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Understanding the implementation of interventions to improve the management of frailty in primary care: a rapid realist review

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-10, 04:01 authored by Khulud Alharbi, Thomas Blakeman, Harm van MarwijkHarm van Marwijk, David Reeves, Jung Yin Tsang
OBJECTIVE: Identifying and managing the needs of frail people in the community is an increasing priority for policy makers. We sought to identify factors that enable or constrain the implementation of interventions for frail older persons in primary care. DESIGN: A rapid realist review. DATA SOURCES: Cochrane Library, SCOPUS and EMBASE, and grey literature. The search was conducted in September 2019 and rerun on 8 January 2022. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: We considered all types of empirical studies describing interventions targeting frailty in primary care. ANALYSIS: We followed the Realist and Meta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards quality and publication criteria for our synthesis to systematically analyse and synthesise the existing literature and to identify (intervention-context-mechanism-outcome) configurations. We used normalisation processes theory to illuminate mechanisms surrounding implementation. RESULTS: Our primary research returned 1755 articles, narrowed down to 29 relevant frailty intervention studies conducted in primary care. Our review identified two families of interventions. They comprised: (1) interventions aimed at the comprehensive assessment and management of frailty needs; and (2) interventions targeting specific frailty needs. Key factors that facilitate or inhibit the translation of frailty interventions into practice related to the distribution of resources; patient engagement and professional skill sets to address identified need. CONCLUSION: There remain challenges to achieving successful implementation of frailty interventions in primary care. There were a key learning points under each family. First, targeted allocation of resources to address specific needs allows a greater alignment of skill sets and reduces overassessment of frail individuals. Second, earlier patient involvement may also improve intervention implementation and adherence.


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