Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite positive findings around the use of eHealth in dementia care, it is rarely translated into routine practice. This can be facilitated by early involvement of end-users in the development of an implementation plan. This study aimed to co-design strategies to implement an eHealth intervention, the EMBED-Care Framework, to support assessment and decision-making for people with dementia in care homes.

METHODS: A qualitative co-design method was applied through a series of workshops. Participants included family carers and health and social care practitioners. People with dementia were included through a series of stakeholder engagement meetings. The workshops focused on co-developing strategies in response to identified determinants of implementation. A codebook thematic analytic approach was taken, guided by the Normalisation Process Theory (NPT).

RESULTS: Three workshops were conducted from July 2021 to November 2021, attended by 39 participants. Three overarching phases of implementation were identified which aligned with the constructs of the NPT: (a) incentivising adoption of the Framework, which requires promotion of its benefits and alignment with recommendations for good quality dementia care to engage stakeholders, relating to 'coherence' and 'cognitive participation' constructs; (b) enabling its operation, which requires ensuring compatibility with care home processes, provision of training and support from 'champions', relating to 'collective action'; (c) sustaining use of the Framework, which requires monitoring of implementation and appraisal of its effects, relating to 'reflexive monitoring'.

CONCLUSIONS: We have developed a multi-strategy, theoretically driven plan to implement eHealth to support assessment and decision-making for people with dementia in care homes. Successful implementation requires incentivisation to adopt, ability to operate and motivation to sustain use of eHealth. The plan is strengthened through collaborating with end-users to increase its value, credibility and real-world relevance. The theoretically informed strategies target mechanisms of the NPT, demonstrated to shape the implementation process and outcomes, ready for testing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Health
Volume9
Early online date28 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • eHealth
  • implementation
  • care homes

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