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1.  The management of cardiovascular disease in the Netherlands: analysis of different programmes 
Disease management programmes are increasingly used to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of chronic care delivery. But, disease management programme development and implementation is a complex undertaking that requires effective decision-making. Choices made in the earliest phases of programme development are crucial, as they ultimately impact costs, outcomes and sustainability.
To increase our understanding of the choices that primary healthcare practices face when implementing such programmes and to stimulate successful implementation and sustainability, we compared the early implementation of eight cardiovascular disease management programmes initiated and managed by healthcare practices in various regions of the Netherlands. Using a mixed-methods design, we identified differences in and challenges to programme implementation in terms of context, patient characteristics, disease management level, healthcare utilisation costs, development costs and health-related quality of life.
Shifting to a multidisciplinary, patient-centred care pathway approach to disease management is demanding for organisations, professionals and patients, and is especially vulnerable when sustainable change is the goal. Funding is an important barrier to sustainable implementation of cardiovascular disease management programmes, although development costs of the individual programmes varied considerably in relation to the length of the development period. The large number of professionals involved in combination with duration of programme development was the largest cost drivers. While Information and Communication Technology systems to support the new care pathways did not directly contribute to higher costs, delays in implementation indirectly did.
Developing and implementing cardiovascular disease management programmes is time-consuming and challenging. Multidisciplinary, patient-centred care demands multifaceted changes in routine care. As care pathways become more complex, they also become more expensive. Better preparedness and training can prevent unnecessary delays during the implementation period and are crucial to reducing costs.
PMCID: PMC3807633  PMID: 24167456
cardiovascular disease management; integrated care pathways; chronic care delivery; programme implementation; the Netherlands
2.  Changes in costs and effects after the implementation of disease management programs in the Netherlands: variability and determinants 
The aim of the study was to investigate the changes in costs and outcomes after the implementation of various disease management programs (DMPs), to identify their potential determinants, and to compare the costs and outcomes of different DMPs.
We investigated the 1-year changes in costs and effects of 1,322 patients in 16 DMPs for cardiovascular risk (CVR), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes mellitus (DMII) in the Netherlands. We also explored the within-DMP predictors of these changes. Finally, a cost-utility analysis was performed from the healthcare and societal perspective comparing the most and the least effective DMP within each disease category.
This study showed wide variation in development and implementation costs between DMPs (range:€16;€1,709) and highlighted the importance of economies of scale. Changes in health care utilization costs were not statistically significant. DMPs were associated with improvements in integration of CVR care (0.10 PACIC units), physical activity (+0.34 week-days) and smoking cessation (8% less smokers) in all diseases. Since an increase in physical activity and in self-efficacy were predictive of an improvement in quality-of-life, DMPs that aim to improve these are more likely to be effective. When comparing the most with the least effective DMP in a disease category, the vast majority of bootstrap replications (range:73%;97) pointed to cost savings, except for COPD (21%). QALY gains were small (range:0.003;+0.013) and surrounded by great uncertainty.
After one year we have found indications of improvements in level of integrated care for CVR patients and lifestyle indicators for all diseases, but in none of the diseases we have found indications of cost savings due to DMPs. However, it is likely that it takes more time before the improvements in care lead to reductions in complications and hospitalizations.
PMCID: PMC4118650  PMID: 25089122
Costs; Effectiveness; Coordinated care; Cardiovascular disease; Diabetes; COPD
3.  The role of team climate in improving the quality of chronic care delivery: a longitudinal study among professionals working with chronically ill adolescents in transitional care programmes 
BMJ Open  2014;4(5):e005369.
This study aimed to (1) evaluate the effectiveness of implementing transition programmes in improving the quality of chronic care delivery and (2) identify the predictive role of (changes in) team climate on the quality of chronic care delivery over time.
This longitudinal study was undertaken with professionals working in hospitals and rehabilitation units that participated in the transition programme ‘On Your Own Feet Ahead!’ in the Netherlands.
A total of 145/180 respondents (80.6%) filled in the questionnaire at the beginning of the programme (T1), and 101/173 respondents (58.4%) did so 1 year later at the end of the programme (T2). A total of 90 (52%) respondents filled in the questionnaire at both time points. Two-tailed, paired t tests were used to investigate improvements over time and multilevel analyses to investigate the predictive role of (changes in) team climate on the quality of chronic care delivery.
Transition programme.
Primary outcome measures
Quality of chronic care delivery measured with the Assessment of Chronic Illness Care Short version (ACIC-S).
The overall ACIC-S score at T1 was 5.90, indicating basic or intermediate support for chronic care delivery. The mean ACIC-S score at T2 significantly improved to 6.70, indicating advanced support for chronic care. After adjusting for the quality of chronic care delivery at T1 and significant respondents’ characteristics, multilevel regression analyses showed that team climate at T1 (p<0.01) and changes in team climate (p<0.001) predicted the quality of chronic care delivery at T2.
The implementation of transition programmes requires a supportive and stimulating team climate to enhance the quality of chronic care delivery to chronically ill adolescents.
PMCID: PMC4039831  PMID: 24852302
4.  Self-management abilities and frailty are important for healthy aging among community-dwelling older people; a cross-sectional study 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14:28.
This study aimed to identify the relationships of self-management abilities and frailty to perceived poor health among community-dwelling older people in the Netherlands while controlling for important individual characteristics such as education, age, marital status, and gender.
The cross-sectional study sample consisted of 869/2212 (39% response rate) independently living older adults (aged ≥70 years) in 92 neighborhoods of Rotterdam. In the questionnaires we assessed self-rated health, frailty using the Tilburg Frailty Indicator (TFI) and self-management abilities with the short version of the Self-Management Ability Scale (SMAS-S). We first used descriptive analysis to identify those in poor and good health. Differences between groups were established using chi-squared and t-tests. Relationships between individual characteristics, frailty, self-management abilities and poor health were investigated with correlation analyses. Multilevel logistic regression analyses were than performed to investigate the relationships of self-management abilities and frailty to health while controlling for age, gender, education, and marital status. The results of the multilevel regression analyses are reported as odd ratios.
Respondents in poor health were older than those in good health (78.8 vs. 77.2; p ≤ .001). A significantly larger proportion of older people in poor health were poorly educated (38.4% vs. 19.0%; p ≤ .001) and fewer were married (33.6% vs. 46.3%; p ≤ .001). Furthermore, older people in poor health reported significantly lower self-management abilities (3.5 vs. 4.1; p ≤ .001) and higher levels of frailty (6.9 vs. 3.3; p ≤ .001). Correlation analyses showed significant relationships between frailty, self-management abilities and poor health. Multilevel analyses showed that, after controlling for background characteristics, self-management abilities were negatively associated with poor health (p ≤ .05) and a positive relationship was found between frailty and poor health (p ≤ .05) among older people in the community.
Self-management abilities and frailty are important for healthy aging among community-dwelling older people in the Netherlands. Particularly vulnerable are the lower educated older adults. Interventions to improve self-management abilities may help older people age healthfully and prevent losses as they age further.
PMCID: PMC3975729  PMID: 24602327
Community study; Netherlands; Self-management; Frailty; Health
5.  Reducing bottlenecks: professionals’ and adolescents’ experiences with transitional care delivery 
The purpose of this study was to describe the interventions implemented in a quality improvement programme to improve transitional care and evaluate its effectiveness in reducing bottlenecks as perceived by professionals and improving chronically ill adolescents’ experiences with care delivery.
This longitudinal study was undertaken with adolescents and professionals who participated in the Dutch ‘On Your Own Feet Ahead!’ quality improvement programme. This programme followed the Breakthrough Series improvement and implementation strategy.
A total of 102/128 (79.7%) professionals from 21 hospital teams filled out a questionnaire at the start of the programme (T0), and 79/123 (64.2%; five respondents had changed jobs) professionals completed the same questionnaire 1 year later (T1). Seventy-two (58.5%) professionals from 21 teams returned questionnaires at both time points. Of 389 and 430 participating adolescents, 36% and 41% returned questionnaires at T0 and T1, respectively. We used descriptive statistics and two-tailed, paired t-tests to investigate improvements in bottlenecks in transitional care (perceived by professionals) and care delivery (perceived by adolescents).
Professionals observed improvement in all bottlenecks at T1 (vs. T0; p < 0.05), especially in the organisation of care, such as the presence of a joint mission between paediatric and adult care, coordination of care, and availability of more resources for joint care services. Within a 1-year period, the transition programme improved some aspects of patients’ experiences with care delivery, such as the provision of opportunities for adolescents to visit the clinic alone (p < 0.001) and to decide who should be present during consultations (p < 0.05).
This study demonstrated that transitional care interventions may improve the organisation and coordination of transitional care and better prepare adolescents for the transition to adult care within a 1-year period. By setting specific goals based on experiences with bottlenecks, the breakthrough approach helped to improve transitional care delivery for adolescents with chronic conditions.
PMCID: PMC3913627  PMID: 24485282
Bottlenecks; Quality of care; Transitional care; Transition programme; Quality improvement programme; Adolescents
6.  Situational awareness, relational coordination and integrated care delivery to hospitalized elderly in The Netherlands: a comparison between hospitals 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14:3.
It is known that interprofessional collaboration is crucial for integrated care delivery, yet we are still unclear about the underlying mechanisms explaining effectiveness of integrated care delivery to older patients. In addition, we lack research comparing integrated care delivery between hospitals. Therefore, this study aims to (i) provide insight into the underlying components ‘relational coordination’ and ‘situational awareness’ of integrated care delivery and the role of team and organizational context in integrated care delivery; and (ii) compare situational awareness, relational coordination, and integrated care delivery of different hospitals in the Netherlands.
This cross-sectional study took place in 2012 among professionals from three different hospitals involved in the delivery of care to older patients. A total of 215 professionals filled in the questionnaire (42% response rate).Descriptive statistics and paired-sample t-tests were used to investigate the level of situational awareness, relational coordination, and integrated care delivery in the three different hospitals. Correlation and multilevel analyses were used to investigate the relationship between background characteristics, team context, organizational context, situational awareness, relational coordination and integrated care delivery.
No differences in background characteristics, team context, organizational context, situational awareness, relational coordination and integrated care delivery were found among the three hospitals. Correlational analysis revealed that situational awareness (r = 0.30; p < 0.01), relational coordination (r = 0.17; p < 0.05), team climate (r = 0.29; p < 0.01), formal internal communication (r = 0.46; p < 0.01), and informal internal communication (r = 0.36; p < 0.01) were positively associated with integrated care delivery. Stepwise multilevel analyses showed that formal internal communication (p < 0.001) and situational awareness (p < 0.01) were associated with integrated care delivery. Team climate was not significantly associated with integrated care delivery when situational awareness and relational coordination were included in the equation. Thus situational awareness acted as mediator between team climate and integrated care delivery among professionals delivering care to older hospitalized patients.
The results of this study show the importance of formal internal communication and situational awareness for quality of care delivery to hospitalized older patients.
PMCID: PMC3890569  PMID: 24410889
7.  The Importance of General Self-Efficacy for the Quality of Life of Adolescents with Diabetes or Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Over Time: A Longitudinal Study among Adolescents and Parents 
Purpose: To (i) investigate the influence of general self-efficacy on quality of life outcomes over time among adolescents with type I diabetes or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), (ii) investigate parents’ perceptions of general self-efficacy and quality of life of adolescents with diabetes or JRA over time, and (iii) identify possible differences in the evaluations of adolescents and parents.
Methods: This study included adolescents aged 12–25 years with type I diabetes or JRA and their parents. At T1, 171/573 (30% response rate) adolescents with diabetes or JRA and 229/563 (41% response rate) parents completed the questionnaire. At T2, 230/551 (42% response rate) adolescents and 220/559 (39% response rate) parents still participating in the study completed the questionnaire. A total of 112 adolescents and 143 parents filled in the questionnaires at both T1 and T2.
Results: Adolescents perceived significant improvement in their general self-efficacy and reduced quality of life over time, whereas parents’ perceptions did not change. According to adolescents and parents, physical functioning was better among adolescents with diabetes than among those with JRA. Regression analyses of adolescents’ data showed that general self-efficacy at T1 (β = 0.13; p ≤ 0.10) and changes in general self-efficacy (β = 0.22; p ≤ 0.01) predicted quality of life at T2. Parents’ responses revealed that adolescents’ general self-efficacy at T1 (β = 0.16; p ≤ 0.05) and changes in adolescents’ general self-efficacy (β = 0.18; p ≤ 0.05) predicted adolescents’ quality of life at T2.
Conclusion: General self-efficacy and changes therein positively affected quality of life in adolescents with diabetes or JRA over time, as perceived by adolescents and parents. These findings emphasize the need for the implementation of interventions aiming to improve general self-efficacy in these populations.
PMCID: PMC3864251  PMID: 24400286
self-efficacy; quality of life; chronic illness; adolescent; parent; diabetes; juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
8.  A framework for understanding outcomes of integrated care programs for the hospitalised elderly 
Integrated care has emerged as a new strategy to enhance the quality of care for hospitalised elderly. Current models do not provide insight into the mechanisms underlying integrated care delivery. Therefore, we developed a framework to identify the underlying mechanisms of integrated care delivery. We should understand how they operate and interact, so that integrated care programmes can enhance the quality of care and eventually patient outcomes.
Theory and methods
Interprofessional collaboration among professionals is considered to be critical in integrated care delivery due to many interdependent work requirements. A review of integrated care components brings to light a distinction between the cognitive and behavioural components of interprofessional collaboration.
Effective integrated care programmes combine the interacting components of care delivery. These components affect professionals’ cognitions and behaviour, which in turn affect quality of care. Insight is gained into how these components alter the way care is delivered through mechanisms such as combining individual knowledge and actively seeking new information.
We expect that insight into the cognitive and behavioural mechanisms will contribute to the understanding of integrated care programmes. The framework can be used to identify the underlying mechanisms of integrated care responsible for producing favourable outcomes, allowing comparisons across programmes.
PMCID: PMC3860580  PMID: 24363635
Framework; integrated care; elderly; hospital; team work; professional collaboration
9.  The Prevention and Reactivation Care Program: intervention fidelity matters 
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.
Trial registration
The Netherlands National Trial Register: NTR2317
PMCID: PMC3566920  PMID: 23351355
Geriatric care intervention; Intervention fidelity; Moderating factors
10.  The Longitudinal Relationship Between Satisfaction with Transitional Care and Social and Emotional Quality of Life Among Chronically Ill Adolescents 
This study aimed to identify the relationship between satisfaction with transitional care and quality of life of chronically ill adolescents over time. This longitudinal study included adolescents with type I diabetes, juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), and neuromuscular disorders (NMD). At baseline 138 respondents (response rate 31 %) filled in a questionnaire and 188 about 1 year later (response rate 43 %). Analysis of variance showed that adolescents with diabetes reported the highest physical quality of life, followed in order by those with NMD and JIA (p ≤ 0.01). Adolescents with diabetes reported the highest social quality of life, followed in order by those with JIA and NMD (both at p ≤ 0.001). Univariate analyses showed that satisfaction with transitional care at T0 was significantly related to emotional and physical quality of life at T1 (both at p ≤ 0.05). At T1, satisfaction with transitional care was significantly related to the emotional, physical, and social domains of quality of life (all at p ≤ 0.001). Multiple regression analyses revealed that satisfaction with transitional care at T1 was related to emotional (β -0.20; p ≤ 0.05) and social (β -0.35; p ≤ 0.01) quality of life domains over time. This indicates that lower gap scores, which measured differences between ‘best care’ and ‘current care,’ are associated with better social and emotional quality of life in this sample of adolescents. Satisfaction with transitional care and social and emotional quality of life are related over time.
PMCID: PMC3776219  PMID: 24058386
Quality of life; Adolescents; Satisfaction with care; Quality of care; Diabetes; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Neuromuscular disorders
11.  The Importance of General Self-Efficacy for the Quality of Life of Adolescents with Chronic Conditions 
Social Indicators Research  2012;113(1):551-561.
We investigated the influence of general self-efficacy perceived by adolescents with chronic conditions and parents on quality of life. This cross-sectional study used the general self-efficacy scale and DISABKIDS condition-generic module to survey adolescents (92/293; 31 %) with type I diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, kidney/urological conditions, and neuromuscular disorders; and parents (121/293; 41 %). Self perceived and parents’ perceived general self-efficacy of adolescents was compared using paired t-tests, and adolescents’ quality of life and general self-efficacy were compared among conditions using analysis of variance. Bivariate correlations between general self-efficacy and quality of life were identified, and multiple regression sought predictors of quality of life after controlling for background variables. Social quality of life was lowest among those with neuromuscular disorders. General self-efficacy was highest among adolescents with cystic fibrosis and lowest among those with urological conditions. Parents’ perceptions of general self-efficacy were higher than adolescents’ (p ≤ 0.05), although absolute differences were small. General self-efficacy perceived by parents and adolescents was related to emotional, physical, and social quality of life. Adolescents’ perceived self-efficacy predicted all quality of life domains. Parents’ perceptions of the adolescents self-efficacy predicted the adolescents’ social quality of life (β = 0.19; p ≤ 0.01). General self-efficacy of adolescents with chronic conditions as perceived by themselves and their parents is important for adolescents’ quality of life. Interventions to improve general self-efficacy should benefit quality of life among these adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3696170  PMID: 23874059
Self-efficacy; Quality of Life; Chronic condition; Adolescent; Parent
12.  Disease management projects and the Chronic Care Model in action: baseline qualitative research 
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.
PMCID: PMC3464135  PMID: 22578251
13.  Integrated approach to prevent functional decline in hospitalized elderly: the Prevention and Reactivation Care Program (PReCaP) 
BMC Geriatrics  2012;12:7.
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.
Trial registration
The Netherlands National Trial Register: NTR2317
PMCID: PMC3368750  PMID: 22423638
14.  Validation of the self-management ability scale (SMAS) and development and validation of a shorter scale (SMAS-S) among older patients shortly after hospitalisation 
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.
PMCID: PMC3281792  PMID: 22273404
15.  Satisfaction with care as a quality-of-life predictor for stroke patients and their caregivers 
Quality of Life Research  2012;21(10):1719-1725.
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.
PMCID: PMC3496478  PMID: 22230965
Stroke; Quality of life; Caregiver; Satisfaction with care; The Actor–Partner Interdependence Model
16.  Evaluating an integrated neighbourhood approach to improve well-being of frail elderly in a Dutch community: a study protocol 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:532.
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.
PMCID: PMC3278474  PMID: 22152333
elderly; social network; study protocol; community; neighbourhood
17.  A framework and a measurement instrument for sustainability of work practices in long-term care 
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.
PMCID: PMC3234291  PMID: 22087884
18.  The influence of social capital and socio-economic conditions on self-rated health among residents of an economically and health-deprived South African township 
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.
PMCID: PMC3252245  PMID: 22085826
social capital; social determinants; socioeconomic status; health status; South Africa
19.  Capabilities and quality of life in Dutch psycho-geriatric nursing homes: an exploratory study using a proxy version of the ICECAP-O 
Quality of Life Research  2011;21(5):801-812.
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.
PMCID: PMC3348451  PMID: 21894489
ICECAP-O; Capabilities; Psycho-geriatric elderly
20.  Evaluation design of a reactivation care program to prevent functional loss in hospitalised elderly: A cohort study including a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Geriatrics  2011;11:36.
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.
Trial registration
The Netherlands National Trial Register: NTR2317
PMCID: PMC3161861  PMID: 21812988
21.  Development and validation of a short version of the Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (ACIC) in Dutch Disease Management Programs 
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.
PMCID: PMC3141373  PMID: 21726439
chronic care; measurement; quality; chronic illness; disease management
22.  Professionals’ views on interprofessional stroke team functioning 
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.
PMCID: PMC3564423  PMID: 23390409
multidisciplinary teams; interprofessional; stroke team; team functioning; integrated stroke care; multilevel analysis
23.  Development and validation of a short version of the Partnership Self-Assessment Tool (PSAT) among professionals in Dutch disease-management partnerships 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:224.
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.
PMCID: PMC3138467  PMID: 21714931
chronic care; measurement; quality; chronic illness; health care; partnership synergy; isease management
24.  Creating effective quality-improvement collaboratives: a multiple case study 
BMJ quality & safety  2011;20(4):344-350.
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.
Study setting
182 teams from long-term healthcare organisation developed improvement initiatives in seven quality-improvement collaboratives (QICs) focusing on patient safety and autonomy.
Study design
Multiple case before–after study.
Data collection
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).
Principal findings
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.
PMCID: PMC3066797  PMID: 21270070
Quality improvement collaborative; effectiveness; patient safety; collaborative; healthcare quality improvement
25.  The relationship between (stigmatizing) views and lay public preferences regarding tuberculosis treatment in the Eastern Cape, South Africa 
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.
PMCID: PMC3025846  PMID: 21235762

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