Interpersonal trauma exposure and trauma-related disorders in people with severe mental illness (SMI) are often not recognized in clinical practice.
To substantiate the prevalence of interpersonal trauma exposure and trauma-related disorders in people with SMI.
We conducted a systematic review of four databases (1980–2010) and then described and analysed 33 studies in terms of primary diagnosis and instruments used to measure trauma exposure and trauma-related disorders.
Population-weighted mean prevalence rates in SMI were physical abuse 47% (range 25–72%), sexual abuse 37% (range 24–49%), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 30% (range 20–47%). Compared to men, women showed a higher prevalence of sexual abuse in schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, and mixed diagnosis groups labelled as having SMI.
Prevalence rates of interpersonal trauma and trauma-related disorders were significantly higher in SMI than in the general population. Emotional abuse and neglect, physical neglect, complex PTSD, and dissociative disorders have been scarcely examined in SMI.
Childhood trauma; sexual abuse; physical abuse; emotional abuse; neglect; posttraumatic stress disorder; complex posttraumatic stress disorder; dissociative disorder; severe mental illness
The number of chronically ill patients increases every year. This is partly due to an unhealthy lifestyle. However, the frequency and quality of (evidence-based) health promotion activities conducted by Dutch general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses (PNs) are limited. The aim of this pilot study was to explore which lifestyle interventions Dutch GPs and PNs carry out in primary care, which barriers and facilitators can be identified and what main topics are with respect to attitudes towards health promoting activities. These topic areas will be identified for a future, larger scale study.
This qualitative study consisted of 25 semi-structured interviews with sixteen GPs and nine PNs. ATLAS.ti was used to analyse the transcripts of the interviews.
All GPs and PNs said they discuss lifestyle with their patients. Next to this, GPs and PNs counsel patients, and/or refer them to other disciplines. Only few said they refer patients to specific lifestyle programs or interventions in their own practice or in the neighbourhood. Several barriers and facilitators were identified. The main topics as barriers are: a lack of patients’ motivation to make lifestyle changes, insufficient reimbursement, a lack of proven effectiveness of interventions and a lack of overview of health promoting programs in their neighbourhood. The most cited facilitators are availability of a PN, collaboration with other disciplines and availability of interventions in their own practice. With respect to attitudes, six different types of GPs were identified reflecting the main topics that relate to attitudes, varying from ‘ignorer’ to ‘nurturer’. The topics relating to PNs attitudes towards health promotion activities, were almost unanimously positive.
GPs and PNs all say they discuss lifestyle issues with their patients, but the health promotion activities that are organized in their practice vary. Main topics that hinder or facilitate implementation are identified, including those that relate to attitudes of GPs and PNs.
Life styles; Family practice; Family nursing; Implementation; Qualitative study; Attitude
Implementation of lifestyle interventions in patient care is a major challenge. Understanding factors that influence implementation is a first step in programs to enhance uptake of these interventions. A lifestyle-counseling intervention, Lively Legs, delivered by trained nurses, can effectively improve the lifestyle in patients with venous leg ulcers. The aim of this study was to identify factors that hindered or facilitated implementation of this intervention in outpatient dermatology clinics and in home care.
A mixed-methods multiple case study in five purposefully selected healthcare settings in the Netherlands was conducted. Measurements to identify influencing factors before and after implementation of Lively Legs included interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and nurses’ registration. Analyses focused on qualitative data as the main data source. All data were compared across multiple cases to draw conclusions from the study as a whole.
A total of 53 patients enrolled in the Lively Legs program, which was delivered by 12 trained nurses. Barriers for implementation were mainly organizational. It was difficult to effectively organize reaching and recruiting patients for the program, especially in home care. Main barriers were a lack of a standardized healthcare delivery process, insufficient nursing time, and a lack of motivated nurses to deliver the program. Facilitating factors were nurse-driven coordination of care and a standardized care process to tie Lively Legs into, as this resulted in better patient recruitment and better program implementation.
This study identified a range of factors influencing the implementation of a lifestyle-counseling program, mainly related to the organization of healthcare. Using a case study method proved valuable in obtaining insight into influencing factors for implementation. This study also shed light on a more general issue, which is that leg ulcer care is often fragmented, indicating that quality improvement is needed.
Lifestyle; Varicose ulcer; Venous leg ulcers; Implementation; Case study
Current health care systems are not optimally designed to meet the needs of our aging populations. First, the fragmentation of care often results in discontinuity of care that can undermine the quality of care provided. Second, patient involvement in care decisions is not sufficiently facilitated.
To describe the development and the content of a program aimed at: (1) facilitating self-management and shared decision making by frail older people and informal caregivers, and (2) reducing fragmentation of care by improving collaboration among professionals involved in the care of frail older people through a combined multidisciplinary electronic health record (EHR) and personal health record (PHR).
We used intervention mapping to systematically develop our program in six consecutive steps. Throughout this development, the target populations (ie, professionals, frail older people, and informal caregivers) were involved extensively through their participation in semi-structured interviews and working groups.
We developed the Health and Welfare Information Portal (ZWIP), a personal, Internet-based conference table for multidisciplinary communication and information exchange for frail older people, their informal caregivers, and professionals. Further, we selected and developed methods for implementation of the program, which included an interdisciplinary educational course for professionals involved in the care of frail older people, and planned the evaluation of the program.
This paper describes the successful development and the content of the ZWIP as well as the strategies developed for its implementation. Throughout the development, representatives of future users were involved extensively. Future studies will establish the effects of the ZWIP on self-management and shared decision making by frail older people as well as on collaboration among the professionals involved.
Self-care; cooperative behavior; interdisciplinary communication; electronic health records; frail elderly
Many strategies have been designed and evaluated to address the problem of low hand hygiene (HH) compliance. Which of these strategies are most effective and how they work is still unclear. Here we describe frequently used improvement strategies and related determinants of behaviour change that prompt good HH behaviour to provide a better overview of the choice and content of such strategies.
Systematic searches of experimental and quasi-experimental research on HH improvement strategies were conducted in Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases from January 2000 to November 2009. First, we extracted the study characteristics using the EPOC Data Collection Checklist, including study objectives, setting, study design, target population, outcome measures, description of the intervention, analysis, and results. Second, we used the Taxonomy of Behavioural Change Techniques to identify targeted determinants.
We reviewed 41 studies. The most frequently addressed determinants were knowledge, awareness, action control, and facilitation of behaviour. Fewer studies addressed social influence, attitude, self-efficacy, and intention. Thirteen studies used a controlled design to measure the effects of HH improvement strategies on HH behaviour. The effectiveness of the strategies varied substantially, but most controlled studies showed positive results. The median effect size of these strategies increased from 17.6 (relative difference) addressing one determinant to 49.5 for the studies that addressed five determinants.
By focussing on determinants of behaviour change, we found hidden and valuable components in HH improvement strategies. Addressing only determinants such as knowledge, awareness, action control, and facilitation is not enough to change HH behaviour. Addressing combinations of different determinants showed better results. This indicates that we should be more creative in the application of alternative improvement activities addressing determinants such as social influence, attitude, self-efficacy, or intention.
Hospital-acquired infection; Behaviour; Quality improvement; Handwashing; Program evaluation; Review
Objective: This study aimed to identify problems as experienced by adults with a mitochondrial disease. We chose to describe these problems from the patients’ perspective as we thought this would give optimal input for care improvement.
Design: A qualitative design using the grounded theory approach, involving single individual open interviews with 16 adults with a mitochondrial disease.
Results: This study revealed “loss” as the main concept, where one loss often preceded other losses. Respondents mentioned loss of energy as the most basic loss in having a mitochondrial disease, leading to multiple varied losses in all areas of daily life. Looking back, they mentioned psychosocial-spiritual problems and dealing with actual and expected future losses as most prominent and difficult. In our study, we determined seven comprehensive themes: “loss of energy”, “loss of independence and autonomy”, “loss of social participation”, “loss of personal identity”, “loss of dreams and future” as well as “lack of health care” and “coping and adjustment”.
Conclusions: In this first study on this theme, we developed a theory about patient’s losses related to mitochondrial disease. They experience a variety of problems in the physical, psychological, social and spiritual human domain. Patients experience a lack of health care and professional support as well. They use various strategies to manage their multiple losses and experience circumstances in which it is difficult to manage them effectively. The results can be used as a guide for improving health care, education and research and might result in an improved quality of life.
Lynch gene carriers undergo regular surveillance colonoscopies. Polyethylene glycol-electrolyte solution (PEG) is routinely prescribed for bowel cleansing, but often poorly tolerated by patients. Sodium phosphate (NaP) may be an alternative. Prospective and random comparison of bowel preparation with PEG and NaP on colon cleansing and patients’ acceptance. Patients, who previously underwent a colonoscopy, were invited to participate and randomly assigned to either PEG or NaP. They were asked to fill in a questionnaire about preparation tolerability and future preferences. The endoscopist filled out a report about the quality of colon cleansing. 125 Patients were included in the study. Nine (7%) were excluded because of missing data. The remaining 116 patients (53 PEG and 63 NaP) were included in the analysis. Baseline characteristics did not differ between groups. Before colonoscopy 20 (38%) patients using PEG experienced the preparation almost intolerable, in contrast to 7(11%) of those using NaP (P = 0.001). Eleven patients in the PEG group and 48 in the NaP group would prefer NaP in the future. The colonoscopy was poorly tolerated in 17% of the individuals in both groups (P = 0.963). The endoscopist observed a more than 75% clean colon in 83% of patients on PEG and in 71% of patients on NaP (P = 0.076), however the coecum (P = 0.025) and ascending colon was cleaner after PEG. Lynch patients tolerated NaP better and preferred this formula for future bowel preparation. Colon cleansing was suboptimal with both treatments with a tendency towards a cleaner proximal colon with PEG.
Lynch syndrome; Colonoscopy; Polyethylene glycol; Sodium phosphate
Delirium occurs frequently in critically ill patients and is associated with disease severity and infection. Although several pathways for delirium have been described, biomarkers associated with delirium in intensive care unit (ICU) patients is not well studied. We examined plasma biomarkers in delirious and nondelirious patients and the role of these biomarkers on long-term cognitive function.
In an exploratory observational study, we included 100 ICU patients with or without delirium and with ("inflamed") and without ("noninflamed") infection/systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Delirium was diagnosed by using the confusion-assessment method-ICU (CAM-ICU). Within 24 hours after the onset of delirium, blood was obtained for biomarker analysis. No differences in patient characteristics were found between delirious and nondelirious patients. To determine associations between biomarkers and delirium, univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed. Eighteen months after ICU discharge, a cognitive-failure questionnaire was distributed to the ICU survivors.
In total, 50 delirious and 50 nondelirious patients were included. We found that IL-8, MCP-1, procalcitonin (PCT), cortisol, and S100-β were significantly associated with delirium in inflamed patients (n = 46). In the noninflamed group of patients (n = 54), IL-8, IL-1ra, IL-10 ratio Aβ1-42/40, and ratio AβN-42/40 were significantly associated with delirium. In multivariate regression analysis, IL-8 was independently associated (odds ratio, 9.0; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.8 to 44.0) with delirium in inflamed patients and IL-10 (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.1 to 5.9), and Aβ1-42/40 (OR, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.002 to 0.50) with delirium in noninflamed patients. Furthermore, levels of several amyloid-β forms, but not human Tau or S100-β, were significantly correlated with self-reported cognitive impairment 18 months after ICU discharge, whereas inflammatory markers were not correlated to impaired long-term cognitive function.
In inflamed patients, the proinflammatory cytokine IL-8 was associated with delirium, whereas in noninflamed patients, antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10 and Aβ1-42/40 were associated with delirium. This suggests that the underlying mechanism governing the development of delirium in inflamed patients differs from that in noninflamed patients. Finally, elevated levels of amyloid-β correlated with long-term subjective cognitive-impairment delirium may represent the first sign of a (subclinical) dementia process. Future studies must confirm these results.
The study was registered in the Clinical Trial Register (NCT00604773).
Cluster randomized trials in health care may involve three instead of two levels, for instance, in trials where different interventions to improve quality of care are compared. In such trials, the intervention is implemented in health care units (“clusters”) and aims at changing the behavior of health care professionals working in this unit (“subjects”), while the effects are measured at the patient level (“evaluations”). Within the generalized estimating equations (GEE) approach, we derive a sample size formula that accounts for two levels of clustering: that of subjects within clusters and that of evaluations within subjects. The formula reveals that sample size is inflated, relative to a design with completely independent evaluations, by a multiplicative term that can be expressed as a product of two variance inflation factors, one that quantifies the impact of within-subject correlation of evaluations on the variance of subject-level means and the other that quantifies the impact of the correlation between subject level means on the variance of the cluster means. Power levels as predicted by the sample size formula agreed well with the simulated power for more than 10 clusters in total, when data was analyzed using bias-corrected estimating equations for the correlation parameters in combination with the model-based covariance estimator or the sandwich estimator with a finite sample correction.
Cluster randomization; Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE); Sample size; Sandwich estimator; Small sample correction; Three-level data; Power
Background. To assess a patient's cognitive functioning is an important issue because nurses tailor their nursing interventions to the patient's cognitive abilities. Although some observation scales exist concerning one or more cognitive domains, so far, no scale has been available which assesses cognitive functioning in a comprehensive way.
Objectives. To develop an observation scale with an accepted level of content validity and which assesses elderly patients' cognitive functioning in a comprehensive way. Methods. Delphi technique, a multidisciplinary panel developed the scale by consensus through four Delphi rounds (>70% agreement). The International Classification of Functioning/ICF was used as theoretical framework. Results. After the first two Delphi rounds, the panel reached consensus about 8 cognitive domains and 17 sub domains. After two other rounds, 39 items were selected, divided over 8 domains and 17 sub domains. Discussion. The Nurses' Observation Scale Cognitive Abilities (NOSCA) was successfully designed. The content validity of the scale is high because the scale sufficiently represents the concept of cognitive functioning: the experts reached a consensus of 70% or higher on all domains and items included; and no domains or items were lacking. As a next step, the psychometric qualities of the NOSCA will have to be tested.
Home parenteral nutrition (HPN) is a life-saving therapy for patients with diseases that preclude adequate oral or enteral food intake. HPN has a large impact on daily life. Many patients suffer from fatigue and depression, and they experience limits in social activities. This all contributes to a lower quality of life.
Fatigue is the most frequently mentioned problem in Dutch HPN patients. Therefore, we studied the prevalence, course and predictors of fatigue in these patients.
Patients completed questionnaires at baseline and follow-up (12 months later). Measurements included fatigue, depression, functional impairment, social support, self-efficacy, coping, anxiety and acceptance. Laboratory measures, including total bilirubin, creatinine, albumin and haemoglobin levels, were obtained from the medical records. Descriptive statistics, correlations and linear regression analysis were performed.
The response rate was 71% (n = 75). Sixty-five per cent of the patients were severely fatigued (n = 49). Eighty-nine per cent experienced persistent fatigue. Baseline fatigue predicted 57% of the variance of fatigue at follow-up, and avoidance was responsible for 3% of the variance. No significant correlations between fatigue and laboratory measures were found. A cross-sectional analysis showed that 46% of the variance of fatigue was explained by functional impairment, self-efficacy and depression.
Severe fatigue is a persistent problem for HPN patients. Baseline fatigue was the strongest predictor of fatigue at follow-up. Functional impairment, self-efficacy and depression are strongly related to fatigue. Early recognition and treatment of fatigue are important.
Home parenteral nutrition; Fatigue; Functional impairment; Self-efficacy; Depression
To identify the evidence for the effectiveness of behaviour change techniques, when used by health-care professionals, in accomplishing health-promoting behaviours in patients. Reviews were used to extract data at a study level. A taxonomy was used to classify behaviour change techniques. We included 23 systematic reviews: 14 on smoking cessation, 6 on physical exercise, and 2 on healthy diets and 1 on both exercise and diets. None of the behaviour change techniques demonstrated clear effects in a convincing majority of the studies in which they were evaluated. Techniques targeting knowledge (n = 210 studies) and facilitation of behaviour (n = 172) were evaluated most frequently. However, self-monitoring of behaviour (positive effects in 56% of the studies), risk communication (52%) and use of social support (50%) were most often identified as effective. Insufficient insight into appropriateness of technique choice and quality of technique delivery hinder precise conclusions. Relatively, however, self-monitoring of behaviour, risk communication and use of social support are most effective. Health professionals should avoid thinking that providing knowledge, materials and professional support will be sufficient for patients to accomplish change and consider alternative strategies which may be more effective.
health behaviour; health promotion; patient care; review
In critically ill patients, delirium is a serious and frequent disorder that is associated with a prolonged intensive care and hospital stay and an increased morbidity and mortality. Without the use of a delirium screening instrument, delirium is often missed by ICU nurses and physicians. The effects of implementation of a screening method on haloperidol use is not known. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the implementation of the confusion assessment method-ICU (CAM-ICU) and the effect of its use on frequency and duration of haloperidol use.
We used a tailored implementation strategy focused on potential barriers. We measured CAM-ICU compliance, interrater reliability, and delirium knowledge, and compared the haloperidol use, as a proxy for delirium incidence, before and after the implementation of the CAM-ICU.
Compliance and delirium knowledge increased from 77% to 92% and from 6.2 to 7.4, respectively (both, P < 0.0001). The interrater reliability increased from 0.78 to 0.89. More patients were treated with haloperidol (9.9% to 14.8%, P < 0.001), however with a lower dose (18 to 6 mg, P = 0.01) and for a shorter time period (5 [IQR:2–9] to 3 [IQR:1–5] days, P = 0.02).
With a tailored implementation strategy, a delirium assessment tool was successfully introduced in the ICU with the main goals achieved within four months. Early detection of delirium in critically ill patients increases the number of patients that receive treatment with haloperidol, however with a lower dose and for a shorter time period.
A gap between guidelines or protocols and clinical practice often exists, which may result in patients not receiving appropriate care. Therefore, the objectives of this systematic review were (1) to give an overview of professionals’ adherence to (inter)national guidelines and protocols in the emergency medical dispatch, prehospital and emergency department (ED) settings, and (2) to explore which factors influencing adherence were described in studies reporting on adherence. PubMed (including MEDLINE), CINAHL, EMBASE and the Cochrane database for systematic reviews were systematically searched. Reference lists of included studies were also searched for eligible studies. Identified articles were screened on title, abstract and year of publication (≥1990) and were included when reporting on adherence in the eligible settings. Following the initial selection, articles were screened full text and included if they concerned adherence to a (inter)national guideline or protocol, and if the time interval between data collection and publication date was <10 years. Finally, articles were assessed on reporting quality. Each step was undertaken by two independent researchers. Thirty-five articles met the criteria, none of these addressed the emergency medical dispatch setting or protocols. Median adherence ranged from 7.8-95% in the prehospital setting, and from 0-98% in the ED setting. In the prehospital setting, recommendations on monitoring came with higher median adherence percentages than treatment recommendations. For both settings, cardiology treatment recommendations came with relatively low median adherence percentages. Eight studies identified patient and organisational factors influencing adherence. The results showed that professionals’ adherence to (inter)national prehospital and emergency department guidelines shows a wide variation, while adherence in the emergency medical dispatch setting is not reported. As insight in influencing factors for adherence in the emergency care settings is minimal, future research should identify such factors to allow the development of strategies to improve adherence and thus improve quality of care.
Emergency medical technicians [MeSH]; Emergency medical services [MeSH]; Emergency medicine [MeSH]; Emergency nursing [MeSH]; Guideline adherence [MeSH]
With increasing age and longevity, the rising number of frail elders with complex and numerous health-related needs demands a coordinated health care delivery system integrating cure, care and welfare. Studies on the effectiveness of such comprehensive chronic care models targeting frail elders show inconclusive results. The CareWell-primary care program is a complex intervention targeting community-dwelling frail elderly people, that aims to prevent functional decline, improve quality of life, and reduce or postpone hospital and nursing home admissions of community dwelling frail elderly.
The CareWell-primary care study includes a (cost-) effectiveness study and a comprehensive process evaluation. In a one-year pragmatic, cluster controlled trial, six general practices are non-randomly recruited to adopt the CareWell-primary care program and six control practices will deliver ‘care as usual’. Each practice includes a random sample of fifty frail elders aged 70 years or above in the cost-effectiveness study. A sample of patients and informal caregivers and all health care professionals participating in the CareWell-primary care program are included in the process evaluation. In the cost-effectiveness study, the primary outcome is the level of functional abilities as measured with the Katz-15 index. Hierarchical mixed-effects regression models / multilevel modeling approach will be used, since the study participants are nested within the general practices. Furthermore, incremental cost-effectiveness ratios will be calculated as costs per QALY gained and as costs weighed against functional abilities. In the process evaluation, mixed methods will be used to provide insight in the implementation degree of the program, patients’ and professionals’ approval of the program, and the barriers and facilitators to implementation.
The CareWell-primary care study will provide new insights into the (cost-) effectiveness, feasibility, and barriers and facilitators for implementation of this complex intervention in primary care.
The CareWell-primary care study is registered in the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration System: NCT01499797
Frail elderly; Complex intervention; Integrated care; Functional status; Cost-effectiveness; Implementation; Process evaluation; Primary care
Due to fragmentation of care, continuity of care is often limited in the care provided to frail older people. Further, frail older people are not always enabled to become involved in their own care. Therefore, we developed the Health and Welfare Information Portal (ZWIP), a shared Electronic Health Record combined with a communication tool for community-dwelling frail older people and primary care professionals. This article describes the process evaluation of its implementation, and aims to establish (1) the outcomes of the implementation process, (2) which implementation strategies and barriers and facilitators contributed to these outcomes, and (3) how its future implementation could be improved.
Mixed methods study, consisting of (1) a survey among professionals (n = 118) and monitoring the use of the ZWIP by frail older people and professionals, followed by (2) semi-structured interviews with purposively selected professionals (n = 12).
290 frail older people and 169 professionals participated in the ZWIP. At the end of the implementation period, 55% of frail older people and informal caregivers, and 84% of professionals had logged on to their ZWIP at least once. For professionals, the exposure to the implementation strategies was generally as planned, they considered the interprofessional educational program and the helpdesk very important strategies. However, frail older people’s exposure to the implementation strategies was less than intended. Facilitators for the ZWIP were the perceived need to enhance interprofessional collaboration and the ZWIP application being user-friendly. Barriers included the low computer-literacy of frail older people, a preference for personal communication and limited use of the ZWIP by other professionals and frail older people. Interviewees recommended using the ZWIP for other target populations as well and adding further strategies that may help frail older people to feel more comfortable with computers and the ZWIP.
This study describes the implementation process of an innovative e-health intervention for community-dwelling frail older people, informal caregivers and primary care professionals. As e-health is an important medium for overcoming fragmentation of healthcare and facilitating patient involvement, but its adoption in everyday practice remains a challenge, the positive results of this implementation are promising.
E-health; Implementation; Process evaluation; Frail older people; Primary care
Hand hygiene prescriptions are the most important measure in the prevention of hospital-acquired infections. Yet, compliance rates are generally below 50% of all opportunities for hand hygiene. This study aims at evaluating the short- and long-term effects of two different strategies for promoting hand hygiene in hospital nurses.
This study is a cluster randomised controlled trial with inpatient wards as the unit of randomisation. Guidelines for hand hygiene will be implemented in this study. Two strategies will be used to improve the adherence to guidelines for hand hygiene. The state-of-the-art strategy is derived from the literature and includes education, reminders, feedback, and targeting adequate products and facilities. The extended strategy also contains activities aimed at influencing social influence in groups and enhancing leadership. The unique contribution of the extended strategy is built upon relevant behavioural science theories. The extended strategy includes all elements of the state-of-the-art strategy supplemented with gaining active commitment and initiative of ward management, modelling by informal leaders at the ward, and setting norms and targets within the team. Data will be collected at four points in time, with six-month intervals. An average of 3,000 opportunities for hand hygiene in approximately 900 nurses will be observed at each time point.
Performing and evaluating an implementation strategy that also targets the social context of teams may considerably add to the general body of knowledge in this field. Results from our study will allow us to draw conclusions on the effects of different strategies for the implementation of hand hygiene guidelines, and based on these results we will be able to define a preferred implementation strategy for hospital based nursing.
The study is registered as a Clinical Trial in ClinicalTrials.gov, dossier number: NCT00548015.
Patients in hospitals and nursing homes are at risk of the development of, often preventable, adverse events (AEs), which threaten patient safety. Guidelines for prevention of many types of AEs are available, however, compliance with these guidelines appears to be lacking. Besides general barriers that inhibit implementation, this non-compliance is associated with the large number of guidelines competing for attention. As implementation of a guideline is time-consuming, it is difficult for organisations to implement all available guidelines. Another problem is lack of feedback about performance using quality indicators of guideline based care and lack of a recognisable, unambiguous system for implementation. A program that allows organisations to implement multiple guidelines simultaneously may facilitate guideline use and thus improve patient safety.
The aim of this study is to develop and test such an integral patient safety program that addresses several AEs simultaneously in hospitals and nursing homes. This paper reports the design of this study.
Methods and design
The patient safety program addresses three AEs: pressure ulcers, falls and urinary tract infections. It consists of bundles and outcome and process indicators based on the existing evidence based guidelines. In addition it includes a multifaceted tailored implementation strategy: education, patient involvement, and a computerized registration and feedback system. The patient safety program was tested in a cluster randomised trial on ten hospital wards and ten nursing home wards. The baseline period was three months followed by the implementation of the patient safety program for fourteen months. Subsequently the follow-up period was nine months. Primary outcome measure was the incidence of AEs on every ward. Secondary outcome measures were the utilization of preventive interventions and the knowledge of nurses regarding the three topics. Randomisation took place on ward level. The results will be analysed separately for hospitals and nursing homes.
Major challenges were the development of the patient safety program including a digital registration and feedback system and the implementation of the patient safety program.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov ID [NCT00365430]
Because of their complex clinical presentations and needs frail elderly people require another approach than people who age without many complications. Several inpatient geriatric health services have proven effectiveness in frail persons. However, the wish to live independently and policies that promote independent living as an answer to population aging call for community intervention models for frail elderly people. Maybe models such as preventive home visits, comprehensive geriatric assessment, and intermediate care qualify, but their efficacy is controversial, especially in frail elderly persons living in the community. With the Dutch EASYcare Study Geriatric Intervention Programme (DGIP) we developed a model to study effectiveness of problem based community intervention models in frail elderly people.
DGIP is a community intervention model for frail elderly persons where the GP refers elderly patients with a problem in cognition, mood, behaviour, mobility, and nutrition. A geriatric specialist nurse applies a guideline-based intervention with a limited number of follow up visits. The intervention starts with the application of the EASYcare instrument for geriatric screening. The EASYcare instrument assesses (instrumental) activities of daily life, cognition, mood, and includes a goal setting item. During the intervention the nurse regularly consults the referring GP and a geriatrician. Effects on functional performance (Groningen Activity Restriction Scale), health related quality of life (MOS-20), and carer burden (Zarit Burden Interview) are studied in an observer blinded randomised controlled trial. 151 participants were randomised over two treatment arms – DGIP and regular care – using pseudo cluster randomisation. We are currently performing the follow up visits. These visits are planned three and six months after inclusion. Process measures and cost measures will be recorded. Intention to treat analyses will focus on post intervention differences between treatment groups.
The design of a trial evaluating the effects of a community intervention model for frail elderly people was presented. The problem-based participant selection procedure satisfied; few patients that the GP referred did not meet our eligibility criteria. The use of standard terminology makes detailed insight into the contents of our intervention possible using terminology others can understand well.