Development of a home visitation programme for the early detection of health problems in potentially frail community-dwelling older people by general practices

Mandy M. N. Stijnen*, Maria W. J. Jansen, Hubertus J. M. Vrijhoef, Inge G. P. Duimel-Peeters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The integration within existing health care systems of preventive initiatives to maintain independent living among older people is increasingly emphasized. This article describes the development and refinement of the [G]OLD home visitation programme: an eight-step programme, including a comprehensive geriatric assessment, for the early detection of health and well-being problems among older people (a parts per thousand yen75 years) by general practices. A single group post-test study using a mixed model design is performed to evaluate (a) the feasibility of the home visitation programme in general practice, (b) the practical usefulness of the geriatric assessment instrument, and (c) programme implementation with respect to reinventions introduced by general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses (PNs). Within 3 months time, 22 PNs of 18 participating general practices visited 240 community-dwelling older people (mean age = 82.0 years; SD 4.2) who had not been in contact with their general practice for more than 6 months. Mean time investment of the programme per older person was 118.1 min (SD 27.0) for GPs and PNs combined. Evaluation meetings revealed that GPs and PNs considered the home visitation programme to be feasible in daily practice. They judged the geriatric assessment to be useful, although minor adjustments are needed (e.g., lay-out, substitution of tests). PNs often failed to register follow-up actions for detected problems in a care and treatment plan. Future training for PNs should address this issue. No reinventions were introduced that threatened fidelity of implementation. The findings are used to improve the home visitation programme before its evaluation in a large-scale controlled trial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-60
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Frailty
  • Geriatric assessment
  • Home visit
  • General practice

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