Disease management programs, especially those based on the Chronic Care Model (CCM), are increasingly common in the Netherlands. While disease management programs have been well-researched quantitatively and economically, less qualitative research has been done. The overall aim of the study is to explore how disease management programs are implemented within primary care settings in the Netherlands; this paper focuses on the early development and implementation stages of five disease management programs in the primary care setting, based on interviews with project leadership teams.
Eleven semi-structured interviews were conducted at the five selected sites with sixteen professionals interviewed; all project directors and managers were interviewed. The interviews focused on each project’s chosen chronic illness (diabetes, eating disorders, COPD, multi-morbidity, CVRM) and project plan, barriers to development and implementation, the project leaders’ action and reactions, as well as their roles and responsibilities, and disease management strategies. Analysis was inductive and interpretive, based on the content of the interviews. After analysis, the results of this research on disease management programs and the Chronic Care Model are viewed from a traveling technology framework.
This analysis uncovered four themes that can be mapped to disease management and the Chronic Care Model: (1) changing the health care system, (2) patient-centered care, (3) technological systems and barriers, and (4) integrating projects into the larger system. Project leaders discussed the paths, both direct and indirect, for transforming the health care system to one that addresses chronic illness. Patient-centered care was highlighted as needed and a paradigm shift for many. Challenges with technological systems were pervasive. Project leaders managed the expenses of a traveling technology, including the social, financial, and administration involved.
At the sites, project leaders served as travel guides, assisting and overseeing the programs as they traveled from the global plans to local actions. Project leaders, while hypothetically in control of the programs, in fact shared control of the traveling of the programs with patients, clinicians, and outside consultants. From this work, we can learn what roadblocks and expenses occur while a technology travels, from a project leader’s point of view.
The 30-item Self-Management Ability Scale (SMAS) measures self-management abilities (SMA). Objectives of this study were to (1) validate the SMAS among older people shortly after hospitalisation and (2) shorten the SMAS while maintaining adequate validity and reliability.
Our study was conducted among older individuals (≥ 65) who had recently been discharged from a hospital. Three months after hospital admission, 296/456 patients (65% response) were interviewed in their homes. We tested the instrument by means of structural equation modelling, and examined its validity and reliability. In addition, we tested internal consistency of the SMAS and SMAS-S among a study sample of patients at risk for cardiovascular diseases.
After eliminating 12 items, the confirmatory factor analyses revealed good indices of fit with the resulting 18-item SMAS (SMAS-S). To estimate construct validity of the instrument, we looked at correlations between SMAS subscale scores and overall well-being scores as measured by Social Product Function (SPF-IL) and Cantril's ladder. All SMAS subscales of the original and short version significantly correlated with SPF-IL scores (all at p ≤ 0.001) and Cantril's ladder (for the cognitive well-being subscale p ≤ 0.01; all other subscales at p ≤ 0.001). The findings indicated validity. Analyses of the SMAS and SMAS-S in the sample of patients at risk for cardiovascular diseases showed that both instruments are reliable.
The psychometric properties of both the SMAS and SMAS-S are good. The SMAS-S is a promising alternate instrument to evaluate self-management abilities.
We sought to identify indicators associated with the quality of life (QoL) of stroke patients and caregivers.
The cross-sectional study was conducted at nine Dutch stroke service facilities involving 251 stroke patients and their caregivers. We used the EuroQol (EQ-5D) and Satisfaction with Stroke Care questionnaires, and included the variables (1) disability at hospital admission, (2) length of hospital stay, (3) demographic data, and (4) caregivers’ relationship with stroke patients. The Actor–Partner (patient–caregiver) Interdependence Model (APIM) was used to examine dependence between patients’ and caregivers’ QoL scores through dyad membership.
Patients’ age was significantly related to their QoL, and caregivers’ age and educational level were significantly related to their QoL. Patients’ disability on hospital admission and length of stay were associated with patients’ QoL, and their disability on admission was related to caregivers’ QoL. No relationship was found between length of stay and caregivers’ QoL. Satisfaction with care was associated with both patients’ and caregivers’ QoL.
The APIM distinguished the different roles of patients and caregivers while acknowledging the interdependence of their QoL scores. Satisfaction with care was identified as important indicator of stroke patients’ and caregivers’ QoL.
Stroke; Quality of life; Caregiver; Satisfaction with care; The Actor–Partner Interdependence Model
An important condition for independent living is having a well-functioning social network to provide support. An Integrated Neighbourhood Approach (INA) creates a supportive environment for the frail elderly, offering them tailored care in their local context that allows them to improve self-management abilities and well-being. The purpose of our research is to investigate how an INA can contribute to outcomes of frail elderly and the cost-effectiveness of such a program. The first central study question is: To what extent does INA contribute to (a) continuous, demand-driven, coordinated care and support for the independently- living frail elderly; (b) improvement of their well-being and self-management abilities; and (c) reinforcement of their neighbourhood networks. The second central research question is: is the INA a cost-effective method to support the frail, independently- living elderly?
We investigate a Dutch INA. This transition experiment aims to facilitate the independently-living frail elderly (70+) to live the life they wish to live and improve their well-being. The study population consists of independently-living frail elderly persons in Rotterdam. The transition experiment starts in two Rotterdam districts and is later extended to two other districts. We propose a concurrent mixed methods design, that is, a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods to evaluate processes, effects and costs of INA. Such a design will provide insight into an on-going INA and demonstrate which of its elements are potentially (cost)-effective for the frail elderly.
We embrace a wide range of scientific methodologies to evaluate the INA project and obtain information on mechanisms and contexts that will be valuable for decision making on local and national levels. The study will lead to a better understanding of how to provide support via social networks for the frail elderly and add to the knowledge on the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the program in maintaining or improving their well-being. Last, the study will highlight the factors that determine the program's success or failure.
elderly; social network; study protocol; community; neighbourhood
In health care, many organizations are working on quality improvement and/or innovation of their care practices. Although the effectiveness of improvement processes has been studied extensively, little attention has been given to sustainability of the changed work practices after implementation. The objective of this study is to develop a theoretical framework and measurement instrument for sustainability. To this end sustainability is conceptualized with two dimensions: routinization and institutionalization.
The exploratory methodological design consisted of three phases: a) framework development; b) instrument development; and c) field testing in former improvement teams in a quality improvement program for health care (N teams = 63, N individual = 112). Data were collected not until at least one year had passed after implementation.
Underlying constructs and their interrelations were explored using Structural Equation Modeling and Principal Component Analyses. Internal consistency was computed with Cronbach's alpha coefficient. A long and a short version of the instrument are proposed.
The χ2- difference test of the -2 Log Likelihood estimates demonstrated that the hierarchical two factor model with routinization and institutionalization as separate constructs showed a better fit than the one factor model (p < .01). Secondly, construct validity of the instrument was strong as indicated by the high factor loadings of the items. Finally, the internal consistency of the subscales was good.
The theoretical framework offers a valuable starting point for the analysis of sustainability on the level of actual changed work practices. Even though the two dimensions routinization and institutionalization are related, they are clearly distinguishable and each has distinct value in the discussion of sustainability. Finally, the subscales conformed to psychometric properties defined in literature. The instrument can be used in the evaluation of improvement projects.
Surprisingly few studies have investigated the interplay of multiple factors affecting self-rated health outcomes and the role of social capital on health in developing countries, a prerequisite to strengthening our understanding of the influence of social and economic conditions on health and the most effective aid. Our study aimed to identify social and economic conditions for health among residents of an economically and health-deprived community.
Data were gathered through a survey administered to respondents from 1,020 households in Grahamstown a suburb in the Eastern Cape, South Africa (response rate 97.9%). We investigated the influence of social and economic conditions (education, employment, income, social capital, housing quality and neighborhood quality) on self-rated health. We used ordinal logistic regression analyses to identify the relationship of these conditions and self-rated health.
Our study found that education and social capital positively correlated with health; unemployment, poor educational level and advanced age negatively correlated. We found no significant correlations between self-rated health and housing quality, neighbourhood quality, income, gender, or marital status.
We highlight the possible impacts of social capital, employment, and education on health, and suggest that health outcomes may be improved through interventions beyond the health system: creating job opportunities, strengthening social capital, bettering educational systems, and promoting educational access. Policymakers should consider the benefits of such programmes when addressing health outcomes in financially distressed districts.
social capital; social determinants; socioeconomic status; health status; South Africa
To validate the ICECAP-O capability measure in psycho-geriatric elderly in nursing homes, we compared the capability scores of restrained and unrestrained clients. Both nursing staff and family were used as proxies for assessing clients’ capabilities.
For 122 psycho-geriatric elderly, a total of 96 nursing professionals and 68 family members completed a proxy questionnaire. We investigated the convergent and discriminant validity of the ICECAP-O and measures of care dependency, health-related quality of life, and overall quality of life. We also directly compared ICECAP-O scores of the 56 clients for whom both nursing staff and family members had completed the questionnaire.
Convergent validity between ICECAP-O and care dependency, health-related, and overall quality of life measures could be established, as well as discriminant validity for the restrained and unrestrained groups. Nursing and family proxy ICECAP-O tariffs were not significantly correlated.
ICECAP-O measures a more general concept than health-related quality of life and can differentiate between restrained and non-restrained psycho-geriatric clients. Since nurses seem to be able to assess the current quality of life of clients using the ICECAP-O more precisely than the family proxies, for now the use of nursing proxies is recommended in a nursing home setting.
ICECAP-O; Capabilities; Psycho-geriatric elderly
Elderly persons admitted to the hospital are at risk for hospital related functional loss. This evaluation aims to compare the effects of different levels of (integrated) health intervention care programs on preventing hospital related functional loss among elderly patients by comparing a new intervention program to two usual care programs.
This study will include an effect, process and cost evaluation using a mixed methods design of quantitative and qualitative methods. Three hospitals in the Netherlands with different levels of integrated geriatric health care will be evaluated using a quasi-experimental study design. Data collection on outcomes will take place through a prospective cohort study, which will incorporate a nested randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effects of a stay at the centre for prevention and reactivation for patients with complex problems. The study population will consist of elderly persons (65 years or older) at risk for functional loss who are admitted to one of the three hospitals. Data is prospectively collected at time of hospital admission (T0), three months (T1), and twelve months (T2) after hospital admission. Patient and informal caregiver outcomes (e.g. health related quality of life, activities of daily living, burden of care, (re-) admission in hospital or nursing homes, mortality) as well as process measures (e.g. the cooperation and collaboration of multidisciplinary teams, patient and informal caregiver satisfaction with care) will be measured. A qualitative analysis will determine the fidelity of intervention implementation as well as provide further context and explanation for quantitative outcomes. Finally, costs will be determined from a societal viewpoint to allow for cost effectiveness calculations.
It is anticipated that higher levels of integrated hospital health care for at risk elderly will result in prevention of loss of functioning and loss of quality of life after hospital discharge as well as in lower burden of care and higher quality of life for informal caregivers. Ultimately, the results of this study may contribute to the implementation of a national integrated health care program to prevent hospital related functional loss among elderly patients.
The Netherlands National Trial Register: NTR2317
In the Netherlands the extent to which chronically ill patients receive care congruent with the Chronic Care Model is unknown. The main objectives of this study were to (1) validate the Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (ACIC) in the Netherlands in various Disease Management Programmes (DMPs) and (2) shorten the 34-item ACIC while maintaining adequate validity, reliability, and sensitivity to change.
The Dutch version of the ACIC was tested in 22 DMPs with 218 professionals. We tested the instrument by means of structural equation modelling, and examined its validity, reliability and sensitivity to change.
After eliminating 13 items, the confirmatory factor analyses revealed good indices of fit with the resulting 21-item ACIC (ACIC-S). Internal consistency as represented by Cronbach's alpha ranged from 'acceptable' for the 'clinical information systems' subscale to 'excellent' for the 'organization of the healthcare delivery system' subscale. Correlations between the ACIC and ACIC-S subscales were also good, ranging from .87 to 1.00, indicating acceptable coverage of the core areas of the CCM. The seven subscales were significantly and positively correlated, indicating that the subscales were conceptually related but also distinct. Paired t-tests results show that the ACIC scores of the original instrument all improved significantly over time in regions that were in the process of implementing DMPs (all components at p < 0.0001).
We conclude that the psychometric properties of the ACIC and the ACIC-S are good and the ACIC-S is a promising alternate instrument to assess chronic illness care.
chronic care; measurement; quality; chronic illness; disease management
The quality of integrated stroke care depends on smooth team functioning but professionals may not always work well together. Professionals’ perspectives on the factors that influence stroke team functioning remain largely unexamined. Understanding their experiences is critical to indentifying measures to improve team functioning. The aim of this study was to identify the factors that contributed to the success of interprofessional stroke teams as perceived by team members.
We distributed questionnaires to professionals within 34 integrated stroke care teams at various health care facilities in 9 Dutch regions. 558 respondents (response rate: 39%) completed the questionnaire. To account for the hierarchical structure of the study design we fitted a hierarchical random-effects model. The hierarchical structure comprised 558 stroke team members (level 1) nested in 34 teams (level 2).
Analyses showed that personal development, social well-being, interprofessional education, communication, and role understanding significantly contributed to stroke team functioning. Team-level constructs affecting interprofessional stroke team functioning were communication and role understanding. No significant relationships were found with individual-level personal autonomy and team-level cohesion.
Discussion and conclusion
Our findings suggest that interventions to improve team members’ social well-being, communication, and role understanding will improve teams’ performance. To further advance interprofessional team functioning, healthcare organizations should pay attention to developing professionals’ interpersonal skills and interprofessional education.
multidisciplinary teams; interprofessional; stroke team; team functioning; integrated stroke care; multilevel analysis
The extent to which partnership synergy is created within quality improvement programmes in the Netherlands is unknown. In this article, we describe the psychometric testing of the Partnership Self-Assessment Tool (PSAT) among professionals in twenty-two disease-management partnerships participating in quality improvement projects focused on chronic care in the Netherlands. Our objectives are to validate the PSAT in the Netherlands and to reduce the number of items of the original PSAT while maintaining validity and reliability.
The Dutch version of the PSAT was tested in twenty-two disease-management partnerships with 218 professionals. We tested the instrument by means of structural equation modelling, and examined its validity and reliability.
After eliminating 14 items, the confirmatory factor analyses revealed good indices of fit with the resulting 15-item PSAT-Short version (PSAT-S). Internal consistency as represented by Cronbach's alpha ranged from acceptable (0.75) for the 'efficiency' subscale to excellent for the 'leadership' subscale (0.87). Convergent validity was provided with high correlations of the partnership dimensions and partnership synergy (ranged from 0.512 to 0.609) and high correlations with chronic illness care (ranged from 0.447 to 0.329).
The psychometric properties and convergent validity of the PSAT-S were satisfactory rendering it a valid and reliable instrument for assessing partnership synergy and its dimensions of partnership functioning.
chronic care; measurement; quality; chronic illness; health care; partnership synergy; isease management
To explore whether differences between collaboratives with respect to type of topic, type of targets, measures (systems) are also reflected in the degree of effectiveness.
182 teams from long-term healthcare organisation developed improvement initiatives in seven quality-improvement collaboratives (QICs) focusing on patient safety and autonomy.
Multiple case before–after study.
75 team leaders completed a written questionnaire at the end of each QIC on achievability and degree of challenge of targets and measurability of progress. Main outcome indicators were collaborative-specific measures (such as prevalence of pressure ulcers).
The degree of effectiveness and percentage of teams realising targets varied between collaboratives. Collaboratives also varied widely in perceived measurability (F=6.798 and p=0.000) and with respect to formulating achievable targets (F=6.566 and p=0.000). The Problem Behaviour collaborative scored significantly lower than all other collaboratives on both dimensions. The collaborative on Autonomy and control scored significantly lower on measurability than the other collaboratives. Topics for which there are best practices and evidence of effective interventions do not necessarily score higher on effectiveness, measurability, achievable and challenging targets.
The effectiveness of a QIC is associated with the efforts of programme managers to create conditions that provide insight into which changes in processes of care and in client outcomes have been made. Measurability is not an inherent property of the improvement topic. Rather, creating measurability and formulating challenging and achievable targets is one of the crucial tasks for programme managers of QICs.
Quality improvement collaborative; effectiveness; patient safety; collaborative; healthcare quality improvement
Tuberculosis (TB) and human immune virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) stigmas affect public attitudes toward TB treatment and policy. This study examined 'stigmatizing' ideas and the view that 'TB patients should line-up in the chronic illness queue' in relation to preferences and attitudes toward TB treatment.
Data were gathered through a survey administered to respondents from 1,020 households in Grahamstown. The survey measured stigmatization surrounding TB and HIV/AIDS, and determined perceptions of respondents whether TB patients should queue with other chronically ill patients. Respondents selected support and treatment options they felt would benefit TB patients. Statistical analysis identified the prevalence of TB and HIV/AIDS stigmas. Logistic regression analyses explored associations between stigmatizing ideas, views regarding TB patients in the chronic illness queue, and attitudes toward support and treatment.
Respondents with TB stigmatizing ideas held positive attitudes toward volunteer support, special TB queues, and treatment at clinics; they held negative attitudes toward temporary disability grants, provision of information at work or school, and treatment at the TB hospital. Respondents who felt it beneficial for TB patients to queue with other chronically ill patients conversely held positive attitudes toward provision of porridge and disability grants, and treatment at the TB hospital; they held negative attitudes toward volunteer support, special TB queues, information provision at work or school, and treatment at clinics.
These results showed that two varying views related to visibility factors that expose patients to stigmatization (one characterized by TB stigma, the other by the view that TB patients should queue with other chronically ill patients) are associated with opposing attitudes and preferences towards TB treatment. These opposing attitudes complicate treatment outcomes, and suggest that complex behaviors must be taken into account when designing health policy.
Disease management programmes (DMPs) have been developed to improve effectiveness and economic efficiency within chronic care delivery by combining patient-related, professional-directed, and organisational interventions. The benefits of DMPs within different settings, patient groups, and versions remain unclear. In this article we propose a protocol to evaluate a range of current DMPs by capturing them in a single conceptual framework, employing comparable structure, process, and outcome measures, and combining qualitative and quantitative research methods.
To assess DMP effectiveness a practical clinical trial will be conducted. Twenty-two disease management experiments will be studied in various Dutch regions consisting of a variety of collaborations between organisations and/or professionals. Patient cohorts include those with cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, stroke, depression, psychotic diseases, and eating disorders. Our methodological approach combines qualitative and quantitative research methods to enable a comprehensive evaluation of complex programmes. Process indicators will be collected from health care providers' data registries and measured via physician and staff questionnaires. Patient questionnaires include health care experiences, health care utilisation, and quality of life. Qualitative data will be gathered by means of interviews and document analysis for an in depth description of project interventions and the contexts in which DMPs are embedded, and an ethnographic process evaluation in five DMPs. Such a design will provide insight into ongoing DMPs and demonstrate which elements of the intervention are potentially (cost)-effective for which patient populations. It will also enable sound comparison of the results of the different programmes.
The study will lead to a better understanding of (1) the mechanisms of disease management, (2) the feasibility, and cost-effectiveness of a disease management approach to improving health care, and (3) the factors that determine success and failure of DMPs. Our study results will be relevant to decision makers and managers who confront the challenge of implementing and integrating DMPs into the health care system. Moreover, it will contribute to the search for methods to evaluate complex healthcare interventions.
To date, researchers have lacked a validated instrument to measure stroke caregivers’ satisfaction with hospital care. We adjusted a validated patient version of satisfaction with hospital care for stroke caregivers and tested the 11-item caregivers’ satisfaction with hospital care (C-SASC hospital scale) on caregivers of stroke patients admitted to nine stroke service facilities in the Netherlands. Stroke patients were identified through the stroke service facilities; caregivers were identified through the patients. We collected admission demographic data from the caregivers and gave them the C-SASC hospital scale. We tested the instrument by means of structural equation modeling and examined its validity and reliability. After the elimination of three items, the confirmatory factor analyses revealed good indices of fit with the resulting eight-item C-SASC hospital scale. Cronbach’s α was high (0.85) and correlations with general satisfaction items with hospital care ranged from 0.594 to 0.594 (convergent validity). No significant relations were found with health and quality of life (divergent validity). Such results indicate strong construct validity. We conclude that the C-SASC hospital scale is a promising instrument for measuring stroke caregivers’ satisfaction with hospital stroke care.
Stroke caregivers; Caregiver satisfaction; Acute stroke care; Stroke services; Stroke
Quality improvement collaboratives are often labeled as black boxes because effect studies usually do not describe exactly how the results were obtained. In this article we propose a way of opening such a black box, by taking up a dynamic perspective based on Actor-Network Theory. We thereby analyze how the problematisation process and the measurement practices are constructed. Findings from this analysis may have consequences for future evaluation studies of collaboratives.
In an ethnographic design we probed two projects within a larger quality improvement collaborative on long term mental health care and care for the intellectually disabled. Ethnographic observations were made at nine national conferences. Furthermore we conducted six case studies involving participating teams. Additionally, we interviewed the two program leaders of the overall projects.
In one project the problematisation seemed to undergo a shift of focus away from the one suggested by the project leaders. In the other we observed multiple roles of the measurement instrument used. The instrument did not only measure effects of the improvement actions but also changed these actions and affected the actors involved.
Effectiveness statistics ideally should be complemented with an analysis of the construction of the collaborative and the improvement practices. Effect studies of collaboratives could benefit from a mixed methods research design that combines quantitative and qualitative methods.
To test to what extent the four-factor structure of the group innovation inventory (GII) is confirmed for improvement teams participating in a quality improvement collaborative.
Quasi-experimental design with baseline and end-measurement after intervention.
This study included quality improvement teams participating in the Care for Better improvement programme for home care, care for the handicapped and the elderly in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2008.
As part of a larger evaluation study, 261 written questionnaires from team members were collected at baseline (pre-project sample) and 129 questionnaires at end-measurement (post-project sample).
Main outcome measure
Group innovation inventory.
Confirmatory factor analyses revealed the expected four-factor structure and good fit indices. The subscales ‘group functioning’ and ‘speed of action’ showed acceptable Cronbach's alphas and high inter-item correlations. The subscales ‘support for risk taking’ and ‘tolerance of mistakes’ showed insufficient reliability and validity.
The group functioning and speed of action subscales of the GII showed acceptable psychometric properties and are applicable to quality improvement teams in health care. In order to understand how social expectations within teams working in health care organizations exert influence over attitudes and behaviours thought to stimulate creativity, further conceptualization of the norms for enhancing creativity within health care is needed.
innovation; quality collaborative; healthcare teams; creativity; implementation
A quality improvement collaborative (QIC) in the Dutch long-term care sector (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home care) used evidence-based prevention methods to reduce the incidence and prevalence of pressure ulcers (PUs). The collaborative consisted of a core team of experts and 25 organizational project teams. Our aim was to determine its cost-effectiveness from a healthcare perspective.
We used a non-controlled pre-post design to establish the change in incidence and prevalence of PUs in 88 patients over the course of a year. Staff indexed data and prevention methods (activities, materials). Quality of life (Qol) weights were assigned to the PU states. We assessed the costs of activities and materials in the project. A Markov model was built based on effectiveness and cost data, complemented with a probabilistic sensitivity analysis. To illustrate the results of longer term, three scenarios were created in which change in incidence and prevalence measures were (1) not sustained, (2) partially sustained, and (3) completely sustained.
Incidence of PUs decreased from 15% to 4.5% for the 88 patients. Prevalence decreased from 38.6% to 22.7%. Average Quality of Life (Qol) of patients increased by 0.02 Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY)s in two years; healthcare costs increased by €2000 per patient; the Incremental Cost-effectiveness Ratio (ICER) was between 78,500 and 131,000 depending on whether the changes in incidence and prevalence of PU were sustained.
During the QIC PU incidence and prevalence significantly declined. When compared to standard PU care, the QIC was probably more costly and more effective in the short run, but its long-term cost-effectiveness is questionable. The QIC can only be cost-effective if the changes in incidence and prevalence of PU are sustained.
Disease management programmes are heterogeneous in nature and often lack a theoretical basis. An evaluation model has been developed in which theoretically driven inquiries link disease management interventions to outcomes. The aim of this study is to methodically evaluate the impact of a disease management programme for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on process, intermediate and final outcomes of care in a general practice setting.
A quasi-experimental research was performed with 12-months follow-up of 189 COPD patients in primary care in the Netherlands. The programme included patient education, protocolised assessment and treatment of COPD, structural follow-up and coordination by practice nurses at 3, 6 and 12 months. Data on intermediate outcomes (knowledge, psychosocial mediators, self-efficacy and behaviour) and final outcomes (dyspnoea, quality of life, measured by the CRQ and CCQ, and patient experiences) were obtained from questionnaires and electronic registries.
Implementation of the programme was associated with significant improvements in dyspnoea (p < 0.001) and patient experiences (p < 0.001). No significant improvement was found in mean quality of life scores. Improvements were found in several intermediate outcomes, including investment beliefs (p < 0.05), disease-specific knowledge (p < 0.01; p < 0.001) and medication compliance (p < 0.01). Overall, process improvement was established. The model showed associations between significantly improved intermediate outcomes and improvements in quality of life and dyspnoea.
The application of a theory-driven model enhances the design and evaluation of disease management programmes aimed at improving health outcomes. This study supports the notion that a theoretical approach strengthens the evaluation designs of complex interventions. Moreover, it provides prudent evidence that the implementation of COPD disease management programmes can positively influence outcomes of care.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a global health concern. Inadequate case finding and case holding has been cited as major barrier to the control of TB. The TB literature is written almost entirely from a biomedical perspective, while recent studies show that it is imperative to understand lay perception to determine why people seek treatment and may stop taking treatment. The Eastern Cape is known as a province with high TB incidence, prevalence and with one of the worst cure rates of South Africa. Its inhabitants can be considered lay experts when it comes to TB. Therefore, we investigated knowledge, perceptions of (access to) TB treatment and adherence to treatment among an Eastern Cape population.
An area-stratified sampling design was applied. A total of 1020 households were selected randomly in proportion to the total number of households in each neighbourhood.
TB knowledge can be considered fairly good among this community. Respondents' perceptions suggest that stigma may influence TB patients' decision in health seeking behavior and adherence to TB treatment. A full 95% of those interviewed believe people with TB tend to hide their TB status out of fear of what others may say. Regression analyses revealed that in this population young and old, men and women and the lower and higher educated share the same attitudes and perceptions. Our findings are therefore likely to reflect the actual situation of TB patients in this population.
The lay experts' perceptions suggests that stigma appears to effect case holding and case finding. Future interventions should be directed at improving attitudes and perceptions to potentially reduce stigma. This requires a patient-centered approach to empower TB patients and active involvement in the development and implementation of stigma reduction programs.
Although some studies have used the Team Climate Inventory within teams working in health care settings, none of these included quality improvement teams. The aim of our study is to investigate the psychometric properties of the 14-item version of the Team Climate Inventory in healthcare quality improvement teams participating in a Dutch quality collaborative.
This study included quality improvement teams participating in the Care for Better improvement program for home care, care for the handicapped and the elderly in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2008. As part of a larger evaluation study 270 written questionnaires from team members were collected at baseline and 139 questionnaires at end measurement. Confirmatory factor analyses, reliability, Pearson correlations and paired samples t-tests were conducted to investigate construct validity, reliability, predictive validity and temporal stability.
Confirmatory factor analyses revealed the expected four-factor structure and good fit indices. For the four subscales – vision, participative safety, task orientation and support for innovation – acceptable Cronbach's alpha coefficients and high inter-item correlations were found. The four subscales all proved significant predictors of perceived team effectiveness, with participatory safety being the best predictor. As expected the four subscales were found to be stable over time; i.e. without significant changes between baseline and end measurement.
The psychometric properties of the Dutch version of the TCI-14 are satisfactory. Together these results show that the TCI-14 is a useful instrument to assess to what extent aspects of team climate influence perceived team effectiveness of quality improvement teams.
The Prevention and Reactivation Care Program (PReCaP) entails an innovative multidisciplinary, integrated and goal oriented approach aimed at reducing hospital related functional decline among elderly patients. Despite calls for process evaluation as an essential component of clinical trials in the geriatric care field, studies assessing fidelity lag behind the number of effect studies. The threefold purpose of this study was (1) to systematically assess intervention fidelity of the hospital phase of the PReCaP in the first year of the intervention delivery; (2) to improve our understanding of the moderating factors and modifications affecting intervention fidelity; and (3) to explore the feasibility of the PReCaP fidelity assessment in view of the modifications.
Based on the PReCaP description we developed a fidelity instrument incorporating nineteen (n=19) intervention components. A combination of data collection methods was utilized, i.e. data collection from patient records and individual Goal Attainment Scaling care plans, in-depth interviews with stakeholders, and non-participant observations. Descriptive analysis was performed to obtain levels of fidelity of each of the nineteen PReCaP components. Moderating factors were identified by using the Conceptual Framework for Implementation Fidelity.
Ten of the nineteen intervention components were always or often delivered to the group of twenty elderly patients. Moderating factors, such as facilitating strategies and context were useful in explaining the non- or low-adherence of particular intervention components.
Fidelity assessment was carried out to evaluate the adherence to the PReCaP in the Vlietland Ziekenhuis in the Netherlands. Given that the fidelity was assessed in the first year of PReCaP implementation it was commendable that ten of the nineteen intervention components were performed always or often. The adequate delivery of the intervention components strongly depended on various moderating factors. Since the intervention is still developing and undergoing continuous modifications, it has been concluded that the fidelity criteria should evolve with the modified intervention. Furthermore, repeated intervention fidelity assessments will be necessary to ensure a valid and reliable fidelity assessment of the PReCaP.
The Netherlands National Trial Register: NTR2317
Geriatric care intervention; Intervention fidelity; Moderating factors
Hospital related functional decline in older patients is an underestimated problem. Thirty-five procent of 70-year old patients experience functional decline during hospital admission in comparison with pre-illness baseline. This percentage increases considerably with age.
To address this issue, the Vlietland Ziekenhuis in The Netherlands has implemented an innovative program (PReCaP), aimed at reducing hospital related functional decline among elderly patients by offering interventions that are multidisciplinary, integrated and goal-oriented at the physical, social, and psychological domains of functional decline.
This paper presents a detailed description of the intervention, which incorporates five distinctive elements: (1) Early identification of elderly patients with a high risk of functional decline, and if necessary followed by the start of the reactivation treatment within 48 h after hospital admission; (2) Intensive follow-up treatment for a selected patient group at the Prevention and Reactivation Centre (PRC); (3) Availability of multidisciplinary geriatric expertise; (4) Provision of support and consultation of relevant professionals to informal caregivers; (5) Intensive follow-up throughout the entire chain of care by a casemanager with geriatric expertise. Outcome and process evaluations are ongoing and results will be published in a series of future papers.
The Netherlands National Trial Register: NTR2317