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Active Residents in Care Homes (ARCH): study protocol to investigate the implementation and outcomes of a whole-systems activity programme in residential care homes for older people

Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the effectiveness, acceptability and costs of Active Residents in Care Homes, ARCH – a programme aiming to increase opportunities for activity in older care home residents.

Design

Feasibility study.

Setting

Residential care homes for older people.

Participants

10–15 residents, staff and family members will be recruited in each of the three participating care homes.

Intervention

ARCH is a 12-month ‘whole-systems’ programme implemented by occupational therapists and physiotherapists. They will conduct a comprehensive assessment of each care home, considering the physical environment, working practices and organisation structure as well as residents’ individual needs, and recommend ways to address barriers and increase residents’ activity levels. The therapists will then work with staff to improve understanding of the issues, instigate training, environmental, organisational and working practice changes as necessary.

Main outcome measures

Residents’ activity levels, health and quality of life will be tested using several measures to see which are practicable and appropriate for this population in this context. This includes: Assessment of Physical Activity in Frail Older People; Pool Activity Level Checklist; Dementia Care Mapping observations; and EQ-5D-5L. Residents will be assessed prior to programme implementation then 4- and 12-months post-implementation. Semi-structured interviews will explore the experiences of residents, staff, family members and therapists.

Conclusions

Providing evidence of effectiveness and acceptability of ARCH, and documenting factors that impede/facilitate implementation will help us identify ways to enhance the care and quality of life of older people in residential care, and our understanding of how to implement them.

Trial registration: ISRCTN24000891.

Cite this article

Active Residents in Care Homes (ARCH): study protocol to investigate the implementation and outcomes of a whole-systems activity programme in residential care homes for older people, Koskela, Sian A. et al.

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