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Understanding service context: development of a service pro forma to describe and measure elderly peoples’ community and intermediate care services

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The purpose of this paper was to develop a pro forma which classifies the components of service delivery and organization which may impact on the outcomes of elderly peoples’ community and intermediate care services. The resulting analytic template provides a basis for comparison between services and may help guide service commissioning and development. A qualitative approach was used in which key evaluations and reports were selected on the basis that they described elderly peoples’ community and intermediate care services. These were analysed systematically using a qualitative (template) approach to draw out the key themes used to describe services. Themes were then structured hierarchically into an analytic template. Seventeen key documents were analysed. The initial coding framework classified 334 themes describing intermediate care services. These items were then clustered into 78 categories, which were reduced to 17 subcategories, then six overall groupings to describe the services, namely; (1) context; (2) reason for the service; (3) service-users; (4) access to the service; (5) service structure; and (6) the organization of care. The resulting analytic template has been developed into a ‘service pro forma’ which can be used as a basis to describe and compare a range of services. We propose that all service evaluations should describe, in detail, their context in a comparable way, so that other services can learn from and/or apply the findings from these studies.
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Keywords: intermediate care; models of service care delivery; multi-professional rehabilitation practice; organization and delivery of care; qualitative research; quality assurance systems

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S10 2BP 2: School of Health and Related Research, ICOSS Building, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DP 3: University of Sheffield, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing, Community Sciences Centre, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield S5 7AU, UK

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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