Research Practice and Methodology

Collection of articles on Research Practice and Methodology is available here.

Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials in Australian Nursing Homes from 2000 to 2018.
Access if not affiliated with University of Alberta

Pham T, Bugeja L, Holmes A, Ibrahim JE.
J Am Geriatr Soc 2021 apr;69(4):1086-1093.
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: High-quality research provides an evidence base for optimal practice care in clinical settings, yet, little is known about the nature and extent of randomized control trials (RCTs) conducted in Australian nursing homes (NHs). Research from other settings and other countries is not necessarily transferable to the Australian NH sector. We sought to identify and describe RCTs conducted in Australia which investigated interventions targeted at improving care for NH residents. DESIGN: The design of this study comprised a systematic literature search with a narrative review. Studies were included if they were RCTs published after 2000, conducted in an Australian NH, and evaluated a health intervention which may have directly or indirectly benefitted the NH resident. SETTING: Australian NHs. PARTICIPANTS: Nursing home residents. MEASUREMENTS: Jurisdiction (state or territory where the study was conducted), number of NHs recruited in each trial, number of residents included in each trial, intervention characteristics, comparator characteristics, and characteristics of outcome. RESULTS: Only 43 articles reporting on 39 RCTs were identified. In contrast, 30 Australian musculoskeletal RCTs were published in just 2 years (2011-2012). Most of the RCTs identified were conducted in New South Wales (n = 14), Queensland (n = 10), and Victoria (n = 9). The mean number of NHs included in each trial was 22.4 (standard deviation (SD) = 27.0), with a median of 14.5 (interquartile range (IQR) = 27.8), while the mean number of residents included was 412.4 (SD = 921) with a median of 187 (IQR = 341.0). The most common interventions targeted: managing dementia (n = 20), prevention of falls (n = 7), and addressing mental health issues (n = 6). CONCLUSION: This review provides evidence of the paucity of high-quality research in the form of RCTs, in the Australian NH setting and demonstrates the need for Australia to improve its research capability in the NH sector.