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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Comprehensive geriatric assessment, multifactorial interventions and nurse-led care coordination to prevent functional decline in community-dwelling older persons: protocol of a cluster randomized trial

Jacqueline J Suijker14*, Bianca M Buurman2, Gerben ter Riet1, Marjon van Rijn2, Rob J de Haan3, Sophia E de Rooij2 and Eric P Moll van Charante1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General Practice, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 Department of Clinical Research Unit, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

4 Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, Department of General Practice, Room F2-219, PO Box 22660, 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Health Services Research 2012, 12:85  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-85

Published: 1 April 2012

Abstract

Background

Functional decline in community-dwelling older persons is associated with the loss of independence, the need for hospital and nursing-home care and premature death. The effectiveness of multifactorial interventions in preventing functional decline remains controversial. The aim of this study is to investigate whether functional decline in community-dwelling older persons can be delayed or prevented by a comprehensive geriatric assessment, multifactorial interventions and nurse-led care coordination.

Methods/Design

In a cluster randomized controlled trial, with the general practice as the unit of randomization, 1281 participants from 25 general practices will be enrolled in each condition to compare the intervention with usual care. The intervention will focus on older persons who are at increased risk for functional decline, identified by an Identification of Seniors at Risk Primary Care (ISAR-PC) score (≥ 2). These older persons will receive a comprehensive geriatric assessment, an individually tailored care and treatment plan, consisting of multifactorial, evidence-based interventions and subsequent nurse-led care coordination. The control group will receive 'care as usual' by the general practitioner (GP). The main outcome after 12 months is the level of physical functioning on the modified Katz-15 index score. The secondary outcomes are health-related quality of life, psychological and social functioning, healthcare utilization and institutionalization. Furthermore, a process evaluation and cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed.

Discussion

This study will provide new knowledge regarding the effectiveness and feasibility of a comprehensive geriatric assessment, multifactorial interventions and nurse-led elderly care in general practice.

Trial registration

NTR2653

Grant

Unrestricted grant 'The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and development' no 313020201

Keywords:
Comprehensive geriatric assessment; Multifactorial interventions; Nurse-led care coordination; Functional decline; Community dwelling older persons