ZonMw grant to evaluate the ‘Stay Active at Home’ programme

Silke Metzelthin, Rixt Zijlstra, Erik van Rossum, Annemarie Koster, Silvia Evers and Ruud Kempen – affiliated with three different CAPHRI research lines – have successfully applied for a four-year ZonMw grant to test the (cost-) effectiveness of the ‘Stay Active at Home’ programme. 

The project is part of the 5th prevention programme of ZonMw (subprogramme Prevention in Care); 13 out of the 53 submitted research proposals were funded.

'Stay Active at Home’ is based on the philosophy of reablement also known as Function Focused Care, which was successfully implemented in New Zealand, Norway, Australia and the United States. This philosophy aims to change the behaviour of healthcare professionals from ‘doing things for older adults’ to ‘engaging older adults in daily life’. In co-creation with international reablement experts and relevant Dutch stakeholders, who are members of the living lab ‘Academic Collaboration Centre Care of Older People’ this philosophy was adapted to the Dutch homecare setting resulting in the ‘Stay Active at Home’ programme.

As part of the ‘Stay Active at Home’ programme, homecare professionals (i.e., community nurses and domestic support workers) receive an intense training. Subsequently, they are expected to deliver goal-oriented, holistic and person-centred services focusing on supporting older adults to maintain, gain or restore competences to manage their everyday life as independently as possible. For example, washing the upper body and face independently; changing the pillowcase, while the professional changes the bedcover; or motivating the client to join a dancing class at the community centre. Thereby older adults will be continuously stimulated during regular care moments, in a one-to-one relationship to participate in daily and physical activities.

‘Stay Active at Home’ was successfully pilot tested between November 2015 and July 2016 at MeanderGroep Zuid-Limburg. Recently (September 2016), an exploratory trial started as part of the ZonMw project ‘Basic Care Revisited’. This early trial will provide relevant information regarding:

  • the implementation of specific intervention components;
  • key components of the chosen methodology (e.g. outcome measures);
  • rates of recruitment and retention;
  • the expected effect size.

The fieldwork of the recently funded full trial is expected to start in September 2017. The aim of the trial is to provide evidence about the (cost-) effectiveness of ‘Stay Active at Home’ prior to dissemination and implementation of the programme. Alongside the trial an extensive process evaluation will be conducted.

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