Review Article| Volume 24, ISSUE 3, P343-355, March 2023

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Taxonomy of Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers From Long-term Care Homes: A Systematic Scoping Review

Published:February 06, 2023DOI:



      To develop a taxonomy of interventions aimed at reducing emergency department (ED) transfers and/or hospitalizations from long-term care (LTC) homes.


      A systematic scoping review.

      Setting and participants

      Permanent LTC home residents.


      Experimental and comparative observational studies were searched in MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase Classic + Embase, the Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, Social Work Abstracts, AMED, Global Health, Health and Psychosocial Instruments, Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database, Ovid Healthstar, and Web of Science Core Collection from inception until March 2020. Forward/backward citation tracking and gray literature searches strengthened comprehensiveness. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used to assess study quality. Intervention categories and components were identified using an inductive-deductive thematic analysis. Categories were informed by 3 intervention dimensions: (1) “when/at what point(s)” on the continuum of care they occur, (2) “for whom” (ie, intervention target resident populations), and (3) “how” these interventions effect change. Components were informed by the logistical elements of the interventions having the potential to influence outcomes. All interventions were mapped to the developed taxonomy based on their categories, components, and outcomes. Distributions of components by category and study year were graphically presented.


      Ninety studies (25 randomized, 23 high quality) were included. Six intervention categories were identified: advance care planning; palliative and end-of-life care; onsite care for acute, subacute, or uncontrolled chronic conditions; transitional care; enhanced usual care (most prevalent, 31% of 90 interventions); and comprehensive care. Four components were identified: increasing human resource capacity (most prevalent, 93%), training or reorganization of existing staff, technology, and standardized tools. The use of technology increased over time. Potentially avoidable ED transfers and/or hospitalizations were measured infrequently as primary outcomes.

      Conclusions and Implications

      This proposed taxonomy can guide future intervention designs. It can also facilitate systematic reviews and precise effect size estimations for homogenous interventions when outcomes are comparable.


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