New Research Works

Outcomes assessment for people with long-term neurological conditions: a qualitative approach to developing and testing a checklist in integrated care

We explored current approaches to service integration and the outcomes that people with long-term neurological conditions (LTNCs) want to achieve. A summary of findings here.

The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) programme which commissions research to improve the quality, accessibility and organisation of health services.

Despite policy stressing the importance of integration, there is little clarity about what integration means and what it should achieve. This makes it difficult to measure the effects of integration for service users. As a result, there is limited evidence about the effectiveness of integration for service users and their families or carers. This research starts to fill the gap in evidence by exploring how the outcomes that are important to service users can be included in assessment processes in community neurology services.

We identified three groups of inter-related outcomes that were important to people with LTNCs. These focused on personal comfort outcomes, social and economic outcomes, and autonomy outcomes. We included these on an outcomes checklist that we developed with five community neurology services based in different regions of England. We monitored how these services used the checklist and we found that teams that worked in an interdisciplinary way were better able to use the outcomes checklist in their everyday practice. However, organisational and service-level pressures affected whether, and how, teams used the outcomes checklist in practice.

We hope that you find this research interesting and useful. We would be grateful if you could share the information with your colleagues. Please follow the link to download further information, including the research summary, the full report, the outcomes framework and the outcomes checklist.