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Implementing an allied health team intervention to improve the care of older adults in the emergency department: protocol for a process evaluation
  1. Marica Cassarino1,
  2. Úna Cronin2,
  3. Katie Robinson1,
  4. Rosie Quinn3,
  5. Fiona Boland4,
  6. Marie E Ward5,
  7. Rosa MacNamara6,
  8. Margaret O’Connor7,
  9. Gerard McCarthy8,
  10. Damien Ryan2,
  11. Rose Galvin1
  1. 1School of Allied Health, University of Limerick Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, Health Research Institute, Limerick, Ireland
  2. 2Retrieval, Emergency and Disaster Medicine Research and Development Unit (REDSPoT), University Hospital Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
  3. 3Emergency Department, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Ireland
  4. 4Division of Population Health Sciences (PHS), HRB Centre For Primary Care Research, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
  5. 5School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  6. 6Emergency Department, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  7. 7Department of Ageing and Therapeutics, University Hospital Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
  8. 8Emergency Department, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marica Cassarino; marica.cassarino{at}


Introduction Health and social care professionals (HSCPs) have increasingly contributed to enhance the care of patients in emergency departments (EDs), particularly for older adults who are frequent ED attendees with significant adverse outcomes. For the first time, the effectiveness of a HSCP team intervention for older adults in the ED has been tested in a large randomised controlled trial (, NCT03739515), providing an opportunity to explore the implementation process for this type of intervention. This protocol describes a process evaluation that will to investigate the implementation, delivery and impact of an HSCP team intervention in the ED.

Methods and analysis Using the Medical Research Council Framework for process evaluations, we will employ a mixed-methods approach to provide a description of the process of implementation and delivery of the HSCP intervention in the ED, evaluate its fidelity, dose and reach and explore the perceptions of key staff members in relations to the mechanisms and contexts of impact at the levels of individuals, physical environment, operations, communication and the broader hospital and healthcare system.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval for this study was received from the HSE Mid-Western Regional Hospital Research Ethics Committee (Ref: 103/18). All participants will be invited to read and sign a written consent form prior to participation. The results of this review will be disseminated through publication in a peer-review journal and presented at relevant conferences.

  • allied health
  • emergency department
  • process evaluation
  • implementation
  • interdisciplinary care
  • health service delivery

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Contributors MC and RG were major contributors in writing the protocol. MC and RG designed the study. MC, RG, UC and KR participated in data collection and analysis. RQ, FB, MW, RMN, MOC, GMC and DR participated in the project design and critically appraised and edited the manuscript. RG is the guarantor of the study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This research is supported by the Health Research Board of Ireland through the Research Collaborative for Quality and Patient Safety (RCQPS 2017-2). The sponsor is not involved in the design of the study and collection, analysis, interpretation of data or in writing the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; peer reviewed for ethical and funding approval prior to submission.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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