The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-018-0713-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the repeated communication and decision-making process between the patient, family, and healthcare professionals. This study describes an ACP intervention in nursing homes and evaluates the outcomes of the implementation process.
The ACP intervention was part of a 4-month complex, cluster randomized controlled trial (COSMOS). 37 Norwegian nursing homes with 72 units (1 cluster = 1 unit) and 765 patients were invited to participate and eligible units were randomised to the intervention group or control. Nursing home staff in the intervention group was offered a standardized education programme to learn early and repeated communication with patients and families and to implement ACP in their units. We used a train-the-trainer approach to educate staff in the units, supported by regular telephone calls and a midway seminar after two months. Individual patient logs consisting of different communication deliverables were used to evaluate the implementation process. Supported by Qualitative Content Analyses, we identified facilitators and barriers of the ACP implementation based on feedback during midway seminars and individual patient logs.
The ACP intervention was conducted in 36 NH units (n = 297); 105 healthcare providers participated at the education seminar prior to the study, and 3–4 employees from each unit participated in the midway seminar. NH staff reported the educational material relevant for the implementation strategy. The patient logs showed that ACP was successfully implemented in 62% (n = 183) of the patients using our predefined implementation criteria. The staff emphasized the clear communication of the relevance of ACP addressed to leaders and staff as important facilitators, along with the clearly defined routines, roles and responsibilities. Identified barriers included lack of competence, perceived lack of time, and conflicting culture and staff opinions.
Monthly communication with the family was the most frequently conducted communication, and the predefined criteria of successfully implemented ACP were largely achieved. Nursing home routines and engagement of leaders and staff were crucial facilitators, whereas lack of time and competence reduced the implementation success.
The COSMOS-trial was registered in the ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02238652) July 7th, 2014
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- Description of an advance care planning intervention in nursing homes: outcomes of the process evaluation
Bettina S. Husebo
- BioMed Central
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