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Protocol for a participatory study for developing qualitative instruments measuring the quality of long-term care relationships.

Scheffelaar, A., Hendriks, M., Bos, N., Luijkx, K.G., Dulmen, S. van. Protocol for a participatory study for developing qualitative instruments measuring the quality of long-term care relationships. BMJ Open: 2018, 8(11), e022895
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Background
In long-term care (LTC), it is unclear which qualitative instruments are most effective and useful for monitoring the quality of the care relationship from the client's perspective.

Aim
In this paper, we describe the research design for a study aimed at finding and optimising the most suitable and useful qualitative instruments for monitoring the care relationship in LTC.

Methods and analysis
The study will be performed in three organisations providing care to the following client groups: physically or mentally frail elderly, people with mental health problems and people with intellectual disabilities. Using a participatory research method, we will determine which determinants influence the quality of a care relationship and we will evaluate up to six instruments in cooperation with client-researchers. We will also determine whether the instruments (or parts thereof) can be applied across different LTC settings.

Ethics and dissemination
This study protocol describes a participatory research design for evaluating the quality of the care relationship in LTC. The Medical Ethics Committee of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre decided that formal approval was not needed under the Dutch Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act. This research project will result in a toolbox and implementation plan, which can be used by clients and care professionals to measure and improve the care relationship from the client's perspective. The results will also be published in international peer-reviewed journals. (aut. ref.)