Outcome measures from international older adult care home intervention research: a scoping review

Sarah Kelly (Lead Author), Andy Cowan, Gizdem Akdur, Lisa Irvine, Guy Peryer, Silje Welsh, Stacey Rand, Iain A. Lang, Ann-Marie Towers, Karen Spilsbury, Anne Killett, Adam Lee Gordon, Barbara Hanratty, Liz Jones, Julienne Meyer, Claire Goodman, Jennifer Kirsty Burton

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Background: Care homes are increasingly important settings for intervention research to enhance evidence-informed care. For such research to demonstrate effectiveness, it is essential that measures are appropriate for the population, setting and practice contexts.  

Objective: To identify care home intervention studies and describe the resident outcome measures used.  

Design: Scoping review  

Methods: We reviewed international care home research published from 2015-August 2022. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, ASSIA. We included any intervention study conducted in a care home, reporting resident outcomes. We extracted resident outcome measures, organised these using the domains of an adapted framework and described their use.  

Results: From 7,330 records screened, we included 396 datasets reported in 436 publications. These included 12,167 care homes and 836,842 residents, with an average of 80 residents per study. The studies evaluated 859 unique resident outcomes 2,030 times using 732 outcome measures. Outcomes were evaluated between 1-112 times, with 75.1% of outcomes evaluated only once. Outcome measures were used 1-120 times, with 68.4% of measures used only once. Only 14 measures were used ≥20 times. Functional status, mood & behaviour, and medications were the commonest outcome domains assessed. More than half of outcomes were assessed using scales, with a fifth using existing records or administrative data.  

Conclusions: There is significant heterogeneity in the choice and assessment of outcomes for intervention research in care homes There is an urgent need to develop a consensus on useful and sensitive tools for care homes, working with residents, families and friends and staff.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberafad069
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2023


  • care home
  • core outcome set
  • homes for the aged
  • long-term care
  • older people
  • outcome measures

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