A multicentric individually-tailored controlled trial of education and professional support to nursing home staff: Research protocol and baseline data of the IQUARE study
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Whilst the number of people living in nursing homes (NH) is expected to rise, research on NH quality is scarce. The purpose of this article is to describe the research protocol of the IQUARE study and to present its baseline data.
Methods and design
IQUARE is a 18-month multicentric individually-tailored controlled trial of education and professional support to NH staff. The main purposes of IQUARE are to improve the quality of the health care provided in NHs and to reduce the risk of functional decline among residents. Data on internal organisation and residents’ health for the 175 participating NHs were recorded by NH staff at baseline. NHs were allocated to either a light intervention group (LIG, n = 90 NHs, totalising 3 258 participants) or a strong intervention group (SIG, n = 85 NHs, totalising 3 017 participants). Intervention for LIG consisted at delivering to NH staff descriptive statistics on indicators of quality regarding their NH and the NHs from their sub-region of health and region; whereas for SIG, NH staff received the same information that LIG, but quality indicators were discussed by a cooperative work (two half-day meetings) between a hospital geriatrician and NH staff. Strategies for overcoming NH’s weaknesses were then traced; the efficacy of strategies is evaluated at a 6-month period.
Baseline data showed high levels of dependence, comorbidities, psychological disturbances and medication’s consumption among NH residents. Large discrepancies among NHs were observed.
IQUARE is one of the largest controlled trials in NHs developed in France. Results from IQUARE may constitute the basis for the development of new work modalities within the French health system, and serve as a model of a feasible research approach in NHs.
Key wordsOlder adults nursing home quality indicator controlled trial health care
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