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Table 3 Studies included in the systematic review of integrated working between care homes and health care services:

From: A systematic review of integrated working between care homes and health care services

First Author, Year
Study design
Research Question/aims and objectives Study population, setting and country of study Sample size/number of participants:
Include power calculation if available
Description of intervention/
Study design
Main outcome variable(s)/
Areas of focus for qualitative studies
Main findings/
1. King, 2001
Multidisciplinary case conference reviews: improving outcomes for nursing home residents, carers and health professionals
Controlled study
To determine whether multidisciplinary case conference reviews improved outcomes for nursing home residents and its impact on care staff. Population:
Older people in nursing homes
3 nursing homes
Country: Australia
245 older people
But only 75 residents were reviewed
Weekly case conference reviews, one review per resident, over 8 months attended by GPs, clinical pharmacist, senior nursing staff and other health professionals. Multidisciplinary discussion of all aspects of a resident's care to make recommendations and devise a management plan for the resident. Reviews were led by GPs with data collection by the pharmacist.
Baseline and endpoint comparisons were made between residents who were reviewed and those who were not.
Resident outcomes included: medication use, administered medications and weekly cost, health status and quality of life.
Carer outcomes were based on resident interaction, workload or personal/professional satisfaction.
• There were no significant reductions in medications orders, cost and mortality.
40% of the recommendations benefited residents, measured through their health status and quality of life. 26% of the recommendations benefited care staff, but no details were given.
Multidisciplinary case conferences were seen as beneficial to patients and carers. Their future use was recommended.
2. Llewellyn-Jones, 1999
Multifaceted shared care intervention for late life depression in residential care: randomised controlled trial.
To evaluate the effectiveness of a population based multifaceted shared care intervention for late life depression in residential care. Population:
Older people 65 years + with depression and no or low cognitive impairment Setting:
Residential facility living in self care units and hostels not nursing homes (equivalent to residential care in UK)
Residents were stratified and randomised to intervention or control
Country: Australia
220 older people
No power calculation
The shared care intervention included:
1. Multidisciplinary consultation and collaboration
2. Training of gps and carers in detection and management of depression
3. Depression related health education and activity programmes for residents.
The control group received routine care.
Geriatric Depression Scale There was a significant reduction in adjusted depression scores for residents in the intervention group.
Multidisciplinary collaboration, staff education, health education and activity programmes can improve depression in older people in residential care.
3. Opie, 2002
Challenging behaviours in nursing home residents with dementia: a randomised controlled trial of multidisciplinary interventions.
To test whether individually tailored psychosocial, nursing and medical interventions to nursing home residents with dementia will reduce the frequency and severity of behavioural symptoms. Population;
Nursing home residents with severe dementia rated by staff as having frequent, severe behavioural disturbances.
Setting: 42 Nursing homes
Country: Australia
102 older people
entered the
study, (99 completed the 4 week trial, 2 RIPs 1 hospitalisation)
Residents selected on basis of CMAI scores and assigned to early or late intervention groups.
Consultancy team with training in psychiatry, psychology and nursing met weekly for 30 minutes, to discuss referrals and formulate individualised care plans which were presented to nursing home staff to implement. Plans were reviewed at one week. 3 categories: medical, based on medication review, nursing, based on ADLs, and psychosocial including environment, sensory stimulation. The control was normal care, residents acted as their own controls by being in the early or late intervention groups.
Frequency and severity of disruptive behaviours and assessment of change by senior nursing staff.
Tools included:
Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) which assesses frequency of 30 behaviours over previous 14 days
Behaviour Assessment Graphical System (BAGS) which records a combined frequency and disruption score every hour for 24 hours.
There was a slight reduction in the daily observed counts of challenging behaviours.
Individualised, multidisciplinary interventions appear to reduce the frequency and severity of challenging behaviours in nursing homes
4. Schmidt, 1998
The Impact of Regular Multidisciplinary Team Interventions on Psychotropic Prescribing in Swedish Nursing Homes
To evaluate the impact of regular multidisciplinary team interventions on the quantity and quality of psychotropic drug prescribing in nursing homes
Aim was to improve prescribing through better teamwork amongst physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nursing assistants
Long term residents, 42% dementia, 5% psychotic disorder, 7% depression
Setting: 33 Nursing homes
Country: Sweden
1854 residents
In 15 experimental homes and 18 control homes
Regular multidisciplinary team meetings over 12 months to discuss individual residents drug use.
Training was provided for pharmacists but not for other staff.
Control homes provided normal care.
Baseline and 12 month post resident medications After 12 months the intervention group showed an improvement in the prescribing of hypnotics only. Prescribing practices can be improved through better teamwork between health care and nursing home staff using clinical guidelines.
5. Vu, 2007
Cost-effectiveness of multidisciplinary wound care in nursing homes: a pseudo-randomized pragmatic cluster trial
Pseudo RCT
Trial to test the hypothesis that trained pharmacists and nurses working in collaboration with a wound treatment protocol would improve the wound healing and save costs. Population:
176 residents with leg or pressure wounds
44 high care nursing homes
Country: Australia
Based on an assumed improvement in the healing rate from 15% to 30%, 108 wounds per arm were required to have an 80% chance of detecting a two-fold increase in healing rates at a significance level of 5%. To adjust for clustering this number was increased to 151 in each group. Residents in the intervention arm received standardised treatment from a wound care team comprised of trained community pharmacists and nurses. A standard treatment protocol was developed based on the colour, depth and exudate method for assessing wounds and the group's clinical and academic experience. They met weekly to discuss any new wounds and treatment options within the protocol. Both nurses and pharmacists received training on wound healing and management. Treatment recommendations, frequency and detail of dressing changes, measurement and photos of wounds, SF36, Assessment of Quality of Life index, Brief Pain Inventory - measures wound pain, total estimated cost of treatment per wound including, staff time, training, wound care products and waste disposal. During the trial more wounds healed in the intervention than in the control group but this was not significant. The mean treatment cost of wound healing was significantly less in the intervention group. Standardised treatment by a multidisciplinary wound care team cut costs and improved chronic wound healing in nursing homes.
6. Crotty 2004
An outreach geriatric medication advisory service in residential aged care: a randomised controlled trial of case conferencing.
Cluster RCT
Evaluate the impact of multidisciplinary case conferences on the appropriateness of medications and on patient behaviours in residential care Population: residents with medication problems/challenging behaviours
Setting: 10 High-level aged care facilities
Country: Australia
154 residents recruited with 54 in control, 50 in intervention, 50 in within facility control group
5 facilities randomised to the intervention and 5 to the control
Staff nominated 20 residents for the intervention and 10 for the control, based on 2 criteria:
Residents with a difficult behaviour they would like advice on, those prescribed 5+ medications
An effect size based on patients aged 65 + with polypharmacy of 0.9 in the MAI between the intervention and control groups (power 0.9, type 1 error of 0.05) would be detected with 28 residents in each group
2 multidisciplinary case conferences chaired by the resident's GP, a geriatrician, pharmacist and residential care staff held at the nursing home for each resident.
All facilities received a half day workshop on using the toolkit for challenging behaviour
All residents had their medication chart reviewed pre and post intervention by an independent pharmacist using the MAI
Assessed at baseline and 3 months
Primary outcome the Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI)
Nursing Home Behaviour Problem Scale for each resident
There was a significant improvement in appropriate medication in the intervention group compared with the control group. Resident behaviours were unchanged after the intervention.
7. Joseph 1998
Managed Primary Care of Nursing Home Residents
Cohort study
To measure the rates of hospital use and mortality of nursing home residents who received their primary care from practitioner-physician teams. Population: older long term residents of nursing homes enrolled in Medicare HMO
30 nursing homes in Southern California
Country: USA
307 nursing home residents Primary care by accessible interdisciplinary team including physicians, nurse practitioners, and nursing home staff supported by clinical guidelines, continuous improvement techniques and increased availability of clinical services at the nursing homes. Demographics, mortality, hospital days, minimum data sets Integrated working between doctors, nurse practitioners and nursing home staff can reduce nursing home resident's hospital use.
8. Kane 2004
Effect of an Innovative Medicare Managed Care Program on the Quality of Care for Nursing Home Residents
Controlled study
To assess the quality of care provided by Medicare HMO targeted specifically at nursing home residents, employing nurse practitioners to provide additional primary care to the physicians. Population: Long stay nursing home residents
Setting: Nursing homes
Country: USA
44 Evercare homes 44 control homes
2 control groups
a) other residents in same homes not enrolled in Evercare
b) residents in homes in same geographical area that did not participate in Evercare
Evercare model of managed care using nurse practitioners to provide additional primary care over and above that provided by physicians. 4 aspects of quality: mortality, preventable hospitalisations, quality indicators, derived from the Minimum Data set and changes in functioning. The Evercare mortality rate was significantly lower than the control-in group but not the control-out group. The Evercare residents had fewer preventable hospitalisation s the difference was significant for one of the control groups.
9. Goodman
Controlled study
To assess whether clinical benchmarking can be incorporated into care homes for older people with the support of NHS primary care nursing staff Population
Older people in residential care homes
Setting: 7 residential care homes (6 +1 pilot home)
Country: UK
46 Care home staff and 154 older people from 6 residential care homes
12 district nurses from 6 district nursing teams in 3 PCTs.
3 intervention care homes used Essence of Care benchmarking in relation to resident's bowel care, joint implementation for all residents by care home staff working together with senior district nursing staff over six months. Regular benchmarking meetings to discuss, plan and implement specific aspects of bowel related health promotion and continence care that would be suitable for residents. DN led bowel care training sessions for other care staff in the care homes. Non-intervention care homes received usual care from their district nursing teams Main outcome variables were bowel related problems captured in a bowel diary recorded for residents pre and post intervention and related hospital admissions, medication and continence product use, time spent on bowel related activities, staff satisfaction and turnover. Clinical benchmarking could be utilised in care homes as part of everyday working with district nurses and used few resources. However, commitment by both parties and mutual trust was necessary for the process to be successful. Bowel care was complex and challenging for care staff especially where older people were cognitively impaired. There was no significant reduction in bowel related problems but some evidence of improved documentation and appropriate prescribing.
10. Szczepura, 2008
In-reach specialist nursing teams for residential care homes: uptake of services, impact on care provision and cost-effectiveness.
Economic evaluation
Evaluation of a dedicated nursing and physiotherapy in-reach team (IRT) Population: older people in care homes
Setting; 4 residential care homes
Country: UK
131 residents IRT gives 24 hour cover 7 days a week - a specialist team offers support and onsite care for up to 15 beds for specialist nursing care to prevent transfer to hospital or nursing home. It also supports care home staff through health training up to NVQ level 3. Cost of the service
Number of referrals to the service
Reasons for referral/visits by team
Hospitalisations and nursing home transers avoided
IRT resulted in savings through reduced hospitalisations, early discharges, delayed transfers to nursing homes and illness recognition.
Introduction of an in-reach team was at least cost neutral. It also benefited the care home staff through training which enhanced the quality of care and reduced the transfer of residents to other care facilities.
11. Proctor, 1998
An observational study to evaluate the impact of a specialist outreach team on the quality of care in nursing and residential homes
Quantitative - non-participant observation
To assess the applicability of a training and support programme for care staff in nursing and residential homes on the quality of staff-resident interaction Population:
Older people considered by staff to have problems in terms of behaviour, social functioning or psychiatric symptoms
Setting: 5 residential homes, 1 nursing home
Country: UK
12 residents - 2 from each home
51 care home staff
1. Staff training over 6 months included
Seminars provided by a multidisciplinary team including old age psychiatrists, nurses, doctors and OTs.
A behavioural approach to care planning to help staff plan and implement care plans for individual residents. Training was given by a psychiatric nurse with weekly visits to staff
Resident behaviour and staff contact was recorded through non-participant observation prior to the training, 3 and 6 months post
Activities recorded were based on QUIS - Quality of Interactions Schedule (Dean et al, 1993)
There was a significant increase in the proportion of time that staff spent in positive interactions with residents (direct care p < 0.002, social contact p < 0.05) and levels of resident activity increased (p < 0.001).
12. Knight, 2007
All-Wales integrated care pathway project for care homes
Process evaluation/audit
To facilitate the implementation of ICP into care homes through negotiation with local palliative care providers to improve the care for dying patients Population:
Older people in nursing homes
29 nursing homes in Wales
Country: UK
130 older people pre-intervention, 133 post intervention Introduction of an integrated care pathway for dying patients in care homes. Other support:
• Education subgroup
• ICP education pack
• Teaching sessions
• Syringe driver training
• Matron forums
• Informal training/support
Pre and post ICP audit of dying patient's notes to measure their quality. Pre-audit highlighted poor communication, symptom control, and lack of staff end of life care education. The re-audit indicated an improvement in recording end of life care. ICP use in the care homes had increased from 3 to 31% in one year. Recording of events and documentation remained poor.
13. Mathews, 2006
Using the Liverpool Care Pathway in a nursing home
Process evaluation/
Aim to illustrate how collaborative working in a nursing home using the Liverpool Care Pathway(LCP) can enhance end of life patient care and improve palliative care education Population:
Older people resident in a nursing home
Setting: 1 nursing home
Country: UK
150 residents with 50 bed contracted out to the NHS for end of life care Pilot study to introduce LCP into a nursing home. LCP discussed with GPs, pharmacist and ambulance service.
Trained nursing staff received 3 hours of palliative care training including using LCP. Followed by implementation of the LCP for patients.
Focus on improving documentation and symptom control of patients An audit of the first 10 patients on the LCP showed an improvement in documentation and assessment of symptoms. Staff felt that the training should be extended to health care assistants. A steering group was also set up to discuss the pathway and training needs.
14. Doherty, 2008
Examining the impact of a specialist care homes support team
To examine the work the work and perceived impact of a dedicated care homes support team
Aim of the care homes support team was to enable staff to manage the health and social care needs of residents to avoid unnecessary admission to hospital
Older people in care homes
29 Care homes? residential
Country: UK
19 care home managers, 13 CHST including specialist older peoples nurse, pharmacist, GP, and Senior managers in PCT interviewed
32+ participants interviewed
Intensive component:: 5 care homes CHST promoted practice development through action plans focusing on staff identified needs
Extensive component: 29 homes where CHST acted as a resource in terms of information sharing and networking but no development working
Processes, working methods and outcomes of the care home support team Statistical analysis did not support the effectiveness of the care homes support team, but the qualitative data showed the impact of the team through empowering staff, increased quality of life and access to services for residents and professional development for staff.
15. Hasson, 2008
The palliative care link nurse role in nursing homes: barriers and facilitators
To explore link nurses' views and experiences regarding the development, barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the role in palliative care in the nursing home Population: Older people in nursing homes
Setting: 33 nursing homes
Country: UK
33 nursing homes
14 link nurses in 3 focus groups
Link nurse initiative - 3 phases over 3 years:
1. Training needs or nurses
and nursing assistants assessed
2. Palliative care educational programme for staff and identification of link nurses identified in nursing homes
3. Evaluation of link nurses by nursing home staff
Topics in focus groups included; link nurse preparation, barriers and facilitators to delivery of education in the home The link nurse system had the potential to improve palliative care in nursing homes. Facilitators included external and peer support, monthly meetings and access to information. Barriers included the transient workforce and a lack of preparation for the role.
16. Avis 1999
Evaluation of a project providing community palliative care support to nursing homes
Evaluation of project to extend 'hospice standards' of palliative care to nursing homes Population:
231 Nursing home residents
Setting: Nursing homes with registered palliative care beds
Country: UK
2 Questionnaire surveys of 39 & 43 matrons of nursing homes, at 6 months and at the end of the project
35 Interviews with local stakeholders
Project was implemented by a nurse advisor and a peer support group of 6 district nurses who delivered the service to nursing homes. Nursing home staff made referrals to the team who responded by visiting and assisting in assessments and care plans for residents.
1st phase involved assessment of services required by nursing homes identified by matrons. Focus on 3 areas: advice on individual care problems, training and support on palliative care, pain, symptom control, accessing specialist advice and offering support to relatives and residents including bereavement counselling.
Interviews explored participant's understanding of the project, their perceptions of issued involved in providing palliative care, benefits, limitations for staff and residents.
Questionnaires were used to rate project performance, access, response time, liaison, benefits and limitations of the project. Services were also rated in order of their importance for care homes and residents.
The project helped to overcome the barriers to care between NHS services and the independent sector. Care home isolation was decreased through assistance with individual care and better access to specialist advice and training.
17. Hockley 2005 (primary)
Promoting end of life care in nursing homes using an integrated care pathway for the last days of life
18. Watson 2006 (secondary)
Barriers to implementing an integrated care pathway for the last days of life in nursing homes
Action research
To promote quality end of life care in nursing homes using an integrated care pathway document.
Explores the barriers that needed to be overcome during the implementation of an integrated care pathway for eol care
Older people in nursing homes
Setting: 8 independent nursing homes
Country: UK
  Use of action research to promote collaboration between staff in nursing homes and the research team, empower staff in practice of eol care and promote sustainable eol care once study complete.
- Core research team of 3 nurses with palliative care and action research experience, + 2 champions were identified in each care home
Facilitation to implement ICP:
- Monthly action learning sets for champions, monthly collaborative learning groups for all staff to reflect on eol care and ICP documents of residents who had died, clinical support from nurse specialist researcher.
Interviews to explore the respondents' understanding of the project, their perceptions of the issues in providing palliative nursing care and the benefits and limitations of the project for staff and residents
Questionnaires focussed on: their use of the project, access, response time and liaison, perceptions of the benefits and limitations and the difficulties experienced in providing palliative.
Data was also collected through field notes, action learning sets, monthly collaborative learning groups.
Dying became more central to nursing home work. Five main themes emerged, a greater openness to death, recognition of dying, better teamwork, using palliative care knowledge to influence practice and better communication.