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A stepped-wedge randomised controlled trial assessing the implementation, effectiveness and cost-consequences of the EDDIE+ hospital avoidance program in 12 residential aged care homes: study protocol

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posted on 2021-07-13, 04:25 authored by HE Carter, XJ Lee, A Farrington, C Shield, N Graves, EV Cyarto, L Parkinson, FI Oprescu, Claudia MeyerClaudia Meyer, J Rowland, T Dwyer, G Harvey
Background: Older people living in residential aged care homes experience frequent emergency transfers to hospital. These events are associated with risks of hospital acquired complications and invasive treatments or interventions. Evidence suggests that some hospital transfers may be unnecessary or avoidable. The Early Detection of Deterioration in Elderly residents (EDDIE) program is a multi-component intervention aimed at reducing unnecessary hospital admissions from residential aged care homes by empowering nursing and care staff to detect and manage early signs of resident deterioration. This study aims to implement and evaluate the program in a multi-site randomised study in Queensland, Australia. Methods: A stepped-wedge randomised controlled trial will be conducted at 12 residential aged care homes over 58 weeks. The program has four components: education and training, decision support tools, diagnostic equipment, and implementation facilitation with clinical systems support. The integrated Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (i-PARIHS) framework will be used to guide the program implementation and process evaluation. The primary outcome measure will be the number of hospital bed days used by residents, with secondary outcomes assessing emergency department transfer rates, admission rates, length of stay, family awareness and experience, staff self-efficacy and costs of both implementation and health service use. A process evaluation will assess the extent and fidelity of program implementation, mechanisms of impact and the contextual barriers and enablers. Discussion: The intervention is expected to improve outcomes by reducing unnecessary hospital transfers. Fewer hospital transfers and admissions will release resources for other patients with potentially greater needs. Residential aged care home staff might benefit from feelings of empowerment in their ability to proactively manage early signs of resident deterioration. The process evaluation will be useful for supporting wider implementation of this intervention and other similar initiatives. Trial registration: The trial is prospectively registered with the Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ACTRN12620000507987, registered 23/04/2020).


This study is funded by an Australian Medical Research Future Fund project grant (#1177501). The study funders did not have a role in the study design or decision to submit this protocol for publication. Additionally, the funders will not be involved in ongoing data collection, management, analysis, interpretation, preparation of manuscripts or decisions to submit papers for publication.


Publication Date



BMC Geriatrics





Article Number

ARTN 347







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