Background: Older persons often have interacting physical and social problems and complex care needs. An integrated care approach in the local context with collaborations between community-, social-, and health-focused organisations can contribute to the promotion of independent living and quality of life. In the Urban Health Centres Europe (UHCE) project, five European cities (Greater Manchester, United Kingdom; Pallini (in Greater Athens Area), Greece; Rijeka, Croatia; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and Valencia, Spain) develop and implement a care template that integrates health and social care and includes a preventive approach. The UHCE project includes an effect and process evaluation. Methods: In a one-year pre-post controlled trial, in each city 250 participants aged 75+ years are recruited to receive the UHCE approach and are compared with 250 participants who receive 'care as usual'. Benefits of UHCE approach in terms of healthy life styles, fall risk, appropriate medication use, loneliness level and frailty, and in terms of level of independence and health-related quality of life and health care use are assessed. A multilevel modeling approach is used for the analyses. The process evaluation is used to provide insight into the reach of the target population, the extent to which elements of the UHCE approach are executed as planned and the satisfaction of the participants. Discussion: The UHCE project will provide new insight into the feasibility and effectiveness of an integrated care approach for older persons in different European settings. Trial registration: ISRCTN registry number is ISRCTN52788952. Date of registration is 13/03/2017.

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BMC Geriatrics
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Franse, C., Voorham, A. J., Van Staveren, R. (Rob), Koppelaar, E., Martijn, R. (Rens), Valía-Cotanda, E. (Elisa), … Raat, H. (2017). Evaluation design of Urban Health Centres Europe (UHCE): Preventive integrated health and social care for community-dwelling older persons in five European cities. BMC Geriatrics, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s12877-017-0606-1