September 27, 2022


New TREC articles
Cracks in the foundation: The experience of care aides in long-term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Titley HK, Young S, Savage A, Thorne T, Spiers J, Estabrooks CA.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 Sep 9.
BACKGROUND: Care aides (certified nursing assistants, personal support workers) are the largest workforce in long-term care (LTC) homes (nursing homes). They provide as much as 90% of direct care to residents. Their health and well-being directly affect both quality of care and quality of life for residents. The aim of this study was to understand the impact of COVID-19 on care aides working in LTC homes during the first year of the pandemic. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews with a convenience sample of 52 care aides from 8 LTC homes in Alberta and one in British Columbia, Canada, between January and April 2021. Nursing homes were purposively selected across: (1) ownership model and (2) COVID impact (the rate of COVID infections reported from March to December 2020). Interviews were recorded and analyzed using inductive content analysis. RESULTS: Care aides were mainly female (94%) and older (74% aged 40 years or older). Most spoke English as an additional language (76%), 54% worked full-time in LTC homes, and 37% worked multiple positions before “one worksite policies” were implemented. Two themes emerged from our analysis: (1) Care aides experienced mental and emotional distress from enforcing resident isolation, grief related to resident deaths, fear of contracting and spreading COVID-19, increased workload combined with staffing shortages, and rapidly changing policies. (2) Care aides’ resilience was supported by their strong relationships, faith and community, and capacity to maintain positive attitudes. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest significant, ongoing adverse effects for care aides in LTC homes from working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our data demonstrate the considerable strength of this occupational group. Our results emphasize the urgent need to appropriately and meaningfully support care aides’ mental health and well-being and adequately resource this workforce. We recommend improved policy guidelines and interventions.

The Influence of Context on Implementation and Improvement: Protocol for a Mixed Methods, Secondary Analyses Study.
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Estabrooks C, Song Y, Anderson R, Beeber A, Berta W, Chamberlain S, et al.
JMIR Res Protoc. 2022 Sep 15;11(9):e40611.
BACKGROUND: Caring for the well-being of older adults is one of the greatest challenges in modern societies. Improving the quality of care and life for older adults and the work lives of their care providers calls for effective knowledge translation of evidence-based best practices. OBJECTIVE: This study’s purpose is to contribute to knowledge translation by better understanding the roles of organizational context (workplace environment) and facilitation (process or role) in implementation and improvement success. Our study has 2 goals: (1) to advance knowledge translation science by further developing and testing the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework (which outlines how implementation relies on the interplay of context, facilitation, and evidence) and (2) to advance research by optimizing implementation success via tailoring of modifiable elements of organizational context and facilitation. METHODS: This is secondary analyses of 15 years of longitudinal data from the Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC) program’s multiple data sources. This research is ongoing in long-term care (LTC) homes in western Canada. TREC data include the following: 5 waves of survey collection, 2 clinical trials, and regular ongoing outcome data for LTC residents. We will use a sequential exploratory and confirmatory mixed methods design. We will analyze qualitative and quantitative data holdings in an iterative process: (1) comprehensive reanalysis of qualitative data to derive hypotheses, (2) quantitative modeling to test hypotheses, and (3) action cycles to further refine and integrate qualitative and quantitative analyses. The research team includes 4 stakeholder panels: (1) system decision- and policy makers, (2) care home managers, (3) direct care staff, and (4) a citizen engagement group of people living with dementia and family members of LTC residents. A fifth group is our panel of external scientific advisors. Each panel will engage periodically, providing their perspectives on project direction and findings. RESULTS: This study is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Ethics approval was obtained from the University of Alberta (Pro00096541). The results of the secondary analyses are expected by the end of 2023. CONCLUSIONS: The project will advance knowledge translation science by deepening our understanding of the roles of context, the interactions between context and facilitation, and their influence on resident and staff quality outcomes. Importantly, findings will inform understanding of the mechanisms by which context and facilitation affect the success of implementation and offer insights into factors that influence the implementation success of interventions in nursing homes. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/40611.

The Action Project Method Applied in Nursing Home Settings
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Jensen C, Hoben M, Chamberlain SA, Marshall SK, Easterbrook A, Gruneir A.
International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 2022 Jan 1;21:16094069221125054.
The Action-Project Method (A-PM) is a qualitative research approach used to understand the actions and experiences co-constructed by individuals. We applied the A-PM in a nursing home (NH) setting with the aim to explore how NH residents and the people closest to them describe their priorities for care and act on these priorities. Due to the health of residents, the demands on staff and family members, and general issues around scheduling, applying the A-PM in the setting required adaptations. The core focus of this article is on the necessary adaptations to apply the A-PM in a NH setting. (1) The A-PM is typically longitudinal with multiple data collection cycles; however, given the circumstances surrounding the residents? health and the highly structured institutional setting, we opted for a single round of data collection. (2) During recruitment, three residents asked to participate alone, which we accommodated to acknowledge their experiences. (3) The setting posed challenges to data collection such as ensuring privacy and avoiding interruptions, but these challenges often reinforced participants? experiences. With the necessary adaptations the A-PM in NHs gives voice to participants while contextualizing that within their core relationships.

New report from Statistics Canada on COVID and Canadian LTC homes
Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian nursing homes and seniors’ homes in 2021

John Graham and Zeinab Hosseini
Statistics Canada; September 13, 2022
This article presents preliminary results from the 2021 Nursing and Residential Care Facility Survey (NRCFS). The survey was first conducted in 2020 and is the result of a collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, and the Canadian Institute for Health Information to address important data needs that help to monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian nursing and residential care facilities. The preliminary results in this article use an unweighted sample of responding facilities to provide national data from nursing homes and seniors’ homes on various aspects such as the changes made to facilities in response to COVID-19, the incidence of the virus among facilities, and staffing challenges.

New article on past trauma in nursing home residents
Concern About Past Trauma Among Nursing Home Admissions: Report From Screening 722 Admissions.
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Bender AA, Chozom T, Saiyed SA. C.
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2022 Sep;23(9):1499–502.
OBJECTIVE: Major life changes can trigger a traumatic stress response in older adults causing trauma symptoms to resurface. In 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the requirement, without specific guidance, for trauma-informed care (TIC) as part of person-centered care in long-term care. DESIGN: Observational, cross-sectional. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 722 new admissions at one nursing home in metro Atlanta between November 2019 and July 2021. METHODS: We developed a “TRAUMA” framework for TIC screening based on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration resources. The admissions nurse conducted TIC screening within 48 hours of new admissions, including reported trauma and necessary modifications to care plans. Demographic information was derived from electronic records. Analysis included independent sample t-tests, binary logistic regression, and χ(2) tests. All data were analyzed using SPSS v. 28. RESULTS: Of 722 new admissions, 45 (6.2%) indicated experiencing trauma. There was no significant association with being Black or non-White and experiencing trauma, but there was a significant association with being female and experiencing trauma (χ(2) (1) = 5.206, P = .022). Only men reported child physical abuse and war trauma and only women reported adult sexual assault, child sexual assault, adult domestic violence, school or community violence, adult nonintimate partner violence, and other trauma. There was a small, significant negative association of age and trauma (β = -0.037; SE = 0.11; P < .001). The most-reported trauma category was medical trauma, including COVID-related trauma. More than half (51%) requested spiritual intervention and only 2 requested medical intervention with medication as initial interventions. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Our experience suggests that knowing the patient and their trauma history allowed the admissions nurse and interdisciplinary care team to modify the person-centered care plan to best meet the patient’s needs. Our results also emphasize the need for using universal trauma precautions in all interactions.

New review on trauma informed care
Trauma-informed care in the UK: where are we? A qualitative study of health policies and professional perspectives.
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Emsley E, Smith J, Martin D, Lewis NV.
BMC Health Serv Res. 2022 Sep 14;22(1):1164.
BACKGROUND: Trauma-informed (TI) approach is a framework for a system change intervention that transforms the organizational culture and practices to address the high prevalence and impact of trauma on patients and healthcare professionals, and prevents re-traumatization in healthcare services. Review of TI approaches in primary and community mental healthcare identified limited evidence for its effectiveness in the UK, however it is endorsed in various policies. This study aimed to investigate the UK-specific context through exploring how TI approaches are represented in health policies, and how they are understood and implemented by policy makers and healthcare professionals. METHODS: A qualitative study comprising of a document analysis of UK health policies followed by semi-structured interviews with key informants with direct experience of developing and implementing TI approaches. We used the Ready Extract Analyse Distil (READ) approach to guide policy document review, and the framework method to analyse data. RESULTS: We analysed 24 documents and interviewed 11 professionals from healthcare organizations and local authorities. TI approach was included in national, regional and local policies, however, there was no UK- or NHS-wide strategy or legislation, nor funding commitment. Although documents and interviews provided differing interpretations of TI care, they were aligned in describing the integration of TI principles at the system level, contextual tailoring to each organization, and addressing varied challenges within health systems. TI care in the UK has had piecemeal implementation, with a nation-wide strategy and leadership visible in Scotland and Wales and more disjointed implementation in England. Professionals wanted enhanced coordination between organizations and regions. We identified factors affecting implementation of TI approaches at the level of organization (leadership, service user involvement, organizational culture, resource allocation, competing priorities) and wider context (government support, funding). Professionals had conflicting views on the future of TI approaches, however all agreed that government backing is essential for implementing policies into practice. CONCLUSIONS: A coordinated, more centralized strategy and provision for TI healthcare, increased funding for evaluation, and education through professional networks about evidence-based TI health systems can contribute towards evidence-informed policies and implementation of TI approaches in the UK.

New article by Pat Armstrong on the importance of LTC staffing
Teaming up for long-term care: Recognizing all long-term care staff contribute to quality care.
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Armstrong P, Armstrong H, Bourgeault IL.
Healthc Manage Forum. 2022 Sep 15;8404704221115811.
When looking to promising international approaches to improve quality care in long-term care, it is necessary to avoid cherry-picking specific dimensions ignoring the integrated nature of what makes these approaches promising in the first place. In looking at promising Scandinavian or Green House models, attention is often paid to the size of facility. This often overlooks the importance of higher level of staffing, mix, and compensation of direct care staff and the integration of dietary, laundry, and housekeeping staff to care teams. Other overlooked considerations include recognition of family and friends and policies supporting care continuity.

New articles on LTC staff during COVID
Factors associated with nursing home direct care professionals’ turnover intent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Cimarolli VR, Bryant NS, Falzarano F, Stone R.
Geriatr Nurs. 2022 Aug 30;48:32–6.
OBJECTIVE: To identify factors related to turnover intent among direct care professionals in nursing homes during the pandemic. METHODS: Cross-sectional study with surveys administered via an employee management system to 809 direct care professionals (aides working in nursing homes). Single items assessed COVID-19-related work stress, preparedness to care for residents during COVID-19, job satisfaction, and intent to remain in job. A two-item scale assessed quality of organizational communication. RESULTS: Path analysis demonstrated that only higher job satisfaction was associated with a higher likelihood of intent to remain in job. Higher quality of employer communication and greater preparedness were also associated with higher job satisfaction, but not with intent to remain. Higher quality communication and greater preparedness mediated the negative impact of COVID-19-related work stress on job satisfaction. CONCLUSION: Provision of high-quality communication and training are essential for increasing job satisfaction and thus lessening turnover intent in nursing homes.

Experiences of Nurses in Nursing Homes during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Germany: A Qualitative Study.
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Diehl E, Hiss D, Wege A, Hirschmüller A, Nienhaus A, Letzel S.
Geriatrics (Basel). 2022 Sep 9;7(5):94.
(1) Background: The aim of this qualitative study was to examine pandemic-related changes in nursing work in nursing homes, the resulting work-related stresses and external as well as internal alleviating measures. (2) Methods: We conducted 10 interviews from March to June 2021 with nurses from eight facilities. Data were analysed according to qualitative content analysis. (3) Results: Nurses faced increased workloads due to regulations and guidelines paired with staffing shortages. Work became more difficult due to personal protective equipment (PPE), conflict with residents’ relatives and, in the case of outbreaks, excess death and suffering. Nurse-to-resident care work became more emotionally demanding, with residents more distressed due to the lockdown, while families and social workers were not allowed into the facility. Residents with dementia posed an additional challenge, as they did not remember hygiene and distancing rules. Internal and external measures were not sufficient to alleviate the situation. However, some measures, such as training programmes or existing palliative care concepts, were considered helpful. (4) Conclusions: Facing other possible upcoming pandemics, ways to improve facility administration to prepare for future pandemics are highly needed, such as regular training programmes to prepare for possible lockdown scenarios, PPE use or potential hygiene measures.

New article for nurse leaders on moral injury
Supporting nurse leaders to recognise and mitigate the effects of moral injury.
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Johnstone R, Edwards P.
Nurs Manag (Harrow). 2022 Sep 21.
The concept of moral injury has been around for several decades, yet its effect on nurses remains under-recognised. Moral injury is defined as the biopsychosocial harm that arises from a violation of one’s moral code, meaning that a person is powerless to uphold and enact what they believe is morally right. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought the issue of moral injury into focus because many nurses and other healthcare professionals have encountered potentially morally injurious events, resulting in increased pressure and emotional demands. It is essential that nurse leaders recognise moral injury if its effects are to be addressed. This article describes moral injury and its effects on nurses, and offers nurse leaders a practical framework for mitigating this issue. The framework aims to support nurse leaders to increase their understanding of moral injury, address any ethical challenges, ensure they are adequately prepared to provide support to nurses, and enhance their awareness of various interventions that can mitigate moral injury.

New article on the harm of neo-liberal values on LTC in OECD nations
A critique of the marketisation of long-term residential and nursing home care.
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Corlet Walker C, Druckman A, Jackson T.
Lancet Healthy Longev. 2022 Apr;3(4):e298–306.
Long-term care systems across countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have undergone a progressive marketisation and financialisation in recent decades, characterised by the embedding of neoliberal market values such as competition, consumer choice, and the profit motive. In this Personal View, we argue that these make poor guiding principles for the care sector, identifying the dysfunctional dynamics that arise as a result, and reflecting on the clinical implications of each, with a focus on facility-based care. We outline why providers can scarcely respond to competitive forces without compromising care quality. We explain why the promotion of consumer choice cannot effectively motivate improvements to quality of care. And we explore how privatisation opens the door to predatory financial practices. We conclude by considering how far proposals for reform can take us, ultimately arguing for a rejection of neoliberal market ideology, and calling for sector-wide discussions about what principles would be more fitting for a caring economy.

New Canadian scoping review on health information in LTC
Understanding health information exchange processes within Canadian long-term care: A scoping review.
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Cotton K, Booth Richard Booth RG, McMurray J, Treesh R.
Int J Older People Nurs. 2022 Sep 19;e12501.
BACKGROUND: Providing supportive care to long-term care residents with complex medical conditions generates substantial amounts of health information. This information must be documented, shared and acted upon by the various care providers within the circle of care. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this scoping review is to describe the current digital health information exchange (HIE) processes used within Canadian long-term care facilities (LTCFs). METHODS: The scoping review followed Arksey and O’Malley’s approach to the methodology. Electronic databases (e.g. CINAHL, MEDLINE and SCOPUS) were searched between 2010 and 2020 using terms including ‘health information exchange’, ‘communication’ and ‘health information technology’. Articles were included if they were Canadian-based and relevant to our definition of health information exchange. RESULTS: The search yielded 2091 citations for title and abstract screening; 78 citations were selected for independent full-text review, 42 of those met study criteria. The findings revealed gaps between the expectations of HIE for quality health care and the realities of HIE processes that impact the provision of care in long-term care. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that increased provider engagement and effective use of HIE processes is recommended to improve the safety and quality of health care in the long-term care sector. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: HIE implementation should be preceded a review of various aspects of workflow to identify information gaps and inefficiencies that can be addressed by digitization.

New article by Jen Knopp-Sihota
Healthcare Aide-Focused Interventions to Improve Pain Management in Long-term Care Homes: A Systematic Review
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Knopp-Sihota JA, MacGregor T, Nuspl M, Reeves J, Kennedy M.
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2022 Sep 9;104808.
ABSTRACT Objectives Pain is common in long-term care residents. We examined the effectiveness of interventions involving healthcare aides that aim to manage pain for these residents. Design A systematic review which follows PRISMA reporting guidelines. Setting and Participants We examined controlled trials and intervention studies that included long-term care residents aged ≥60 years who received interventions to reduce chronic pain. Interventions were either delivered by healthcare aides at the resident level or were directed at healthcare aides to improve their pain management practices for residents. Methods We searched 7 databases to identify relevant studies. After screening 400 articles, we reviewed 131 full-text articles and included them if they reported a pain management intervention and measured pain with a standardized pain scale. Data were synthesized narratively. Risk of bias was assessed using the Mixed Methods Assessment Tool. Results In total, 9 studies were examined in the narrative review. Six studies described pain interventions involving education, new pain protocols and/or new assessment tools delivered to healthcare aides. Three studies described pain interventions delivered by healthcare aides to residents, which included a new incontinence care routine, light touch massage, and a bathing intervention. Conclusions and Implications Interventions involving healthcare aides may be beneficial to pain management for long-term care residents as they have the potential to reduce residents’ pain and improve both pain assessment and reporting practices. Further research is warranted on specific elements that contribute to an improvement in residents’ pain and to the overall role of healthcare aides care of residents.

New article by Janet Squires
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.

New article on iKT
Building capacity for integrated knowledge translation: a description of what we can learn from trainees’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Medeiros P, Laur C, Nguyen T, Gilfoyle M, Conway A, Giroux E, et al.
Health Res Policy Syst. 2022 Sep 15;20(1):100.
The use of collaborative health research approaches, such as integrated knowledge translation (IKT), was challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic due to physical distancing measures and transition to virtual platforms. As IKT trainees (i.e. graduate students, postdoctoral scholars) within the Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network (IKTRN), we experienced several changes and adaptations to our daily routine, work and research environments due to the rapid transition to virtual platforms. While there was an increased capacity to communicate at local, national and international levels, gaps in equitable access to training and partnership opportunities at universities and organizations have emerged. This essay explores the experiences and reflections of 16 IKTRN trainees during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic at the micro (individual), meso (organizational) and macro (system) levels. The micro level, or individual experiences, focuses on topics of self-care (taking care of oneself for physical and mental well-being), maintaining research activities and productivity, and leisure (social engagement and taking time for oneself), while conducting IKT research during the pandemic. At the meso level, the role of programmes and organizations explores whether and how institutions were able to adapt and continue research and/or partnerships during the pandemic. At the macro level, we discuss implications for policies to support IKT trainees and research, during and beyond emergency situations. Themes were identified that intersected across all levels, which included (i) equitable access to training and partnerships; (ii) capacity for reflexivity; (iii) embracing changing opportunities; and (iv) strengthening collaborative relationships. These intersecting themes represent ways of encouraging sustainable and equitable improvements towards establishing and maintaining collaborative health research approaches. This essay is a summary of our collective experiences and aims to provide suggestions on how organizations and universities can support future trainees conducting collaborative research. Thus, we hope to inform more equitable and sustainable collaborative health research approaches and training in the post-pandemic era.

Article in The Lancet on rebuilding health care systems post-COVID
The Lancet COVID-19 Commission.
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Sachs JD, Horton R, Bagenal J, Ben Amor Y, Karadag Caman O, Lafortune G.
Lancet. 2020 Aug 15;396(10249):454–5.
The Lancet Commission on lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic provides a comprehensive investigation, analysis, and response to COVID-19. The Commission delivers a number of recommendations that are divided into three main areas. First, practical steps to finally control and understand the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, realistic, feasible, and necessary investments to strengthen the first line of defence against emerging infectious agents in countries by strengthening health systems and widening universal health coverage. Third, ambitious proposals to ignite a renaissance in multilateralism, integrating the global response to the risk of future pandemics with actions to address the climate crisis and reversals in sustainable development.

New article on difficult behaviour in NH residents
Losing hope or keep searching for a golden solution: an in-depth exploration of experiences with extreme challenging behavior in nursing home residents with dementia.
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Veldwijk-Rouwenhorst AE, Zuidema SU, Smalbrugge M, Persoon A, Koopmans RTCM, Gerritsen DL
BMC Geriatr. 2022 Sep 16;22(1):758.
BACKGROUND: Situations of extreme challenging behavior such as very frequent and/or severe agitation or physical aggression in nursing home residents with dementia can be experienced as an impasse by nursing home staff and relatives. In this distinct part of our WAALBED (WAAL-Behavior-in-Dementia)-III study, we aimed to explore these situations by obtaining the experiences and perspectives of nursing home staff and relatives involved. This can provide a direction in providing tools for handling extreme challenging behavior of nursing home residents with dementia and may improve their quality of life. METHODS: Qualitative multiple case study with individual interviews and focus group discussions. Interviewees were elderly care physicians, psychologists, care staff members, unit managers and relatives (n = 42). They were involved with nursing home residents with dementia and extreme challenging behavior living on dementia special care units in the Netherlands. For these residents, external consultation by the Centre for Consultation and Expertise was requested. Audio-recordings of the interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed with thematic analysis, including conventional content analysis. RESULTS: Seven cases were included. Forty-one individual interviews and seven focus group discussions were held. For six stakeholder groups (resident, relative, care staff, treatment staff, nursing home staff, and the organization), three main factors could be identified that contributed to experiencing a situation of extreme challenging behavior as an impasse: 1) characteristics and attitudes of a stakeholder group, 2) interaction issues within a stakeholder group and 3) interaction issues among (groups of) stakeholders. The experienced difficulties with the resident’s characteristics, as well as suboptimal interdisciplinary collaboration and communication among the nursing home staff are remarkable. Nursing home staff kept searching for a golden solution or lost hope. CONCLUSIONS: This study offers important insights into situations of extreme challenging behavior in nursing home residents with dementia and offers caregivers targets for improving care, treatment and interdisciplinary collaboration, such as working uniformly and methodically.

New article on LTC staff’s enjoyment in caring for residents with dementia
Long-term care staff ‘s positive experiences of caring for people living with dementia: Narratives’ content and lessons learned.
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Villar F, Silva-Cavero A, Serrat R, Celdrán M.
Dementia (London). 2022 Sep 8;14713012221126298.
Research on caregiving for persons with dementia has mainly focused on its negative impact on caregivers. However, while some studies have found that positive aspects of care can also be found among informal caregivers, little attention has been paid to these positive aspects among staff working in long-term care facilities. The aim of this is study is to explore what kind of positive stories of caring for a person living with dementia staff working in long-term care facilities recall, and what kind of lessons they extracted from these experiences. Forty-two staff members currently working in four Spanish long-term care facilities (21 nursing assistants; 21 technical staff) were interviewed. They were asked about positive stories related to caring for people living with dementia. Data were analyzed using content analysis, aimed at identifying common ideas in the responses. Results showed that the type of stories were quite diverse, but can be grouped into three main themes: attachment, awakening, and mastery. The stories imply different lessons learned, including the importance of individualized care, the value of persistence and patience, and the relevance of technical knowledge and strategies to provide good care. The articles discusses how recording, reflecting on and discussing positive experiences that care staff encounter in their daily practice, may be key to skill development, reinforce job satisfaction, and improve quality of care in a person-centered care direction.

New SNA article
Factors related to the social network of core members of elderly care service social organizations: a cross-sectional study.
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Wang Z, Zhang X, Liu L, Tang L, Zhu Y, Bai Z, et al.
BMC Health Serv Res. 2022 Sep 10;22(1):1147.
BACKGROUND: The social network of the core members of elderly care service social organizations could affect the performance of the organization, while studies concerning its related factors are limited. We aimed to explore factors that are associated with the social network of core members from elderly care service social organizations and provide references and suggestions for improving elderly care services. METHODS: This cross-sectional study employed a multi-stage stratified sampling method, and collected data concerning social network, demographic information and occupation. Univariate analysis and binary logistic regression were used to analyze factors that could affect the social network of the core members. RESULTS: Our results demonstrated that there is low social network of core members of elderly care social organizations. Out of the total membership, men (AOR = 1.708; 95%CI: 1.034-2.823), those with senior high school education (AOR = 1.923; 95%CI: 1.053-3.511), those with a college degree and above (AOR = 3.010; 95%CI: 1.591-5.692) and those that receive awards related to elderly care services (AOR = 2.260; 95%CI: 1.285-3.976) were associated with higher social network scores. CONCLUSIONS: Our data successfully characterized the social status of core members of elderly care organizations. Therefore, health care professionals and policy makers in social organizations should use this knowledge in the care and service provision to the elderly; and implement actions that would promote networking in social organizations.

New article on LTC residents in Ontario during the Pandemic
Cognitive Decline in Long-term Care Residents Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ontario, Canada.
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Webber C, Myran DT, Milani C, Turcotte L, Imsirovic H, Li W, et al.
JAMA. 2022 Sep 12;
Long-term care (LTC) home residents experienced high infection and mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is concern that public health restrictions to limit COVID-19 spread may have negatively affected resident cognition through increased social isolation. We compared the 1-year incidence of cognitive decline among LTC residents in Ontario, Canada, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New articles by Anne-Marie Boström
Discrepancy in the evaluation of explicit and implicit nutrition care outcomes for patients at risk of malnutrition: A qualitative study.
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Al-Adili L, Orrevall Y, McGreevy J, Nydahl M, Boström AM, Lövestam E.
J Hum Nutr Diet. 2022 Jun;35(3):494–503.
BACKGROUND: Risks associated with polypharmacy and drug-drug interactions represent a challenge in drug treatment, especially in older adults. The aim of the present study was to assess the use of prescription and non-prescription drugs and the frequency of potential drug-drug interactions in home-dwelling older individuals. METHODS: A cross-sectional study design was applied. Data were collected during preventive home visits among individuals aged ≥75 in three separate communities of Western Norway. A questionnaire, which was filled out by the individual, their next-of-kin, and the nurse performing the home visit was used for the collection of demographic and clinical data (age, sex, medication use, diagnoses, need of assistance with drug administration). Potential drug-drug interactions were identified electronically by IBM Micromedex Drug Interaction Checking. Point prevalence of potential drug-drug interactions and polypharmacy (≥5 drugs) were calculated. Binary logistic regression analyses were performed to assess factors potentially associated with polypharmacy or potential drug-drug interactions. RESULTS: Among the 233 individuals (mean age 78±3 years, 46% male) included in the study, 43% used ≥5 drugs, 3.4% ≥10 drugs, while 4.3% used no drugs. In 54% of the 197 individuals using two or more drugs, at least one potential drug-drug interaction was detected. Low-dose aspirin and simvastatin were most frequently involved in potential drug-drug interactions. In total, 25% of the individuals reported current use of drugs sold over the counter of which more than 95% were analgesic drugs. Potential drug-drug interactions involving ibuprofen were identified in nine of 11 (82%) individuals using over-the-counter ibuprofen. CONCLUSION: The study revealed a high prevalence of polypharmacy and potential drug-drug interactions with both prescription and non-prescription drugs in older home-dwelling individuals. Close monitoring of the patients at risk of drug-drug interactions, and increased awareness of the potential of over-the-counter drugs to cause drug-drug interactions, is needed.

Do Malnutrition, Sarcopenia and Frailty Overlap in Nursing-Home Residents?
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Faxén-Irving G, Luiking Y, Grönstedt H, Franzén E, Seiger Å, Vikström S, et al.
J Frailty Aging. 2021;10(1):17–21.
OBJECTIVES: To study the prevalence and overlap between malnutrition, sarcopenia and frailty in a selected group of nursing home (NH) residents. DESIGN: Cross-sectional descriptive study. SETTING: Nursing homes (NH). PARTICIPANTS: 92 residents taking part in an exercise and oral nutritional supplementation study; >75 years old, able to rise from a seated position, body mass index ≤30 kg/m2 and not receiving protein-rich oral nutritional supplements. MEASUREMENTS: The MNA-SF and Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) criteria were used for screening and diagnosis of malnutrition (moderate or severe), respectively. Sarcopenia risk was assessed by the SARC-F Questionnaire (0-10p; ≥4=increased risk), and for diagnosis the European Working Group of Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2) criteria was used. To screen for frailty the FRAIL Questionnaire (0-5p; 1-2p indicating pre-frailty, and >3p indicating frailty), was employed. RESULTS: Average age was 86 years; 62% were women. MNA-SF showed that 30 (33%) people were at risk or malnourished. The GLIM criteria verified malnutrition in 16 (17%) subjects. One third (n=33) was at risk for sarcopenia by SARC-F. Twenty-seven (29%) subjects displayed confirmed sarcopenic according to EWGSOP2. Around 50% (n=47) was assessed as pre-frail or frail. Six people (7%) suffered from all three conditions. Another five (5%) of the residents were simultaneously malnourished and sarcopenic, but not frail, while frailty coexisted with sarcopenia in 10% (n=9) of non-malnourished residents. Twenty-nine (32%) residents were neither malnourished, sarcopenic nor frail. CONCLUSIONS: In a group of selected NH residents a majority was either (pre)frail (51%), sarcopenic (29%) or malnourished (17%). There were considerable overlaps between the three conditions.

Older people living at home: experiences of healthy ageing.
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Fjell A, Eriksen KÅ, Hermann M, Boström AM, Cronfalk SB.
Prim Health Care Res Dev. 2021 Mar 4;22:e6.
AIM: The purpose of this study was to investigate how old persons perceived their life to be, how they viewed the ageing process and their need of health care and societal support. BACKGROUND: The purpose of WHO’s Healthy Ageing strategy and development of age-friendly environments is to support physiological and psychosocial changes in old persons by facilitating basic needs. Interventions to operationalize these needs in older people living at home are often developed from a professional perspective and to a small extent involves the perceptions, experience and expectations of the older persons. METHOD: This qualitative study has an explorative design using focus group discussions to collect data. In all, 34 persons between 69 and 93 years of age participated in seven group discussions. The interviews were analyzed using inductive manifest content analysis. FINDINGS: The main results suggest that most old persons enjoyed life and wished it to continue for as long as possible. Important was to sustain networks and to feel useful. Unexpected changes were described as threats and the need to use health care services was associated with illness and being dependent. The result is presented in three categories with sub-categories: ‘Embracing life’, ‘Dealing with challenges’ and ‘Considering the future’.

Can the 1-Leg Standing Test Be Replaced by Self-reported Balance in the First-Time Injurious Fall Screening Tool?
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Frisendahl N, Ek S, Rosendahl E, Franzén E, Boström AM, Welmer AK.
J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2022 Aug 10.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The First-time Injurious Fall (FIF) screening tool was created to identify fall risk in community-living older men and women, who may be targets for primary preventive interventions. The FIF tool consists of 3 self-reported questions and 1 physical test (1-leg standing balance). The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive ability of the FIF tool and a modified FIF tool (in which 1-leg standing is replaced by self-reported balance) for first-time injurious falls. METHODS: A cohort of 1194 community-living people 60 years and older from the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K), Sweden, was followed longitudinally for 5 years. Data on injurious falls were collected from registered data and were defined as receipt of care after a fall. The predictive ability of the FIF tool and the m-FIF tool was explored using Harrell’s C statistic, stratified by sex. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The injurious fall rate per 1000 person-years was 54.9 (95% CI: 47.22-63.78) for women and 36.3 (95% CI: 28.84-45.78) for men. The predictive ability for women and men according to Harrell’s C statistic was 0.70 and 0.71 for the FIF tool and the m-FIF tool. The predictive ability was 0.70 and 0.69 for 1-leg standing, and 0.65 and 0.60 for self-reported balance problems. CONCLUSIONS: The m-FIF tool presented similar predictive ability as the FIF tool regarding first-time injurious falls. This finding could extend the usefulness of the tool to other settings, such as to electronic health (eHealth). A quickly and easily administered screening tool can help physical therapists to identify people with a high risk of falling who may need to undergo a more comprehensive fall risk assessment.

Being Treated With Respect and Dignity?-Perceptions of Home Care Service Among Persons With Dementia.
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Hammar LM, Alam M, Olsen M, Swall A, Boström AM.
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2021 Mar;22(3):656–62.
OBJECTIVE: Studies on the quality of home care services (HCS) offered to persons with dementia (PwDs) reveal the prevalence of unmet needs and dissatisfaction related to encounters and a lack of relationships with staff. The objective of this study was to enhance knowledge of the perceptions of PwDs regarding their treatment with dignity and respect in HCS over time. DESIGN: A mixed longitudinal cohort study was designed to study trends in the period between 2016 and 2018 and compare the results between PwDs (cases) and persons without dementia (controls) living at home with HCS. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Persons aged 65 years and older with HCS in Sweden. METHODS: Data from an existing yearly HCS survey by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (NBHW) was used. The focus was on questions concerning dignity and respect. NBHW data sets on diagnoses, medications, HCS hours, and demographic information were also used. We applied GEE logistic and cumulative logit regression models to estimate effects and trends of interest after controlling for the effects of age, gender, self-rated health, and number of HCS hours. RESULTS: Over the study period, 271,915 (PwDs = 8.1%) respondents completed the survey. The results showed that PwDs were significantly less likely (3%-10% lower odds and cumulative odds) than controls to indicate that they were satisfied in response to questions related to dignity and respect. Both groups experienced a decrease in satisfaction from 2016 to 2018. Females, individuals with poor self-rated health, and individuals granted more HCS hours were found to be more dissatisfied. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: The HCS organization needs to shift from a task-oriented system to a person-centered approach, where dignity and respect are of the utmost importance. The HCS organizations need to be developed to focus on competence in person-centered care, and leadership to support staff.

Polypharmacy and Potential Drug-Drug Interactions in Home-Dwelling Older People – A Cross-Sectional Study.
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Hermann M, Carstens N, Kvinge L, Fjell A, Wennersberg M, Folleso K, et al.
J Multidiscip Healthc. 2021;14:589–97.
BACKGROUND: Risks associated with polypharmacy and drug-drug interactions represent a challenge in drug treatment, especially in older adults. The aim of the present study was to assess the use of prescription and non-prescription drugs and the frequency of potential drug-drug interactions in home-dwelling older individuals. METHODS: A cross-sectional study design was applied. Data were collected during preventive home visits among individuals aged ≥75 in three separate communities of Western Norway. A questionnaire, which was filled out by the individual, their next-of-kin, and the nurse performing the home visit was used for the collection of demographic and clinical data (age, sex, medication use, diagnoses, need of assistance with drug administration). Potential drug-drug interactions were identified electronically by IBM Micromedex Drug Interaction Checking. Point prevalence of potential drug-drug interactions and polypharmacy (≥5 drugs) were calculated. Binary logistic regression analyses were performed to assess factors potentially associated with polypharmacy or potential drug-drug interactions. RESULTS: Among the 233 individuals (mean age 78±3 years, 46% male) included in the study, 43% used ≥5 drugs, 3.4% ≥10 drugs, while 4.3% used no drugs. In 54% of the 197 individuals using two or more drugs, at least one potential drug-drug interaction was detected. Low-dose aspirin and simvastatin were most frequently involved in potential drug-drug interactions. In total, 25% of the individuals reported current use of drugs sold over the counter of which more than 95% were analgesic drugs. Potential drug-drug interactions involving ibuprofen were identified in nine of 11 (82%) individuals using over-the-counter ibuprofen. CONCLUSION: The study revealed a high prevalence of polypharmacy and potential drug-drug interactions with both prescription and non-prescription drugs in older home-dwelling individuals. Close monitoring of the patients at risk of drug-drug interactions, and increased awareness of the potential of over-the-counter drugs to cause drug-drug interactions, is needed.

A learning process towards person-centred care: A second-year follow-up of guideline implementation.
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Kindblom K, Edvardsson D, Boström AM, Vikström S.
Int J Older People Nurs. 2021 Jul;16(4):e12373.
BACKGROUND: Research claims that ‘learning by doing’ creates new thinking, often leading to new practice. OBJECTIVES: The aim was to explore and describe the staff learning process from the first to the second year when adopting person-centred care into clinical practice in a nursing home for persons with dementia. METHOD: The data consisted of poster texts from staff and written notes by researchers obtained from the group discussions. The study involved 24 care units (200 staff). Content analysis was chosen as method to explore the learning process. RESULT: The staff described the actions that they took during year 1 and year 2, in which five categories emerged, activities, environment, information, priorities and staff routines. With researchers’ analysis the categories together created the learning process and formed a sub-theme. They further formed an overarching theme from simplicity to complexity and consensus. Staff changes year 1 pertained more to planning and doing, while year 2 changes constituted a larger complexity of person-centred care with reflection, collaborative learning and a mind-set change. CONCLUSION: Staff chose the development area, and the learning process was illuminated by the researchers. This underscores the value to visualise and verbalise the steps of change as well as include these steps in the design of an implementation process. The concept of person-centred care could be viewed on different levels. The findings may contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of staff learning process when implementation of person-centred care. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Making staff’s learning process visible can be a guide for improvement and change from a generic care towards person-centred care. The Regional Board of Research Ethics approved the study (Reg no. 2010/1234-31/5).

Important aspects of home care service: An interview study of persons with dementia.
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Olsen M, Udo C, Boström AM, Hammar LM.
Dementia (London). 2021 Jul;20(5):1649–63.
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Because of the policy of ‘ageing in place’ and a decreasing number of beds in residential settings, more persons with dementia live at home with support from home care services. However, previous studies have revealed more unmet needs and a lower quality of life in this group than in other groups. Because few qualitative studies are performed in which persons with dementia have the opportunity to tell their own stories and describe what they find important, this study aimed to interview persons with dementia and describe their views on the important aspects of receiving home care service. METHODS: The study used a qualitative approach, and 14 persons with dementia participated in the interviews. The interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. FINDINGS: The findings revealed one overarching theme. The importance of being supported as a unique and capable human, that is the persons with dementia stated that despite their dementia diagnoses, it was important to be seen as a person with capabilities, although in need of support. This theme was built on three subthemes: being seen as a person, being informed and involved, and being part of a relationship. CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that persons with dementia are able to express, formulate and reflect on their needs and preferences about their daily care as well as what is important to them when receiving home care service. Therefore, their point of view should be taken into consideration when planning, providing and evaluating care.

Health status and health care utilization after discharge from geriatric in-hospital stay – description of a register-based study.
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Rydwik E, Lindqvist R, Willers C, Carlsson L, Nilsson GH, Lager A, et al.
BMC Health Serv Res. 2021 Jul 31;21(1):760.
BACKGROUND: This study is the first part of a register-based research program with the overall aim to increase the knowledge of the health status among geriatric patients and to identify risk factors for readmission in this population. The aim of this study was two-fold: 1) to evaluate the validity of the study cohorts in terms of health care utilization in relation to regional cohorts; 2) to describe the study cohorts in terms of health status and health care utilization after discharge. METHODS: The project consist of two cohorts with data from patient records of geriatric in-hospital stays, health care utilization data from Stockholm Regional Healthcare Data Warehouse 6 months after discharge, socioeconomic data from Statistics Sweden. The 2012 cohort include 6710 patients and the 2016 cohort, 8091 patients; 64% are women, mean age is 84 (SD 8). RESULTS: Mean days to first visit in primary care was 12 (23) and 10 (19) in the 2012 and 2016 cohort, respectively. Readmissions to hospital was 38% in 2012 and 39% in 2016. The validity of the study cohorts was evaluated by comparing them with regional cohorts. The study cohorts were comparable in most cases but there were some significant differences between the study cohorts and the regional cohorts, especially regarding amount and type of primary care. CONCLUSION: The study cohorts seem valid in terms of health care utilization compared to the regional cohorts regarding hospital care, but less so regarding primary care. This will be considered in the analyses and when interpreting data in future studies based on these study cohorts. Future studies will explore factors associated with health status and re-admissions in a population with multi-morbidity and disability.

Readmission within three months after inpatient geriatric care-Incidence, diagnosis and associated factors in a Swedish cohort.
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Willers C, Boström AM, Carlsson L, Lager A, Lindqvist R, Rydwik E.
PLoS One. 2021;16(3):e0248972.
INTRODUCTION: Readmissions are very costly, in monetary terms but also for the individual patient’s safety and health. Only by understanding the reasons and drivers of readmissions, it is possible to ensure quality of care and improve the situation. The aim of this study was to assess inpatient readmissions during the first three months after discharge from geriatric inpatient care regarding main diagnosis and frequency of readmission. Furthermore, the aim was to analyze association between readmission and patient characteristics including demography and socioeconomics, morbidity, physical function, risk screening and care process respectively. METHODS: The study includes all individuals admitted for inpatient care at three geriatric departments operated by the Stockholm region during 2016. Readmission after discharge was studied within three different time intervals; readmission within 10 days after discharge, within 11-30 days and within 31-90 days, respectively. Main diagnosis at readmission was assessed. RESULTS: One fourth of the individuals discharged from inpatient geriatric care was readmitted during the first three months after discharge. The most common main diagnoses for readmission were heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia. Statistically significant risk factors for readmission included age, sex, number of diagnoses at discharge, and to some extent polypharmacy and destination of discharge. CONCLUSIONS: Several clinical risk factors relating to physical performance and vulnerability were associated with risk of readmission. Socioeconomic information did not add to the predictability. To enable reductions in readmission rates, proactive monitoring of frail individuals afflicted with chronic conditions is necessary, and an integrated perspective including all stakeholders involved is crucial.


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