Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC), A Five Year Research Program

While the proportion of seniors living in residential LTC, (i.e., nursing homes) has remained quite stable in recent years at approximately 7%, an estimated 43% of Canadian seniors will, at some point in the last years of their lives, reside in a nursing home. One in five will stay there more than five years. Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC) will help us to understand context in long term care settings especially with the health care aide population with expected outcomes on the health of residents, staff, and systems.

The study will examine the role organizational context (i.e., leadership, culture, evaluative mechanisms, and human, material and structural resources) plays in establishing best practice and instituting new evidence-based practice in the long-term care sector of the Canadian Prairie Provinces. TREC’s scientific objective is to develop an empirically-based theory of knowledge translation in long-term care.

Start/End Dates: April 1, 2007 – March 31, 2012

Investigators/Collaborators/Advisors: Carole A. Estabrooks (PI), Peter Norton, Greta Cummings, Joanne Profetto-McGrath, Anne Sales, Debra Morgan, Norma Stewart, Gary Teare, Lesley Degner, Malcolm Smith, Jo Rycroft-Malone, Sue Dopson, Heather Laschinger, Kathy McGilton, David Hogan, Chuck Humphrey, Michael Leiter, Dorothy Pringle, Jack Williams, Judy Birdsell

Decision Makers: Phyllis Hempel, Corinne Schalm, Brenda Huband, Betty Thompson, Marguerite Rowe, Juanita Tremeer, Luana Whitbread, Lori Lamont, Gretta Lynn Ell, Susan Neville

Funder: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Grant Amount: $4.7 million over 5 years

Description: Translating Research in Elder Care is a complex multi-disciplinary, multi-site five year program of research which will examine the role of context on knowledge translation and the subsequent impact of knowledge translation on resident health and provider outcomes in long-term care facilities in the Canadian Prairie Provinces. It is a multi-level –provinces, regions, facilities, units within facilities, and individuals– and longitudinal program comprised of three main inter-related projects and a series of pilot studies.

The three main projects are:

Project 1: “Building Context – An Organizational Monitoring System in Long-Term Care”
Project 2: “Building Context – A Case Study Program in Long-Term Care”
Project 3: “An Enhanced Audit and Feedback Intervention in Long-Term Care”

The three pilot studies involve developing knowledge translation interventions in the areas of:

1. Leadership development
2. Supportive supervision
3. Strategic storytelling

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to establish the magnitude of the effect of context (defined by the PARIHS framework) on knowledge translation, and resident, provider and system outcomes. This will be accomplished by developing and using a monitoring system that enables us to assess context and resident specific outcomes longitudinally over a five year period. The monitoring system will be a legacy product of our research program.

Our primary objectives are:

  1. To develop and run an organizational monitoring system to assess context in long-term care facilities longitudinally.

  2. To measure the influence of context on knowledge translation, and resident and provider outcomes.

  3. To undertake and complete multi-level and multi-method modeling.

  4. To continue to develop and refine the Alberta Context Tool (ACT) to ensure it enables valid stable longitudinal measurement of context in long-term care settings.

Our secondary objectives are:

  1. To develop research capacity through the training of graduate students and post doctoral fellows.

  2. To cultivate a community of decision makers in long-term care in the Prairie Provinces with an interest in enhancing the use of research findings to improve resident care.

  3. To define ongoing objectives for the next stage of this program (i.e., 2012-2016).

For more information on TREC, please visit