Older people's views of quality of care: a randomised controlled study of continuum of care

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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To analyse frail older people's views of quality of care when receiving a comprehensive continuum of care intervention, compared with those of people receiving the usual care (control group). The intervention included early geriatric assessment, case management, interprofessional collaboration, support for relatives and organising of care-planning meetings in older people's own homes.

Background

Prior studies indicate that tailored/individualised care planning conducted by a case manager/coordinator often led to greater satisfaction with care planning among older people. However, there is no obvious evidence of any effects of continuum of care interventions on older people's views of quality of care.

Design

Randomised controlled study.

Methods

Items based on a validated questionnaire were used in face-to-face interviews to assess older people's views of quality of care at three, six and 12 months after baseline.

Results

Older people receiving a comprehensive continuum of care intervention perceived higher quality of care on items about care planning (p ≤ 0·005), compared with those receiving the usual care. In addition, they had increased knowledge of whom to contact about care/service, after three and 12 months (p < 0·03).

Conclusions

The study gives evidence of the advantages of a combination of components such as organising care-planning meetings in older people's own homes, case management and interprofessional teamwork.

Relevance to clinical practice

The results have implications for policymakers, managers and professionals in the area of health and social care for older people to meet individual needs of frail older people.

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