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1.  The Prevention and Reactivation Care Program: intervention fidelity matters 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-29
PMCID: PMC3566920  PMID: 23351355
Geriatric care intervention; Intervention fidelity; Moderating factors
2.  Integrated approach to prevent functional decline in hospitalized elderly: the Prevention and Reactivation Care Program (PReCaP) 
BMC Geriatrics  2012;12:7.
Background
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.
Methods/design
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.
Discussion
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
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-12-7
PMCID: PMC3368750  PMID: 22423638
3.  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.
Background
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.
Methods/Design
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.
Discussion
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
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-11-36
PMCID: PMC3161861  PMID: 21812988
4.  Costs of stroke and stroke services: Determinants of patient costs and a comparison of costs of regular care and care organised in stroke services 
Background
Stroke is a major cause of death and long-term disability in Western societies and constitutes a major claim on health care budgets. Organising stroke care in a stroke service has recently been demonstrated to result in better health effects for patients. This paper discusses patient costs after stroke and compares costs between regular and stroke service care.
Methods
Costs were calculated within the framework of the evaluation of three experiments with stroke services in the Netherlands. Cost calculations are base on medical consumption data and actual costs.
Results
598 patients were consecutively admitted to hospital after stroke. The average total costs of care per patient for the 6 month follow-up are estimated at €16,000. Costs are dominated by institutional and accommodation costs. Patients who die after stroke incur less costs. For patients that survive the acute phase, the most important determinants of costs are disability status and having a partner – as they influence patients' stroke careers. These determinants also interact. The most efficient stroke service experiment was most successful in co-ordinating patient flow from hospital to (nursing) home, through capacity planning and efficient discharge procedures. In this region the costs of stroke service care are the same as for regular stroke care. The other experiments suffered from waiting lists for nursing homes and home care, leading to "blocked beds" in hospitals and nursing homes and higher costs of care. Costs of co-ordination are estimated at about 3% of total costs of care.
Conclusion
This paper demonstrates that by organising care for stroke patients in a stroke service, better health effects can be achieved with the same budget. In addition, it provides insight in need, predisposing and enabling factors that determine costs of care after stroke.
doi:10.1186/1478-7547-1-2
PMCID: PMC156021  PMID: 12773219

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