This study aims to describe the development, testing and optimization of a new standard instrument, the Consumer Quality Index (CQ-index®) Long-term Care, for measuring client experiences with long-term care in the Netherlands.
Three versions of the CQ-index questionnaires and protocols for study sampling and data collection were developed, designed for interviews with residents of nursing or residential care homes and postal surveys among representatives of psychogeriatric residents and homecare clients. From July to November 2006 a pilot study was conducted among 2,697 clients of 68 nursing or residential care homes, 2,164 representatives of clients in 57 psychogeriatric care institutions, and 1,462 clients of 19 homecare organizations. We performed psychometric analyses and descriptive analyses, and evaluated the pilot study.
The pilot study showed the feasibility and usability of the instruments, supported the multidimensionality of the questionnaires and showed first findings on client experiences and possibilities for quality improvement. Nine scales applied to all care settings: shared decision making, attitude and courtesy, information, body care, competence and safety of care, activities, autonomy, mental well-being, and availability of personnel. The pilot resulted in three optimized questionnaires and recommendations for nationwide implementation.
The CQ-index® Long-term Care provides a good basis to investigate the quality of nursing homes, residential care homes and homecare from the clients' perspective. This standardized instrument enables a nationwide comparison of the quality of long-term care for the purpose of transparency and quality assurance.
Determine the degree to which AACP member schools have established professional practice plans, characterize the nature of existing practice plans, and provide recommendations on the implementation of practice plans at AACP member schools.
Survey of CEO Deans of AACP member institutions administered via online survey instrument.
Sixty-five schools responded, with 29 (45%) indicating that they had an active practice plan in place. Fifty-two percent of those who do no have practice plans in place anticipate having plans established within three years. A variety of revenue sources are addressed by existing practice plans including sponsored research, patient care, educational activities and consulting.
Academic pharmacy lacks sophistication in regards to developing comprehensive professional practice plans. Colleges of pharmacy should consider differentiating plans that address monies collected from sponsored research vs. professional services. AACP should continue to monitor this topic as increasing participation by member schools is expected.
practice plans; faculty consulting; clinical services; faculty-generated revenue
The National Long Term Care Demonstration (channeling) was designed to provide coordinated community-based long-term care services to those older persons at high risk of nursing home placement. A key component of the program was the process established to accomplish this targeting effort. In this article, the outreach and eligibility procedures developed in the demonstration are described. Characteristics of channeling clients are compared to those of clients from other long-term care demonstrations, a national nursing home sample, and a simulated national sample of functionally impaired older persons. Results indicate that the channeling clients were quite frail, more so than the clients served in most of the other long-term care demonstrations, but were younger, slightly less disabled, and more likely to be married than a national sample of nursing home residents.
In contrast with issues of consent capacity, financial capacity has received surprisingly little clinical or ethical attention in the psychiatric literature. Issues of financial capacity emerge frequently regarding clients with serious mental illness (SMI), and their resolution has practical and ethical significance for clients, their families, and mental health professionals. These issues include whether a client has sufficient financial skills and judgment to live independently, whether a client requires a representative payee, and what goals for community reintegration should be established with a client. Similar to informed consent, issues of financial capacity raise ethical challenges for clinicians, caseworkers, and agencies. The present article addresses clinical and research ethics questions related to financial capacity in clients with schizophrenia and SMI. Clinical questions concern evaluation of financial capacity in clients with SMI, whether to seek assignment of a mandatory representative payee, whether to leverage treatment compliance through a representative payee arrangement, and whether a mental health professional should also serve as a client's representative payee. The research ethics question addresses implications of providing financial compensation for research participation to individuals with SMI and limited financial capacity and means. The ultimate goal of this article is to focus clinical and ethical attention on a neglected decisional capacity in SMI that is of fundamental importance for clients, families, clinicians, and researchers.
financial capacity; ethics; schizophrenia; SMI; representative payee
OBJECTIVE: To compare the predictive power of functional assessment for death and institutionalization with the clinical judgment of continuing care nurses; to determine the rates of functional impairment in elderly community-based continuing care clients; to describe long-term group trends in this population. DESIGN: A prospective cohort study, which lasted 4 years. SETTING: Community-based continuing care nursing program. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred thirty-seven elderly (65 years or older) clients of the program. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Activities of daily living (ADL), cognitive function, and affective function were assessed when clients entered the program (using the Barthel Index, the Canadian Mental Status Questionnaire, and the Memorial University Scale of Happiness). Home care nurses were asked to predict whether individual clients would have died or dropped out of the program at 1 year after entry. RESULTS: Cognitive function and ADL function tests were significant predictors of both death and drop-out from the program; they were better than clinical judgment. Rates of cognitive and ADL functioning were as expected; the rate of affective impairment (53.6%) was much higher than anticipated. At the end of 4 years, only 22.5% of the cohort were still receiving continuing care. CONCLUSIONS: Functional assessment of cognitive and ADL domains was a better predictor of outcomes than clinical judgment. Studying the cohort enabled us to describe group trends, which could be valuable for program managers.
The European Resuscitation Council, established in 1990, is committed to saving lives by improving standards of cardiopulmonary resuscitation across Europe and coordinating the activities of interested organisations and individuals. In this regard the council has successfully brought together physicians and surgeons from eastern and western Europe and, in addition, has established relations with the American Heart Association and equivalent organisations in Canada, Australia, and South Africa. A main objective of the European Resuscitation Council is to produce guidelines for cardiopulmonary and cerebral resuscitation, and in this paper members of a working party of 14 experts from 11 countries set out an abridged version of the council's guidelines for adult advanced cardiac life support. The council hopes that the guidelines and accompanying algorithms will serve as a ready use "how to do it" for ordinary practitioners and paramedics inside and outside hospital.
Research on drug treatment facility locations has focused narrowly on the issue of geographic proximity to clients. We argue that neighborhood conditions should also enter into the facility location decision and illustrate a formal assessment of neighborhood conditions at facilities in a large, metropolitan area, taking into account conditions clients already face at home. We discuss choice and construction of small-area measures relevant to the drug treatment context, including drug activity, disadvantage, and violence as well as statistical comparisons of clients’ home and treatment locations with respect to these measures. Analysis of 22,707 clients discharged from 494 community-based outpatient and residential treatment facilities that received public funds during 1998–2000 in Los Angeles County revealed no significant mean differences between home and treatment neighborhoods. However, up to 20% of clients are exposed to markedly higher levels of disadvantage, violence, or drug activity where they attend treatment than where they live, suggesting that it is not uncommon for treatment locations to increase clients’ exposure to potential environmental triggers for relapse. Whereas on average both home and treatment locations exhibit higher levels of these measures than the household locations of the general population, substantial variability in public treatment clients’ home neighborhoods calls into question the notion that they hail exclusively from poor, high drug activity areas. Shortcomings of measures available for neighborhood assessment of treatment locations and implications of the findings for other areas of treatment research are also discussed.
Facility location; Neighborhoods; Spatial analysis; Substance abuse treatment
To elicit priority rankings of indicators of quality of care among providers and decision-makers in continuing care in Alberta, Canada.
We used modified nominal group technique to elicit priorities and criteria for prioritization among the quality indicators and resident/client assessment protocols developed by the interRAI consortium for use in long-term care and home care.
The top-ranked items from the long-term care assessment data were pressure ulcers, pain and incontinence. The top-ranked items from the home care data were pain, falls and proportion of clients at high risk for residential placement. Participants considered a variety of issues in deciding how to rank the indicators.
This work reflects the beginning of a process to better understand how providers and policy makers can work together to assess priorities for quality improvement within continuing care.
Research in homeopathy has traditionally addressed itself to defining the effectiveness of homeopathic potencies in comparison to placebo medication. There is now increasing awareness that the homeopathic consultation is in itself a therapeutic intervention working independently or synergistically with the prescribed remedy. Our objective was to identify and evalute potential "active ingredients" of the homeopathic approach as a whole, in a prospective formal case series, which draws on actual consultation data, and is based on the MRC framework for the evaluation of complex interventions.
Following on from a theoretical review of how homeopathic care might mediate its effects, 18 patients were prospectively recruited to a case series based at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital. Patients, who lived with one of three index conditions, were interviewed before and after a five visit "package of care". All consultations were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Additional data, including generic and condition-specific questionnaires, artwork and "significant other" reports were collected. Textual data was subject to thematic analysis and triangulated with other sources.
We judged that around one third of patients had experienced a major improvement in their health over the study period, a third had some improvement and a third had no improvement. Putative active ingredients included the patients' "openness to the mind-body connection", consultational empathy, in-depth enquiry into bodily complaints, disclosure, the remedy matching process and, potentially, the homeopathic remedies themselves.
This study has has identified, using primary consultation and other data, a range of factors that might account for the effectiveness of homeopathic care. Some of these, such as empathy, are non-specific. Others, such as the remedy matching process, are specific to homeopathy. These findings counsel against the use of placebo-controlled RCT designs in which both arms would potentially be receiving specific active ingredients. Future research in homeopathy should focus on pragmatic trials and seek to confirm or refute the therapeutic role of constructs such as patient "openness", disclosure and homeopathicity.
Brighton community health council responded to the invitation of five local general practitioners to undertake a patient satisfaction survey of their practices. A total of 177 mothers of children under five years old were interviewed in their own homes. Satisfaction with the services provided by the general practitioners and members of the primary health care team to the respondents and to their young children was high overall, but critical comment reflected a dissatisfaction with professionals' unwillingness to take mothers' concerns at face value and to recognize the validity of mothers' own experiential knowledge. Some women were not satisfied with the extent to which they could ask questions or explain their problem. They resented attempts by receptionists to bar access to doctors and the apparent reluctance of doctors and health visitors to make home visits. It is suggested that various strategies such as telephone consultations, written guidelines on childhood ailments and parent support groups within the context of a more interactive partnership between patients and professionals could lead to a more effective service.
The channeling demonstration sought to substitute community care for nursing home care to reduce long-term care costs and improve the quality of life of elderly clients and the family members and friends who care for them. Two interventions were tested, each in five sites; both had comprehensive case management at their core. One model added a small amount of additional funding for direct community services to fill the gaps in the existing system; the other substantially expanded coverage of community services regardless of categorical eligibility under existing programs. The demonstration was evaluated using a randomized experimental design to test the effects of channeling on use of community care, nursing homes, hospitals, and informal caregiving, and on measures of the quality of life of clients and their informal caregivers. Data were obtained from interviews with clients and informal caregivers; service use and cost records came from Medicare, Medicaid, channeling, and providers; and death records for an 18-month follow-up period were examined.
Registered nurses make measurable contributions to the health and wellness of persons living in nursing homes. However, most nursing homes do not employ adequate numbers of professional nurses with specialized training in the nursing care of older adults to positively impact resident outcomes. As a result, many people never receive excellent geriatric nursing while living in a long-term care facility. Nurses have introduced various professional practice models into health care institutions as tools for leading nursing practice, improving client outcomes, and achieving organizational goals. Problematically, few professional practice models have been implemented in nursing homes. This article introduces an evidence-based framework for professional nursing practice in long-term care. The Everyday Excellence framework is based upon eight guiding principles: Valuing, Envisioning, Peopling, Securing, Learning, Empowering, Leading, and Advancing Excellence. Future research will evaluate the usefulness of this framework for professional nursing practice.
Although significant numbers of social service clients experience mental health problems, virtually no research has examined the responsiveness of social service agencies to mental disorder. This article examines the extent to which client depression is reflected in records of a public social service agency, community long-term care (CLTC). Researchers assessed new, consenting CLTC clients for depression using standardized research criteria in a telephone interview. Agency case records were abstracted to determine the extent to which client depression was noted. Sensitivity and specificity of depression notation were 25.21 percent and 92.80 percent, respectively, indicating that agency records reflected depression for about one in four clients meeting depression criteria. Factors associated with accurate depression notation included cognitive impairments, low social support, psychotropic medications, and mental health treatment. The depression notation rates found are comparable to those in medical settings. Structured screening and assessment might enhance detection of mental disorder for social service clients.
agency records; assessment; depression; mental health; social service agencies
OBJECTIVE. This study calculated the risk of nursing home admission for clients receiving home- and community-based (HCB) care in a capitated long-term care system. DATA SOURCES. Program administrative data for non-institutionalized elderly and physically disabled (EPD) clients who had an HCB long-term care placement in the Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS) during the period from January 1989 through December 1991. STUDY DESIGN. The program experience of clients who were initially placed in HCB care (N = 2,923) was tracked from the date on which they entered the program until the end of December 1992. DATA EXTRACTION METHODS. Program administrative data were used to create spans of program experience for each client. Cox proportional hazards regression models were then used to assess the individual factors associated with the risk of nursing home entry during the study period. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS. The greatest risk of nursing home entry was observed for those who were older or white, and for those clients with Alzheimer's disease. Little significant effect was observed for support system variables. CONCLUSIONS. Study results suggest that efforts to prevent nursing home entry may be most productive if they focus on the point at which clients are first assessed for placement into the ALTCS program. Once in HCB care, subsequent risk of nursing home placement may be more related to the client's health and frailty than to support system factors.
This article presents a model for the annual transitions of clients through various home and facility placements in a long-term care program. The model, an application of Markov chain analysis, is developed, tested, and applied to over 9,000 clients (N = 9,483) in British Columbia's Long Term Care Program (LTC) over the period 1978-1983. Results show that the model gives accurate forecasts of the progress of groups of clients from state to state in the long-term care system from time of admission until eventual death. Statistical methods are used to test the modeling hypothesis that clients' year-over-year transitions occur in constant proportions from state to state within the long-term care system. Tests are carried out by examining actual year-over-year transitions of each year's new admission cohort (1978-1983). Various subsets of the available data are analyzed and, after accounting for clear differences among annual cohorts, the most acceptable model of the actual client transition data occurred when clients were separated into male and female groups, i.e., the transition behavior of each group is describable by a different Markov model. To validate the model, we develop model estimates for the numbers of existing clients in each state of the long-term care system for the period (1981-1983) for which actual data are available. When these estimates are compared with the actual data, total weighted absolute deviations do not exceed 10 percent of actuals. Finally, we use the properties of the Markov chain probability transition matrix and simulation methods to develop three-year forecasts with prediction intervals for the distribution of the existing total clients into each state of the system. The tests, forecasts, and Markov model supplemental information are contained in a mechanized procedure suitable for a microcomputer. The procedure provides a powerful, efficient tool for decision makers planning facilities and services in response to the needs of long-term care clients.
This article reports the long-range impact of a long-term home care program in Chicago on hospital and nursing home use and on overall health care costs over four client-years of observation. The evaluation utilized a quasi-experimental design with a comparison group composed of clients who received home-delivered meals. The health services utilization experience of consecutively accepted treatment (N = 157) and comparison group (N = 156) subjects was monitored for 48 client-months following acceptance to care. Imputed costs were then assigned to each type of care measured. Findings include a significantly lower risk of permanent admission to sheltered and intermediate-level nursing home care in the treatment group but no difference in risk of permanent admission to skilled-level nursing home care. Despite savings in low-intensity nursing home days, preliminary findings indicate that total costs of care were 25 percent higher in the treatment group. However, these costs are accompanied by significant quality-of-life benefits in the treatment group (reported elsewhere).
The use of a self-recording and supervision program to increase interactions between direct care staff and profoundly retarded persons in a state residential facility was investigated. Following baseline, staff were provided with instructions regarding what to self-record, criteria for how many interactions to record, and a prepared card on which to make the recordings. Throughout the study, the staff supervisor monitored intermittently staff-client interactions. Observations indicated that when the staff recorded their interactions with clients in a loosely structured dayroom setting, the rate of interactions increased noticeably for each staff person. Behavioral ecology measures indicated that other staff responsibilities, such as maintaining the cleanliness of residents and the physical area, were not affected detrimentally when social interactions increased and actually showed small improvements. Additionally, small decreases in resident self-stimulatory and disruptive/aggressive behaviors occurred when the rate of social interactions from staff persons increased. Follow-up measures indicated that the rate of staff self-recording was variable, but when staff did self-record, the increased rate of staff-client interactions maintained.
A thorough understanding of the literature generated from research in care homes is required to support evidence-based commissioning and delivery of healthcare. So far this research has not been compiled or described. We set out to describe the extent of the evidence base derived from randomized controlled trials conducted in care homes.
A systematic mapping review was conducted of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in care homes. Medline was searched for “Nursing Home”, “Residential Facilities” and “Homes for the Aged”; CINAHL for “nursing homes”, “residential facilities” and “skilled nursing facilities”; AMED for “Nursing homes”, “Long term care”, “Residential facilities” and “Randomized controlled trial”; and BNI for “Nursing Homes”, “Residential Care” and “Long-term care”. Articles were classified against a keywording strategy describing: year and country of publication; randomization, stratification and blinding methodology; target of intervention; intervention and control treatments; number of subjects and/or clusters; outcome measures; and results.
3226 abstracts were identified and 291 articles reviewed in full. Most were recent (median age 6 years) and from the United States. A wide range of targets and interventions were identified. Studies were mostly functional (44 behaviour, 20 prescribing and 20 malnutrition studies) rather than disease-based. Over a quarter focussed on mental health.
This study is the first to collate data from all RCTs conducted in care homes and represents an important resource for those providing and commissioning healthcare for this sector. The evidence-base is rapidly developing. Several areas - influenza, falls, mobility, fractures, osteoporosis – are appropriate for systematic review. For other topics, researchers need to focus on outcome measures that can be compared and collated.
Depression is common in coronary heart disease (CHD) and increases the incidence of coronary symptoms and death in CHD patients. Interventions feasible for use in primary care are needed to improve both mood and cardiac outcomes. The UPBEAT-UK programme of research has been funded by the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to explore the relationship between CHD and depression and to develop a new intervention for use in primary care.
Using the Medical Research Council (MRC) guidelines for developing and evaluating complex interventions, we conducted a systematic review and qualitative research to develop a primary care-based nurse-led intervention to improve mood and cardiac outcomes in patients with CHD and depression. Iterative literature review was used to synthesise our empirical work and to identify evidence and theory to inform the intervention.
We developed a primary care-based nurse-led personalised care intervention which utilises elements of case management to promote self management. Following biopsychosocial assessment, a personalised care plan is devised. Nurses trained in behaviour change techniques facilitate patients to address the problems important to them. Identification and utilisation of existing resources is promoted. Nurse time is conserved through telephone follow up.
Application of the MRC framework for complex interventions has allowed us to develop an evidence based intervention informed by patient and clinician preferences and established theory. The feasibility and acceptability of this intervention is now being tested further in an exploratory trial.
Complex intervention; Personalised care; Coronary heart disease; Depression; Primary care
Geographic disparities in hospitalization rates for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been observed in Texas. However, little is known about the sources of these variations. The purpose of this manuscript is to further explore the geographic disparity of COPD hospitalization rates in Texas by examining county-level factors affecting access to care.
Patients and methods
The study is a cross-sectional analysis of the 2007 Texas Health Care Information Council, Texas, demographer population projections and the 2009 Area Resource File (ARF). The unit of analysis was county-specific hospitalization rate, calculated as the number of discharges of county residents divided by county-level population estimates. Indicators of access to care included: type of safety-net facility and number of pulmonary specialists in a county. Safety-net facilities of interest were federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs).
There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) in hospitalization rates according to health center presence. Counties with only FQHCs had the lowest COPD hospitalization rate (132 per 100,000 observations), and counties with only RHCs had the highest hospitalization rate (229 per 100,000 observations). The presence of a pulmonary specialist was associated with a significant decrease (25%) in hospitalization rates among counties with only FQHCs.
In Texas, counties with only FQHCs were associated with lower COPD hospitalization rates. The presence of a RHC alone may be insufficient to decrease hospitalizations from COPD. There are a number of factors that may contribute to these variations in hospitalization rates, such as racial/ethnic distribution, types and quality of services provided, and the level of rurality, which creates greater distances to care and lower concentration of hospitals and pulmonary specialists.
health centers; COPD; health disparities
This article analyzes three methods used to forecast the transition of long-term care clients through a variety of possible home and facility placements and levels of care. The test population (N = 1,653) is derived from the larger population of clients admitted in 1978 to British Columbia's newly established Long-Term Care program. The investigators have accumulated 5 years of service-generated data on moves, discharges, and deaths of these clients. Results show that the first-order Markov chain with stationary transition probabilities yields a superior forecast to state-by-state moving average growth and state-by-state regression analyses. The results of these analyses indicate that the Markov method should receive serious consideration as a tool for resource planning and allocation in long-term care.
Historical bias toward service-oriented inpatient graduate medical education experiences has hindered both resident education and care of patients in the ambulatory setting.
Describe and evaluate a residency redesign intended to improve the ambulatory experience for residents and patients.
Categorical Internal Medicine resident ambulatory practice at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center.
We created a year-long continuous ambulatory group-practice experience separated from traditional inpatient responsibilities called the long block as an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Educational Innovations Project. The practice adopted the Chronic Care Model and residents received extensive instruction in quality improvement and interprofessional teams.
The long block was associated with significant increases in resident and patient satisfaction as well as improvement in multiple quality process and outcome measures. Continuity and no-show rates also improved.
An ambulatory long block can be associated with improvements in resident and patient satisfaction, quality measures, and no-show rates. Future research should be done to determine effects of the long block on education and patient care in the long term, and elucidate which aspects of the long block most contribute to improvement.
ambulatory education; clinic; residency training; chronic care model
The role of general practitioners is being redefined in the light of the emphasis on more care in the community, economic factors, and patients' expectations. The strength of general practice lies in the doctor-patient relationship; this strength must not be lost sight of. Specific tasks of the general practitioner include the responsibility for the care of individuals; the role of gatekeeper; broad knowledge of curative, preventive; and rehabilitative medicine; teamwork; management; and development of population based strategies. Future work patterns include the general practitioner first and foremost as a clinician and an integrator of health services, but they also involve audit, education and training, research, management, and relations with organisations in the public, private, and voluntary sectors. It is important to make changes only when they benefit patients and to maintain the principle of equity of access to care.
The CQ Index for the elderly, a quality-of-care questionnaire administered by conducting interviews, is used to assess clients' experiences in Dutch nursing homes and homes for the elderly. This article describes whether inter-interviewer differences influence the perceived quality of healthcare services reported by residents, the size of this interviewer effect and the influence of the interviewer characteristics on CQ Index dimensions for public reporting.
Data from 4345 questionnaires was used. Correlations were calculated, reliability analyses were performed, and a multilevel analysis was used to calculate the degree of correlation between two interviewers within one health care institution. Five models were constructed and the Intra Class Correlation (ICC) was calculated. Healthcare institutions were given 1-5 stars on every quality dimensions (1 = worst and 5 = best), adjusted for resident and interviewer characteristics. The effect of these characteristics on the assignment of the stars was investigated.
In a multilevel approach, the ICC showed a significant amount of variance on five quality dimensions. Of the interviewer characteristics, only previous interviewing experience, the reason of interviewing and general knowledge of health care had a significant effect on the quality dimensions. Adjusting for interviewer characteristics did not affect the overall star assignment to the institutions regarding 7 of 12 quality dimensions. For the other five dimensions (Shared decision-making, Meals, Professional competency, Autonomy, and Availability of personnel) a minor effect was found.
We have shown that training, the use of experienced interviewers, written instructions, supervision and educational meetings do not automatically prevent interviewer effects. While the results of this study can be used to improve the quality of services provided by these institutions, several CQ index dimensions should be interpreted with caution for external purposes (accountability and transparency).
UK GPs are no longer responsible for the organisation of out-of-hours care for their patients, but resources remains capitation-based. This cross-sectional study tests whether council tax valuation bands can predict the demand for such services. All out-of-hours contacts made by patients in North Wiltshire over 4 months were classified by council tax band; frequencies compared with official population statistics. Council tax band predicts out-of-hours GP workload irrespective of age and sex: the more modest the home, the higher the GP contact rate. It may prove more difficult to sustain out-of-hours services in deprived parts of the UK.
council tax valuation band; health resources; out-of-hours medical care; primary care; socioeconomic factors; workload