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Establishing the core elements of a frailty at the front door model of care using a modified real-time Delphi technique.

BMC Emergency Medicine 2023 October 21
BACKGROUND: Innovations in models of care for older adults living with frailty presenting to the emergency department (ED) have become a key priority for clinicians, researchers and policymakers due to the deleterious outcomes older adults experience due to prolonged exposure to such an environment. This study aimed to develop a set of expert consensus-based statements underpinning operational design, outcome measurement and evaluation of a Frailty at the Front Door (FFD) model of care for older adults within an Irish context.

METHODS: A modified real-time Delphi method was used. Facilitation of World Café focus groups with an expert panel of 86 members and seperate advisory groups with a Public and Patient Involvement panel of older adults and members of the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine generated a series of statements on the core elements of the FFD model of care. Statements were analysed thematically and incorporated into a real-time Delphi survey, which was emailed to members of the expert panel. Members were asked to rank 70 statements across nine domains using a 9-point Likert scale. Consensus criteria were defined a priori and guided by previous research using 9-point rating scales.

RESULTS: Fifty members responded to the survey representing an overall response rate of 58%. Following analyses of the survey responses, the research team reviewed statements for content overlap and refined a final list of statements across the following domains: aims and objectives of the FFD model of care; target population; screening and assessment; interventions; technology; integration of care; evaluation and metrics; and research.

CONCLUSION: Development of a consensus derived FFD model of care represents an important step in generating national standards, implementation of a service model as intended and enhances opportunities for scientific impact. Future research should focus on the development of a core outcome set for studies involving older adults in the ED.

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