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness, frail ageing, long-term caregiving, and grief and bereavement is well documented in the palliative care, psycho-oncology and psychiatric literature but this investigation asks what interest exists from the mainstream public health sector in these health and illness experiences. This paper reports a content analysis of 7 key British public health journals, 14 major public health textbooks and 3 public health websites employing key word and synonym searches to assess the size and quality of interest in populations related to ageing, dying, caregiving, and grief and bereavement. Compared with other public health issues, such as obesity and tobacco use, for examples, interest in the social experience and epidemiology of end-of-life experiences is extremely low. Reasons for this lack of interest are explored.
Effectiveness of a low-threshold physical activity intervention in residential aged care–results of a randomized controlled trial.
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Research on effectiveness of low-threshold mobility interventions that are viable for users of residential aged care is scarce. Low-threshold is defined as keeping demands on organizations (staff skills, costs) and participants (health status, discipline) rather low. The study explored the effectiveness of a multi-faceted, low-threshold physical activity program in three residential aged-care facilities in Austria. Main goals were enhancement of mobility by conducting a multi-faceted training program to foster occupational performance and thus improve different aspects of health-related quality of life (QoL). PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: The program consisted of a weekly session of 60 minutes over a period of 20 weeks. A standardized assessment of mobility status and health-related QoL was applied before and after the intervention. A total of 222 of 276 participants completed the randomized controlled trial study (intervention group n=104, control group n=118; average age 84 years, 88% female). RESULTS: Subjective health status (EuroQoL-5 dimensions: P=0.001, d=0.36) improved significantly in the intervention group, and there were also positive trends in occupational performance (Canadian Occupational Performance Measure). No clear effects were found concerning the functional and cognitive measures applied. CONCLUSION: Thus, the low-threshold approach turned out to be effective primarily on subjective health-related QoL. This outcome could be a useful asset for organizations offering low-threshold physical activity interventions.
Self-management-support in dementia care: A mixed methods study among nursing staff
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BACKGROUND: Self-management in patients and family caregivers confronted with dementia is not self-evident. Self-management skills may be limited because of the progressive cognitive decline of the patient and because family caregivers are often also very aged. Self-management support by nursing staff is therefore of paramount importance. OBJECTIVES: To gain insight into how nursing staff perceive their self-management support tasks, and how they put them into practice. Research questions are: ‘What are the opinions and experiences of Dutch nursing staff working in home care or residential elderly care regarding self-management support for people with dementia and their family caregivers?’ and ‘Do nursing staff feel sufficiently trained and skilled for self-management support?’. METHODS: A mixed methods approach was used, combining cross-sectional quantitative survey data from 206 Dutch nursing professionals with qualitative interviews among 12 nursing staff working in home care or residential elderly care in The Netherlands. RESULTS: Nursing staff working in home care experienced self-management support of people with dementia as a part of their job and as an attractive task. They consider ‘helping people with dementia to maintain control over their lives by involving them in decisions in daily care’ the essence of self-management support. Nursing staff saw family caregivers as their main partners in providing self-management support to the patient. They were less aware that family caregivers themselves might also need self-management support. Nursing staff often felt insufficiently trained to give adequate self-management support. RN’s and CNA’s did not differ in their opinions, experiences and training needs. CONCLUSIONS: Nursing staff in home care do consider self-management support an important and attractive task in dementia care. Their skills for providing self-management support to patients with dementia and family caregivers need improvement. RECOMMENDATIONS: Nursing staff need sufficient training to enable the proper provision of self-management support for people with dementia. More attention should also be given to the support of self-management for family caregivers.
Small scale homelike special care units and traditional special care units: effects on cognition in dementia; a longitudinal controlled intervention study
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BACKGROUND: Evidence shows that living in small scale homelike Special Care Units (SCU) has positive effects on behavioural and psychological symptoms of patients with dementia. Effects on cognitive functioning in relation to care facilities, however, are scarcely investigated. The purpose of this study is to gain more insight into the effects of living in small scale homelike Special Care Units, compared to regular SCU’s, on the course of cognitive functioning in dementia. METHODS: A group of 67 patients with dementia who moved from a regular SCU to a small scale homelike SCU and a group of 48 patients with dementia who stayed in a regular SCU participated in the study. Cognitive and behavioural functioning was assessed by means of a neuropsychological test battery and observation scales one month before (baseline), as well as 3 (post) and 6 months (follow-up) after relocation. RESULTS: Comparing the post and follow-up measurement with the baseline measurement, no significant differences on separate measures of cognitive functioning between both groups were found. Additional analyses, however, on ‘domain clusters’ revealed that global cognitive functioning of the small scale homelike SCU group showed significantly less cognitive decline three months after the transfer (p < 0.05). Effect sizes (95 % CI) show a tendency for better aspects of cognition in favour of the homelike small scaled SCU group, i.e., visual memory, picture recognition, cognitive decline as observed by representatives and the clustered domains episodic memory and global cognitive functioning. CONCLUSIONS: While there is no significant longitudinal effect on the progression of cognitive decline comparing small scaled homelike SCU’s with regular SCU’s for patients with dementia, analyses on the domain clusters and effect sizes cautiously suggest differences in favour of the small scaled homelike SCU for different aspects of cognition.
What are the barriers to care integration for those at the advanced stages of dementia living in care homes in the UK? Health care professional perspective
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People with advanced dementia are frequently bed-bound, doubly incontinent and able to speak only a few words. Many reside in care homes and may often have complex needs requiring efficient and timely response by knowledgeable and compassionate staff. The aim of this study is to improve our understanding of health care professionals’ attitudes and knowledge of the barriers to integrated care for people with advanced dementia. In-depth, interactive interviews conducted with 14 health care professionals including commissioners, care home managers, nurses and health care assistants in the UK. Barriers to care for people with advanced dementia are influenced by governmental and societal factors which contribute to challenging environments in care homes, poor morale amongst care staff and a fragmentation of health and social care at the end of life. Quality of care for people with dementia as they approach death may be improved by developing collaborative networks to foster improved relationships between health and social care services.
An Occupational Therapy intervention for residents with stroke-related disabilities in UK Care Homes (OTCH): cluster randomised controlled trial with economic evaluation.
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BACKGROUND: Care home residents with stroke-related disabilities have significant activity limitations. Phase II trial results suggested a potential benefit of occupational therapy (OT) in maintaining residents’ capacity to engage in functional activity. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a targeted course of OT in maintaining functional activity and reducing further health risks from inactivity for UK care home residents living with stroke-related disabilities. DESIGN: Pragmatic, parallel-group, cluster randomised controlled trial with economic evaluation. Cluster randomisation occurred at the care-home level. Homes were stratified according to trial administrative centre and type of care provided (nursing or residential), and they were randomised 1 : 1 to either the intervention or the control arm. SETTING: The setting was 228 care homes which were local to 11 trial administrative centres across England and Wales. PARTICIPANTS: Care home residents with a history of stroke or transient ischaemic attack, including residents with communication and cognitive impairments, not receiving end-of-life care. INTERVENTION: Personalised 3-month course of OT delivered by qualified therapists. Care workers participated in training workshops to support personal activities of daily living. The control condition consisted of usual care for residents. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome data were collected by a blinded assessor. The primary outcome at the participant level was the Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living (BI) score at 3 months. The secondary outcomes included BI scores at 6 and 12 months post randomisation, and the Rivermead Mobility Index, Geriatric Depression Scale-15 and European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions, three levels, questionnaire scores at all time points. Economic evaluation examined the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gain. Costs were estimated from the perspective of the NHS and Personal Social Services. RESULTS: Overall, 568 residents from 114 care homes were allocated to the intervention arm and 474 residents from another 114 care homes were allocated to the control arm, giving a total of 1042 participants. Randomisation occurred between May 2010 and March 2012. The mean age of participants was 82.9 years, and 665 (64%) were female. No adverse events attributable to the intervention were recorded. Of the 1042 participants, 870 (83%) were included in the analysis of the primary outcome (intervention, n = 479; control, n = 391). The primary outcome showed no significant differences between groups. The adjusted mean difference in the BI score between groups was 0.19 points higher in the intervention arm [95% confidence interval (CI) -0.33 to 0.70, p = 0.48; adjusted intracluster correlation coefficient 0.09]. Secondary outcome measures showed no significant differences at all time points. Mean incremental cost of the Occupational Therapy intervention for residents with stroke living in UK Care Homes intervention was pound438.78 (95% CI – pound3360.89 to pound1238.46) and the incremental QALY gain was 0.009 (95% CI -0.030 to 0.048). LIMITATIONS: A large proportion of participants with very severe activity-based limitations and cognitive impairment may have limited capacity to engage in therapy. CONCLUSION: A 3-month individualised course of OT showed no benefit in maintaining functional activity in an older care home population with stroke-related disabilities. FUTURE WORK: There is an urgent need to reduce health-related complications caused by inactivity and to provide an enabling built environment within care homes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN00757750. FUNDING: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 20, No. 15. See the Health Technology Assessment programme website for further project information.
Decision-making in caring for people with dementia at the end of life in nursing homes.
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BACKGROUND: Alleviating symptoms, fulfilling psychosocial needs, and the inclusion of family are among the criteria that determine care quality in palliative treatment. The care quality is especially inadequate for people with dementia (PwD) at the end of life. To improve this, it is necessary to understand the process of nurses’ clinical decision-making in symptom management in the terminal phase of PwD. AIM: The aim of the study was to examine the decision-making process of symptom management for PwD in nursing homes in their terminal phase of life. DESIGN: A qualitative design was chosen with a constructivist approach. Individual interviews were conducted with nurses (n=32) in four Swiss nursing homes. RESULTS: ‘Recount and reflect’ plays a vital role in the care of PwD in terminal phase, enabling symptom recognition and facilitating symptom management. A process of thinking during the course of action enables nursing staff members to understand what, when, and how symptom changes have taken place. CONCLUSION: Highly-trained nurses need to support health care assistants through counselling, coaching, and leadership to help reduce the symptom burden experienced by PwD. Relatives are necessary to maintain an exchange of ideas regarding the appropriate treatment to reduce symptom burden.
Measures to assess commonly experienced symptoms for people with dementia in long-term care settings: a systematic review.
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High symptom burden is common in long-term care residents with dementia and results in distress and behavioral challenges if undetected. Physicians may have limited time to regularly examine all residents, particularly those unable to self-report, and may rely on reports from caregivers who are frequently in a good position to detect symptoms quickly. We aimed to identify proxy-completed assessment measures of symptoms experienced by people with dementia, and critically appraise the psychometric properties and applicability for use in long-term care settings by caregivers. METHODS: We searched Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and ASSIA from inception to 23 June 2015, supplemented by citation and reference searches. The search strategy used a combination of terms: dementia OR long-term care AND assessment AND symptoms (e.g. pain). Studies were included if they evaluated psychometric properties of proxy-completed symptom assessment measures for people with dementia in any setting or those of mixed cognitive abilities residing in long-term care settings. Measures were included if they did not require clinical training, and used proxy-observed behaviors to support assessment in verbally compromised people with dementia. Data were extracted on study setting and sample, measurement properties and psychometric properties. Measures were independently evaluated by two investigators using quality criteria for measurement properties, and evaluated for clinical applicability in long-term settings. RESULTS: Of the 19,942 studies identified, 40 studies evaluating 32 measures assessing pain (n = 12), oral health (n = 2), multiple neuropsychiatric symptoms (n = 2), depression (n = 8), anxiety (n = 2), psychological wellbeing (n = 4), and discomfort (n = 2) were included. The majority of studies (31/40) were conducted in long-term care settings although none of the neuropsychiatric or anxiety measures were validated in this setting. The pain assessments, PAINAD and PACSLAC had the strongest psychometric evidence. The oral health, discomfort, and three psychological wellbeing measures were validated in this setting but require further psychometric evaluation. Depression measures were poor at detecting depression in this population. All measures require further investigation into agreement, responsiveness and interpretability. CONCLUSIONS: Measures for pain are best developed for this population and setting. All other measures require further validation. A multi-symptom measure to support comprehensive assessment and monitoring in this population is required.
Intrapersonal self-transcendence, meaning-in-life and nurse-patient interaction: powerful assets for quality of life in cognitively intact nursing-home patients.
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BACKGROUND: Spirituality has demonstrated a significant impact on quality of life in nursing-home patients. Likewise, as essential aspects of spirituality, hope, self-transcendence, and meaning are found to be vital resources to nursing-home patients’ global well-being. Further, nurse-patient interaction has demonstrated a powerful influence on patient’s hope, self-transcendence, and meaning-in-life, as well as on anxiety and depression. AIM: The present study investigated the associations of hope, self-transcendence, meaning, and perceived nurse-patient interaction with quality of life. DESIGN AND METHOD: In a cross-sectional design, a sample of 202 cognitively intact nursing-home patients in Mid-Norway responded to the Herth Hope Index, the Self-Transcendence scale, the Purpose-in-Life test, the Nurse-Patient Interaction scale, and a one-item overall measure on quality of life. Using SPSS ordinal regression, bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted with quality of life as dependent variable. RESULTS: Controlling for gender, age, and residential time, all the scales were significantly related to quality of life in the bivariate analyses. Intrapersonal self-transcendence showed an exceptional position presenting a very high odds ratio in the bivariate analysis, and also the strongest association with quality of life in multivariate analyses. Meaning and nurse-patient interaction also showed independent and significant associations with quality of life. CONCLUSION: The associations found encourage the idea that intrapersonal self-transcendence, meaning-in-life, and nurse-patient interaction are powerful health-promoting factors that significantly influence on nursing-home patients’ quality of life. Therefore, pedagogical approaches for advancing caregivers’ presence and confidence in health-promoting interaction should be upgraded and matured. Proper educational programs for developing interacting skills including assessing and supporting patients’ intrapersonal self-transcendence and meaning-in-life should be utilised and their effectiveness evaluated.
Exploring faecal incontinence in nursing home patients: a cross-sectional study of prevalence and associations derived from the Residents Assessment Instrument for Long-Term Care Facilities.
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To explore prevalence and associations of faecal incontinence among nursing home patients, to examine the effect of clustering of observations and to study the variation in faecal incontinence rates on both the level of nursing home units and individual patients. BACKGROUND: Faecal incontinence affects 40-55% of the patients in nursing homes and is associated with increased risk of morbidity and reduced quality of life. There is a lack of studies investigating faecal incontinence with validated instruments. More studies need to include models of analyses that allow for clustering of observations. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. METHODS: Data on 261 patients from 20 nursing home units were collected during September-October 2014. The Norwegian version of the Resident Assessment Instrument for Long-Term Care Facilities was used. Mixed effect models were conducted. RESULTS: Prevalence of faecal incontinence was 42.1% or 54% depending on the frequency labelling chosen. The effect of clustering by nursing home unit was not statistically significant. Most of the variation in faecal incontinence rates was explained by differences in patient characteristics, the most important being deficiencies in activities of daily living, cognitive impairment, diarrhoea and not participating in activities. CONCLUSION: Nursing home patients should be offered individualized assessment and continence care matching their patient characteristics. The Resident Assessment Instrument for Long-Term Care Facilities is a useful instrument because of its’ combination of a comprehensive range of individual items and scales allowing for comparison of immediate or long-term change in patients status. Studies evaluating interventions targeting faecal incontinence are warranted.
Loneliness of older people aged 70: a comparison of two Finnish cohorts born 20 years apart.
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This study aimed to examine loneliness among two birth cohorts, born 20 years apart, when they were 70 years of age, and to identify factors explaining loneliness. METHODS: The cohorts consisted of older home-dwelling residents of Turku, Finland, from the birth cohort 1920 in 1991 (N=1530) and the birth cohort 1940 in 2011 (N=1307). Suffering from loneliness was assessed with the question: ‘Do you suffer from loneliness?’ Cross-tabulations with chi-square test, general linear model (GLM) and multiple regression analysis were used in statistical testing and modeling. RESULTS: In the 1940 cohort, around one-fifth (18%) of the respondents suffered from loneliness at least sometimes, while the corresponding figure in the 1920 cohort was around one-fourth (26%). Our analyses indicated that the effect of cohort was not a statistically significant explanatory factor of loneliness. Living status, self-rated health and memory compared to age peers were statistically significant explanatory factors for suffering from loneliness. When we controlled the effect of depressiveness on the experience of loneliness, it was shown that the effects of living status and self-rated health remained statistically significant, whereas memory compared to age peers did not. Depressiveness itself was highly important. The combined effect of living status and self-rated health emerged as the most significant explanatory factor for loneliness. Older people with poor self-rated health who lived alone were most likely to suffer from loneliness. CONCLUSION: The findings give healthcare professionals an opportunity to plan for interventions aimed at combating loneliness among home-dwelling older people.
Survey of infection control and antimicrobial stewardship practices in Australian residential aged-care facilities.
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This study assessed infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) practices in Australian residential aged-care facilities (RACF). Two hundred and sixty-five surveys (15.6%) were completed with all states represented and the majority (177 (67.3%)) privately run. Only 30.6% RACF had infection control trained staff on site. Few facilities had AMS policies, only 14% had antimicrobial prescribing restrictions. Most facilities offered vaccination to residents (influenza vaccination rates >75% in 73% of facilities), but pneumococcal vaccination was poor.
The cost of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment in hospitals and nursing homes in Flanders: A cost-of-illness study.
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The economic impact of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment is high. The results of cost-of-illness studies can assist the planning, allocation, and priority setting of healthcare expenditures to improve the implementation of preventive measures. Data on the cost of current practice of pressure ulcer prevention or treatment in Flanders, a region of Belgium, is lacking. AIM: To examine the cost of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment in an adult population in hospitals and nursing homes from the healthcare payer perspective. DESIGN: A cost-of-illness study was performed using a bottom-up approach. SETTINGS: Hospitals and nursing homes in Flanders, a region of Belgium. METHODS: Data were collected in a series of prospective multicentre cross-sectional studies between 2008 and 2013. Data collection included data on risk assessment, pressure ulcer prevalence, preventive measures, unit cost of materials for prevention and treatment, nursing time measurements for activities related to pressure ulcer prevention and treatment, and nursing wages. The cost of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment in hospitals and nursing homes was calculated as annual cost for Flanders, per patient, and per patient per day. RESULTS: The mean (SD) cost for pressure ulcer prevention was euro7.88 (8.21) per hospitalised patient at risk per day and euro2.15 (3.10) per nursing home resident at risk per day. The mean (SD) cost of pressure ulcer prevention for patients and residents identified as not at risk for pressure ulcer development was euro1.44 (4.26) per day in hospitals and euro0.50 (1.61) per day in nursing homes. The main cost driver was the cost of labour, responsible for 79-85% of the cost of prevention. The mean (SD) cost of local treatment per patient per day varied between euro2.34 (1.14) and euro77.36 (35.95) in hospitals, and between euro2.42 (1.15) and euro16.18 (4.93) in nursing homes. CONCLUSIONS: Related to methodological differences between studies, the cost of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment in hospitals and nursing homes in Flanders was found to be low compared to other international studies. Recommendations specific to pressure ulcer prevention are needed as part of methodological guidelines to conduct cost-of-illness studies.
Enhancing Resident Safety by Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infection: A National Initiative to Reduce Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Nursing Homes.
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Preventing healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is a key contributor to enhancing resident safety in nursing homes. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved a plan to enhance resident safety by reducing HAIs in nursing homes, with particular emphasis on reducing indwelling catheter use and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). Lessons learned from a recent multimodal Targeted Infection Prevention program in a group of nursing homes as well as a national initiative to prevent CAUTI in over 950 acute care hospitals called “On the CUSP: STOP CAUTI” will now be implemented in nearly 500 nursing homes in all 50 states through a project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). This “AHRQ Safety Program in Long-Term Care: HAIs/CAUTI” will emphasize professional development in catheter utilization, catheter care and maintenance, and antimicrobial stewardship as well as promoting patient safety culture, team building, and leadership engagement. We anticipate that an approach integrating technical and socio-adaptive principles will serve as a model for future initiatives to reduce other infections, multidrug resistant organisms, and noninfectious adverse events among nursing home residents.
Predictive and concurrent validity of the Braden scale in long-term care: a meta-analysis.
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Pressure ulcer prevention is an important long-term care (LTC) quality indicator. While the Braden Scale is a recommended risk assessment tool, there is a paucity of information specifically pertaining to its validity within the LTC setting. We, therefore, undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing Braden Scale predictive and concurrent validity within this context. We searched the Medline, EMBASE, PsychINFO and PubMed databases from 1985-2014 for studies containing the requisite information to analyze tool validity. Our initial search yielded 3,773 articles. Eleven datasets emanating from nine published studies describing 40,361 residents met all meta-analysis inclusion criteria and were analyzed using random effects models. Pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive values were 86%, 38%, 28%, and 93%, respectively. Specificity was poorer in concurrent samples as compared with predictive samples (38% vs. 72%), while PPV was low in both sample types (25 and 37%). Though random effects model results showed that the Scale had good overall predictive ability [RR, 4.33; 95% CI, 3.28-5.72], none of the concurrent samples were found to have “optimal” sensitivity and specificity. In conclusion, the appropriateness of the Braden Scale in LTC is questionable given its low specificity and PPV, in particular in concurrent validity studies. Future studies should further explore the extent to which the apparent low validity of the Scale in LTC is due to the choice of cutoff point and/or preventive strategies implemented by LTC staff as a matter of course.
Sleep quality and depression of nursing home older adults in wheelchairs after exercises.
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Sleep disturbances and depression are costly and potentially disabling conditions that affect a considerable proportion of older adults. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of 6 months of elastic band exercises on sleep quality and depression of wheelchair-bound older adults in nursing homes. METHODS: One hundred twenty-seven older adults from 10 nursing homes participated in this cluster randomized controlled trial, and 114 completed the study. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups: experimental group (five nursing homes, n = 59) and control group (five nursing homes, n = 55). A 40-minute wheelchair-bound senior elastic band exercise program was implemented 3 times per week for 6 months. Sleep quality and depression of the participants were examined at baseline, after 3 months, and at the end of the 6-month study. DISCUSSION: Participants in the experimental group had longer sleep durations, better habitual sleep efficiencies, and less depression than the control group at 3 months of the study and maintained them throughout the rest of the 6-month study. CONCLUSIONS: Nursing home directors could recruit volunteers to learn the program and lead the elderly residents in wheelchairs in practicing the wheelchair-bound senior elastic band exercises regularly in the facilities.
The association between positive-negative reactions of informal caregivers of people with dementia and health outcomes in eight European countries: a cross-sectional study.
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AIM: To describe the associations between positive and negative reactions of informal caregivers of people with dementia and health outcomes across eight European Countries. BACKGROUND: Caring for someone with dementia may have implications for the caregiver’s own health and for the care recipient. These consequences could be associated with caregivers’ reactions to the process of care. DESIGN: Association study based on cross-sectional data. METHODS: Participants were people with dementia and their informal caregivers living at home or in long-term care institutions. Data were collected between November 2010-April 2012 using the Caregiver Reaction Assessment (with dimensions of self-esteem, lack of family support, financial problems, disrupted schedule and health problems) and associations were sought with informal caregiver burden, quality of life and psychological well-being and with dementia sufferers’ neuropsychiatric symptoms, comorbidity and dependency in activities of daily living using correlation coefficients. RESULTS: Data from 2014 participants were used. Variability across countries was noted, as well as differences between care at home and in long-term care institutions. In general, self-esteem and lack of family support correlated with caregiver burden and psychological well-being. Associations were also found between disrupted schedule and caregiver burden, psychological well-being and quality of life. Health problems were clearly associated with caregiver burden, psychological well-being and quality of life. CONCLUSION: Study results support links between the reactions of informal caregivers of people with dementia and health outcomes. These may have implications in terms of how services are addressed.
Factors facilitating dementia case management: Results of online focus groups
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To obtain insight into facilitating factors for case management in dementia care, we conducted a qualitative study with 13 online focus groups (OFGs). Participants were professionals involved in dementia case management (N = 99). We used mind-maps and the method of constant comparison for analysis. Participants perceived OFGs as a useful tool to explore their perspectives. The perceived advantage of OFGs was the flexibility and convenience of logging in at any time or place preferred. Five facilitating factors for case management were identified in the OFGs: 1. Good cooperation between partners; 2. Organisational embedding with an independent position of case managers; 3. Structural funding; 4. Competent case managers; 5. Familiarity with case management in the region. Good cooperation was essential for successful dementia case management and should thus be a primary concern for care providers.
The Impact of Young Onset Dementia on Informal Caregivers Compared with Late Onset Dementia: Results from the NeedYD Study.
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The impact of the dementia might be more severe for caregivers of people with young onset dementia (YOD) compared with those who care for someone with late onset dementia (LOD), as a young age among caregivers has been identified as a predictor of increased burden. The present study compares well-being between LOD and YOD caregivers longitudinally because this knowledge is essential in order to develop adequate support programs. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: 220 YOD and 108 LOD patient-caregiver dyads were included from two prospective cohorts with a 2-year follow up. To assess well-being we used the Short Sense of Competence Questionnaire, the RAND-36, the Symptom Checklist 90, and the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale. The severity and the course of the different measures used to describe caregiver burden were analyzed with linear mixed models. RESULTS: Caregivers in both groups experienced high levels of physical and psychological complaints, mild depressive symptoms, lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and decreased feelings of competence. The severity and the course of most measures were similar in both groups, although HRQoL on both the physical and the mental domain was lower for the YOD caregivers. CONCLUSIONS: The number of actual psychological and physical complaints does not differ between YOD and LOD caregivers. YOD caregivers have greater perceived difficulties in daily life because of these complaints, however.
Common Ground? The Concordance of Sarcopenia and Frailty Definitions
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OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore the concordance between definitions of sarcopenia and frailty in a clinically relevant population of geriatric outpatients. DESIGN: Data were retrieved from a cross-sectional study. SETTING: The study was performed in a geriatric outpatient clinic of a middle-sized teaching hospital. PARTICIPANTS: The study included 299 geriatric outpatients (mean age 82.4, SD 7.1) who were consecutively referred to the outpatient clinic. MEASUREMENTS: Prevalence rates and subsequent concordance evolving from 3 definitions of sarcopenia and 2 definitions of frailty were compared. Definitions of sarcopenia included the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (gait speed, handgrip strength, muscle mass), International Working Group on Sarcopenia (gait speed, muscle mass) and the definition by Janssen (muscle mass). Definitions of frailty included the Fried frailty phenotype (weight loss, exhaustion, physical inactivity, handgrip strength, walk time) and the definition of Rockwood (use of walking aid, activities of daily living, incontinence, and cognitive impairment). RESULTS: Prevalence rates for sarcopenia varied between 17% and 22% and between 29% and 33% for frailty. There was little concordance in intraindividual prevalence rates of sarcopenia and frailty using different definitions. None of the outpatients was classified as having sarcopenia and frailty according to all applied definitions. Outpatients with sarcopenia were more likely to be frail than frail outpatients to be sarcopenic. CONCLUSION: This study clearly indicates that sarcopenia and frailty are 2 separate conditions based on the current definitions. It is important to diagnose sarcopenia and frailty as separate entities, as each may require specific treatment.
Constipation and Laxative Use among Nursing Home Patients: Prevalence and Associations Derived from the Residents Assessment Instrument for Long-Term Care Facilities (interRAI LTCF).
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Constipation is a common, bothersome, and potentially dangerous condition among nursing home (NH) patients. Between 50 and 74% of NH patients use laxatives. Objective. To study prevalence and associations of laxative use and constipation using the comprehensive Norwegian version of the Resident Assessment Instrument for Long-Term Care Facilities. Methods. Cross-sectional study. Patients from 20 NH units were included. Logistic regression was used to analyze the results. Data collected in NHs might be clustered. Consequently, the multivariable models were tested against a mixed effects regression model to investigate variance both on the level of patients and on the level of NH units. Results. In all, 261 patients were included. The prevalence of constipation was 23.4%, and 67.1% used laxatives regularly. Balance problems, urinary incontinence, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson’s disease were associated with constipation. Reduced ability to communicate and number of drugs were associated with laxative use. Antidementia-drugs and being involved in activities 1/3 to 2/3 of daytime were protective factors for laxative use. Mixed effects analyses identified variance on the level of NH units as nonsignificant. Conclusion. Constipation and laxative use are common. Variance is mainly explained by different patient characteristics/health deficiencies. Hence, patients might benefit from individualized care to compensate for deficiencies.
FRAIL-NH Predicts Outcomes in Long Term Care.
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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: To investigate the predictive validity of the short, simple FRAIL-NH frailty screening tool in the long term care population and to then compare the predictive validity with the frailty index (FI) for 6-month adverse health outcomes. DESIGN: Retrospective study using the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 and chart review from June-December 2014. SETTING: Two Long Term Care Facilities in Saint Louis, MO. PARTICIPANTS: 270 patients ages >/=65 years old residing in long term care. MEASUREMENTS: Frailty was measured using the FRAIL-NH and Frailty Index (FI) criteria. Adverse outcomes measured at 6-month follow-up included falls, hospitalizations, and hospice enrollment/mortality. RESULTS: Based on screening tool used frailty prevalence was 48.7% for FRAIL-NH and 30.3% for FI. The FRAIL-NH pre-frail (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR]=2.62; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]=1.25-5.54; p=0.11) classification was associated with 6 month risk of falling and mortality/hospice enrollment was associated with the frail classification, AOR=3.96 (1.44-10.87, p=0.007). Combining the pre-frail and frail categories both measures predicted 6 month mortality with the FRAIL-NH being the strongest predictor (AOR=3.36; 95%CI=1.26-8.98; p=0.016) and the FI was a more modest predictor with an AOR of 2.28; 95%CI=1.01-5.15; p=0.047. When directly comparing the FRAIL-NH to the FI, the FRAIL-NH pre-frail were at increased risk of falling, AOR=2.42 (1.11-5.92, p=0.027) and the FRAIL-NH frail were at increased risk of hospice enrollment/death, OR=3.25 (1.04- 10.86) p=0.044. CONCLUSION: In comparison to the FI, the FRAIL-NH preformed just as well at screening for frailty and was a slightly better predictor of adverse outcomes. The FRAIL-NH is a brief, easy-to-administer frailty screening tool appropriate for long term care patients and predicts increased risk of falls in the pre-frail and mortality/hospice enrollment in the frail.
Factors influencing discrepancies in self-reported memory and performance on memory recall in the Canadian Community Health Survey—Healthy Aging, 2008–09
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OBJECTIVE: the objectives of this study were: (i) to estimate the rate of discrepancy between participant single-item self-reports of good memory and poor performance on a list-learning task and (ii) to identify the factors including age, gender and health status that influence these discrepant classifications. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTINGS: in total, 14,172 individuals, aged 45-85, were selected from the 2008-09 Canadian Community Health Survey on Healthy Aging. We examined the individual characteristics of participants with and without discrepancies between memory self-reports and performance with a generalised linear model, adjusting for potential covariates. RESULTS: the mean age of respondents was 62.9 years with 56.7% being female, 53.8% having post-secondary graduation and 83% being born in Canada. Higher discrepant classification rates we observed for younger people (6.77 versus 3.65 for lowest and highest group), female (5.90 versus 3.68) and with higher education (6.17 versus 3.52). Discrepant classification rates adjusted with all covariates were higher for those without chronic diseases (5.37 [95% Confidence Interval (CI): 4.16, 6.90] versus 4.05 95% CI: 3.38, 4.86; P = 0.0127), those who did not drink alcohol (5.87 95% CI: 4.69, 7.32 versus 3.70 95% CI: 3.00, 4.55; P < 0.0001), lonely participants (5.45 95% CI: 4.20, 7.04 versus 3.99 95% CI: 3.36, 4.77; P = 0.0081) and bilingual participants (5.67 95% CI: 4.18, 7.64 versus 3.83 95% CI: 3.27, 4.50; P = 0.0102). CONCLUSION: the findings of this study suggest that the self-reported memory and memory performance differ in a substantial proportion of the population. Therefore, relying on a self-reported memory status may not accurately capture those experiencing memory difficulties.
The development of environmental assessment tools to support the creation of dementia friendly care environments: Innovative practice.
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The need for more dementia friendly design in hospitals and other care settings is now widely acknowledged. Working with 26 NHS Trusts in England as part of a Department of Health commissioned programme, The King’s Fund developed a set of overarching design principles and an environmental assessment tool for hospital wards in 2012. Following requests from other sectors, additional tools were developed for hospitals, care homes, health centres and housing with care. The tools have proven to be effective in both disseminating the principles of dementia friendly design and in enabling the case to be made for improvements that have a positive effect on patient outcomes and staff morale. This paper reports on the development, use and review of the environmental assessment tools, including further work that is now being taken forward by The Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester.
A U.S. Consensus Framework for Long-Term Care Financing Reform
The Collaborative recommends a broad package of reforms aimed at empowering people of all incomes to receive high-quality long-term services and supports. The Collaborative proposes:
-Clear private and public roles for long-term care financing.
-A new universal catastrophic long-term care insurance program. This would shift today’s welfare-based system to an insurance model.
-Redefining Medicaid LTSS to empower greater autonomy and choice in services and settings.
-Encouraging private long-term care insurance initiatives to lower cost and increase enrollment.
-Increasing retirement savings and improving public education on long-term care costs and needs.
The report expands on the Collaborative’s July 2015 recommendations for improving delivery of long-term care, proposing steps to better coordinate LTSS and medical care, and strengthening support for the family members and communities that provide most assistance for those with long-term care needs.
A positive choice – Everyday stories of nursing excellence in older people’s care
A Positive Choice: everyday stories of nursing excellence in older people’s care is a new publication launched by the RCN. It comprises of eight stories celebrating the compassion and expertise of nurses and health care support workers (HCSWs) who care for our older people in Scotland.
Use of Antipsychotics Among Seniors Living in
Long-Term Care Facilities, 2014
This study uses drug claims data from the National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) Database to examine the use of antipsychotics among seniors living in long-term care (LTC) facilities, and the concurrent use of antipsychotics with other psychotropic drugs, which further increases risk of side effects. LTC resident assessment data from the Continuing Care Reporting System (CCRS) provides more detailed information about the characteristics of residents treated with antipsychotics, including diagnoses, behaviours and other functional measures.
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Authenticity in the Clinician-Patient Relationship
The relationships that develop between patients and the clinicians who care for them can have profound effects on both patient healing and job satisfaction for caregivers. I argue that increased attention to the nature of such relationships, in pursuit of increased “authenticity,” stands to improve both patient and staff experiences within health systems.
Bibliometric Research Impact Workshop
Bibliometrics can be useful to highlight the impact of one’s research. In this workshop, we will discuss:
-Various metrics and counts that you can use to measure the influence of your research. These will include the h-index, times cited, and number of publications. We will also discuss what each of these metrics or measures means and what they measure.
-How to showcase the impact of your research against other researchers and within your discipline.
-An overview of the different citation databases (Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar) and their strengths and weaknesses.
-Other non-citation based impact:
Policy and practice changes and influence
Influence on decision/policy makers
Altmetrics (article view/downloads, social media mentions, etc)
Research Administration Day
The Research Services Office (RSO) offers continuing education and professional development seminars for university research staff. Research Administration Day (RAD) provides practical presentations and interactive workshops focused on the complexity, diversity, and accountability of administrative responsibilities with research funding. The purpose of RAD is to promote and support excellence in research administration. RAD is designed for those who are involved with research administration and management at the Faculty, Department and project level. There are three learning streams; 100 (introductory), 200 (intermediate), and 300 (advanced). Sessions will offer lectures, facilitated small group discussions and case-based workshops. Full program details, session descriptions and registration information will be released in April and made available via the RSO website.
NACTRC Presentation: Budgeting for Clinical Research
Intended for the research coordinator, manager and investigator, the presentation will be provided by Sharon Appelman-Eszczuk and Sergey Nikitin. Sharon and Sergey have many years of experience working with sponsors to develop budgets for research. Having worked with local investigators on various types of studies, they will share their experience with the types of expenses that are acceptable and necessary to maintain a viable operation. The budgeting information provided will be introductory, with follow up presentations to be held later in the year. Please send an email indicating your interest to attend to Anita.Lubisich@ahs.ca. Enrollment is limited by space.
Patient-Oriented Research Summer Institute 2016
Whether you are a researcher, patient, student, trainee, clinician or policy maker, the institute is a great opportunity to meet with others interested in patient-oriented research (POR). We aim to celebrate early successes, provide updates on SPOR activities, showcase exceptional researcher and student POR work, provide workshops on key POR topics, and continue building relationships to promote the growth of POR in the Alberta research community. Our forthcoming program features a diverse schedule of plenary and concurrent sessions, workshops, abstract and poster presentations, and panel presentations by highly-regarded health researchers. In addition, there will be multiple networking opportunities for delegates to engage with other members of the research community, patients and other POR stakeholders from across the province.
Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in Mental Health & Addictions
The conference has theoretical, methodological, practice- and policy-based research in mental health and addictions across the four core themes:
Quality & Systems Improvement
Conference Keynotes: Laura Damschroder (May 17), and Jeremy Grimshaw
Attendees will be able to take advantage of 2 full days of conference talks, symposia, workshops, and discussion panels highlighting advancements in these themes.
Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) Webinar: How research can help shape policy and practice on aging: Lessons from Newfoundland and Labrador
How research can help shape policy and practice on aging: Lessons from Newfoundland and Labrador, presented by Dr. Stephen Bornstein, a professor in the Department of Political Science and in the Division of Community Health and Humanities at Memorial University and director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research.
ASILA case-simulation prototype on cognitive and physical outcomes of frail seniors in nursing homes
he Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care’s report Living Longer, Living Well highlights a rapidly increasing need to care for seniors requiring complex care in nursing home (NH) settings. As the number of seniors rises, pressure increases on the care capacity in these organizations. It is estimated that by 2020, Canadian healthcare staff will spend 75% of their time with seniors requiring complex care. The majority of these workers will be registered nursing and unregulated healthcare staff. However, insufficient geriatric content in Canadian health care education persists, leading to serious concerns that staff do not have adequate knowledge to assess, plan, provide and document care. This deficit is especially acute in NH settings with negative consequences for seniors. Difficulties in providing appropriate care to frail seniors are compounded by unfamiliarity with data and assessment systems used in NHs.
KT Canada Rounds: A parent led initiative to determine priorities for Hirschsprung’s Disease (HD) research
1. To describe a parent driven research project
2. To highlight the role that social media can have in research on rare
3. To discuss insights gained through this work
Health Systems Integration: Improving Patient Care
Join us via webinar or in person at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, to explore indicators and tools to evaluate health system integration through an interactive case study. Indicators impacting direct patient care and outcomes will be discussed including: coordinated care transitions, cross-sector coordination, patient involvement, primary care networks, team effectiveness, clinical pathways, and information systems. The case study will allow participants to engage with researchers about how to apply tools and measures at the patient and program levels of care, ask questions, and provide feedback.
Qualitative Research Summer Institute
Take advantage of a unique opportunity to gain both theoretical and practical understanding of qualitative inquiry. Join us for five days of qualitative research professional development courses and networking opportunities.
Objectives: The objective of the course is to foster exchanges on foundational, clinical-ethical and organizationalethical approaches to dementia care practices. Format: This course starts from an interdisciplinary perspective (incorporating philosophy, theology, medicine, nursing, as well as normative and empirical ethics). During the course, national and international experts will give presentations on various ethical topics in the domain of dementia care. Participants: The course is of interest to participants from diverse professional backgrounds, such as medicine, nursing, psychology, social work, health care administration, philosophy and theology, and to PhD students undertaking courses of study in these areas. The language of instruction will be English.
Training Course on Health Research Impact Assessment (HRIA)!
The course is designed to increase participants’ competitive advantage through:
-Advancing their knowledge about research impact assessment (RIA) frameworks, tools and approaches in this emerging and specialized discipline
-“Skilling up” in an area of increasingly high demand
-Providing access to RIA resources, decision support tools and a course workbook (print and online format) that reflect evidence-based practices and practice-based evidence
-Establishing collaborations and networks that connect participants to a local and international community of practitioners
CMA President delivers much-needed pre-budget recommendations on health care
Recommendations include a new top-up to the Canada Health Transfer, federal investment in long-term care infrastructure, a new home care innovation fund and making prescription medication more affordable.
Dementia State of minds (China)
China is ill prepared for a consequence of ageing: lots of people with dementia
Choose your writing partner carefully
We hear a lot about the benefits of collaboration in writing. I’m always banging on about how good it is to have regular writing partners. But not all collaborations work out well. Things can go wrong. People don’t pull their weight. People don’t meet deadlines. They write really badly and it’s hard to sort through the problems without feelings being damaged. People won’t give up ideas, phrases, sentences, paragraphs because they are too attached to them. They are just not prepared to compromise in order to get the writing done. Every change seems to create a problem.
People with dementia in care homes need pharmacist-led medicine reviews (UK)
70 per cent of people with dementia have one or more other long-term health condition. As GPs and other medical professional try to treat these conditions, people with dementia can end up on a cocktail of drugs that exacerbate their symptoms. Using their specialist skills, pharmacists can play a vital role in improving how medicines are used in care homes and, as a result, the quality of life for the 280,000 people with dementia living there.
Could music projects cut the cost of dementia care? (UK)
Manchester Camerata orchestra is pioneering music projects in care homes; now academics are to study whether the sessions do more than just entertain participants
Significant Changes at the World Dementia Council? (WDC)
The World Dementia Council has re-formed at a meeting in London, becoming truly globally representative and fully independent in recognition of the urgent need to tackle the global dementia crisis facing us today.
Productivity Metrics: What is the best way to assess faculty activity?
Questions about faculty productivity are nothing new. But the growing use of metrics to assess faculty activity has raised the stakes at a time when colleges already face growing pressure to demonstrate accountability and compete with peer institutions.
How to Fire Your Doctoral Adviser
Sometimes the only way forward is to start over again
Spreading improvement: nobody said it was easy
Spreading innovation and improvement has always been recognised as a challenge when it comes to health care.
Promoting spread: 3 key lessons from Health Foundation improvement programmes (UK)
Supporting efforts to adopt, develop and spread successful improvement ideas is a core part of our work. Over the years we have a learnt a great deal from the teams we have funded to spread their ideas more widely and also from teams who are trying to replicate improvements that have worked elsewhere. – See more at: http://www.health.org.uk/newsletter/promoting-spread-3-key-lessons-our-improvement-programmes/?utm_source=charityemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=february-2016&pubid=healthfoundation&description=february-2016&dm_i=4Y2,425FM,IIXV97,EP580,1#sthash.CV8y1kU6.dpuf
Deprescribing medications for seniors a safety priority
Ending or tapering off half of medications in 3 classes is advocates’ goal.
Nearly half Canadian seniors in long-term facilities on antipsychotic meds: report
Nearly half of all seniors living in a long-term care facility in Canada were prescribed antipsychotic drugs in 2014, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Of those, more than 20 per cent were chronic users of the powerful medications.
Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University launches national institute on aging
Canada is aging faster than ever before and in the next two decades the number of older Canadians will double but how prepared are they to lead healthy, financially independent lives in their later years? With a focus on practitioner-oriented research, innovation and education, Ryerson University in partnership with the City of Toronto, Sinai Health System, Ontario Gerontology Association and the International Federation on Aging is launching a new National Institute on Ageing.
The Pursuit of Perfection through Quality and Innovation: A View into Denmark’s Public Health, Health House and Patient Safety Initiaitves.
In October 2015, CFHI sponsored two leads from the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) that had participated in the Atlantic Healthcare Collaboration tto visit health systems in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Lynn Edwards and Tara Sampalli’s reflections on this trip provide the opportunity to explore the elements that make for a strong primary healthcare system and share results from their own improvements in primary healthcare and chronic disease management at NSHA.
TVN Announces new name – Canadian Frailty Network
TVN is now Canadian Frailty Network. The new identity reflects the maturation of their network focus and increasing relevance in Canadian healthcare. Guided by comprehensive research, their mandate is evolving resolutely into mobilizing knowledge and frailty assessment. The new name is also the solid choice of network members we surveyed in fall 2015.
Report paints troubling picture of worklife issues for Canada’s nurses
Bridging the Generational Divide: Nurses United in Providing Quality Patient Care provides stark evidence of the effects of ‘boom to bust’ models of nursing, with health human resource planning changing with every shift in the political landscape. The report paints a picture of a troubled workplace where frontline nurses struggle to meet their professional obligations to provide safe, quality care, in the face of excessive workloads and overtime, high nurse-patient ratios, and management that is too often removed from frontline realities.
N.W.T. should consider privatizing long-term care: report
Privatizing long-term care facilities in the Northwest Territories is one “outside the box” option the territorial government should consider when trying to fund the care of the growing seniors population over the next 20 years, according to a report released Monday by the Department of Health and Social Services.
Ontario Budget Will Improve Care for Seniors in Long-Term Care with Dementia
The Ontario Long Term Care Association called the Government of Ontario’s 2016 Budget a positive step for seniors living in long-term care with dementia, and committed to working with government to work on the development of a plan to rebuild outdated long-term care homes, and to hire more staff to meet the growing needs of seniors living in long-term care.
Dr. Robyn Tamblyn appointed as Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR) is renewed
Since joining CIHR in 2011, Dr. Tamblyn has been a champion for patient- and population-centred care and for investing in innovative health technologies. To this end, the Institute developed the eHealth Initiative, which is establishing unique partnerships between researchers, industry, clinicians and patients to create novel approaches to health care delivery. Under her leadership, IHSPR has also been working with provincial health research funding organizations and many of Canada’s health charities to develop the first-ever pan-Canadian vision and strategy for health services and policy research.
Dr Jeremy Grimshaw named among top science influencers of 2015
The list comprises 3,000 highly cited researchers, considered to be among the ‘most influential scientific minds of our time’. Professor Grimshaw is based at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, where he holds the post of Senior Scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology Program.
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Implementation Science
Rinad Beidas, PhD, at the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research (CMHPSR) in the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Beidas’s lab studies the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based psychosocial practices for youth in community settings. The primary goal of this research is to improve the quality of mental health services across a variety of community settings, including specialty mental health clinics, schools, and primary care clinics.
Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Aging and Health
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at Simon Fraser University invites applications for a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Aging and Health funded by CIHR. This competition is an open search. We are seeking an outstanding and innovative researcher with a proven track record in one or more areas in aging and health with expertise in analyses of longitudinal data coupled with an interest in interdisciplinary research and knowledge translation. In particular, the candidate will have interest in developing a program of research harnessing the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging data, as well as other major gerontological data initiatives. They will also be expected to play a leadership role in building collaborative research clusters and networks at Simon Fraser University, nationally and internationally. We seek a candidate who is an internationally recognized leader in social/behavioural sciences, social epidemiology, health sciences, and/or health policy science with an outstanding record of high-impact publications and sustained research funding from national and international foundations, research councils, and development agencies.