Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    'I know they are not trained in dementia': Addressing the need for specialist dementia training for home care workers
    Polacsek, M ; Goh, A ; Malta, S ; Hallam, B ; Gahan, L ; Cooper, C ; Low, L-F ; Livingston, G ; Panayiotou, A ; Loi, S ; Omoro, M ; Savvas, S ; Batchelor, F ; Ames, D ; Doyle, C ; Scherer, S ; Dow, B (WILEY, 2019-10-23)
    Global population ageing has meant a rapid increase in the numbers of older people with dementia, most of whom live in their own homes. Staying at home is an important determinant of health and well-being. As care needs increase, the quality of community support which older people receive directly influences their capacity to remain in their own homes. While many are supported informally by family carers, formal support provided by home care workers often enables them to remain at home for longer period. However, providing community-based care for people with dementia can be challenging. Workers often lack training in dementia-specific care for clients with increasingly complex needs, and typically work without direct supervision. As the demand for person-centred home care for people with dementia increases, specialist dementia training for home care workers is urgently needed. In this qualitative study, we used in-depth interviews of a purposive sample, comprising 15 family carers and four older people with dementia, to understand the experience of receiving community care. Data analysis was guided by Braun and Clarke's approach to thematic analysis and revealed the following five overlapping themes, relating to home care workers' understanding of dementia, person-centred care, communication and rapport, mutual collaboration, and the influence of organisational constraints on continuity of care. Although participants acknowledged that service providers operated under challenging circumstances, they were frustrated with home care workers' lack of dementia knowledge and inconsistent staff rostering. Conversely, an understanding of the lived experience of dementia, effective communication and rapport, and continuity of care contributed significantly to a positive experience of receiving care. The findings of this study will be used to inform the essential elements of a training program aimed at enabling and empowering a skilled, specialist home care workforce to support older people with dementia to live well at home for as long as possible.
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    Facilitators and barriers to advance care planning implementation in Australian aged care settings: A systematic review and thematic analysis
    Batchelor, F ; Hwang, K ; Haralamhous, B ; Fearn, M ; Mackell, P ; Nolte, L ; Detering, K (WILEY, 2019-09-01)
    OBJECTIVES: There are many studies investigating implementation of advance care planning (ACP) in aged care around the world, but few studies have investigated Australian settings. The objective of this study was to determine facilitators and barriers to implementation of ACP in Australian residential and community aged care. METHODS: Evidence from Australian studies published between 2007 and September 2017 of ACP in residential and community aged care was sourced from electronic databases using predetermined search strategies. Data were extracted and synthesised using thematic analysis, and summarised according to themes. RESULTS: Nine studies described facilitators and barriers of ACP implementation. Six themes were identified: "Education and Knowledge," "Skills and Training," "Procedures and Resources," "Perceptions and Culture," "Legislation" and "Systems." CONCLUSIONS: A whole of systems approach is necessary to facilitate uptake of ACP in residential aged care settings. More research is needed to understand facilitators and barriers to ACP in community aged care.
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    "An ant against an elephant': Retirement village residents' experiences of disputes and dispute resolution
    Malta, S ; Williams, SB ; Batchelor, FA (WILEY, 2018-09-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To record Victorian retirement village residents' experiences of dispute management and satisfaction levels related to dispute resolution processes. METHODS: Survey distributed to 6500 retirement village residents. RESULTS: Surveys returned from 1876 residents (29% return rate). Most residents rated life in retirement villages as positive (mean 7.9/10), with an association between life satisfaction and management's ability to resolve disputes (rs = 0.44, P < 0.01). Almost 70% of respondents reported issues of concern to management were resolved satisfactorily; 38% were not resolved to residents' satisfaction. One-fifth reported contacting regional managers or higher personnel regarding issues affecting them, with two-thirds of these respondents reporting a negative outcome. Over 30% did not know if their village had dispute resolution processes in place. CONCLUSION: Despite finding retirement village life positive, residents of retirement villages found disputes and dispute resolution processes unsatisfactory and desired change to address these concerns.
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    Is increased carer knowledge of the health care system associated with decreased preventable hospitalizations for people in the community diagnosed with dementia? A systematic review protocol
    Tehan, JV ; Panayiotou, A ; Baxter, H ; Yates, P ; Tropea, J ; Batchelor, F (BMC, 2018-11-24)
    BACKGROUND: People living with dementia (PLWD) are admitted to hospital twice as often as those without dementia, for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC) that could have been managed in ambulatory and primary care settings. PLWD are at greater risk of poor outcomes during and following hospital admission. Compared to those without dementia, they are almost twice as likely to die in hospital and two to three times more likely to experience an adverse event. Although some hospitalizations are clinically necessary, there may be a proportion related to ACSC that could be potentially avoided with additional support and education for PLWD and their carers. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of interventions focused on reducing avoidable hospitalization for PLWD by supporting carers to manage the health care needs of the PLWD, via improved awareness and understanding of health and the healthcare system. METHOD: Scientific and gray literature will be searched using a combination of keywords pertaining to dementia, caregivers, education, and support. Included studies will involve community-dwelling PLWD and caregivers, with interventions aimed at improving carer's understanding of the healthcare system and ability to manage the caregiving role. The primary outcome will be hospitalization related to the PLWD and secondary outcomes will be carer burden, stress, wellbeing, and quality of life. All study designs will be considered. Data from included studies will be analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. If the data permits, we will perform a meta-analysis and subgroup analyses, related to the intervention and participant characteristics. DISCUSSION: This review will provide a comprehensive picture of the knowledge available on the subject and identify knowledge gaps in existing literature. The findings may highlight the lack of existing interventions for PLWD and their carers who live in the community and will help stakeholders to identify needs and develop programs targeted to carers and care recipients that prevent avoidable hospitalization for PLWD. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO number: 49655 .
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    Exercise interveNtion outdoor proJect in the cOmmunitY for older people - the ENJOY Senior Exercise Park project translation research protocol
    Levinger, P ; Panisset, M ; Dunn, J ; Haines, T ; Dow, B ; Batchelor, F ; Biddle, S ; Duque, G ; Hill, KD (BMC, 2019-07-11)
    BACKGROUND: Creating inclusive and accessible outdoor environments that provide and encourage opportunities for older adults to engage in physical activity and social interaction is important for healthy ageing. The Senior Exercise Park is outdoor exercise equipment designed specifically for use by older people that provides physical and social benefits for older people in the community, and has the potential to be used widely as a sustainable mode of physical activity. The aim of this study is to implement and evaluate the effects of sustained engagement through the use of a community-based novel outdoor physical activity program (purpose-built exercise park) for older people on physical, mental and social health and physical activity outcomes (the ENJOY project). METHODS: This is a prospective pre-post design study with 12 months follow up. Adults aged ≥60 years will be recruited from the general community from the suburbs close to the Senior Exercise Parks locations in Melbourne. Participants will undergo a 12 week structured supervised physical activity program using the outdoor Senior Exercise Park equipment followed by 6 months unstructured physical activity program. Participants will be assessed at baseline, 3, 9, and 12 months. The following outcomes will be assessed: physical activity, physical function, psychosocial and mental health outcomes, falls risk and falls occurrence, participants' feedback and satisfaction, and health care resource use. DISCUSSION: The ENJOY trial is designed to operate in a community setting with local government engagement to maximise the usage of the exercise park and provide an outdoor space for older people to be physically active. This project will evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of the outdoor exercise park on a range of health outcomes and its long-term usability in the community. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial is prospectively registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. Trial registration number ACTRN12618001727235 registered 18th of October 2018.
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    Combatting social isolation and increasing social participation of older adults through the use of technology: A systematic review of existing evidence
    Baker, S ; Warburton, J ; Waycott, J ; Batchelor, F ; Thuong, H ; Dow, B ; Ozanne, E ; Vetere, F (WILEY, 2018-09-01)
    Objectives There are growing concerns that social isolation presents risks to older people's health and well‐being. Thus, the objective of the review was to explore how technology is currently being utilised to combat social isolation and increase social participation, hence improving social outcomes for older people. Methods A systematic review of the literature was conducted across the social science and human‐computer interaction databases. Results A total of 36 papers met the inclusion criteria and were analysed using a four‐step process. Findings were threefold, suggesting that: (i) technologies principally utilised social network services and touch‐screen technologies; (ii) social outcomes are often ill‐defined or not defined at all; and (iii) methodologies used to evaluate interventions were often limited and small‐scale. Conclusion Results suggest a need for studies that examine new and innovative forms of technology, evaluated with rigorous methodologies, and drawing on clear definitions about how these technologies address social isolation/participation.
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    Effects of a Multifactorial Falls Prevention Program for People With Stroke Returning Home After Rehabilitation: A Randomized Controlled Trial
    Batchelor, FA ; Hill, KD ; Mackintosh, SF ; Said, CM ; Whitehead, CH (W B SAUNDERS CO-ELSEVIER INC, 2012-09-01)
    OBJECTIVES: To determine whether a multifactorial falls prevention program reduces falls in people with stroke at risk of recurrent falls and whether this program leads to improvements in gait, balance, strength, and fall-related efficacy. DESIGN: A single blind, multicenter, randomized controlled trial with 12-month follow-up. SETTING: Participants were recruited after discharge from rehabilitation and followed up in the community. PARTICIPANTS: Participants (N=156) were people with stroke at risk of recurrent falls being discharged home from rehabilitation. INTERVENTIONS: Tailored multifactorial falls prevention program and usual care (n=71) or control (usual care, n=85). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes were rate of falls and proportion of fallers. Secondary outcomes included injurious falls, falls risk, participation, activity, leg strength, gait speed, balance, and falls efficacy. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in fall rate (intervention: 1.89 falls/person-year, control: 1.76 falls/person-year, incidence rate ratio=1.10, P=.74) or the proportion of fallers between the groups (risk ratio=.83, 95% confidence interval=.60-1.14). There was no significant difference in injurious fall rate (intervention: .74 injurious falls/person-year, control: .49 injurious falls/person-year, incidence rate ratio=1.57, P=.25), and there were no significant differences between groups on any other secondary outcome. CONCLUSIONS: This multifactorial falls prevention program was not effective in reducing falls in people with stroke who are at risk of falls nor was it more effective than usual care in improving gait, balance, and strength in people with stroke. Further research is required to identify effective interventions for this high-risk group.