Optimising quality of life for people living with heart failure in care homes: protocol for the co-design and feasibility testing of a digital intervention

James McMahon*, Christine Brown Wilson, Loreena Hill, Paul Tierney, David R. Thompson , Jan Cameron, Doris Yu, Debra K. Moser, Karen Spilsbury, Nittaya Srisuk, Jos M. G. A. Schols, Mariëlle van der Velden, Gary Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Heart failure (HF) affects up to 64.3 million people globally. Advancements in pharmaceutical, device or surgical therapies, have led to patients living longer with HF. Heart failure affects 20% of care home residents, with these individuals presenting as older, frailer, and with more complex needs compared to those living at home. Thus, improving care home staff (e.g., registered nurse and care assistant) knowledge of HF has the potential to benefit patient care and reduce acute care utilization. Our aim is to co-design, and feasibility test, a digital intervention to improve care home staff knowledge of HF and optimise quality of life for those living with the condition in long-term residential care.

Using a logic model, three workstreams have been identified. Workstream 1 (WS1), comprised of three steps, will inform the ‘inputs’ of the model. First, qualitative interviews (n = 20) will be conducted with care home staff to identify facilitators and barriers in the provision of care to people with HF. Concurrently, a scoping review will be undertaken to synthesise current evidence of HF interventions within care homes. The last step will involve a Delphi study with 50–70 key stakeholders (for example care home staff, people with HF and their family and friends) to determine key education priorities related to HF. Using data from WS1, a digital intervention to improve care home staff knowledge and self-efficacy of HF will be co-designed in workstream 2 (WS2) alongside those living with HF or their carers, HF professionals, and care home staff. Lastly, workstream 3 (WS3) will involve mixed-methods feasibility testing of the digital intervention. Outcomes include staff knowledge on HF and self-efficacy in caring for HF residents, intervention usability, perceived benefits of the digital intervention on quality of life for care home residents, and care staff experience of implementing the intervention.

As HF affects many care home residents, it is vital that care home staff are equipped to support people living with HF in these settings. With limited interventional research in this area, it is envisaged that the resulting digital intervention will have relevance for HF resident care both nationally and internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0288433
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS One
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2023


  • Heart Failure
  • Nursing Homes
  • Care Homes
  • Older People
  • Mixed Methods
  • Research Protocol
  • Humans
  • Educational Status
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Heart Failure - therapy
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Quality of Life
  • Critical Care

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