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The Home Independence Program with non-health professionals as care managers: an evaluation

Authors Lewin G, Concanen K, Youens D

Received 10 February 2016

Accepted for publication 12 April 2016

Published 20 June 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 807—817

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S106180

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Gill Lewin,1 Karyn Concanen,2 David Youens3

1School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia; 2Silver Chain Group, Osborne Park, WA, Australia; 3Faculty of Health Science, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia

Abstract: The Home Independence Program (HIP), an Australian restorative home care/reablement service for older adults, has been shown to be effective in reducing functional dependency and increasing functional mobility, confidence in everyday activities, and quality of life. These gains were found to translate into a reduced need for ongoing care services and reduced health and aged care costs over time. Despite these positive outcomes, few Australian home care agencies have adopted the service model – a key reason being that few Australian providers employ health professionals, who act as care managers under the HIP service model. A call for proposals from Health Workforce Australia for projects to expand the scope of practice of health/aged care staff then provided the opportunity to develop, implement, and evaluate a service delivery model, in which nonprofessionals replaced the health professionals as Care Managers in the HIP service. Seventy older people who received the HIP Coordinator (HIPC) service participated in the outcomes evaluation. On a range of personal outcome measures, the group showed statistically significant improvement at 3 and 12 months compared to baseline. On each outcome, the improvement observed was larger than that observed in a previous trial in which the service was delivered by health professionals. However, differences in the timing of data collection between the two studies mean that a direct comparison cannot be made. Clients in both studies showed a similarly reduced need for ongoing home care services at both follow-up points. The outcomes achieved by HIPC, with non-health professionals as Care Managers, were positive and can be considered to compare favorably with the outcomes achieved in HIP when health professionals take the Care Manager role. These findings will be of interest to managers of home care services and to policy makers interested in reducing the long-term care needs of older community dwelling individuals.

Keywords: evaluation, home care, models of service delivery, rehabilitation, social care

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Other article by this author:

Evidence for the long term cost effectiveness of home care reablement programs

Lewin GF, Alfonso HS, Alan JJ

Clinical Interventions in Aging 2013, 8:1273-1281

Published Date: 2 October 2013