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Effect of personalised citizen assistance for social participation (APIC) on older adults’ health and social participation: study protocol for a pragmatic multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT)
  1. Mélanie Levasseur1,2,
  2. Marie-France Dubois1,2,
  3. Johanne Filliatrault3,4,
  4. Helen-Maria Vasiliadis5,6,
  5. Joanie Lacasse-Bédard1,
  6. André Tourigny7,8,
  7. Marie-Josée Levert9,10,
  8. Catherine Gabaude11,
  9. Hélène Lefebvre9,10,
  10. Valérie Berger12,
  11. Chantal Eymard13
  1. 1 Research Centre on Aging, Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) de l’Estrie, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS), Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
  2. 2 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
  3. 3 Research Centre, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montreal (CRIUGM), Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  4. 4 School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  5. 5 Research Centre, Charles-Le Moyne Hospital, Université de Sherbrooke Longueuil Campus, Longueuil, Quebec, Canada
  6. 6 Department of Community Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
  7. 7 Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University, Québec City, Quebec, Canada
  8. 8 Institute on Aging and Seniors’ Social Participation, Saint-Sacrement Hospital, Québec City, Quebec, Canada
  9. 9 Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  10. 10 Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  11. 11 French Institute of Transport, Development and Network Science and Technology (IFSTTAR), Marne-la-Vallée, France
  12. 12 Hospital University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
  13. 13 Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mélanie Levasseur; Melanie.Levasseur{at}


Introduction The challenges of global ageing and the growing burden of chronic diseases require innovative interventions acting on health determinants like social participation. Many older adults do not have equitable opportunities to achieve full social participation, and interventions might underempower their personal and environmental resources and only reach a minority. To optimise current practices, the Accompagnement-citoyen Personnalisé d’Intégration Communautaire (APIC), an intervention demonstrated as being feasible and having positive impacts, needs further evaluation.

Methods and analysis A pragmatic multicentre, prospective, two-armed, randomised controlled trial will evaluate: (1) the short-term and long-term effects of the APIC on older adults’ health, social participation, life satisfaction and healthcare services utilisation and (2) its cost-effectiveness. A total of 376 participants restricted in at least one instrumental activity of daily living and living in three large cities in the province of Quebec, Canada, will be randomly assigned to the experimental or control group using a centralised computer-generated random number sequence procedure. The experimental group will receive weekly 3-hour personalised stimulation sessions given by a trained volunteer over the first 12 months. Sessions will encourage empowerment, gradual mobilisation of personal and environmental resources and community integration. The control group will receive the publicly funded universal healthcare services available to all Quebecers. Over 2 years (baseline and 12, 18 and 24 months later), self-administered questionnaires will assess physical and mental health (primary outcome; version 2 of the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey, converted to SF-6D utility scores for quality-adjusted life years), social participation (Social Participation Scale) and life satisfaction (Life Satisfaction Index-Z). Healthcare services utilisation will be recorded and costs of each intervention calculated.

Ethics and dissemination The Research Ethics Committee of the CIUSSS Estrie – CHUS has approved the study (MP-31-2018-2424). An informed consent form will be read and signed by all study participants. Findings will be published and presented at conferences.

Trial registration number NCT03161860; Pre-results.

  • intervention evaluation
  • cost-effectiveness
  • community participation
  • social integration
  • social activity
  • empowerment

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  • Contributors ML prepared the first draft of this manuscript with the assistance of JL-B. All coauthors (M-FD, JF, H-MV, AT, M-JL, CG, HL, VB and CE) revised the manuscript and approved the final version.

  • Funding This work was supported by a Foundation Grant (#148466) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and its publication by the Social Inequalities and Equity Strategic Grouping of the Quebec Population Health Research Network. ML is a Junior 1 Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) Researcher (salary award #26815, 2013-2017) and a CIHR New Investigator (salary award #360880, 2017-2022).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study has been approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS (MP-31-2018-2424). The Committee will be notified of all substantial modifications to the protocol.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Data will be available upon request to corresponding author.

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