BACKGROUND: Limitations in performing daily activities and a incoherent discharge are risk factors for readmission of elderly patients after discharge from the emergency department. This paper describes the development and design of a complex intervention whose aim was to reduce the risk of readmission of elderly patients discharged from the emergency department.
METHODS: The intervention was described using the Intervention Mapping approach. In step 1, a needs assessment was conducted to analyse causes of readmission. In steps 2 and 3, expected improvements in terms of intervention outcomes, performance objectives and change objectives were specified and linked to selected theory- and evidence-based methods. In step 4, the specific intervention components were developed; and in step 5, an implementation plan was described. Finally, in step 6, a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the intervention was described. The intervention was informed by input from a literature search, informal interviews and an expert steering group.
RESULTS: A three-phased theory- and evidence-based intervention was developed. The intervention consisted of 1) assessment of performance of daily activities, 2) defining a rehabilitation plan and 3) a follow-up home visit the day after discharge with focus on enhancing the patients' performance of daily activities.
CONCLUSION: The intervention mapping protocol was found to be a useful method to describe and systemize this theory- and evidence-based intervention.