The SPA-LTC team is involved in a number of local, national, and global research projects. A summary of our current and past funded research projects can be found below.
Research project: Implementing & Scaling Up the Long-Term Care Palliative Toolkit During COVID
Purpose: To conduct a scale-up assessment of the new long-term care palliative toolkit, adapt the long-term care palliative toolkit for diverse regions and contexts, and evaluate the toolkit in terms of implementation and effectiveness for the participating long-term care homes
Setting: Long-term care homes in Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick
Funder: CFHI (2020-2021)
Research project: mySupport Family Carer Decision Support Intervention
Purpose: To support care home staff to engage in decision-making with family carers: scaling up an educational intervention called the Family Carer Decision Support
Setting: Long-term care homes in Canada, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
Funder: EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (2019-2022)
Research project: Social Inclusion and Dementia (2017-2021)
Purpose: To engage residents with advanced dementia, Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses in activities designed to promote dignity, improve quality of life, and reduce social isolation
Setting: Two long-term care homes, 1 hospital behavioural health unit
Project outcomes: Informed service providers and decision-makers on the practice and processes that can improve the social inclusion of people with dementia, their quality of life, and the impact on their families
Research project: iCAN ACP Advance Care Planning (2017-2021)
Purpose: To encourage more frequent, earlier and better conversations between older adults, families and the health care team
Aim: To improve the quality of life of older adults with serious illness by introducing and evaluating advance care planning tools
Setting: Long-term care homes, family doctor’s offices and hospitals across Canada
Funder: Canadian Frailty Network
Research project: Partnering Together to Improve Palliative Care in Long-Term Care Homes (PHSI: 2015-2020)
Purpose: To test the feasibility and acceptability of the SPA-LTC model across long-term care homes in four different provinces.
Setting: Long-term care homes in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba
Project outcomes: Illness Trajectory Pamphlets were developed to inform family members and friends about the expectations, treatment, and overall trajectory of five illnesses that are common in the long-term care resident population. Bereavement pamphlets were also offered to family members in the process of grieving the death of their loved ones.
Key findings: Intervention fidelity was strongly associated with buy-in from site leadership and lack of leadership staff turnover.
Funder: Partnerships for Health Systems Improvement, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Research project: Namaste Care (2015-2017)
Purpose: To explore the launch and usefulness of a new program called Namaste Care and measure how the program changed quality of life of residents with late-stage dementia
Setting: Two long-term care homes in Canada
Key findings: Several positive effects on resident quality of life, with results showing that Namaste Care may increase the use of therapeutic approaches and improve resident mood and may also decrease resident pain, agitation, and medication and health service use.
Research project: Strengthening a Palliative Approach in Long-Term Care (2014-2016)
Purpose: To adapt, implement and evaluate a palliative care program, called Strengthening a Palliative Approach in Long Term Care (SPA-LTC)
Setting: Four different Canadian long-term care homes
Key findings: The findings revealed that with the implementation of this program we can improve advance care planning (ACP) uptake and end of life communication for the care of the seriously ill, frail, elderly and their caregivers. Results also suggest the illness trajectory pamphlets offer important information that improve resident and family comfort with engaging in ACP conversations.
Funder: Canadian Frailty Network