June 28, 2022


New TREC article
Influences of post-implementation factors on the sustainability, sustainment, and intra-organizational spread of complex interventions.
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Song Y, MacEachern L, Doupe MB, Ginsburg L, Chamberlain SA, Cranley L, et al.
BMC health services research. 2022 May;22(1):666.
BACKGROUND: Complex interventions are increasingly applied to healthcare problems. Understanding of post-implementation sustainment, sustainability, and spread of interventions is limited. We examine these phenomena for a complex quality improvement initiative led by care aides in 7 care homes (long-term care homes) in Manitoba, Canada. We report on factors influencing these phenomena two years after implementation. METHODS: Data were collected in 2019 via small group interviews with unit- and care home-level managers (n = 11) from 6 of the 7 homes using the intervention. Interview participants discussed post-implementation factors that influenced continuing or abandoning core intervention elements (processes, behaviors) and key intervention benefits (outcomes, impact). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed with thematic analysis. RESULTS: Sustainment of core elements and sustainability of key benefits were observed in 5 of the 6 participating care homes. Intra-unit intervention spread occurred in 3 of 6 homes. Factors influencing sustainment, sustainability, and spread related to intervention teams, unit and care home, and the long-term care system. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings contribute understanding on the importance of micro-, meso-, and macro-level factors to sustainability of key benefits and sustainment of some core processes. Inter-unit spread relates exclusively to meso-level factors of observability and practice change institutionalization. Interventions should be developed with post-implementation sustainability in mind and measures taken to protect against influences such as workforce instability and competing internal and external demands. Design should anticipate need to adapt interventions to strengthen post-implementation traction.

New article by Matthias Hoben
More than just staffing? Assessing evidence on the complex interplay among nurse staffing, other features of organisational context and resident outcomes in long-term care: a systematic review protocol.
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Choroschun K, Kennedy M, Hoben M.
BMJ open. 2022 Jun;12(6):e061073.
INTRODUCTION: Especially in acute care, evidence points to an association between care staffing and resident outcomes. However, this evidence is more limited in residential long-term care (LTC). Due to fundamental differences in the population of care recipients, organisational processes and staffing models, studies in acute care may not be applicable to LTC settings. We especially lack evidence on the complex interplay among nurse staffing and organisational context factors such as leadership, work culture or communication, and how these complex interactions influence resident outcomes. Our systematic review will identify and synthesise the available evidence on how nurse staffing and organisational context in residential LTC interact and how this impacts resident outcomes. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will systematically search the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Scopus and PsycINFO from inception for quantitative research studies and systematically conducted reviews that statistically modelled interactions among nurse staffing and organisational context variables. We will include original studies that included nurse staffing and organisational context in LTC as independent variables, modelled interactions between these variables and described associations of these interactions with resident outcomes. Two reviewers will independently screen titles/abstracts and full texts for inclusion. They will also screen contents of key journals, publications of key authors and reference lists of all included studies. Discrepancies at any stage of the process will be resolved by consensus. Data extraction will be performed by one research team member and checked by a second team member. Two reviewers will independently assess the methodological quality of included studies using four validated checklists appropriate for different research designs. We will conduct a meta-analysis if pooling is possible. Otherwise, we will synthesise results using thematic analysis and vote counting. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval is not required as this project does not involve primary data collection. The results of this study will be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications and conference presentation. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42021272671.

New article by Jen Knopp-Sihota
Management of Chronic Pain in Long-Term Care: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
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Knopp-Sihota JA, MacGregor T, Reeves JTH, Kennedy M, Saleem A.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 2022 May;
OBJECTIVES: Pain, a complex subjective experience, is common in care home residents. Despite advances in pain management, optimal pain control remains a challenge. In this updated systematic review, we examined effectiveness of interventions for treating chronic pain in care home residents. DESIGN: A Cochrane-style systematic review and meta-analysis using PRISMA guidelines. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials and intervention studies included care home residents aged ≥60 years receiving interventions to reduce chronic pain. METHODS: Six databases were searched to identify relevant studies. After duplicate removal, articles were screened by title and abstract. Full-text articles were reviewed and included if they implemented a pain management intervention and measured pain with a standardized quantitative pain scale. Meta-analyses calculated standardized mean differences (SMDs) using random-effect models. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk-of-Bias Tool 2.0. RESULTS: We included 42 trials in the meta-analysis and described 13 more studies narratively. Studies included 26 nondrug alternative treatments, 8 education interventions, 7 system modifications, 3 nonanalgesic drug treatments, 2 analgesic treatments, and 9 combined interventions. Pooled results at trial completion revealed that, except for nonanalgesic drugs and health system modification interventions, all interventions were at least moderately effective in reducing pain. Analgesic treatments (SMD -0.80; 95% CI -1.47 to -0.12; P = .02) showed the greatest treatment effect, followed by nondrug alternative treatments (SMD -0.70; 95% CI -0.95 to -0.45; P < .001), combined interventions (SMD -0.37; 95% CI -0.60 to -0.13; P = .002), and education interventions (SMD -0.31; 95% CI -0.48 to -0.15; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Our findings suggest that analgesic drugs and nondrug alternative pain management strategies are the most effective in reducing pain among care home residents. Clinicians should also consider implementing nondrug alternative therapies in care homes, rather than relying solely on analgesic drug options.

New article by Anne-Marie Boström
Factors associated with older persons’ perceptions of dignity and well-being over a three-year period. A retrospective national study in residential care facilities.
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Roos C, Alam M, Swall A, Boström AM, Hammar LM.
BMC geriatrics. 2022 Jun;22(1):515.
BACKGROUND: Dignity and well-being are central concepts in the care of older people, 65 years and older, worldwide. The person-centred practice framework identifies dignity and well-being as person-centred outcomes. Older persons living in residential care facilities, residents, have described that they sometimes lack a sense of dignity and well-being, and there is a need to understand which modifiable factors to target to improve this. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between perceptions of dignity and well-being and the independent variables of the attitudes of staff, the indoor-outdoor-mealtime environments, and individual factors for residents over a three-year period. METHODS: A national retrospective longitudinal mixed cohort study was conducted in all residential care facilities within 290 municipalities in Sweden. All residents aged 65 years and older in 2016, 2017 and 2018 were invited to responded to a survey; including questions regarding self-rated health and mobility, the attitudes of staff, the indoor-outdoor-mealtime environments, safety, and social activities. Data regarding age, sex and diagnosed dementia/prescribed medication for dementia were collected from two national databases. Descriptive statistics and ordinal logistic regression models were used to analyse the data. RESULTS: A total of 13 763 (2016), 13 251 (2017) and 12 620 (2018) residents answered the survey. Most of them (69%) were women and the median age was 88 years. The odds for satisfaction with dignity did not differ over the three-year period, but the odds for satisfaction with well-being decreased over time. Residents who rated their health as good, who were not diagnosed with dementia/had no prescribed medication for dementia, who had not experienced disrespectful attitudes of staff and who found the indoor-outdoor-mealtime environments to be pleasant had higher odds of being satisfied with aspects of dignity and well-being over the three-year period. CONCLUSIONS: The person-centred practice framework, which targets the attitudes of staff and the care environment, can be used as a theoretical framework when designing improvement strategies to promote dignity and well-being. Registered nurses, due to their core competencies, focusing on person-centred care and quality improvement work, should be given an active role as facilitators in such improvement strategies.

New publications by Anita Kothari
Public Health Policymaking, Politics, and Evidence BT – Integrating Science and Politics for Public Health
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Kothari A, Smith MJ.
In: Fafard P, Cassola A, de Leeuw E, editors. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2022. p. 59–74.
This chapter explores the gradient of public health engagement and relationships with politics and political science. On one hand, public health values evidence-based decision-making grounded in orthodox hierarchies of evidence, while on the other, by nature of the issues, there are challenges to obtaining this data and to omitting values and contextual considerations. Additionally, public health competes with other health sectors for time and funding which makes political spheres difficult to break into as public health researchers. Apart from some critical public health scholars, many public health researchers have limited knowledge of policy-related concepts. This chapter describes a gradual shift from evidence-based to evidence-informed decision-making in policy, and what this means for conceptualizing policymaking and politics from a public health lens. Most importantly, the chapter describes the importance of the community as the space from which issues are identified, evidence is generated, and solutions are contextually bound.

Engaging people with lived experience on advisory councils of a national not-for-profit: an integrated knowledge translation case study of Heart & Stroke Mission Critical Area Councils.
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Lewis KB, Peter N, Graham ID, Kothari A.
Health research policy and systems. 2022 May;20(1):56.
BACKGROUND: In 2018, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada transformed its approach to organizational strategic planning and priority-setting. The goal was to generate impact from bench to bedside to community, to improve the health of Canadians. It engaged researchers, clinician scientists, health systems leaders, and community members including people with lived experience (PWLE) on six Mission Critical Area (MCA) councils, each of which was co-chaired by a researcher or clinician scientist and a person with lived experience. Together, council members were tasked with providing advice to Heart & Stroke about the most relevant and impactful priorities of our time. The aim of this research was to explore the value of the MCA councils to Heart & Stroke, and to council members themselves. The research questions focused on understanding the process of managing and participating on the councils, the challenges and outcomes. METHODS: Using an integrated knowledge translation approach, we conducted a case study with developmental evaluation over a 2-year time period (2018-2020). We collected qualitative data from various sources (Heart & Stroke team responsible for managing the councils, council co-chairs, council members, and key informants). We collected documents and analysed them for contextual background. RESULTS: Participants noted that the MCA councils continuously evolved over the 2 years in various ways: from an uncertain direction to a concrete one, better integrating the voice of PWLE, and increased cohesiveness within and across MCA councils. This evolution was achieved in parallel with successes and challenges at three levels: the MCA councils and its members, Heart & Stroke, and Canadians. The MCA councils were disbanded in 2020, yet learnings, developments, initiatives and established partnerships remain as their legacy. CONCLUSIONS: Heart & Stroke’s intended objectives for the MCA councils, to promote engagement and dialogue among community members including PWLE, clinician scientists, and researchers, and to provide advice into Heart & Stroke’s strategic renewal process, were achieved. This collaborative structure and process for PWLE engagement within a community of multidisciplinary clinician scientists and researchers is possible yet requires flexibility, commitment to stakeholder relationship management, and considerable resources. These findings may be helpful for other not-for-profit and funding organizations interested in engaging the public and other stakeholders into their organizational activities.

New book on co-produced research edited by Jo Rycroft-Malone & Anita Kothari
Research Coproduction in Healthcare
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Graham, ID; Rycroft-Malone, J; Kothari, A; McCutcheon, C (Editors)
Wiley; 2022
In Research Coproduction in Healthcare, a team of experienced applied health researchers and decision makers deliver a robust exploration of collaborative ways on how to plan and conduct healthcare research. The book explores relational skills that are essential to achieving successful coproduction, including trust through humility, ongoing communication, emotional intelligence, and the structures and processes required to work with a range of knowledge users. It also sets out the fundamentals of research coproduction and its transformative potential for more effective and efficient health systems and improved health outcomes.

New summary on PSW’s thoughts on quality care
PSW Perspectives on Quality Care

Marie Y. Savundranayagam
Dementia Connections, pages 18-19
This short article highlights the findings of a qualitative study on how PSWs feel about care quality in LTC.

New report on poor LTC quality in New Brunswick
New Brunswick’s Elders Neglected and Forgotten

Association francophone des aînés du Nouveau-Brunswick (AFANB); June 2022
According to the 2021 Canadian census, people aged 65 and over represent 22.8% of the New Brunswick population. With such a demographic presence, one would think that the needs and demands of this important segment of the population would be heard and taken seriously. However, the results of research conducted by the Association francophone des aînés du Nouveau-Brunswick (AFANB) and its Comité d’action sur la bienveillance envers les aînés (Action committee for the well-being of seniors) tend to show the opposite. Our province has 71 long-term care homes and 470 special care homes. In addition, approximately 700 seniors are still in need of hospital beds after being discharged from care. Thousands more need home care. We have witnessed a growing number of our elders living in appalling indifference while others suffer the consequences of isolation and lack of quality care.

New report on the public’s involvement in Canada’s LTC policymaking
Engaging the public in longterm care (LTC) policymaking in Canada: A comparative analysis of three cases

Jeonghwa You & Julia Abelson
Hamilton, ON: McMaster University
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the long-standing deficiencies in Canada’s long-term care (LTC) sector. Calls for government action to ensure the delivery of high-quality LTC have skyrocketed. As policy reform is debated, it will be critical to include the voices of those directly impacted by policy decisions. This study aims to inform these decisions by describing past and current public engagement (PE) efforts in this policy sector and the political influences that have shaped these initiatives. This study employed a descriptive comparative case study design and examined three cases: ‘the development of the Long-term Care Homes Act in Ontario [2004~2010], Ontario’s COVID response in relation to LTC, [2020~2021], and the development of National Long-term Care Standards at the Federal level [2021~2022]. Data sources include publicly available and internal government documents, news articles, organizational websites. PE was described using predefined categories (i.e. rationale/goals, participants, recruitment methods, type of PE), and the political environment in which PE occurred was chronologically constructed. Case findings demonstrate that most of the PE initiatives undertaken were characterized by 1) engagement of multiple stakeholders, with many ‘proxies’ for the public, 2) reliance on targeted invitation along with self-selection methods for recruitment, and 3) frequent use of consultation-type activities. They also varied in the degrees to which 1) access to engagement opportunities was open and inclusive and 2) the engagement format supported two-way interaction between participants and engagement organizers. To explain these differences, we reflect on the surrounding political environment and hypothesize that when the surrounding political environment is supportive of the government’s intended policy direction, it favours open and inclusive PE initiatives. Meaningful PE can effectively reflect the needs and wants of those directly impacted, ultimately resulting in higher-performing systems. In this regard, understanding how the public is engaged in LTC policy decision-making and what shapes different approaches provides valuable insights into how to help rebuild a person-centred LTC sector in Canada.

New data from StatsCan on HCWs’ experiences during the pandemic
Experiences of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, September to November 2021

StatsCan, June 3, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the health care system, in particular on health care workers on the front lines of caring for Canadians. As the pandemic progressed and cases began to rise, health care workers faced a range of challenges, including extended work hours, decreased vacation time, changes in the methods of delivering care and more. New results from the Survey on Health Care Workers’ Experiences During the Pandemic (SHCWEP) show that most health care workers (95.0%) reported that their job was impacted by the pandemic, and a large majority (86.5%) felt more stressed at work during the pandemic.

New textbook on implementation science
Implementation Science: The Key Concepts
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Frances Rapport, Robyn Clay-Williams, Jeffrey Braithwaite (eds)
Routledge, 2022
This accessible textbook introduces a wide spectrum of ideas, approaches, and examples that make up the emerging field of implementation science, including implementation theory, processes and methods, data collection and analysis, brokering interest on the ground, and sustainable implementation.

Containing over 60 concise essays, each addressing the thorny problem of how we can make care more evidence-informed, this book looks at how implementation science should be defined, how it can be conducted, and how it is assessed. It offers vital insight into how research findings that are derived from healthcare contexts can help make sense of service delivery and patient encounters. Each entry concentrates on an important concept and examines the idea’s evidence base, root causes and effects, ideas and applications, and methodologies and methods. Revealing a very human side to caregiving, but also tackling its more complex and technological aspects, the contributors draw on real-life healthcare examples to look both at why things go right in introducing a new intervention and at what can go wrong. Implementation Science: The Key Concepts provides a toolbox of rich, contemporary thought from leading international thinkers, clearly and succinctly delivered.

This comprehensive and enlightening range of ideas and examples brought together in one place is essential reading for all students, researchers, and practitioners with an interest in translating knowledge into practice in healthcare.

New framework for implementation in elderly care
A codesigned fit-for-purpose implementation framework for aged care.
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Meyer C, Ogrin R, Golenko X, Cyarto E, Paine K, Walsh W, et al.
Journal of evaluation in clinical practice. 2022 Jun;28(3):421–35.
RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The field of implementation science is critical for embedding research evidence into healthcare practice, benefiting individuals, organizations, governments, and the broader community. Implementation science is messy and complex, underpinned by many theories and frameworks. Efficacious interventions for older people with multiple comorbidities exist, yet many lack effectiveness evaluation relevant to pragmatic implementation within aged care practice. This article outlines the conceptualization and development of an Implementation Framework for Aged Care (IFAC), fit-for-purpose for an aged care organization, Bolton Clarke, intent on embedding evidence into practice. METHOD: A four-stage process was adopted to (1) explore context and relevant literature to conceptualize the IFAC; (2) identify key elements for a draft IFAC; (3) expand elements and refine the draft in consultation with experts and (4) apply the IFAC to three existing projects, identifying key learnings. A checklist to operationalize the IFAC was then developed. RESULTS: The IFAC is grounded in codesign principles and encapsulated by the implementation context, from a social, cultural and political perspective. The IFAC addresses the questions of (1) why do we need to change?; (2) what do we know?; (3) who will benefit?; (4) who will make the change?; (5) what strategies will be used?; and (6) what difference are we making? Three pilot projects: early adoption of a Wellness and Reablement approach; a care worker and virtual physiotherapist-led program to prevent falls; and a therapeutic horticulture program for residential communities, highlight learnings of applying the IFAC in practice. CONCLUSION: This fit-for-purpose IFAC was developed for a proactive and responsive aged care provider. The simplicity of the six-question IFAC is underpinned by substantial theoretical perspectives for its elements and their connections. This complexity is then consolidated into an 18-question checklist to operationalize the IFAC, necessary to advance the translation of evidence into clinical practice.

New articles on PSWs in Toronto
Precarious work among personal support workers in the Greater Toronto Area: a respondent-driven sampling study.
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Pinto AD, Hapsari AP, Ho J, Meaney C, Avery L, Hassen N, et al.
CMAJ open. 2022;10(2):E527–38.
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the role of personal support workers (PSWs) in health care, as well as their work conditions. Our study aimed to understand the characteristics of the PSW workforce, their work conditions and their job security, as well as to explore the health of PSWs and the impact of precarious employment on their health. METHODS: Our community-based participatory action research focused on PSWs in the Greater Toronto Area. We administered an online, cross-sectional survey between June and December 2020 using respondent-driven sampling. Data on sociodemographics, employment precarity, worker empowerment and health status were collected. We assessed the association between precarious employment and health using multivariable logistic regression models. RESULTS: We contacted 739 PSWs, and 664 consented to participate. Overall, 658 (99.1%) completed at least part of the survey. Using data adjusted for our sampling approach, the participants were predominantly Black (76.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 68.2%-84.9%), women (90.1%, 95% CI 85.1%-95.1%) and born outside of Canada (97.4%, 95% CI 94.9%-99.9%). Most worked in home care (43.9%, 95% CI 35.2%-52.5%) or long-term care (34.5%, 95% CI 27.4%-42.0%). Although most participants had at least some postsecondary education (unadjusted proportion = 83.4%, n = 529), more than half were considered low income (55.1%, 95% CI 46.3%-63.9%). Most participants were precariously employed (86.5%, 95% CI 80.7%-92.4%) and lacked paid sick days (89.5%, 95% CI 85.8%-93.3%) or extended health benefits (74.1%, 95% CI 66.8%-81.4%). Nearly half of the participants described their health as less than very good (46.7%, 95% CI 37.9%-55.5%). Employment precarity was significantly associated with higher risk of depression (odds ratio 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.03). INTERPRETATION: Despite being key members of health care teams, most PSWs were precariously employed with low wages that keep them in poverty; the poor work conditions they faced could be detrimental to their physical and mental health. Equitable strategies are needed to provide decent work conditions for PSWs and to improve their health.

The working conditions for personal support workers in the Greater Toronto Area during the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed-methods study.
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Hapsari AP, Ho JW, Meaney C, Avery L, Hassen N, Jetha A, et al.
Canadian journal of public health = Revue canadienne de sante publique. 2022 May;1–17.
OBJECTIVE: During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, personal support workers (PSWs) were heralded as healthcare ‘heroes’ as many of them cared for high-risk, vulnerable older populations, and worked in long-term care, which experienced a high number of COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths. While essential to the healthcare workforce, there is little understanding of PSW working conditions during the pandemic. The aim of our study was to examine the working conditions (including job security, work policies, and personal experiences) for PSWs in the Greater Toronto Area during the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspectives of PSWs. METHODS: This study used a mixed-methods design. From June to December 2020, we conducted a survey of 634 PSWs to understand their working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Semi-structured interviews with 31 survey respondents were conducted from February to May 2021 to understand in greater depth how working conditions were impacting the well-being of PSWs. RESULTS: We found PSWs faced a range of challenges related to COVID-19, including anxiety about contracting COVID-19, reduced work hours, taking leaves of absences, concerns about job security, and losing childcare. While the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the PSW workforce and their importance to the healthcare system (especially in the long-term care system), pre-existing poor work conditions of insecure jobs with no paid sick days and benefits exacerbated COVID-19-related challenges. Despite these hardships, PSWs were able to rely on their mental resilience and passion for their profession to cope with challenges. CONCLUSION: Significant changes need to be made to improve PSW working conditions. Better compensation, increased job security, decreased workload burden, and mental health supports are needed.


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