October 6, 2020


New TREC articles
Examining fidelity in the INFORM trial: a complex team-based behavioral intervention.
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L. R. Ginsburg, M. Hoben, A. Easterbrook, et al.
Implement Sci 2020 Sep 16;15(1):78-020-01039-2
Fidelity in complex behavioral interventions is underexplored. This study examines the fidelity of the INFORM trial and explores the relationship between fidelity, study arm, and the trial’s primary outcome-care aide involvement in formal team communications about resident care. METHODS: A concurrent process evaluation of implementation fidelity was conducted in 33 nursing homes in Western Canada (Alberta and British Columbia). Study participants were from 106 clinical care units clustered in 33 nursing homes randomized to the Basic and Enhanced-Assisted Feedback arms of the INFORM trial. RESULTS: Fidelity of the INFORM intervention was moderate to high, with fidelity delivery and receipt higher than fidelity enactment for both study arms. Higher enactment teams experienced a significantly larger improvement in formal team communications between baseline and follow-up than lower enactment teams (F(1, 70) = 4.27, p = .042). CONCLUSIONS: Overall fidelity enactment was associated with improvements in formal team communications, but the study arm was not. This suggests that the intensity with which an intervention is offered and delivered may be less important than the intensity with which intervention participants enact the core components of an intervention. Greater attention to fidelity assessment and publication of fidelity results through studies such as this one is critical to improving the utility of published trials.

Comparing effects of two higher intensity feedback interventions with simple feedback on improving staff communication in nursing homes-the INFORM cluster-randomized controlled trial.
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M. Hoben, L. R. Ginsburg, A. Easterbrook, et al.
Implement Sci 2020 Sep 10;15(1):75-020-01038-3
Effective communication among interdisciplinary healthcare teams is essential for quality healthcare, especially in nursing homes (NHs). Care aides provide most direct care in NHs, yet are rarely included in formal communications about resident care (e.g., change of shift reports, family conferences). Audit and feedback is a potentially effective improvement intervention. This study compares the effect of simple and two higher intensity levels of feedback based on goal-setting theory on improving formal staff communication in NHs. METHODS: This pragmatic three-arm parallel cluster-randomized controlled trial included NHs participating in TREC (translating research in elder care) across the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Facilities with at least one care unit with 10 or more care aide responses on the TREC baseline survey were eligible. At baseline, 4641 care aides and 1693 nurses cared for 8766 residents in 67 eligible NHs. NHs were randomly allocated to a simple (control) group (22 homes, 60 care units) or one of two higher intensity feedback intervention groups (based on goal-setting theory): basic assisted feedback (22 homes, 69 care units) and enhanced assisted feedback 2 (23 homes, 72 care units). Our primary outcome was the amount of formal communication about resident care that involved care aides, measured by the Alberta Context Tool and presented as adjusted mean differences [95% confidence interval] between study arms at 12-month follow-up. RESULTS: Baseline and follow-up data were available for 20 homes (57 care units, 751 care aides, 2428 residents) in the control group, 19 homes (61 care units, 836 care aides, 2387 residents) in the basic group, and 14 homes (45 care units, 615 care aides, 1584 residents) in the enhanced group. Compared to simple feedback, care aide involvement in formal communications at follow-up was 0.17 points higher in both the basic ([0.03; 0.32], p = 0.021) and enhanced groups ([0.01; 0.33], p = 0.035). We found no difference in this outcome between the two higher intensity groups. CONCLUSIONS: Theoretically informed feedback was superior to simple feedback in improving care aides’ involvement in formal communications about resident care. This underlines that prior estimates for efficacy of audit and feedback may be constrained by the type of feedback intervention tested. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT02695836 ), registered on March 1, 2016.

The role of motivation in the diffusion of innovations in Canada’s long-term care sector: a qualitative study.
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L. MacEachern, L. Cranley, J. Curran and J. Keefe.
Implement Sci Commun 2020 Sep 24;1:79-020-00069-7. eCollection 2020
Long-term care facilities offer shelter and care for Canadian seniors; however, there are great variances in the quality of care that is provided to older adults across facilities. One factor that could contribute to this variation in quality is the diffusion and implementation of advice and innovations within this sector. This study sought to understand the motivations of identified opinion leaders within the Canadian long-term care sector to disseminate advice within their social networks. Research questions addressed specific drivers of motivation and the potential outcomes of having motivated opinion leaders present within interpersonal advice-seeking networks with respect to diffusion and implementation of innovations in the Canadian long-term care sector. METHODS: This secondary analysis study analyzed semi-structured qualitative interviews with opinion leaders (n = 13) and advice seekers of opinion leaders (n = 13) from a national, social network study, Advice Seeking Networks in Long Term Care (Cranley et al. 2019; Dearing et al. 2017). Constant comparison analysis was used and supported by a theoretical framework developed from diffusion of innovation theory and the COM-B framework. RESULTS: The motivations of opinion leaders in the Canadian long-term care sector were represented across seven themes: obligations of the position, value of education, systemness, relationships, supportiveness, passion, and caring nature. CONCLUSIONS: This research provides further evidence that opinion leaders in the long-term care sector are motivated individuals and that they are using this motivation as a driver to create change and improve care practices. As residents of the long-term care sector continue to increase in number and complexity, the presence of motivated opinion leaders represents a promising outlook for the future through achieving specific outcomes such as the diffusion and implementation of innovations, an increased sense of community within the network, and increased readiness for the future.

New article by Jennifer Baumbusch
A Survey of the Characteristics and Administrator Perceptions of Family Councils in a Western Canadian Province.
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J. Baumbusch, I. Sloan Yip, S. Koehn, R. C. Reid and P. Gandhi.
J Appl Gerontol 2020 Sep 30:733464820961257
Family Councils are independent, self-determining groups composed of family members (inclusive of friends) who have assembled with the main purpose of protecting and improving the quality of life of those living in long-term care (LTC) homes. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and characteristics of Family Councils in British Columbia, Canada. We conducted a cross-sectional survey with administrators of 259 homes and received 222 usable surveys. Of the 151 LTC homes that had Family Councils, it was most common for the homes to be larger (>50 residents), accredited, privately owned, and located in urban areas. Perceived barriers to Family Councils included lack of interest, tendency to focus on individual complaints, and the transitory nature of families. Perceived benefits of Family Councils included enhanced communication between staff and families, peer support, and collective advocacy. Recommendations focus on enhancing accessibility, information sharing, and meaningfulness of Family Councils to improve family engagement.

How did COVID-19 differ in LTC in Ontario and British Columbia?
COVID-19 in long-term care homes in Ontario and British Columbia
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M. Liu, C. J. Maxwell, P. Armstrong, et al.
CMAJ 2020 Sep 30
• Many more residents living in Ontario long-term care homes have died from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than in British Columbia.
• Before the pandemic, the long-term care system in British Columbia exhibited a number of potential strengths relevant to pandemic preparedness compared with Ontario: there was better coordination between long-term care, public health and hospitals; greater funding of long-term care; more care hours for residents; fewer shared rooms; more nonprofit facility ownership; and more comprehensive inspections.
• During the first wave of the pandemic, British Columbia was faster than Ontario in responding to COVID-19, with actions to address public health support, staffing, and infection prevention and control.
• Leaders in British Columbia were more decisive, coordinated and consistent in their overall communication and response.

Sex and Gender Analysis in KT
Sex and gender analysis in knowledge translation interventions: challenges and solutions.
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A. Gogovor, T. Mollayeva, N. Etherington, A. Colantonio, F. Légaré and GIKT Group.
Health Res Policy Syst 2020 Sep 23;18(1):108-020-00625-6
Sex and gender considerations are understood as essential components of knowledge translation in the design, implementation and reporting of interventions. Integrating sex and gender ensures more relevant evidence for translating into the real world. Canada offers specific funding opportunities for knowledge translation projects that integrate sex and gender. This Commentary reflects on the challenges and solutions for integrating sex and gender encountered in six funded knowledge translation projects. In 2018, six research teams funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Gender and Health met in Ottawa to discuss these challenges and solutions. Eighteen participants, including researchers, healthcare professionals, trainees and members of the Institute of Gender and Health, were divided into two groups. Two authors conducted qualitative coding and thematic analysis of the material discussed. Six themes emerged, namely Consensus building, Guidance, Design and outcomes effectiveness, Searches and recruitment, Data access and collection, and Intersection with other determinants of health. Solutions included educating stakeholders on the use of sex and gender concepts, triangulating perspectives of researchers and end-users, and participating in organisations and committees to influence policies and practices. Unresolved challenges included difficulty integrating sex and gender considerations with principles of patient-oriented research, a lack of validated measurement tools for gender, and a paucity of experts in intersectionality. We discuss our findings in the light of observations of similar initiatives elsewhere to inform the further progress of integrating sex and gender into the knowledge translation of health services research findings.

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