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Review of a Nursing Research Article

The article Development of a Proactive Care Program (U-CARE) to Preserve Physical Functioning of Frail Older People in Primary Care (U-CARE) focuses on primary care for older patients and brings problems relating to care provision for the elderly under the spotlight. The authors aim to enhance the ways in which primary care is provided to older patients by introducing an innovative, structured and proactive primary care program (Bleijenberg et al., 2013).

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The purpose of the research lies in ascertaining that the program may be applicable to older patients and will eventually enhance the quality of life. The authors believe that the U-Care program may be replicated and disseminated in various communities (Bleijenberg et al., 2013).

The authors have used an array of literature sources to validate the program. Research findings from various scholarly articles were used to back up the research and validate the U-Care Program applicability. Authors claim that, in writing the article, they fell back on a systematic review of the literature, aside from that, relevant guidelines coupled with real-life clinical experience and expert opinion were used in the development of the U-Care Program (Bleijenberg et al., 2013).

The research raised an array of questions relating to care provided to geriatric patients. The main question was whether the U-Program was feasible and may be introduced for geriatric patients. The program findings support the hypothesis that it is applicable and may be replicated in other communities.

The authors outlined variables that might influence the program success. Three variables relating to program incorporation have been identified by the authors “85% of registered nurses and 59% of GPs indicated a lack of time for coordination and geriatric assessment. 74% of the GPs indicated the lack of financial compensation, and 60% of nurses and 62% of GPs said that cultural background might be an obstacle to program implementation.”

Appropriateness of the design requires an in-depth review and a detailed plan of intervention. The British Medical Research Council was used for the development and evaluation of the method and design for the intervention (Bleijenberg et al., 2013).

The validity of the program was assessed and tested in clinical practice with the involvement of three practice nurses. The recommendations from guidelines and reference literature as well as best practices were added to program care plans.

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The authors evaluated the efficacy of the program with “a single-blind, three-armed, cluster-randomized controlled trial.” (235). The primary results indicated the preservation of the physical functioning and the quality of life (Bleijenberg et al., 2013). The procedures for the trial included recruitment in three primary care networks with the involvement of 3000 patients and 122 GPs.

The intervention was developed in light of the frail patients’ needs. Overall, the panel of older people noted that they were in agreement with the content of the program. As mentioned above, GPs and nurses noted that they encountered difficulty in providing care to some of the patients due to their varied cultural background (Bleijenberg et al., 2013).

A small pilot study was introduced for 30 patients during a 6 week period to provide a sample for the U-Care. The procedures were aimed at collecting experiences from nurses, as well as shortcomings, obstacles, and strengths of the program. The nurses concluded that the program was applicable to clinical practice (Bleijenberg et al., 2013).

According to the authors, “During the pilot stage, the nurses reported that they had improved their knowledge, enhanced the structural care and learned to better understand patient’s needs.” (p. 234). On the patients’ side, it was noted that custom-made plans have helped achieve a better quality of life (Bleijenberg et al., 2013).

The results of the research indicate that the U-Care is feasible in clinical practice. Implementation of the program in other medical institutions would provide an innovative care concept for geriatric patients (Bleijenberg et al., 2013). Students may incorporate the research in their nursing practice by participating in trial programs in various medical institutions. In collaboration with practicing GNs and licensed nurses, they will gain valuable insight into the profession.

Reference List

Bleijenberg, N., Drubbel, I., Dam, V. H., Numans, M. E., Wit, N. J., & Schuurmans, M. J. (2013). Development of a Proactive Care Program (U-CARE) to Preserve Physical Functioning of Frail Older People in Primary Care. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45(3), 230–237. Web.

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