Testing the Implementation of Function-focused Care in Assisted Living Settings

Barbara Resnick, Marie Boltz, Elizabeth Galik, Steven Fix, Sarah Holmes, Shijun Zhu, Eric Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Function-Focused Care for Assisted Living Using the Evidence Integration Triangle (FFC-AL-EIT) intervention. Design: FFC-AL-EIT was a randomized controlled pragmatic trial including 85 sites and 794 residents. Intervention: FFC-AL-EIT was implemented by a Research Nurse Facilitator working with a facility champion and stakeholder team for 12 months to increase function and physical activity among residents. FFC-AL-EIT included (Step I) Environment and Policy Assessments; (Step II) Education; (Step III) Establishing Resident Function-Focused Care Service Plans; and (Step IV) Mentoring and Motivating. Setting and Participants: The age of participants was 89.48 years [standard deviation (SD) = 7.43], and the majority were female (n = 561; 71%) and white (n = 771; 97%). Methods: Resident measures, obtained at baseline, 4, and 12 months, included function, physical activity, and performance of function-focused care. Setting outcomes, obtained at baseline and 12 months, included environment and policy assessments and service plans. Results: Reach was based on 85 of 90 sites that volunteered (94%) participating. Effectiveness was based on less decline in function (P < .001), more function-focused care (P = .012) and better environment (P = .032) and policy (P = .003) support for function-focused care in treatment sites. Adoption was supported with 10.00 (SD = 2.00) monthly meetings held, 77% of settings engaged in study activities as or more than expected, and direct care workers providing function-focused care (63% to 68% at 4 months and 90% at 12 months). The intervention was implemented as intended, and education was received based on a mean knowledge test score of 88% correct. Evidence of maintenance from 12 to 18 months was noted in treatment site environments (P = .35) and policies continuing to support function-focused care (P = .28)]. Conclusions and Implications: The Evidence Integration Triangle is an effective implementation approach for assisted living. Future work should continue to consider innovative approaches for measuring RE-AIM outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1706-1713.e1
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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