Integrated care for frail elderly compared to usual care: a study protocol of a quasi-experiment on the effects on the frail elderly, their caregivers, health professionals and health care costs.

BMC Geriatrics (Impact Factor: 2). 04/2013; 13(1):31. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2318-13-31
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Frail elderly persons living at home are at risk for mental, psychological, and physical deterioration. These problems often remain undetected. If care is given, it lacks the quality and continuity required for their multiple and changing problems. The aim of this project is to improve the quality and efficacy of care given to frail elderly living independently by implementing and evaluating a preventive integrated care model for the frail elderly.Methods/designThe design is quasi-experimental. Effects will be measured by conducting a before and after study with control group. The experimental group will consist of 220 elderly of 8 GPs (General Practitioners) who will provide care according to the integrated model (The Walcheren Integrated Care Model). The control group will consist of 220 elderly of 6 GPs who will give care as usual. The study will include an evaluation of process and outcome measures for the frail elderly, their caregivers and health professionals as well as a cost-effectiveness analysis. A concurrent mixed methods design will be used. The study population will consist of elderly 75 years or older who live independently and score a 4 or higher on the Groningen Frailty Indicator, their caregivers and health professionals. Data will be collected prospectively at three points in time: T0, T1 (3 months after inclusion), and T2 (12 months after inclusion). Similarities between the two groups and changes over time will be assessed with t-tests and chi-square tests. For each measure regression analyses will be performed with the T2-score as the dependent variable and the T0-score, the research group and demographic variables as independent variables. DISCUSSION: A potential obstacle for this study will be the willingness of the elderly and their caregivers to participate. To increase willingness, the request to participate will be sent via the elders' own GP. Interviewers will be from their local region and gifts will be given. A successful implementation of the integrated model is also necessary. The involved parties are members of a steering group and have contractually committed themselves to the project.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN05748494.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: The aging of the population has generated discussions on the needs and unique characteristics of the users of health systems. In this context, the frailty has been used as a guide in managing health care for older adults and specific intervention has shown itself to be effective as much for the diagnosis of illnesses as the improved functioning and satisfaction of the patient and the reduction of mortality. Aims and objetive: The aim of this study was to become familiar with approaches to outpatient older people care for frail older adults. A critical review was conducted evaluating the effectiveness of these models and researchers looked for methods developed in outpatient facilities by interprofessional teams. Conclusions: The models that met our criteria for eligibility presented interprofessional teams composed of geriatricians, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nutritionists and pharmacists. All of the models offered managed care of their patients and the professional who carry out these tasks are mainly nurses, but also social workers, or a primary care physician. Relevance to Clinical Practice: Our results showed that the configuration of a specialized outpatient model in the care of the frail older person is a recent phenomenon, with benefits such as reduced polypharmacy and decreases in functional loss, resulting in a greater quality of life for the users.
    Science Journal of Public Health. 09/2014; 2(5):447-453.
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    ABSTRACT: Economic evaluations likely undervalue the benefits of interventions in populations receiving both health and social services, such as frail elderly, by measuring only health-related quality of life. For this reason, alternative preference-based instruments have been developed for economic evaluations in the elderly, such as the ICECAP-O. The aim of this paper is twofold: (1) to evaluate the cost-effectiveness using a short run time frame for an integrated care model for frail elderly, and (2) to investigate whether using a broader measure of (capability) wellbeing in an economic evaluation leads to a different outcome in terms of cost-effectiveness. We performed univariate and multivariate analyses on costs and outcomes separately. We also performed incremental net monetary benefit regressions using quality adjusted life years (QALYs) based on the ICECAP-O and EQ-5D. In terms of QALYs as measured with the EQ-5D and the ICECAP-O, there were small and insignificant differences between the instruments, due to negligible effect size. Therefore, widespread implementation of the Walcheren integrated care model would be premature based on these results. All results suggest that, using the ICECAP-O, the intervention has a higher probability of cost-effectiveness than with the EQ-5D at the same level of WTP. In case an intervention's health and wellbeing effects are not significant, as in this study, using the ICECAP-O will not lead to a false claim of cost-effectiveness of the intervention. On the other hand, if differences in capability QALYs are meaningful and significant, the ICECAP-O may have the potential to measure broader outcomes and be more sensitive to differences between intervention and comparators.
    The European Journal of Health Economics 04/2014; · 2.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study explores the short-term value of integrated care for the frail elderly by evaluating the effects of the Walcheren Integrated Care Model on health, quality of life, health care use and satisfaction with care after three months. Frailty was preventively detected in elderly living at home with the Groningen Frailty Indicator. Geriatric nurse practitioners and secondary care geriatric nursing specialists were assigned as case managers and co-ordinated the care agreed upon in a multidisciplinary meeting. The general practitioner practice functions as a single entry point and supervises the co-ordination of care. The intervention encompasses task reassignment between nurses and doctors and consultations between primary, secondary and tertiary care providers. The entire process was supported by multidisciplinary protocols and web-based patient files. The design of this study was quasi-experimental. In this study, 205 frail elderly patients of three general practitioner practices that implemented the integrated care model were compared with 212 frail elderly patients of five general practitioner practices that provided usual care. The outcomes were assessed using questionnaires. Baseline measures were compared with a three-month follow-up by chi-square tests, t-tests and regression analysis. In the short term, the integrated care model had a significant effect on the attachment aspect of quality of life. The frail elderly patients were better able to obtain the love and friendship they desire. The use of care did not differ despite the preventive element and the need for assessments followed up with case management in the integrated care model. In the short term, there were no significant changes in health. As frailty is a progressive state, it is assumed that three months are too short to influence changes in health with integrated care models. A more longitudinal approach is required to study the value of integrated care on changes in health and the preservation of the positive effects on quality of life and health care use.
    International journal of integrated care 14:e034. · 1.26 Impact Factor

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