Integrated care for frail elderly

Frail elderly often find themselves confronted with a combination of medical and psychosocial problems. Due to the complexity of the problems a tailor-made approach is needed, usually involving various care professionals. Tailor-made not only means enough care, but also no excess of care and no doubling of care either. This asks for the care professionals involved being tuned to each other and for integrated care. It turns out that care is more effective when the abilities of the patient are put to use and their dignity has not been affected. The objective of care or supporting frail elderly is to stimulate optimal functioning and improving quality of life.

Special clinical research areas are dementia and cancer. Our focus lies on patients, informal carers and health care professionals. The patient is not just a passive receiver of care, but participates actively in the outcomes of care and with it its cost effectiveness. Personalised care, partnership with patients and relatives, shared decision making and care culture are core themes.

A certain methodological flexibility is needed in order to find answers to our research questions. For that reason we use a range of research methods and techniques, such as Randomised Controlled Trials, qualitative analysis, cost effectiveness research, implementation research and mixed methods.

Prof.dr. Myrra Vernooij-Dassen is head of research on Integrated care for frail elderly within IQ healthcare