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Assessing the impact of a restorative home care service in New Zealand: a cluster randomised controlled trial

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Due to the ageing population, there is an increased demand for home care services. Restorative care is one approach to improving home care services, although there is little evidence to support its use in the community setting. The objective of this trial was to evaluate the impact of a restorative home care service for community‐dwelling older people. The study was a cluster randomised controlled trial undertaken at a home care agency in New Zealand. The study period was from December 2005 to May 2007. Older people were interviewed face‐to‐face at baseline, four and 7 months. A total of 186 older people who received assistance from a home care agency participated in the study, 93 received restorative home care and 93 older people received usual home care. The primary outcome measure was change in health‐related quality of life (measured by the Short Form 36 [SF36] Health Survey). Secondary outcomes were the physical, mental, and social well‐being of older people (Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living, Timed Up and Go, Mastery scale, Duke Social Support Index). Findings revealed that compared with usual care, the intervention demonstrated a statistically significant benefit in health‐related quality of life (SF36) at 7 months for older people (mean difference 3.8, 95% CI −0.0 to 7.7, P =0.05). There were no changes in other scale measurements for older people in either group over time. There was a statistically significant difference in the number of older people in the intervention group identified for reduced hours or discharge (29%) compared with the control group (0%) (P < 0.001). In conclusion, a restorative home care service may be of benefit to older people, and improves home care service efficacy.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Nursing, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand 2: Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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