BACKGROUND: The treatment and management of long-term health conditions is the greatest challenge facing health systems around the world today. Innovative approaches to patient care in the community such as Anticipatory Care Planning (ACP), which seek to help with the provision of high-quality comprehensive care to older adults at risk of functional decline, require evaluation. This study will evaluate one approach that will include primary care as the setting for ACP.
METHODS/DESIGN: This study will help to determine the feasibility for a definitive randomised trial to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of an ACP intervention. The intervention will be delivered by specially trained registered nurses in a primary care setting with older adults identified as at risk of functional decline. The intervention will comprise: (a) information collection via patient assessment; (b) facilitated informed dialogue between the patient, family carer, general practitioner and other healthcare practitioners; and, (c) documentation of the agreed support plan and follow-up review dates. Through a structured consultation with patients and their family carers, the nurses will complete a mutually agreed personalised support plan.
DISCUSSION: This study will determine the feasibility for a full trial protocol to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of an (ACP) intervention in primary care to assist older adults aged 70 years of age or older and assessed as being at risk of functional decline. The study will be implemented in two jurisdictions on the island of Ireland which employ different health systems but which face similar health challenges. This study will allow us to examine important issues, such as the impact of two different healthcare systems on the health of older people and the influence of different legislative interpretations on undertaking cross jurisdictional research in Ireland.
PROTOCOL VERSION: Version 1, 17 September 2019.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov, ID: NCT03902743. Registered on 4 April 2019.