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Research & theory

What happens to quality in integrated homecare? A 15-year follow-up study

Authors:

Soili Paljärvi ,

FI
About Soili

RN, MSc, PhD student, Department of Social and Health Management, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland

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Sari Rissanen,

Dept. of Health and Social Management, University of Eastern Finland, FI
About Sari
PhD, Professor, Department of Social and Health Management, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland
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Sirkka Sinkkonen,

Dept. of Health and Social Management, University of Eastern Finland, FI
About Sirkka
PhD, Professor Emerita, Department of Social and Health Management, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland
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Leo Paljärvi

Kanta-Häme Central Hospital, FI
About Leo
MD, PhD, Head of the department, Kanta-Häme Central Hospital, Department of Pathology, FI-13530 Hämeenlinna, Finland
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Abstract

Objectives: To explore the impact of structural integration on homecare quality.

Methods: A case study in an organisation comprising a before-after comparison with baseline and four follow-up measurements during 1994-2009, using interviews with clients (n=66-84) and postal inquiries to relatives (n=73-78) and staff (n=68-136).

Results: Despite the organisational reform involving extensive mergers of health and social care organisations and cuts in staff and service provision, homecare quality remained at almost the same level throughout the 15-year follow-up. According to the clients, it even slightly improved in some homecare areas.

Conclusions: The results show that despite the structural integration and cuts in staff and service provision, the quality of homecare remained at a good level. Assuming that the potential confounders did have inhibiting effects, the results suggest that structural integration had a positive impact on homecare quality. To obtain firmer evidence to support this tentative conclusion, further research with a randomised comparison design is needed. 

How to Cite: Paljärvi S, Rissanen S, Sinkkonen S, Paljärvi L. What happens to quality in integrated homecare? A 15-year follow-up study. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2011;11(2):None. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.571
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Published on 15 Jun 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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