A competence improvement programme for the systematic observation of frail older patients in homecare: qualitative outcome analysis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonStrømme, T., Tjoflåt, I. & Aase, K. (2022) A competence improvement programme for the systematic observation of frail older patients in homecare: qualitative outcome analysis. BMC Health Services Research, 22, 938. 10.1186/s12913-022-08328-0
Background The growth of frail older patients with extensive care needs in homecare creates a need for competence development. Improvement programmes are essential to fill this knowledge gap. However, the outcomes of such programmes remain unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study is to describe the outcomes of a competence improvement programme for the systematic observation of frail older patients in homecare. Methods This study applied a qualitative mixed-method design. Data were collected in two homecare districts using participant observation, focus group interviews, and individual interviews. Results The analysis revealed five concepts characterising the outcomes of the competence improvement programme: 1) frequency of vital sign measurements, 2) situational awareness, 3) expectations and coping level, 4) activities for sustained improvement, and 5) organisational issues affecting CIP focus. Substantial differences were revealed across the two homecare districts in how homecare professionals enacted new knowledge and routines resulting from the competence improvement programme. The differences were related to the frequency of vital sign measurements, coping levels, and situational awareness, in which successful outcomes were shaped by implementation issues and contextual setting. This involved whether routines and planned activities were set to follow up the improvement programme, or whether organisational issues such as leadership focus, resources, and workforce stability supported the programme. Conclusions This study documents the differences entailed in creating sustainable outcomes of an improvement programme for homecare professionals’ competence in recognising and responding to deteriorating frail older patients. Depending on the implementation process and the homecare context, professionals enact the activities of the improvement programme differently.