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Using comprehensive geriatric assessment for quality improvements in healthcare of older people in UK care homes: protocol for realist review within Proactive Healthcare of Older People in Care Homes (PEACH) study

10 Oct 2017

Introduction

Care home residents are relatively high users of healthcare resources and may have complex needs. Comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) may benefit care home residents and improve efficiency of care delivery. This is an approach to care in which there is a thorough multidisciplinary assessment (physical and mental health, functioning and physical and social environments) and a care plan based on this assessment, usually delivered by a multidisciplinary team. The CGA process is known to improve outcomes for community-dwelling older people and those in receipt of hospital care, but less is known about its efficacy in care home residents.

Methods and analysis

Realist review was selected as the most appropriate method to explore the complex nature of the care home setting and multidisciplinary delivery of care. The aim of the realist review is to identify and characterise a programme theory that underpins the CGA intervention. The realist review will extract data from research articles which describe the causal mechanisms through which the practice of CGA generates outcomes. The focus of the intervention is care homes, and the outcomes of interest are health-related quality of life and satisfaction with services; for both residents and staff. Further outcomes may include appropriate use of National Health Service services and resources of older care home residents. The review will proceed through three stages: (1) identifying the candidate programme theories that underpin CGA through interviews with key stakeholders, systematic search of the peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed evidence, (2) identifying the evidence relevant to CGA in UK care homes and refining the programme theories through refining and iterating the systematic search, lateral searches and seeking further information from study authors and (3) analysis and synthesis of evidence, involving the testing of the programme theories.

Ethics and dissemination

The PEACH project was identified as service development following submission to the UK Health Research Authority and subsequent review by the University of Nottingham Research Ethics Committee. The study protocols have been reviewed as part of good governance by the Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. We aim to publish this realist review in a peer-reviewed journal with international readership. We will disseminate findings to public and stakeholders using knowledge mobilisation techniques. Stakeholders will include the Quality Improvement Collaboratives within PEACH study. National networks, such as British Society of Gerontology and National Care Association will be approached for wider dissemination.

Trial registration number

The realist review has been registered on International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO 2017: CRD42017062601).

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open