Clinical indicators of quality for Australian residential aged care facilities : establishing reliability, validity, and quality thresholds

O'Reilly, Maria Therese (2010) Clinical indicators of quality for Australian residential aged care facilities : establishing reliability, validity, and quality thresholds. PhD by Publication, Queensland University of Technology.


Background: In response to the need for more comprehensive quality assessment within Australian residential aged care facilities, the Clinical Care Indicator (CCI) Tool was developed to collect outcome data as a means of making inferences about quality. A national trial of its effectiveness and a Brisbane-based trial of its use within the quality improvement context determined the CCI Tool represented a potentially valuable addition to the Australian aged care system. This document describes the next phase in the CCI Tool.s development; the aims of which were to establish validity and reliability of the CCI Tool, and to develop quality indicator thresholds (benchmarks) for use in Australia. The CCI Tool is now known as the ResCareQA (Residential Care Quality Assessment). Methods: The study aims were achieved through a combination of quantitative data analysis, and expert panel consultations using modified Delphi process. The expert panel consisted of experienced aged care clinicians, managers, and academics; they were initially consulted to determine face and content validity of the ResCareQA, and later to develop thresholds of quality. To analyse its psychometric properties, ResCareQA forms were completed for all residents (N=498) of nine aged care facilities throughout Queensland. Kappa statistics were used to assess inter-rater and test-retest reliability, and Cronbach.s alpha coefficient calculated to determine internal consistency. For concurrent validity, equivalent items on the ResCareQA and the Resident Classification Scales (RCS) were compared using Spearman.s rank order correlations, while discriminative validity was assessed using known-groups technique, comparing ResCareQA results between groups with differing care needs, as well as between male and female residents. Rank-ordered facility results for each clinical care indicator (CCI) were circulated to the panel; upper and lower thresholds for each CCI were nominated by panel members and refined through a Delphi process. These thresholds indicate excellent care at one extreme and questionable care at the other. Results: Minor modifications were made to the assessment, and it was renamed the ResCareQA. Agreement on its content was reached after two Delphi rounds; the final version contains 24 questions across four domains, enabling generation of 36 CCIs. Both test-retest and inter-rater reliability were sound with median kappa values of 0.74 (test-retest) and 0.91 (inter-rater); internal consistency was not as strong, with a Chronbach.s alpha of 0.46. Because the ResCareQA does not provide a single combined score, comparisons for concurrent validity were made with the RCS on an item by item basis, with most resultant correlations being quite low. Discriminative validity analyses, however, revealed highly significant differences in total number of CCIs between high care and low care groups (t199=10.77, p=0.000), while the differences between male and female residents were not significant (t414=0.56, p=0.58). Clinical outcomes varied both within and between facilities; agreed upper and lower thresholds were finalised after three Delphi rounds. Conclusions: The ResCareQA provides a comprehensive, easily administered means of monitoring quality in residential aged care facilities that can be reliably used on multiple occasions. The relatively modest internal consistency score was likely due to the multi-factorial nature of quality, and the absence of an aggregate result for the assessment. Measurement of concurrent validity proved difficult in the absence of a gold standard, but the sound discriminative validity results suggest that the ResCareQA has acceptable validity and could be confidently used as an indication of care quality within Australian residential aged care facilities. The thresholds, while preliminary due to small sample size, enable users to make judgements about quality within and between facilities. Thus it is recommended the ResCareQA be adopted for wider use.

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ID Code: 40314
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Publication)
Supervisor: Courtney, Mary, Edwards, Helen, & Hassall, Stacey
Keywords: ageing, frail elderly, residential care, residential facilities, Australian aged care policy, quality of care, quality indicators, quality assessment, outcome assessment, benchmarking, Delphi process, psychometric properties, validity, reliability
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 24 Feb 2011 06:32
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 14:42

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