OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility of a study on the content and effect of comprehensive geriatric care (CGC) at home for frail elderly.
METHOD: Case managers invited new CGC patients of one care organization for participation in the study. At two moments, questionnaires were conducted on (social) functioning, quality of life, perceived problems, perceived informal caregiver burden, and self-management. Information on received care was collected from the patients' medical records, In addition, a questionnaire was administered to the referring physician. Feasibility was evaluated descriptively on three domains; inclusion, follow up, and data collection.
RESULTS: The intended number of 25 participants was not reached, mostly because clients did not comply with inclusion criteria, and because case managers felt uncomfortable asking patients for participation in the study. Of the 14 participants, 12 were followed until the follow-up measurement. Several questionnaire domains appeared difficult to answer for participants. It also appeared difficult to collect information on received care from the medical records. Questionnaire response among general practitioners was 6 out of 11.
CONCLUSION: Due to the vulnerability of the targeted group and logistical challenges, the inclusion of participants for the study was more difficult than originally thought. In combination with the difficulties in data collection, this suggests that a large-scale study on the content and effect of CGC is not feasible. Qualitative research methodologies, preferably combined with quantitative methods, offer better opportunities to understand the value of CGC for frail elderly living at home.