Although there is evidence with respect to the effectiveness of Chronic Care Model (CCM)-based programs in terms of improved patient outcomes, less attention has been given to the effect of high-quality care on productivity of patient-professional interactions, especially among frail older persons. The aim of our study was therefore to examine whether frail community-dwelling older persons’ perspectives on quality of primary care according to the dimensions of the CCM are associated with the productivity of the patient-professional interactions.

Our study was part of a large-scale evaluation study with a matched quasi-experimental design to compare outcomes of frail community-dwelling older persons that participated in a proactive, integrated primary care approach based on (elements of) the CCM and those that received usual primary care. Frail older persons’ perceptions of quality of care were assessed with the Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care Short version (PACIC-S). Productive interactions with general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses were assessed using a relational coproduction instrument. Measurements were performed at baseline (T0) and 12 months thereafter (T1). In total, 232 frail older persons were participating in the intervention group at T0 and matched to 232 frail older persons in the control group. At T1, 182 persons were in the intervention group and 176 in the control group.

Paired sample t-tests showed significant improvements in overall quality of care, the majority of underlying quality of care items, and productive interactions within the intervention group and control group over time. Multilevel analyses revealed that productive interaction with the GP and practice nurse at T1 was significantly related to perceived productive interaction with them at T0, the perceived quality of primary care at T0, and the change in perceived quality of primary care over time (between T0 and T1).

Frail community-dwelling older persons’ perspectives on quality of primary care were associated with perceived productivity of their interactions with the GP and practice nurse in both the intervention group and the control group. We found no significant differences in overall perceived quality of care and perceived patient-professional interaction between the intervention group and control group at baseline and follow-up. In times of population aging it is necessary to invest in high-quality care delivery for frail older persons and productive interactions with them.

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Journal BMC Health Services Research
Vestjens, L, Cramm, J.M, & Nieboer, A.P. (2019). Quality of primary care delivery and productive interactions among community-living frail older persons and their general practitioners and practice nurses. BMC Health Services Research. doi:10.1186/s12913-019-4255-2