Deakin University
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A screen-based simulation training program to improve palliative care of people with advanced dementia living in residential aged care facilities and reduce hospital transfers: Study protocol for the IMproving Palliative care Education and Training Using Simulation in Dementia (IMPETUS-D) cluster randomised controlled trial

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Version 3 2024-06-18, 17:51
Version 2 2024-06-04, 04:36
Version 1 2019-11-17, 18:23
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-18, 17:51 authored by J Tropea, CE Johnson, D Nestel, SK Paul, CA Brand, Ana HutchinsonAna Hutchinson, R Bicknell, WK Lim
Abstract Background Many people with advanced dementia live in residential aged care homes. Care home staff need the knowledge and skills to provide high-quality end-of-life (EOL) dementia care. However, several studies have found EOL dementia care to be suboptimal, and care staff have reported they would benefit from training in palliative care and dementia. Simulation offers an immersive learning environment and has been shown to improve learners’ knowledge and skills. However, there is little research on simulation training for residential care staff. This article presents the development and evaluation protocol of IMproving Palliative care Education and Training Using Simulation in Dementia (IMPETUS-D) - a screen-based simulation training program on palliative dementia care, targeted at residential care staff. IMPETUS-D aims to improve the quality of palliative care provided to people living with dementia in residential care homes, including avoiding unnecessary transfers to hospital. Methods A cluster RCT will assess the effect of IMPETUS-D. Twenty-four care homes (clusters) in three Australian cities will be randomised to receive either the IMPETUS-D intervention or usual training opportunities (control). The primary outcome is to reduce transfers to hospital and deaths in hospital by 20% over 6-months in the intervention compared to the control group. Secondary outcomes include uptake of goals of care plans over 6 and 12 months, change in staff knowledge and attitudes towards palliative dementia care over 6 months, change in transfers to hospital and deaths in hospital over 12 months. For the primary analysis logistic regression models will be used with standard errors weighted by the cluster effects. A mixed methods process evaluation will be conducted alongside the cluster RCT to assess the mechanisms of impact, the implementation processes and contextual factors that may influence the delivery and effects of the intervention. Discussion In Australia, the need for high-quality advanced dementia care delivered in residential aged care is growing. This study will assess the effect of IMPETUS-D a new simulation-based training program on dementia palliative and EOL care. This large multisite trial will provide robust evidence about the impact of the intervention. If successful, it will be distributed to the broader residential care sector. Trial registration ANZCTR, ACTRN12618002012257. Registered 14 December 2018.



BMC Palliative Care



Article number



1 - 11



Open access

  • Yes







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019 The Author(s)