Validation of a clinical leadership qualities framework for managers in aged care: a Delphi study

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Abstract

Aims and objectives.

To establish validity of a clinical leadership framework for aged care middle managers (The Aged care Clinical Leadership Qualities Framework).

Background.

Middle managers in aged care have responsibility not only for organisational governance also and operational management but also quality service delivery. There is a need to better define clinical leadership abilities in aged care middle managers, in order to optimise their positional authority to lead others to achieve quality outcomes.

Design.

A Delphi method.

Methods.

Sixty-nine experts in aged care were recruited, representing rural, remote and metropolitan community and residential aged care settings. Panellists were asked to rate the proposed framework in terms of the relevance and importance of each leadership quality using four-point Likert scales, and to provide comments. Three rounds of consultation were conducted. The number and corresponding percentage of the relevance and importance rating for each quality was calculated for each consultation round, as well as mean scores. Consensus was determined to be reached when a percentage score reached 70% or greater.

Results.

Twenty-three panellists completed all three rounds of consultation. Following the three rounds of consultation, the acceptability and face validity of the framework was confirmed.

Conclusions.

The study confirmed the framework as useful in identifying leadership requirements for middle managers in Australian aged care settings. The framework is the first validated framework of clinical leadership attributes for middle managers in aged care and offers an initial step forward in clarifying the aged care middle manager role.

Relevance to clinical practice.

The framework provides clarity in the breadth of role expectations for the middle managers and can be used to inform an aged care specific leadership program development, individuals' and organisations' performance and development processes; and policy and guidelines about the types of activities required of middle managers in aged care.

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