Fostering the implementation of transitional care innovations for older persons: prioritizing the influencing key factors using a modified Delphi technique

A. Fakha*, B. de Boer, T. van Achterberg, J. Hamers, H. Verbeek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Background Transitions in care for older persons requiring long-term care are common and often problematic. Therefore, the implementation of transitional care innovations (TCIs) aims to improve necessary or avert avoidable care transitions. Various factors were recognized as influencers to the implementation of TCIs. This study aims to gain consensus on the relative importance level and the feasibility of addressing these factors with implementation strategies from the perspectives of experts. This work is within TRANS-SENIOR, an innovative research network focusing on care transitions. Methods A modified Delphi study was conducted with international scientific and practice-based experts, recruited using purposive and snowballing methods, from multiple disciplinary backgrounds, including implementation science, transitional care, long-term care, and healthcare innovations. This study was built on the findings of a previously conducted scoping review, whereby 25 factors (barriers, facilitators) influencing the implementation of TCIs were selected for the first Delphi round. Two sequential rounds of anonymous online surveys using an a priori consensus level of > 70% and a final expert consultation session were performed to determine the implementation factors': i) direction of influence, ii) importance, and iii) feasibility to address with implementation strategies. The survey design was guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Data were collected using Qualtrics software and analyzed with descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. Results Twenty-nine experts from 10 countries participated in the study. Eleven factors were ranked as of the highest importance among those that reached consensus. Notably, organizational and process-related factors, including engagement of leadership and key stakeholders, availability of resources, sense of urgency, and relative priority, showed to be imperative for the implementation of TCIs. Nineteen factors reached consensus for feasibility of addressing them with implementation strategies; however, the majority were rated as difficult to address. Experts indicated that it was hard to rate the direction of influence for all factors. Conclusions Priority factors influencing the implementation of TCIs were mostly at the organizational and process levels. The feasibility to address these factors remains difficult. Alternative strategies considering the interaction between the organizational context and the outer setting holds a potential for enhancing the implementation of TCIs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number131
Number of pages15
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2022


  • Implementation
  • Innovation
  • Transitional care
  • Delphi technique
  • Leadership
  • Engagement
  • Older persons
  • Factors
  • Strategies

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