February 22, 2022


New TREC Article
SCOPE: safer care for older persons (in residential) environments-a pilot study to enhance care aide-led quality improvement in nursing homes.
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Doupe M, Brunkert T, Wagg A, Ginsburg L, Norton P, Berta W, et al.
Pilot and feasibility studies. 2022 Feb;8(1):26.
BACKGROUND: Nursing home residents require daily support. While care aides provide most of this support they are rarely empowered to lead quality improvement (QI) initiatives. Researchers have shown that care aide-led teams can successfully participate in a QI intervention called Safer Care for Older Persons in Residential Care Environments (SCOPE). In preparation for a large-scale study, we conducted a 1-year pilot to evaluate how well coaching strategies helped teams to enact this intervention. Secondarily, we measured if improvements in team cohesion and communication, and resident quality of care, occurred. METHODS: This study was conducted using a prospective single-arm study design, on 7 nursing homes in Winnipeg Manitoba belonging to the Translating Research in Elder Care research program. One QI team was selected per site, led by care aides who partnered with other front-line staff. Each team received facilitated coaching to enact SCOPE during three learning sessions, and additional support from quality advisors between these sessions. Researchers developed a rubric to evaluate how well teams enacted their interventions (i.e., created actionable aim statements, implemented interventions using plan-do-study-act cycles, and used measurement to guide decision-making). Team cohesion and communication were measured using surveys, and changes in unit-level quality indicators were measured using Resident Assessment Instrument-Minimum Data Set data. RESULTS: Most teams successfully enacted their interventions. Five of 7 teams created adequate-to-excellent aim statements. While 6 of 7 teams successfully implemented plan-do-study-act cycles, only 2 reported spreading their change ideas to other residents and staff on their unit. Three of 7 teams explicitly stated how measurement was used to guide intervention decisions. Teams scored high in cohesion and communication at baseline, and hence improved minimally. Indicators of resident quality care improved in 4 nursing home units; teams at 3 of these sites were scored as ‘excellent’ in two or more enactment areas, versus 1 of the 3 remaining teams. CONCLUSIONS: Our coaching strategies helped most care aide-led teams to enact SCOPE. Coaching modifications are needed to help teams more effectively use measurement. Refinements to our evaluation rubric are also recommended.

CSA releases draft of LTC building design standards
Draft standards for LTC building design, infection prevention publicly released

Experts have released a new set of draft standards for long-term care, this time focused on building design, materials and infection prevention and control.

Proposed long-term care standards will improve residents’ care, Alberta operator says

The head of one of the major operators of long-term care sites in Edmonton says proposed national standards for the facilities could profoundly improve the care for residents.

New report from John A. Hartford Foundation
Age-Friendly Insights Poll: Direct Care Workers Are Underpaid, Lack Support and Oversight
One Pager

The John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) asked people living in America about their opinions regarding the frontline workers in nursing homes and home care. The main takeaway is clear: Direct care workers need support now.

Upcoming event on the Dementia-Friendly Canada project
Building dementia-friendly communities

Wednesday 9 March, 10:00–11:00 MT
The Dementia-Friendly Canada project is a partnership between Alzheimer Societies across the country. The project is intended to grow dementia-friendly communities by creating a truly nation-wide impact. One of the project goals is to train Canada’s workforce to be dementia friendly, and one way we are doing this is by developing free tools and resources in order to give Canadians knowledge and confidence when it comes to supporting and including people affected by dementia. This presentation will provide an introduction to our newly developed course Building dementia-friendly communities. This course is designed for professionals working in the following three sector groups: recreation and library, restaurant and retail, and public transportation sectors. The course will provide a foundational knowledge of dementia, and outline the considerations that organizations can include in their social and physical environments in order to better support and include people living with dementia.

New article by Lisa Cranley
Health care providers’ ethical perspectives on waiver of final consent for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD): a qualitative study.
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Variath C, Peter E, Cranley L, Godkin D.
BMC medical ethics. 2022 Jan;23(1):8.
BACKGROUND: With the enactment of Bill C-7 in Canada in March 2021, people who are eligible for medical assistance in dying (MAiD), whose death is reasonably foreseeable and are at risk of losing decision-making capacity, may enter into a written agreement with their healthcare provider to waive the final consent requirement at the time of provision. This study explored healthcare providers’ perspectives on honouring eligible patients’ request for MAiD in the absence of a contemporaneous consent following their loss of decision-making capacity. METHOD: A critical qualitative methodology, using a feminist ethics theoretical lens with its focus on power and relationality, was used to examine how socio-political and environmental contexts influenced healthcare providers’ moral agency and perspectives. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 healthcare providers (13 physicians, six nurse practitioners, nine nurses and two social workers) from across Canada who provide MAiD-related care. RESULTS: Themes identified include; (1) balancing personal values and professional responsibilities, (2) anticipating strengths and limitations of the proposed waiver of final consent amendment, (3) experiencing ethical influences on decisions to enter into written agreements with eligible patients, (4) recognizing barriers to the enactment of MAiD in the absence of a contemporaneous consent and (5) navigating the potential for increased risks and burden. DISCUSSION: To our knowledge, this is the first study in Canada to explore healthcare providers’ perspectives on waiving the final consent for MAiD using a written agreement. Most participants supported expanding eligible people’s access to MAiD following loss of capacity, as they believed it would improve the patients’ comfort and minimize suffering. However, the lack of patients’ input at the time of provision and related ethical and legal challenges may impact healthcare providers’ moral agency and reduce some patients’ access to MAiD. Providers indicated they would enter into written agreements to waive final consent for MAiD on a case-by-case basis. This study highlights the importance of organizational, legal and professional support, adequate resources, clear policies and guidelines for the safety and wellbeing of healthcare providers and to ensure equitable access to MAiD.

New article by Anita Kothari
Guidance to (Re)integrate Caregivers as Essential Care Partners Into the LTC Setting: A Rapid Review
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Palubiski LM, Tulsieram KL, Archibald D, Conklin J, Elliott J, Hsu A, et al.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2022 Feb.
This rapid review aimed to identify the strategies used to (re)integrate essential caregivers (ECs) into the LTC setting, particularly pertaining to principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. In addition, this rapid review aimed to identify the strategies used during prior infectious disease threats, when similar blanket visitor restrictions were implemented in LTC homes. The review was part of a larger effort to support LTC homes in Ontario. Design A rapid review was conducted in accordance with principles from the Canadian National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. Setting and Participants ECs, residents, staff, and policy decision makers in long-term care home settings. Methods Five electronic databases were searched for academic and gray literature using predefined search terms. Selected documents met inclusion criteria if they included policy guidance or an intervention to (re)integrate ECs into LTC homes at the local, national, and/or international level. Results In total, 15 documents met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. All documents retrieved focused on the context of COVID-19. Documents were either policy guidance (n = 13) or primary research studies (n = 2). Documents differed in these notable ways: Definition of EC; the degree to which an EC is recognized for her or his role in the care of the resident; the degree to which ECs are (re)integrated into the LTC setting is prioritized; response to community spread of COVID-19; visitation during an outbreak or if a resident is symptomatic; the reliance on equity, diversity, and inclusion principles; and lastly, monitoring and improving the process. Conclusions and Implications Using an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens, we posit promising practices for (re)integration. It is clear from the rapid review that more research is needed to understand the efficacy of policies and guidelines to (re)integrate ECs into the LTC setting. Until such evidence is available, expert opinion will drive best care practices.

New articles by Susan Slaughter
Qualitative analysis of a virtual research meeting summarises expert-based strategies to promote hydration in residential care during COVID-19 and beyond.
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Keller H, Wei C, Slaughter S, Yoon MN, Lengyel C, Namasivayam-Macdonald A, et al.
BMJ open. 2022 Feb;12(2):e055457.
OBJECTIVES: Poor fluid intake is a complex and long-standing issue in residential care, further exacerbated by COVID-19 infection control procedures. There is no consensus on how best to prevent dehydration in residents who vary in their primary reasons for insufficient fluid intake for a variety of reasons. The objectives of this research were to determine expert and provider perspectives on: (1) how COVID-19 procedures impacted hydration in residential care and potential solutions to mitigate these challenges and (2) strategies that could target five types of residents based on an oral hydration typology focused on root causes of low fluid intake. DESIGN: Qualitative study based on virtual group discussion. The discussion was audiorecorded with supplementary field notes. Qualitative content analysis was completed. SETTING: Residential care. PARTICIPANTS: 27 invited researcher and provider experts. RESULTS: Challenges that have potentially impacted hydration of residents because of COVID-19 procedures were categorised as resident (eg, apathy), staff (eg, new staff) and home-related (eg, physical distancing in dining rooms). Potential solutions were offered, such as fun opportunities (eg, popsicle) for distanced interactions; training new staff on how to approach specific residents and encourage drinking; and automatically providing water at meals. Several strategies were mapped to the typology of five types of residents with low intake (eg, sipper) and categorised as: supplies (eg, vessels with graduated markings), timing (eg, identify best time of day for drinking), facility context (eg, identify preferred beverages), socialisation (eg, promote drinking as a social activity) and education (eg, educate cognitively well on water consumption goals). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 has necessitated new procedures and routines in residential care, some of which can be optimised to promote hydration. A variety of strategies to meet the hydration needs of different subgroups of residents can be compiled into multicomponent interventions for future research.

The experiences of nurse educators in establishing a teaching practice in the care of older persons: A focused ethnography study
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Negrin KA, Slaughter SE, Dahlke S, Olson J.
Journal of Professional Nursing. 2022;40:1–12.
Background Gerontological nursing is not a career choice for most new graduates. Nurse educators, who influence students’ career decisions, lack expertise in older person care. The academic culture may affect educators developing gerontological expertise. Purpose The study explored the culture of a Canadian pre-licensure nursing education program in relation to educators’ expertise in gerontological nursing. Methods In a focused ethnography, 22 nurse educators/researchers/administrators participated in interviews and/or observations conducted from March 2018 to December 2018. Content analysis of interview transcripts and fieldnotes occurred concurrently with data collection. Results Themes characterizing the culture were: Structure and Hierarchy, Losing Gerontology, Teaching Challenges, and Valuing Older Persons and Their Care. Participants felt: a hierarchy limited gerontologists’ support for undergraduate educators and the curriculum; the integrated curriculum reduced the focus on gerontology; limited professional development opportunities and excessive workload constrained building gerontology expertise; and valuing older persons and their care influenced access to gerontology resources. Conclusions The culture of a pre-licensure nursing program impacted educators building expertise in older person care. More research is needed to overcome barriers that constrain educators’ proficiency in gerontological nursing. Increasing the number of educators adept in gerontology will develop nurse graduates with an appreciation for working with older persons.

New article on KT and NH Culture
Developing an Evidence-Based Nursing Culture in Nursing Homes: An Action Research Study.
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Lovink MH, Verbeek F, Persoon A, Huisman-de Waal G, Smits M, Laurant MGH, et al.
International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022 Feb;19(3).
Background: Nursing homes face challenges caused by increasing numbers of older adults with multimorbidity and the demand for quality of care. Developing an evidence-based nursing (EBN) culture is a promising strategy to face these challenges. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop an EBN culture in nursing homes and gain insight into the influencing factors. Methods: An action research study was conducted with 12 nursing teams in 4 Dutch nursing homes, using the Practice Development approach to develop an EBN culture. The teams (mostly certified nurse assistants) were coached by internal facilitators (bachelor’s or master’s degree nurses) and external facilitators (nursing teachers). Data were gathered at baseline and after 15 months using questionnaires and individual and focus group interviews. Results: With varying degrees, most nursing teams implemented elements (related to values, attitudes, and behaviors) of an EBN culture with appropriate leadership, advocacy, and training. The team members became open to new insights and asked critical questions. During the project, participants learned how EBN could be incorporated into daily practice, for example, by keeping it small, discussing information from professional journals, and using creative methods such as quizzes. Influencing factors of an EBN culture were: (a) support of managers, (b) inspiring facilitators close to the team, and (c) stable teams with driving forces and student nurses. Conclusions: Integrating EBN into daily practice in creative and motivating ways contributes to the development of an EBN culture in nursing homes. To facilitate this, managers should support teams in the process and content of EBN, and internal facilitators should collaborate with driving forces on the teams.

New article on LTC care work during COVID in Canada
COVID-19 and the Experiences and Needs of Staff and Management Working at the Front Lines of Long-Term Care in Central Canada.
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Reynolds K, Ceccarelli L, Pankratz L, Snider T, Tindall C, Omolola D, et al.
Canadian journal on aging = La revue canadienne du vieillissement. 2022 Feb;1–6.
Across the globe, long-term care has been under increased pressure throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first study to examine the experiences and needs of long-term care staff and management during COVID-19, in the Canadian context. Our group conducted online survey research with 70 staff and management working at public long-term care facilities in central Canada, using validated quantitative measures to examine perceived stress and caregiver burden; and open-ended items to explore stressors, ways of coping, and barriers to accessing mental health supports. Findings indicate moderate levels of stress and caregiver burden, and highlight the significant stressors associated with working in long-term care during the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., rapid changes in pandemic guidelines, increased workload, “meeting the needs of residents and families”, fear of contracting COVID-19 and COVID-19 coming into long-term care facilities, and concern over a negative public view of long-term care staff and facilities). A small subset (13.2%) of our sample identified accessing mental health supports to cope with work-related stress, with most participants identifying barriers to seeking help. Novel findings of this research highlight the significant and unmet needs of this high-risk segment of the population.

Nwe article on reporting implementation outcomes
Six practical recommendations for improved implementation outcomes reporting.
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Lengnick-Hall R, Gerke DR, Proctor EK, Bunger AC, Phillips RJ, Martin JK, et al.
Implementation science : IS. 2022 Feb;17(1):16.
BACKGROUND: Implementation outcomes research spans an exciting mix of fields, disciplines, and geographical space. Although the number of studies that cite the 2011 taxonomy has expanded considerably, the problem of harmony in describing outcomes persists. This paper revisits that problem by focusing on the clarity of reporting outcomes in studies that examine them. Published recommendations for improved reporting and specification have proven to be an important step in enhancing the rigor of implementation research. We articulate reporting problems in the current implementation outcomes literature and describe six practical recommendations that address them. RECOMMENDATIONS: Our first recommendation is to clearly state each implementation outcome and provide a definition that the study will consistently use. This includes providing an explanation if using the taxonomy in a new way or merging terms. Our second recommendation is to specify how each implementation outcome will be analyzed relative to other constructs. Our third recommendation is to specify “the thing” that each implementation outcome will be measured in relation to. This is especially important if you are concurrently studying interventions and strategies, or if you are studying interventions and strategies that have multiple components. Our fourth recommendation is to report who will provide data and the level at which data will be collected for each implementation outcome, and to report what kind of data will be collected and used to assess each implementation outcome. Our fifth recommendation is to state the number of time points and frequency at which each outcome will be measured. Our sixth recommendation is to state the unit of observation and the level of analysis for each implementation outcome. CONCLUSION: This paper advances implementation outcomes research in two ways. First, we illustrate elements of the 2011 research agenda with concrete examples drawn from a wide swath of current literature. Second, we provide six pragmatic recommendations for improved reporting. These recommendations are accompanied by an audit worksheet and a list of exemplar articles that researchers can use when designing, conducting, and assessing implementation outcomes studies.

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