Sophisticated approaches are needed to improve the quality of care for elderly people living in residential care facilities. We determined the effects of multidisciplinary integrated care on the quality of care and quality of life for elderly people in residential care facilities.
We performed a cluster randomized controlled trial involving 10 residential care facilities in the Netherlands that included 340 participating residents with physical or cognitive disabilities. Five of the facilities applied multidisciplinary integrated care, and five provided usual care. The intervention, inspired by the disease management model, consisted of a geriatric assessment of functional health every three months. The assessment included use of the Long-term Care Facility version of the Resident Assessment Instrument by trained nurse-assistants to guide the design of an individualized care plan; discussion of outcomes and care priorities with the family physician, the resident and his or her family; and monthly multidisciplinary meetings with the nurse-assistant, family physician, psychologist and geriatrician to discuss residents with complex needs. The primary outcome was the sum score of 32 risk-adjusted quality-of-care indicators.
Compared with the facilities that provided usual care, the intervention facilities had a significantly higher sum score of the 32 quality-of-care indicators (mean difference − 6.7, p = 0.009; a medium effect size of 0.72). They also had significantly higher scores for 11 of the 32 indicators of good care in the areas of communication, delirium, behaviour, continence, pain and use of antipsychotic agents.
Multidisciplinary integrated care resulted in improved quality of care for elderly people in residential care facilities compared with usual care.
www.controlled-trials.com trial register no. ISRCTN11076857.