Introduction: Integrated care programmes are increasingly being put in place to provide care to older people who live at home. Knowledge of how to further develop integrated care and how to transfer successful initiatives to other contexts is still limited. Therefore, a cross-European research project, called Sustainable Tailored Integrated Care for Older People in Europe (SUSTAIN), has been initiated with a twofold objective: 1. to collaborate with local stakeholders to support and monitor improvements to established integrated care initiatives for older people with multiple health and social care needs. Improvements focus on person-centredness, prevention orientation, safety and efficiency; 2. to make these improvements applicable and adaptable to other health and social care systems, and regions in Europe. This paper presents the overall structure and approach of the SUSTAIN project. Methods: SUSTAIN uses a multiple embedded case study design. In three phases, SUSTAIN partners: (i) conduct interviews and workshops with stakeholders from fourteen established integrated care initiatives to understand where they would prefer improvements to existing ways of working; (ii) collaborate with local stakeholders to support the design and implementation of improvement plans, evaluate implementation progress and outcomes per initiative, and carry out overarching analyses to compare the different initiatives, and; (iii) translate knowledge and experience to an online roadmap. Discussion: SUSTAIN aims to generate evidence on how to improve integrated care, and apply and transfer the knowledge gained to other health and social care systems, and regions. Lessons learned will be brought together in practical tools to inform and support policy-makers and decision-makers, as well as other stakeholders involved in integrated care, to manage and improve care for older people living at home.
On behalf of the SUSTAIN consortium (2018). The SUSTAIN project: A european study on improving integrated care for older people living at home. International Journal of Integrated Care, 18(1), . https://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.3090