• Community ageing research 75+ study (CARE75+): an experimental ageing and frailty research cohort

      Heaven, A.; Brown, L.; Young, J.; Teale, E.; Hawkins, R.; Spilsbury, K.; Mountain, Gail; Young, T.; Goodwin, V.; Hanratty, B.; et al. (2019-03)
      Introduction The Community Ageing Research 75+ Study (CARE75+) is a longitudinal cohort study collecting an extensive range of health, social and economic data, with a focus on frailty, independence and quality of life in older age. CARE75+ is the first international experimental frailty research cohort designed using Trial within Cohorts (TwiCs) methodology, to align applied epidemiological research with clinical trial evaluation of interventions to improve the health and well-being of older people living with frailty. Methods and analysis Prospective cohort study using a TwiCs design. One thousand community-dwelling older people (≥75 years) will be recruited from UK general practices. Nursing home residents, those with an estimated life expectancy of 3 months or less and people receiving palliative care will be excluded. Data collection assessments will be face to face in the person’s home at baseline, 6 months, 12 months, 24 months and 48 months, including assessments of frailty, cognition, mood, health-related quality of life, comorbidity, medications, resilience, loneliness, pain and self-efficacy. A modified protocol for follow-up by telephone or web based will be offered at 6 months. Consent will be sought for data linkage and invitations to additional studies, including intervention studies using the TwiCs design. A blood sample biobank will be established for future basic science studies. Ethics and dissemination CARE75+ was approved by the NRES Committee Yorkshire and the Humber—Bradford Leeds 10 October 2014 (14/YH/1120). Formal written consent is sought if an individual is willing to participate and has capacity to provide informed consent. Consultee assent is sought if an individual lacks capacity. Study results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed scientific journals and scientific conferences. Key study results will be summarised and disseminated to all study participants via newsletters, local older people’s publications and local engagement events. Results will be reported on a bespoke CARE75+ website.
    • A complex intervention to reduce avoidable hospital admissions in nursing homes: a research programme including the BHiRCH-NH pilot cluster RCT

      Downs, Murna G.; Blighe, A.; Carpenter, R.; Feast, A.; Froggatt, K.; Gordon, S.; Hunter, R.; Jones, L.; Lago, N.; McCormack, B.; et al. (Programme Grants for Applied Research, 2021-02)
      Background: An unplanned hospital admission of a nursing home resident distresses the person, their family and nursing home staff, and is costly to the NHS. Improving health care in care homes, including early detection of residents’ health changes, may reduce hospital admissions. Previously, we identified four conditions associated with avoidable hospital admissions. We noted promising ‘within-home’ complex interventions including care pathways, knowledge and skills enhancement, and implementation support. Objectives: Develop a complex intervention with implementation support [the Better Health in Residents in Care Homes with Nursing (BHiRCH-NH)] to improve early detection, assessment and treatment for the four conditions. Determine its impact on hospital admissions, test study procedures and acceptability of the intervention and implementation support, and indicate if a definitive trial was warranted. Design: A Carer Reference Panel advised on the intervention, implementation support and study documentation, and engaged in data analysis and interpretation. In workstream 1, we developed a complex intervention to reduce rates of hospitalisation from nursing homes using mixed methods, including a rapid research review, semistructured interviews and consensus workshops. The complex intervention comprised care pathways, approaches to enhance staff knowledge and skills, implementation support and clarity regarding the role of family carers. In workstream 2, we tested the complex intervention and implementation support via two work packages. In work package 1, we conducted a feasibility study of the intervention, implementation support and study procedures in two nursing homes and refined the complex intervention to comprise the Stop and Watch Early Warning Tool (S&W), condition-specific care pathways and a structured framework for nurses to communicate with primary care. The final implementation support included identifying two Practice Development Champions (PDCs) in each intervention home, and supporting them with a training workshop, practice development support group, monthly coaching calls, handbooks and web-based resources. In work package 2, we undertook a cluster randomised controlled trial to pilot test the complex intervention for acceptability and a preliminary estimate of effect. Setting: Fourteen nursing homes allocated to intervention and implementation support (n = 7) or treatment as usual (n = 7). Participants: We recruited sufficient numbers of nursing homes (n = 14), staff (n = 148), family carers (n = 95) and residents (n = 245). Two nursing homes withdrew prior to the intervention starting. Intervention: This ran from February to July 2018. Data sources: Individual-level data on nursing home residents, their family carers and staff; system-level data using nursing home records; and process-level data comprising how the intervention was implemented. Data were collected on recruitment rates, consent and the numbers of family carers who wished to be involved in the residents’ care. Completeness of outcome measures and data collection and the return rate of questionnaires were assessed. Results: The pilot trial showed no effects on hospitalisations or secondary outcomes. No home implemented the intervention tools as expected. Most staff endorsed the importance of early detection, assessment and treatment. Many reported that they ‘were already doing it’, using an early-warning tool; a detailed nursing assessment; or the situation, background, assessment, recommendation communication protocol. Three homes never used the S&W and four never used care pathways. Only 16 S&W forms and eight care pathways were completed. Care records revealed little use of the intervention principles. PDCs from five of six intervention homes attended the training workshop, following which they had variable engagement with implementation support. Progression criteria regarding recruitment and data collection were met: 70% of homes were retained, the proportion of missing data was < 20% and 80% of individuallevel data were collected. Necessary rates of data collection, documentation completion and return over the 6-month study period were achieved. However, intervention tools were not fully adopted, suggesting they would not be sustainable outside the trial. Few hospitalisations for the four conditions suggest it an unsuitable primary outcome measure. Key cost components were estimated. Limitations: The study homes may already have had effective approaches to early detection, assessment and treatment for acute health changes; consistent with government policy emphasising the need for enhanced health care in homes. Alternatively, the implementation support may not have been sufficiently potent. Conclusion: A definitive trial is feasible, but the intervention is unlikely to be effective. Participant recruitment, retention, data collection and engagement with family carers can guide subsequent studies, including service evaluation and quality improvement methodologies. Future work: Intervention research should be conducted in homes which need to enhance early detection, assessment and treatment. Interventions to reduce avoidable hospital admissions may be beneficial in residential care homes, as they are not required to employ nurses.
    • Development and validation of an electronic frailty index using routine primary care electronic health record data

      Clegg, A.; Bates, C.; Young, J.; Ryan, R.; Nichols, L.; Teale, E.A.; Mohammed, Mohammed A.; Parry, J.; Marshall, T. (2016)
      Background: frailty is an especially problematic expression of population ageing. International guidelines recommend routine identification of frailty to provide evidence-based treatment, but currently available tools require additional resource. Objectives: to develop and validate an electronic frailty index (eFI) using routinely available primary care electronic health record data. Study design and setting: retrospective cohort study. Development and internal validation cohorts were established using a randomly split sample of the ResearchOne primary care database. External validation cohort established using THIN database. Participants: patients aged 65–95, registered with a ResearchOne or THIN practice on 14 October 2008. Predictors: we constructed the eFI using the cumulative deficit frailty model as our theoretical framework. The eFI score is calculated by the presence or absence of individual deficits as a proportion of the total possible. Categories of fit, mild, moderate and severe frailty were defined using population quartiles. Outcomes: outcomes were 1-, 3- and 5-year mortality, hospitalisation and nursing home admission. Statistical analysis: hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated using bivariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses. Discrimination was assessed using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Calibration was assessed using pseudo-R2 estimates. Results: we include data from a total of 931,541 patients. The eFI incorporates 36 deficits constructed using 2,171 CTV3 codes. One-year adjusted HR for mortality was 1.92 (95% CI 1.81–2.04) for mild frailty, 3.10 (95% CI 2.91–3.31) for moderate frailty and 4.52 (95% CI 4.16–4.91) for severe frailty. Corresponding estimates for hospitalisation were 1.93 (95% CI 1.86– 2.01), 3.04 (95% CI 2.90–3.19) and 4.73 (95% CI 4.43–5.06) and for nursing home admission were 1.89 (95% CI 1.63–2.15), 3.19 (95% CI 2.73–3.73) and 4.76 (95% CI 3.92–5.77), with good to moderate discrimination but low calibration estimates. Conclusions: the eFI uses routine data to identify older people with mild, moderate and severe frailty, with robust predictive validity for outcomes of mortality, hospitalisation and nursing home admission. Routine implementation of the eFI could enable delivery of evidence-based interventions to improve outcomes for this vulnerable group.
    • Do physiotherapy staff record treatment time accurately? An observational study

      Bagley, Pamela J.; Hudson, M.; Green, J.R.; Forster, A.; Young, J. (2009)
      OBJECTIVE: To assess the reliability of duration of treatment time measured by physiotherapy staff in early-stage stroke patients. DESIGN: Comparison of physiotherapy staff's recording of treatment sessions and video recording. SETTING: Rehabilitation stroke unit in a general hospital. SUBJECTS: Thirty-nine stroke patients without trunk control or who were unable to stand with an erect trunk without the support of two therapists recruited to a randomized trial evaluating the Oswestry Standing Frame. Twenty-six physiotherapy staff who were involved in patient treatment. MAIN MEASURES: Contemporaneous recording by physiotherapy staff of treatment time (in minutes) compared with video recording. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Intraclass correlation with 95% confidence interval and the Bland and Altman method for assessing agreement by calculating the mean difference (standard deviation; 95% confidence interval), reliability coefficient and 95% limits of agreement for the differences between the measurements. RESULTS: The mean duration (standard deviation, SD) of treatment time recorded by physiotherapy staff was 32 (11) minutes compared with 25 (9) minutes as evidenced in the video recording. The mean difference (SD) was -6 (9) minutes (95% confidence interval (CI) -9 to -3). The reliability coefficient was 18 minutes and the 95% limits of agreement were -24 to 12 minutes. Intraclass correlation coefficient for agreement between the two methods was 0.50 (95% CI 0.12 to 0.73). CONCLUSIONS: Physiotherapy staff's recording of duration of treatment time was not reliable and was systematically greater than the video recording.
    • Evidence-based intervention to reduce avoidable hospital admissions in care home residents (the Better Health in Residents in Care Homes (BHiRCH) study): Protocol for a pilot cluster randomised trial

      Sampson, E.L.; Feast, A.; Blighe, Alan J.; Froggatt, K.; Hunter, R.; Marston, L.; McCormack, B.; Nurock, S.; Panca, M.; Powell, Catherine; et al. (2019-05)
      Introduction: Acute hospital admission is distressing for care home residents. Ambulatory care sensitive conditions, such as respiratory and urinary tract infections, are conditions that can cause unplanned hospital admission but may have been avoidable with timely detection and intervention in the community. The Better Health in Residents in Care Homes (BHiRCH) programme has feasibility tested and will pilot a multicomponent intervention to reduce these avoidable hospital admissions. The BHiRCH intervention comprises an early warning tool for noting changes in resident health, a care pathway (clinical guidance and decision support system) and a structured method for communicating with primary care, adapted for use in the care home. We use practice development champions to support implementation and embed changes in care. Methods and analysis: Cluster randomised pilot trial to test study procedures and indicate whether a further definitive trial is warranted. Fourteen care homes with nursing (nursing homes) will be randomly allocated to intervention (delivered at nursing home level) or control groups. Two nurses from each home become Practice Development Champions trained to implement the intervention, supported by a practice development support group. Data will be collected for 3 months preintervention, monthly during the 12-month intervention and 1 month after. Individual-level data includes resident, care partner and staff demographics, resident functional status, service use and quality of life (for health economic analysis) and the extent to which staff perceive the organisation supports person centred care. System-level data includes primary and secondary health services contacts (ie, general practitioner and hospital admissions). Process evaluation assesses intervention acceptability, feasibility, fidelity, ease of implementation in practice and study procedures (ie, consent and recruitment rates).
    • Family involvement in timely detection of changes in health of nursing homes residents: a qualitative exploratory study

      Powell, Catherine; Blighe, Alan J.; Froggatt, K.A.; McCormack, B.; Woodward-Carlton, Barbara; Young, J.; Robinson, L.; Downs, Murna G. (2018-01)
      This article aims to explore family perspectives on their involvement in the timely detection of changes in their relatives' health in UK nursing homes. Increasingly, policy attention is being paid to the need to reduce hospitalisations for conditions that, if detected and treated in time, could be managed in the community. We know that family continue to be involved in the care of their family members once they have moved into a nursing home. Little is known, however, about family involvement in the timely detection of changes in health in nursing home residents. This was a qualitative exploratory study with thematic analysis. A purposive sampling strategy was applied. 14 semi-structured one-to-one telephone interviews with family members of people living in 13 different UK nursing homes. Data were collected from November 2015 to March 2016. Families were involved in the timely detection of changes in health in three key ways: noticing signs of changes in health, informing care staff about what they noticed, and educating care staff about their family members' changes in health. Families suggested they could be supported to detect timely changes in health by developing effective working practices with care staff. Families can provide a special contribution to the process of timely detection in nursing homes. Their involvement needs to be negotiated, better supported, as well as given more legitimacy and structure within the nursing home. Families could provide much needed support to nursing home nurses, care assistants, and managers in timely detection of changes in health. This may be achieved through communication about their preferred involvement on a case-by-case basis as well as providing appropriate support or services.
    • Older people's care experience in community and general hospitals: a comparative study

      Green, J.R.; Forster, A.; Young, J.; Small, Neil A.; Spink, Joanna (2008)
      Community hospitals are an important component of the post-acute care pathway for older people. The objective of this study was to describe and contrast patients' and carers' experiences of community and general hospitals. Interviews with patients and carers revealed similarities in the perceptions of care between the two settings. These included appreciation of staff sensitivity, a sense of security, encouragement of independence and lack of activity. The community hospital was appreciated for its location, atmosphere, accommodation, greater sense of freedom, quality of food and staff attitudes. UK health policy promotes the development of community hospitals. This should be progressed in a way that retains key strengths of the specific service they offer.
    • The patient experience of community hospital - the process of care as a determinant of satisfaction.

      Small, Neil A.; Green, J.R.; Spink, Joanna; Forster, A.; Lowson, K.; Young, J. (Blackwell Publishing, 2006)
      Aims and objectives; We report findings from a qualitative study to identify patient views of community hospital care. We consider how far these were in accord with the hospital staffs' views. This constituted part of a wider randomized controlled trial (RCT). The methodological challenges in seeking to identify patient satisfaction and in linking qualitative findings with trial results are explored. Design A sample of 13 patients randomized to the community hospital arm of the RCT joined the qualitative study. Official documentation from the hospital were accessed and six staff interviewed to identify assumptions underlying practice. Results Analysis of interviews identified a complex picture concerning expectations These could be classified as ideal, realistic, normative and unformed. The hospital philosophy and staff views about service delivery were closely in harmony, they delivered rehabilitation in a home-based atmosphere. The formal, or 'hard', process of rehabilitation was not well understood by patients. They were primarily concerned with 'soft' or process issues ¿ where and how care was delivered. Conclusions We identify a model of community hospital care that incorporates technical aspects of rehabilitation within a human approach that is welcomed by patients. If patients are to be able to participate in making informed decisions about care, the rationale for the activities of staff need to be more clearly explained. Recommendations are made about the appropriate scope of qualitative findings in the context of trials and about techniques to access patient views in areas where they have difficulty in expressing critical impressions.
    • Pilot cluster randomised trial of an evidence-based intervention to reduce avoidable hospital admissions in nursing home residents (Better Health in Residents of Care Homes with Nursing - BHiRCH-NH Study)

      Sampson, E.L.; Feast, A.; Blighe, Alan; Froggatt, K.; Hunter, R.; Marston, L.; McCormack, B.; Nurock, S.; Panca, M.; Powell, Catherine; et al. (2020-12)
      Objectives To pilot a complex intervention to support healthcare and improve early detection and treatment for common health conditions experienced by nursing home (NH) residents. Design Pilot cluster randomised controlled trial. Setting 14 NHs (7 intervention, 7 control) in London and West Yorkshire. Participants NH residents, their family carers and staff. Intervention Complex intervention to support healthcare and improve early detection and treatment of urinary tract and respiratory infections, chronic heart failure and dehydration, comprising: (1) ‘Stop and Watch (S&W)’ early warning tool for changes in physical health, (2) condition-specific care pathway and (3) Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation tool to enhance communication with primary care. Implementation was supported by Practice Development Champions, a Practice Development Support Group and regular telephone coaching with external facilitators. Outcome measures Data on NH (quality ratings, size, ownership), residents, family carers and staff demographics during the month prior to intervention and subsequently, numbers of admissions, accident and emergency visits, and unscheduled general practitioner visits monthly for 6 months during intervention. We collected data on how the intervention was used, healthcare resource use and quality of life data for economic evaluation. We assessed recruitment and retention, and whether a full trial was warranted. Results We recruited 14 NHs, 148 staff, 95 family carers and 245 residents. We retained the majority of participants recruited (95%). 15% of residents had an unplanned hospital admission for one of the four study conditions. We were able to collect sufficient questionnaire data (all over 96% complete). No NH implemented intervention tools as planned. Only 16 S&W forms and 8 care pathways were completed. There was no evidence of harm. Conclusions Recruitment, retention and data collection processes were effective but the intervention not implemented. A full trial is not warranted.
    • Postacute Care for Older People in Community Hospitals: A Multicentre Randomised, Controlled Trial

      Young, J.; Green, J.R.; Forster, A.; Small, Neil A.; Lowson, K.; Bogle, S.; George, J.; Heseltine, D.; Jayasuriya, T.; Rowe, J. (2007)
      OBJECTIVES: To compare the effects of community hospital care on independence for older people needing rehabilitation with that of general hospital care. DESIGN: Randomized, controlled trial. SETTING: Seven community hospitals and five general hospitals in the midlands and north of England. PARTICIPANTS: Four hundred ninety patients needing rehabilitation after hospital admission with an acute illness. INTERVENTION: Multidisciplinary team care for older people in community hospitals. MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcome was the Nottingham extended activities of daily living scale (NEADL); secondary outcomes were the Barthel Index, Nottingham Health Profile, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, mortality, discharge destination, 6-month residence status, and satisfaction with services. RESULTS: Loss of independence at 6 months was significantly less likely in the community hospital group (mean adjusted NEADL change score group difference 3.27; 95% confidence interval 0.26–6.28; P=.03). The results for the secondary outcome measures were similar for the two groups. CONCLUSION: Postacute community hospital rehabilitation care for older people is associated with greater independence.