January 11, 2022


New article by Whitney Berta
The roles, activities and impacts of middle managers who function as knowledge brokers to improve care delivery and outcomes in healthcare organizations: a critical interpretive synthesis.
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Boutcher F, Berta W, Urquhart R, Gagliardi AR.
BMC health services research. 2022 Jan;22(1):11.
BACKGROUND: Middle Managers (MMs) are thought to play a pivotal role as knowledge brokers (KBs) in healthcare organizations. However, the role of MMs who function as KBs (MM KBs) in health care is under-studied. Research is needed that contributes to our understanding of how MMs broker knowledge in health care and what factors influence their KB efforts. METHODS: We used a critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) approach to review both qualitative and quantitative studies to develop an organizing framework of how MMs enact the KB role in health care. We used compass questions to create a search strategy and electronic searches were conducted in MEDLINE, CINAHL, Social Sciences Abstracts, ABI/INFORM, EMBASE, PubMed, PsycINFO, ERIC and the Cochrane Library. Searching, sampling, and data analysis was an iterative process, using constant comparison, to synthesize the results. RESULTS: We included 41 articles (38 empirical studies and 3 conceptual papers) that met the eligibility criteria. No existing review was found on this topic. A synthesis of the studies revealed 12 MM KB roles and 63 associated activities beyond existing roles hypothesized by extant theory, and we elaborate on two MM KB roles: 1) convincing others of the need for, and benefit of an innovation or evidence-based practice; and 2) functioning as a strategic influencer. We identified organizational and individual factors that may influence the efforts of MM KBs in healthcare organizations. Additionally, we found that the MM KB role was associated with enhanced provider knowledge, and skills, as well as improved organizational outcomes. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that MMs do enact KB roles in healthcare settings to implement innovations and practice change. Our organizing framework offers a novel conceptualization of MM KBs that advances understanding of the emerging KB role that MMs play in healthcare organizations. In addition to roles, this study contributes to the extant literature by revealing factors that may influence the efforts and impacts of MM KBs in healthcare organizations. Future studies are required to refine and strengthen this framework. TRIAL REGISTRATION: A protocol for this review was not registered.

New article by Anita Kothari
Quality home care for persons living with dementia: Personal support workers’ perspectives in Ontario, Canada.
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Breen R, Savundranayagam MY, Orange JB, Kothari A.
Health & social care in the community. 2021 Dec;
There is a global need to understand how the quality of home care for persons living with dementia is perceived by their most frequent formal caregivers, personal support workers (PSW), especially given the expected rise in the prevalence of dementia. The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions of PSW regarding what constitutes quality home care for persons with dementia. Qualitative content analysis was undertaken to interpret semi-structured interviews with PSW (N = 15). Study findings indicate that quality home care is perceived to be (1) person-centered; (2) provided by PSW with dementia-specific education and training; (3) facilitated by specific PSW experiences, abilities and characteristics; (4) enhanced by accessible information, services and education for persons with dementia and their caregivers; (5) provided by an inclusive dementia care team; and (6) facilitated by organisational supports and respect. However, findings also indicated differences in what PSW perceive as quality home care versus what they are experiencing when providing care for persons with dementia. Participants advocated for increased supports to them through ongoing dementia-specific education and training, increased teamwork among care providers, increased wages, sufficient and qualified staffing, and increased exchange of client information. The findings highlight the importance of exploring front-line workers’ perspectives and how they can help revise current healthcare policies and inform future policy development.

New article about the effectiveness of boosters in LTC
Effects of BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine Booster in Long-Term Care Facilities in Israel
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Muhsen K, Maimon N, Mizrahi A, Varticovschi B, Bodenheimer O, Gelbshtein U, et al.
New England Journal of Medicine. 2021 Dec; Available from: http://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2117385
Residents of long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to severe and fatal coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To protect this population, in April 2020, the Israeli government launched a national-level task force, “Senior Shield,” that aimed to support long-term care facilities in managing the Covid-19 crisis. The main efforts included supplying personal protective equipment, initiating weekly screening of health care workers with polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) assays along with other outbreak-containment measures, and assigning responsibility for administering two doses of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer–BioNTech) vaccine.

New guidance from WHO on LTC
A Recommended Package of Long-Term Care Services to Promote Healthy Ageing Based on a WHO Global Expert Consensus Study.
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Perracini MR, Arias-Casais N, Thiyagarajan JA, Rapson C, Isaac V, Ullah S, et al.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 2021 Dec
OBJECTIVES: To reach consensus on a minimum list of long-term care (LTC) interventions to be included in a service package delivered through universal health coverage (UHC). DESIGN: A multistep expert consensus process. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Multinational and multidisciplinary experts in LTC and ageing. METHODS: The consensus process was composed of 3 stages: (1) a preconsultation round that built on an initial list of LTC interventions generated by a previous scoping review; (2) 2-round surveys to reach consensus on important, acceptable, and feasible interventions for LTC; (3) a panel meeting to finalize the consensus. RESULTS: The preconsultation round generated an initial list of 117 interventions. In round 1, 194 experts were contacted and 92 (47%) completed the survey. In round 2, the same experts contacted for round 1 were invited, and 115 (59%) completed the survey. Of the 115 respondents in round 2, 80 participated in round 1. Experts representing various disciplines (eg, geriatricians, family doctors, nurses, mental health, and rehabilitation professionals) participated in round 2, representing 42 countries. In round 1, 81 interventions achieved the predetermined threshold for importance, and in round 2, 41 interventions achieved the predetermined threshold for acceptability and feasibility. Nine conflicting interventions between rounds 1 and 2 were discussed in the panel meeting. The recommended list composed of 50 interventions were from 6 domains: unpaid and paid carers’ support and training, person-centered assessment and care planning, prevention and management of intrinsic capacity decline, optimization of functional ability, interventions needing focused attention, and palliative care. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: An international discussion and consensus process generated a minimum list of LTC interventions to be included in a service package for UHC. This package will enable actions toward a more robust framework for integrated services for older people in need of LTC across the continuum of care.

New article by Alison Kitson
Using a Complex Network Methodology to Track, Evaluate, and Transform Fundamental Care.
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Pinero De Plaza MA, Conroy T, Mudd A, Kitson A.
Studies in health technology and informatics. 2021 Dec;284:31–5.
In this study, we drew on methods originating in complex adaptive systems and social network analysis to develop a novel way to quantify fundamental care. Data were obtained from a public statement from the Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Results support the importance of using a systemic approach to assess the multiple dimensions of the fundamentals of care. Our method allows measurement of the problem within its system, providing a detailed quantification of care events and identifying excellence and improvement opportunities. We illustrate the strengths of this approach using principal component analysis and heat mapping. The application of the proposed methodology in healthcare decision-making, planning, and quality improvement is discussed.

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