Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of use of an electronic urinary continence assessment system versus usual care on construction of care plans, resource use, and continence care for nursing home (NH) residents.
Design: Convergent mixed-methods study comprising a prospective, parallel arm-controlled phase, and concurrent qualitative component.
Subjects and setting: The study setting was Alberta, a province in Western Canada. Residents requiring a continence assessment or reassessment in an NH with 2 units assigned to intervention (I) and 2 units to usual care (UC). One hundred one residents (I: n = 49; UC: n = 52) participated; 89 (I: n = 43; UC: n = 46) completed the study. The mean age of the UC group was 88.5 (SD = 6.9) years, whereas the mean age of the intervention group was 85.6 (SD = 7.5) years.
Methods: Quantitative data on assessment, resource use, resident quality of life, and continence care outcomes were collected at weeks 0, 2, and 8; plan adherence was assessed at week 16. Qualitative data were collected via interviews.
Results: Analysis revealed a significant change in the proportion of residents achieving a reduction in 24-hour pad absorbency (50.6% vs 39.1%, P = .034) at week 8. There were significant differences in between-group changes (total absorbency of pads used in 24 hours and total cost of night pads used). Both groups reported improved health-related quality of life. Analysis of qualitative data revealed 3 themes: resource use; quality of continence care; and system utility and limitations.
Conclusions: A technological solution offering a standardized system of continence assessment provided benefit in terms of quality of care for residents and use of continence containment products; utility was validated by staff.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02511314.
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