Long-term impact of a real-world coordinated lifestyle promotion initiative in primary care: a quasi-experimental cross-sectional study

Thomas, Kristin; Krevers, Barbro; Bendtsen, Preben
December 2014
BMC Family Practice;2014, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p190
Academic Journal
Background Integration of lifestyle promotion in routine primary care has been suboptimal. Coordinated care models (e.g. screening, brief advice and referral to in-house specialized staff) could facilitate lifestyle promotion practice; they have been shown to increase the quality of services and reduce costs in other areas of care. This study evaluates the long-term impact of a coordinated lifestyle promotion intervention with a multidisciplinary team approach in a primary care setting. Methods A quasi-experimental, cross-sectional design was used to compare three intervention centres using a coordinated care model and three control centres using a traditional model of lifestyle promotion care. Outcomes were defined using the RE-AIM framework: reach, the proportion of patients receiving lifestyle promotion; effectiveness, self-reported attitudes and competency among staff; adoption, proportion of staff reporting daily practice of lifestyle promotion and referral; and implementation, of the coordinated care model. The impact was investigated after 3 and 5 years. Data collection involved a patient questionnaire (intervention, n = 433-497; control, n = 455-497), a staff questionnaire (intervention, n = 77- 76; control, n = 43-56) and structured interviews with managers (n = 8). The χ 2 test or Fisher exact test with adjustment for clustering by centre was used for the analysis. Problem-driven content analysis was used to analyse the interview data. Results The findings were consistent over time. Intervention centres did not show higher rates for reach of patients or adoption among staff at the 3- or 5-year follow-up. Some conceptual differences between intervention and control staff remained over time in that the intervention staff were more positive on two of eight effectiveness outcomes (one attitude and one competency item) compared with control staff. The Lifestyle team protocol, which included structural opportunities for coordinated care, was implemented at all intervention centres. Lifestyle teams were perceived to have an important role at the centres in driving the lifestyle promotion work forward and being a forum for knowledge exchange. However, resources to refer patients to specialized staff were used inconsistently. Conclusions The Lifestyle teams may have offered opportunities for lifestyle promotion practice and contributed to enabling conditions at centre level but had limited impact on lifestyle promotion practices.


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