Integrated care for severely disabled long-term care facility residents: Is it better?

Department of Nursing, Taipei City Hospital, Yangming Branch, and National Ying Ming University, School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.
Archives of gerontology and geriatrics (Impact Factor: 1.85). 07/2009; 50(3):315-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2009.05.004
Source: PubMed


The demands of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) residents are complex which usually require a range of professionals and caregivers to provide treatment and care. To reduce this fragmentation of care, integrated care models are developed in modern health care system, and a gradual change from traditional LTCF care to integrated care has occurred in many countries. Although integrated care is assumed to improve the quality of care, evidences supporting these effects are insufficient. We recruited 7 private LTCF (74 residents) in northern Taipei and randomized them into integrated care model (N=42, mean age=82.8+/-8.0 years, 54.8% males) and traditional model (N=32, 81.7+/-8.8 years, 43.8% males). Integrated care model group was provided an actively working interdisciplinary team in addition to traditional nursing and personal care in traditional model group. Physical function, nutritional status and several quality indicators (unplanned feeding tube replacement, unplanned urinary catheter replacement, pneumonia, urinary tract infection and so on) were compared with both groups. Overall, LTCF residents in the integrated care model group showed significant improvement in serum levels of albumin (3.78+/-0.32 vs. 3.60+/-0.45, p=0.004) and hemoglobin (12.62+/-1.58 vs. 12.03+/-1.24, p=0.004) during the study period. Among selected quality indicators, subjects in integrated care model group were similar to traditional model group except that integrated care model group had a significantly reduced unplanned feeding tube replacement rate. In conclusion, the clinical effectiveness of integrated care model among severly disabled LTCF residents is minimal and a further cost-effectiveness study is needed to promote optimal quality of care in this setting.

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The role of interdisciplinary interventions in the nursing home (NH) setting remains unclear. We conducted a systematic evidence review to study the benefits of interdisciplinary interventions on outcomes of NH residents. We also examined the interdisciplinary features of successful trials, including those that used formal teams. DATA SOURCES: Medline was searched from January 1990 to August 2011. Search terms included residential facilities, long term care, clinical trial, epidemiologic studies, epidemiologic research design, comparative study, evaluation studies, meta-analysis and guideline. STUDY SELECTION: We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the efficacy of interdisciplinary interventions conducted in the NH setting. MEASUREMENTS: We used the Cochrane Collaboration tools to appraise each RCT, and an RCT was considered positive if its selected intervention had a significant positive effect on the primary outcome regardless of its effect on any secondary outcome. We also extracted data from each trial regarding the participating disciplines; for trials that used teams, we studied the reporting of various team elements, including leadership, communication, coordination, and conflict resolution. RESULTS: We identified 27 RCTs: 7 had no statistically significant effect on the targeted primary outcome, 2 had a statistically negative effect, and 18 demonstrated a statistically positive effect. Participation of residents' own primary physicians (all 6 trials were positive) and/or a pharmacist (all 4 trials were positive) in the intervention were common elements of successful trials. For interventions that used formal team meetings, presence of communication and coordination among team members were the most commonly observed elements. CONCLUSION: Overall interdisciplinary interventions had a positive impact on resident outcomes in the NH setting. Participation of the residents' primary physician and/or a pharmacist in the intervention, as well as team communication and coordination, were consistent features of successful interventions.
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