Trials, 2024

PReventing and Approaching Crises for frail community-dwelling patients Through Innovative Care (PRACTIC): protocol for an effectiveness cluster randomised controlled trial

Background: Demographic changes, with an increasing number and proportion of older people with multimorbidity and frailty, will put more pressure on home care services in municipalities. Frail multimorbid people receiving home care services are at high risk of developing crises, defined as critical challenges and symptoms, which demand immediate and new actions. The crises often result in adverse events, coercive measures, and acute institutionalisation. There is a lack of evidence-based interventions to prevent and resolve crises in community settings.

Methods: This is a participatory action research design (PAR) in a 6-month cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT). The trial will be conducted in 30 municipalities, including 150 frail community-dwelling participants receiving home care services judged by the services to be at risk of developing crisis. Each municipality (cluster) will be randomised to receive either the locally adapted TIME intervention (the intervention group) or care as usual (the control group). The Targeted Interdisciplinary Model for Evaluation and Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms (TIME) is a manual-based, multicomponent programme that includes a rigorous assessment of the crisis, one or more interdisciplinary case conferences, and the testing and evaluation of customised treatment measures. PAR in combination with an RCT will enhance adaptations of the intervention to the local context and needs. The primary outcome is as follows: difference in change between the intervention and control groups in individual goal achievement to resolve or reduce the challenges of the crises between baseline and 3 months using the PRACTIC Goal Setting Interview (PGSI). Among the secondary outcomes are the difference in change in the PGSI scale at 6 months and in neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPSs), quality of life, distress perceived by professional carers and next of kin, and institutionalisation at 3 and 6 months.

Discussion: Through customised interventions that involve patients, the next of kin, the social context, and health care services, crises may be prevented and resolved. The PReventing and Approaching Crises for frail community-dwelling patients Through Innovative Care (PRACTIC) study will enhance innovation for health professionals, management, and users in the development of new knowledge and a new adapted approach towards crises.


Anette Væringstad, Ellen Thea Gjelseth Dalbak, Daniela Holle, Janne Myhre, Øyvind Kirkevold, Sverre Bergh & Bjørn Lichtwarck

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