Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a proactive, goal-oriented, integrated care model in general practice for older people. A cluster randomised controlled trial: Integrated Systematic Care for older People--the ISCOPE study

Age Ageing. 2016 Jan;45(1):30-41. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afv174.


Background: older people often experience complex problems. Because of multiple problems, care for older people in general practice needs to shift from a 'problem-based, disease-oriented' care aiming at improvement of outcomes per disease to a 'goal-oriented care', aiming at improvement of functioning and personal quality of life, integrating all healthcare providers. Feasibility and cost-effectiveness of this proactive and integrated way of working are not yet established.

Design: cluster randomised trial.

Participants: all persons aged ≥75 in 59 general practices (30 intervention, 29 control), with a combination of problems, as identified with a structured postal questionnaire with 21 questions on four health domains.

Intervention: for participants with problems on ≥3 domains, general practitioners (GPs) made an integrated care plan using a functional geriatric approach. Control practices: care as usual.

Outcome measures: (i) quality of life (QoL), (ii) activities of daily living, (iii) satisfaction with delivered health care and (iv) cost-effectiveness of the intervention at 1-year follow-up.

Trial registration: Netherlands trial register, NTR1946.

Results: of the 11,476 registered eligible older persons, 7,285 (63%) participated in the screening. One thousand nine hundred and twenty-one (26%) had problems on ≥3 health domains. For 225 randomly chosen persons, a care plan was made. No beneficial effects were found on QoL, patients' functioning or healthcare use/costs. GPs experienced better overview of the care and stability, e.g. less unexpected demands, in the care.

Conclusions: GPs prefer proactive integrated care. 'Horizontal' care using care plans for older people with complex problems can be a valuable tool in general practice. However, no direct beneficial effect was found for older persons.

Keywords: aged; integrated care; older people; primary care; proactive care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / economics*
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • General Practice / economics*
  • General Practice / organization & administration
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Services for the Aged / economics*
  • Health Services for the Aged / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Netherlands
  • Patient Care Planning / economics*
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life
  • Recovery of Function
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • NTR/NTR1946