Process evaluation of a tailored intervention to Reduce Inappropriate psychotropic Drug use in nursing home residents with dementia

Claudia M. Groot Kormelinck*, Charlotte F. van Teunenbroek, Sytse U. Zuidema, Martin Smalbrugge, Debby L. Gerritsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Research suggests that collaborative and tailored approaches with external expertise are important to process implementations. We therefore performed a process evaluation of an intervention using participatory action research, tailored information provision, and external coaching to reduce inappropriate psychotropic drug use among nursing home residents with dementia. The process evaluation was conducted alongside a randomized controlled trial assessing the utility of this approach.

We used Leontjevas’ model of process evaluation to guide data collection and analysis, focusing on the relevance and feasibility, extent of performance, and barriers and facilitators to implementation. Data on the relevance and feasibility and on the extent of performance were collected using a questionnaire targeting internal project leaders at nursing homes and our external coaches. Implementation barriers and facilitators were identified by individual semi-structured interviews. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used to structure and describe the identified barriers and facilitators.

The intervention was viewed positively, but it was also considered time consuming due to the involvement of many people and designing a tailored action and implementation plan was viewed as complex. The extent of performance differed between nursing homes. Delays in implementation and suboptimal execution of actions may have reduced effectiveness of the RID intervention in some nursing homes. Barriers to implementation were reorganizations, staff turnover, communication issues, unclear expectations, and perceived time pressures. Implementation also depended on the involvement and skills of key stakeholders, and organizations’ readiness to change. Although external coaches stimulated implementation, their additional value was rated variably across organizations.

Barriers to implementation occurred on several levels and some barriers appear to be inherent to the nursing home environment and could be points of leverage of future implementation trajectories. This underlines the importance of assessing and supporting organizations in their readiness to change. Sensitivity analyses, taking into account the week in which nursing homes started with implementation and the degree to which actions were implemented as intended, will be appropriate in the effect analyses of the trial.
Original languageEnglish
Article number414
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3-Jul-2021


  • Dementia/drug therapy
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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