June 22, 2021


New TREC article
Fidelity is not easy! Challenges and guidelines for assessing fidelity in complex interventions
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Ginsburg LR, Hoben M, Easterbrook A, Anderson RA, Estabrooks CA, Norton PG.
Trials 2021 May 29;22(1):372-021-05322-5.
BACKGROUND: Fidelity in complex behavioural interventions is underexplored and few comprehensive or detailed fidelity studies report on specific procedures for monitoring fidelity. Using Bellg’s popular Treatment Fidelity model, this paper aims to increase understanding of how to practically and comprehensively assess fidelity in complex, group-level, interventions. APPROACH AND LESSONS LEARNED: Drawing on our experience using a mixed methods approach to assess fidelity in the INFORM study (Improving Nursing home care through Feedback On perfoRMance data-INFORM), we report on challenges and adaptations experienced with our fidelity assessment approach and lessons learned. Six fidelity assessment challenges were identified: (1) the need to develop succinct tools to measure fidelity given tools tend to be intervention specific, (2) determining which components of fidelity (delivery, receipt, enactment) to emphasize, (3) unit of analysis considerations in group-level interventions, (4) missing data problems, (5) how to respond to and treat fidelity ‘failures’ and ‘deviations’ and lack of an overall fidelity assessment scheme, and (6) ensuring fidelity assessment doesn’t threaten internal validity. RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS: Six guidelines, primarily applicable to group-level studies of complex interventions, are described to help address conceptual, methodological, and practical challenges with fidelity assessment in pragmatic trials. The current study offers guidance to researchers regarding key practical, methodological, and conceptual challenges associated with assessing fidelity in pragmatic trials. Greater attention to fidelity assessment and publication of fidelity results through detailed studies such as this one is critical for improving the quality of fidelity studies and, ultimately, the utility of published trials. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02695836. Registered on February 24, 2016.

New articles by Greta Cummings and Carole Estabrooks
Addressing Communication Breakdowns during Emergency Care Transitions of Older Adults: Evaluation of a Standardized Inter-Facility Health Care Communication Form
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McLane P, Tate K, Reid RC, Rowe BH, Estabrooks C, Cummings GG.
Can J Aging 2021 May 21:1-11.
Transitions for older persons from long-term care (LTC) to the emergency department (ED) and back, can result in adverse events. Effective communication among care settings is required to ensure continuity of care. We implemented a standardized form for improving consistency of documentation during LTC to ED transitions of residents 65 years of age or older, via emergency medical services (EMS), and back. Data on form use and form completion were collected through chart review. Practitioners’ perspectives were collected using surveys. The form was used in 90/244 (37%) LTC to ED transitions, with large variation in data element completion. EMS and ED reported improved identification of resident information. LTC personnel preferred usual practice to the new form and twice reported prioritizing form completion before calling 911. To minimize risk of harmful unintended consequences, communication forms should be implemented as part of broader quality improvement programs, rather than as stand-alone interventions.

Quality Indicators for Older Persons’ Transitions in Care: A Systematic Review and Delphi Process
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Tate K, Lee S, Rowe BH, Cummings GE, Holroyd-Leduc J, Reid RC, et al.
Can J Aging 2021 Jun 3:1-15
We identified quality indicators (QIs) for care during transitions of older persons (≥ 65 years of age). Through systematic literature review, we catalogued QIs related to older persons’ transitions in care among continuing care settings and between continuing care and acute care settings and back. Through two Delphi survey rounds, experts ranked relevance, feasibility, and scientific soundness of QIs. A steering committee reviewed QIs for their feasible capture in Canadian administrative databases. Our search yielded 326 QIs from 53 sources. A final set of 38 feasible indicators to measure in current practice was included. The highest proportions of indicators were for the emergency department (47%) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) quality domain of effectiveness (39.5%). Most feasible indicators were outcome indicators. Our work highlights a lack of standardized transition QI development in practice, and the limitations of current free-text documentation systems in capturing relevant and consistent data.

New article by Yinfei Duan
The Relationships of Nursing Home Culture Change Practices With Resident Quality of Life and Family Satisfaction: Toward a More Nuanced Understanding
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Duan Y, Mueller CA, Yu F, Talley KM, Shippee TP.
Res Aging 2021 May 11:1640275211012652.
Transforming nursing homes (NHs) from restrictive institutions to person-centered homes, referred to as NH culture change, is complex and multifaceted. This study, based on a survey of administrators in Minnesota NHs (n = 102), tested the domain-specific relationships of culture change practices with resident quality of life (QOL) and family satisfaction, and examined the moderating effect of small-home or household models on these relationships. The findings revealed that culture change operationalized through physical environment transformation, staff empowerment, staff leadership, and end-of-life care was positively associated with at least one domain of resident QOL and family satisfaction, while staff empowerment had the most extensive effects. Implementing small-home and household models had a buffering effect on the positive relationships between staff empowerment and the outcomes. The findings provide meaningful implications for designing and implementing NH culture change practices that best benefit residents’ QOL and improve family satisfaction.

New from StatsCan
COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing and seniors’ homes associated with certain facility characteristics

10 June 2021
Nursing and residential care residents and staff have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, nursing homes (also called long-term care homes) and seniors’ homes (also called retirement homes or assisted living facilities) have accounted for a significant number of cases and the majority of COVID-19-related deaths across Canada.

A new study, entitled “Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing and residential care facilities in Canada,” provides preliminary results tracking the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing homes, seniors’ homes, mental health facilities and other residential care facilities (e.g., facilities for women and facilities for substance use).

According to the study, for the period up to and including December 31, 2020, the percentage of responding residential care facilities that reported a COVID-19 outbreak (defined as at least one case among residents) at any point in 2020 was highest in Ontario (32%), followed by Quebec (31%), the Prairies (27%), British Columbia (17%) and the Atlantic provinces (3%).

New article by Janice Keefe
The Role of Volunteers in Enhancing Resident Quality of Life in Long-Term Care: Analyzing Policies that May Enable or Limit this Role
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Hande MJ, Taylor D, Keefe J.
Can J Aging 2021 May 11:1-12.
Research has shown that long-term care (LTC) volunteers play important roles in enhancing the quality of life (QoL) of older LTC residents, often through providing unique forms of relational care. Guided by Kane’s QoL domains, we used a modified objective hermeneutics method to analyze how unique volunteer roles are represented and supported in provincial policies in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. We found that policies define volunteer roles narrowly, which may limit residents’ QoL. This happens through (1) omitting volunteers from most regulatory policy, (2) likening volunteers to supplementary staff rather than to caregivers with unique roles, and (3) overemphasizing residents’ safety, security, and order. We offer insights into promising provincial policy directions for LTC volunteers, yet we argue that further regulating volunteers may be an inadequate or ill-suited approach to addressing the cultural, social, and structural changes required for volunteers to enhance LTC residents’ QoL effectively.

New article by Janet Squires
Intervention to reduce unnecessary urinary catheter use in a large academic health science centre: A one-group, pretest, posttest study with a theory-based process evaluation
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Backman C, Wooller KR, Hasimja-Saraqini D, Demery Varin M, Crick M, Cho-Young D, et al.
Nurs Open 2021 May 14.
AIM: To evaluate an intervention to reduce unnecessary urinary catheter use and prevent catheter-associated urinary-tract infections (CAUTI) in hospitalized patients across an academic health science centre. METHODS: We conducted a one-group, pretest, posttest study with a theory-based process evaluation. Phase 1 consisted of a pre/postintervention to test the impact of a CAUTI protocol. Audits on four units were conducted, and data were analysed descriptively. Phase 2 consisted of a theory-based process evaluation to understand the barriers/enablers to the implementation. Semistructured interviews were conducted and then analysed using a systematic approach. RESULTS: In Phase 1, all inpatients with urinary catheters admitted to the units (N = 4) during the study period (N = 99, pre) and (N = 99, post) were included. CAUTI prevalence rate was 18.2% pre versus 14.1% post (p = .563). In Phase 2, participants (N = 18) who worked on the units were interviewed, and a total of 13 barriers and 19 enablers were found.

New article by Anita Kothari
Organizational supports for knowledge translation in paediatric health centres and research institutes: insights from a Canadian environmental scan
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Glegg SMN, Ryce A, Miller KJ, Nimmon L, Kothari A, Holsti L.
Implement Sci Commun 2021 May 13;2(1):49-021-00152-7.
BACKGROUND: Organizational supports are thought to help address wide-ranging barriers to evidence-informed health care (EIHC) and knowledge translation (KT). However, little is known about the nature of the resources and services that exist within paediatric health care and research settings across Canada to facilitate evidence use in health care delivery. This survey examined existing supports for EIHC/KT within these organizations to inform the design of similar EIHC/KT support programmes. METHODS: A national environmental scan was conducted using a bilingual online survey distributed to leaders at Canadian paediatric academic health science centres and their affiliated research institutes. Participants were invited through email, social media and webinar invitations and snowball sampling. Supports of interest included personnel, resources, services, organizational structures or processes, and partnerships or collaborations; barriers and successes were also probed. Data were compiled by site, reported using descriptive statistics, or grouped thematically. Supports were described using the AIMD (Aims, Ingredients, Mechanism, Delivery) framework. RESULTS: Thirty-one respondents from 17 sites across seven provinces represented a 49% site response rate. Eleven (65%) sites reported an on-site library with variable staffing and services. Ten (59%) sites reported a dedicated KT support unit or staff person. Supports ranged from education, resource development and consultation to protocol development, funded initiatives and collaborations. Organizations leveraged internal and external supports, with the majority also employing supports for clinical research integration. Supports perceived as most effective included personnel, targeted initiatives, leadership, interdepartmental expertise, external drivers and logistical support. Barriers included operational constraints, individual-level factors and lack of infrastructure. CONCLUSIONS: This first survey of organizational supports for EIHC/KT identified the range of supports in place in paediatric research and health care organizations across Canada. The diversity of supports reported across sites may reflect differences in resource capacity and objectives. Similarities in EIHC/KT and research integration supports suggest common infrastructure may be feasible. Moreover, stakeholder engagement in research was common, but not pervasive. Tailored support programmes can target multi-faceted barriers. Findings can inform the development, refinement and evaluation of EIHC/KT support programmes and guide the study of the effectiveness and sustainability of these strategies.

New article by Shannon Scott
Development and evaluation of a parent advisory group to inform a research program for knowledge translation in child health
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Hartling L, Elliott SA, Buckreus K, Leung J, Scott SD.
Res Involv Engagem 2021 Jun 7;7(1):38-021-00280-3.
BACKGROUND: In response to a growing movement to involve patients and community stakeholders in health research, we established a parent advisory group in 2016. The group meets regularly to act as advisors and partners for our research program. The purpose of this paper is to describe our experiences establishing the group, and results from parent evaluations. METHODS: We contacted 191 organizations to recruit parents and caregivers of children who wanted to contribute to child health research. Our initial goal was to recruit 8 to 10 parents who would meet regularly (approximately 8 times per year). We conducted an online baseline survey of members after the first two meetings to understand motivations for participating and early experiences. Sixteen months later we conducted another online survey to identify what was going well and areas for improvement. RESULTS: Twelve parents initially joined the group. The baseline survey (n = 9 complete) identified motivations for participation: wanting a patient/family voice in health research; personal experience accessing health system for child’s care; wanting to improve healthcare communications. Concerns about participation included: having sufficient time to attend meetings; whether contributions would be worthwhile; and uncertainty about how the group’s input would be used in practice. Parents identified aspects that were working well: opportunity to provide constructive feedback; diversity among parents involved; well-run and organized meetings (agenda and materials sent prior to meeting, skilled facilitation, adequate time for discussion). Items parents identified as not working well were: fluctuating attendance; not knowing others in the group; challenges if attending remotely. At follow-up, there were seven active members. The follow-up survey (n = 5 complete) identified positive feedback related to group dynamics (e.g., collegial, everyone participates) and organization of meetings. Suggestions for improvement included increasing membership, regular attendance, and providing adequate information/context to allow meaningful input. CONCLUSIONS: Our experience establishing a parent advisory group and evaluation of the group by parent members have yielded tremendous insights around involving parents and patient proxies in health research. The parent advisory group is a dynamic entity requiring ongoing communication between researchers and members. Effective means of evaluating engagement is essential to ensure it is meaningful. Dedicated time, funding and resources are required for success.; In 2016 we developed a parent advisory group to inform our research program in knowledge translation (i.e., sharing research in accessible ways to inform decision-making) for child health. The group provides input from a parent perspective. We conducted an online baseline survey of parent members and a follow-up online survey 16 months after the group had started. The surveys helped us understand reasons for parents’ participation, what they thought was working well with the group, and areas for improvement. Parents valued the opportunity to provide constructive feedback on research processes and outputs. They felt the meetings were well-organized and the group was open and welcoming. Parents felt that regular and ongoing communication with the researchers was critical for meaningful engagement. To this end, funding to support a dedicated coordinator was considered essential. Parents appreciated that the researchers organized the group around parents’ needs in terms of timing of meetings (evenings) and reimbursement for expenses to attend meetings (travel, childcare). Parents considered this type of group to be unique, particularly as it supports a research program over the long-term rather than for specific projects, and because of the relative maturity in terms of clearly defining group purpose, structure, and engagement approach. The ongoing involvement allows for benefits in terms of building relationships, providing many and varied opportunities to interact, and allowing parents to see how their input is implemented. Finally, an evaluation mechanism with communication of results and a commitment to implement findings is considered critical. Our parent advisory group can provide a model for other researchers or research organizations.

New article by Anne-Marie Boström
Response and Adherence of Nursing Home Residents to a Nutrition/Exercise Intervention
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Karlsson ES, Grönstedt HK, Faxén-Irving G, Franzén E, Luiking YC, Seiger Å, et al.
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2021 May 4.
OBJECTIVES: Interindividual response variability to nutrition and exercise interventions is extensive in older adults. A group of nursing home (NH) residents participated in a combined intervention. The objective of this post-hoc analysis was to identify factors associated with intervention response measured by change in physical function and body composition. DESIGN: Post-hoc analyses in the Older Person’s Exercise and Nutrition study, a 2-arm randomized trial. The primary outcomes were 30-second Chair Stand Test and composite scores combining physical function and fat-free mass. A secondary outcome was intervention adherence. A 12-week intervention of sit-to-stand exercises and protein-rich nutritional supplements did not improve chair-stand capacity vs control on intention-to-treat basis. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Residents ≥75 years of age from dementia and somatic units in eight NHs in Sweden. METHODS: Logistic regressions were performed to define factors associated with response (maintenance/improvement) or nonresponse (deterioration) in 30-second Chair Stand Test, and with intervention adherence. Linear regressions were performed to explore factors associated with response in composite scores. RESULTS: Mean age of participants (n = 52 intervention, n = 49 control) was 85.8 years. Sarcopenia was occurring in 74%. Sarcopenia at baseline (P = .005) and high adherence to nutritional supplements (P = .002) increased the odds of response. Higher independence in daily activities increased the odds of adherence to sit-to-stand exercises (P = .027) and the combined intervention (P = .020). Allocation to the intervention group and higher self-perceived health were associated with higher composite scores. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: NH residents with baseline sarcopenia, better self-perceived health, and high adherence to nutritional supplements benefitted most from a combined nutrition and exercise intervention regarding chair-stand capacity and composite scores of function and fat-free mass. Adherence was related to higher grade of independence. Understanding factors associated with response and adherence to an intervention will help target susceptible residents in most need of support and to optimize the outcome.

New article by Janet Squires and Ali Hutchinson
Stakeholder Perspectives of Attributes and Features of Context Relevant to Knowledge Translation in Health Settings: A Multi-Country Analysis
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Squires JE, Hutchinson AM, Coughlin M, Bashir K, Curran J, Grimshaw JM, et al.
Int J Health Policy Manag 2021 May 1.
BACKGROUND: Context is recognized as important to successful knowledge translation (KT) in health settings. What is meant by context, however, is poorly understood. The purpose of the current study was to elicit tacit knowledge about what is perceived to constitute context by conducting interviews with a variety of health system stakeholders internationally so as to compile a comprehensive list of contextual attributes and their features relevant to KT in healthcare. METHODS: A descriptive qualitative study design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with health system stakeholders (change agents/KT specialists and KT researchers) in four countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Interview transcripts were analyzed using inductive thematic content analysis in four steps: (1) selection of utterances describing context, (2) coding of features of context, (3) categorizing of features into attributes of context, (4) comparison of attributes and features by: country, KT experience, and role. RESULTS: A total of 39 interviews were conducted. We identified 66 unique features of context, categorized into 16 attributes. One attribute, Facility Characteristics, was not represented in previously published KT frameworks. We found instances of all 16 attributes in the interviews irrespective of country, level of experience with KT, and primary role (change agent/KT specialist vs. KT researcher), revealing robustness and transferability of the attributes identified. We also identified 30 new context features (across 13 of the 16 attributes). CONCLUSION: The findings from this study represent an important advancement in the KT field; we provide much needed conceptual clarity in context, which is essential to the development of common assessment tools to measure context to determine which context attributes and features are more or less important in different contexts for improving KT success.

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