Enhancing Knowledge and InterProfessional care for Heart Failure (EKWIP-HF) in long-term care: a pilot study
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BACKGROUND: Heart failure (HF) affects 20% of long-term care (LTC) residents and is associated with significant morbidity, acute care visits, and mortality. Barriers to HF management are staff knowledge gaps and ineffective interprofessional (IP) communication. This pilot study assessed the acceptability, feasibility, and impact of an intervention to (1) improve HF knowledge; (2) improve IP communication; and (3) integrate improved knowledge and communication processes into work routines. METHODS: The intervention provides multimodal IP education about HF in LTC, including specialist-supported bedside teaching. It was piloted on single units in two facilities. A mixed-methods repeated-measures approach was used to collect qualitative and quantitative process and outcome data at baseline and 6 months post-intervention. RESULTS: Results were similar at both sites. Participants developed optimized IP communication to promote HF care. Results indicate a perceived increase in staff confidence and self-efficacy, strengthened assessment and clinical proficiency skills, and more effective IP collaboration. Staff deemed the intervention useful and feasible. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study suggests that a novel intervention in which HF-specific knowledge is applied by LTC staff to improve IP collaboration in their own work place is acceptable and feasible and has a favourable preliminary impact on staff knowledge and IP communication.