Improving Detection of Client Complexity in the Community (Impact): A Study Protocol of a Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial
journal contributionposted on 2021-10-19, 01:36 authored by Jennifer Boak, Irene BlackberryIrene Blackberry, Tshepo RasekabaTshepo Rasekaba
Background: Community-dwelling older clients are becoming increasingly complex. Detecting this complexity in clinical practice is limited, with greater reliance on community nurses’ clinical judgment and skills. The lack of a consistent approach to complexity impacts the level of care and support for older clients to remain in their homes for longer. Objective: To examine the effectiveness of the Patient Complexity Instrument (PCI) in addition to nurses’ clinical judgment to enhance detection of complexity, and subsequent older clients’ resource allocation compared to usual nursing assessment. Design: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial will be conducted within a community nursing service in regional Victoria, Australia. Clients 65 years and over referred to the service who are eligible for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) funding will be randomized into Control group: usual nursing assessment or Intervention group: usual nursing assessment plus the PCI. Nurse participants are Registered Nurses currently employed in the community nursing service. Results: This study will explore whether introducing the PCI in a community nursing service enhances detection of complexity and client care resource allocation compared to nurses’ clinical judgment based on usual nursing assessment. Conclusion: This protocol outlines the study to enhance the detection of complexity by nurses delivering care for community-dwelling older people in the regional Australian context. The findings will inform the use of a standardized tool to detect complexity among community-dwelling older Australians.