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Toward Common Data Elements for International Research in Long-term Care Homes: Advancing Person-Centered Care

Published:February 27, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2019.01.123

      Abstract

      To support person-centered, residential long-term care internationally, a consortium of researchers in medicine, nursing, behavioral, and social sciences from 21 geographically and economically diverse countries have launched the WE-THRIVE consortium to develop a common data infrastructure. WE-THRIVE aims to identify measurement domains that are internationally relevant, including in low-, middle-, and high-income countries, prioritize concepts to operationalize domains, and specify a set of data elements to measure concepts that can be used across studies for data sharing and comparisons. This article reports findings from consortium meetings at the 2016 meeting of the Gerontological Society of America and the 2017 meeting of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, to identify domains and prioritize concepts, following best practices to identify common data elements (CDEs) that were developed through the US National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research's CDEs initiative. Four domains were identified, including organizational context, workforce and staffing, person-centered care, and care outcomes. Using a nominal group process, WE-THRIVE prioritized 21 concepts across the 4 domains. Several concepts showed similarity to existing measurement structures, whereas others differed. Conceptual similarity (convergence; eg, concepts in the care outcomes domain of functional level and harm-free care) provides further support of the critical foundational work in LTC measurement endorsed and implemented by regulatory bodies. Different concepts (divergence; eg, concepts in the person-centered care domain of knowing the person and what matters most to the person) highlights current gaps in measurement efforts and is consistent with WE-THRIVE's focus on supporting resilience and thriving for residents, family, and staff. In alignment with the World Health Organization's call for comparative measurement work for health systems change, WE-THRIVE's work to date highlights the benefits of engaging with diverse LTC researchers, including those in low-, middle-, and high-income countries, to develop a measurement infrastructure that integrates the aspirations of person-centered LTC.

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