April 2015 Click here for PDF version
WELCOME to the 1st Edition of the Translating Research in Elder Care 2.0 Newsletter. This monthly newsletter aims to keep you updated on all things TREC and other information relevant to researchers and knowledge users involved in the long term care sector. We hope you enjoy receiving these reports and look forward to taking you along on our TREC journey.

In this issue

  • What is TREC?
  • Key findings from TREC 1.0
  • TREC 2.0 Projects
    • TREC Measurement System (TMS)
    • SCOPE
    • Advice Seeking Networks in Long Term Care
  • Papers

TREC in the media

TREC was in the media recently with our Scientific Director, Dr. Carole Estabrooks talking on the CBC Radio show, The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti. She talked about what we learned about care aides from TREC 1.0. Carole reflects on the finding that care aides report high levels of meaning in their work and a sense that their work is important despite high levels of burnout.
Click to listen...

What is TREC?

TREC aims to develop practical solutions that contribute to sustainable improvements in quality of care, quality of life and quality of end life for frail, vulnerable residents and quality of work life for their care providers in nursing homes (residential LTC settings). TREC is:

A collaboration of researchers, bringing together expertise from across Canada.

A partnership with decision makers.

Aiming to develop capacity for research and quality improvement initiatives within the sector, and helping to ensure sustainable improvements.

Preparing future researcher leaders by providing quality training to students and fellows.

The current phase, TREC 2.0 has 3 major planned projects (outlined below) as well as the “system projects”

Key findings from TREC 1.0

The work environment (organizational context) is important and affects staff outcomes such as best practice use, job satisfaction and health. It also has important influence on resident outcomes such as modifiable symptom burden at the end of life. Context is modifiable.

Care aides are highly committed to their work and were successfully engaged in local quality improvement in the SCOPE pilot that occurred in the first phase of TREC.

Quality indicators from the RAI data should be reported at both the facility and unit levels. Looking at a nursing home level can mask important variation among units.

TREC 2.0 Projects

TREC Measurement System (TMS)

TMS is a six year study looking at how the nursing home setting (what we often describe as context) can affect staff health and well-being, and the quality of care for residents.

The work environment (what we describe as organizational context) affects staff behaviours and outcomes such as best practice use, job satisfaction, burnout. It also affects resident outcomes such as modifiable symptom burden in late life.

We will share the results with nursing homes to help identify areas for improvement. We are now planning the most effective way of providing feedback of findings for individual facilities and regions. Feedback is scheduled for mid fall of 2015.

For more information, please contact Dr. Clare Gibson TMS Project Manager:

Stats for TMS recorded on April 1, 2015. Data collection scheduled for completion April 30, 2015

Professional survey response rate

In addition to surveys from care aides we also collect data from regulated staff.
So far we have collected surveys a total of 977 (shown proportionally in the figure
below) from 573 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses (RN & LPN), 235
allied health professionals (AHP), 127 managers and 42 practice specialists (PS).

Safer Care for Older Persons in (residential) Environments (SCOPE)

SCOPE is a intervention aiming to improve safety and quality of care for residents by working with care aides to lead local (unit based) improvement initiatives.

The first phase of SCOPE will be 12 months in length and begins this spring / summer. Recruitment will begin as early as April / May.

36 of the TREC nursing homes will be invited to participate in SCOPE as intervention sites.

Small teams led by a care aide and including other staff and senior leadership will select one topic for quality improvement from the three identified during recent field work in the sector. The three highest ranking topics were preservation of mobility, challenging or responsive behaviours, and resident pain.

The teams will use Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to make and evaluate small scale changes.

They will be supported through learning congresses, teaching sessions and coaching. The first learning congress, with representation from all nursing homes is scheduled to take place in September 2015.

“Getting Started Kits” will provide information on quality improvement, the SCOPE intervention and evidence in the topic area.

Outcomes that we will be monitoring include:

  • Staff reported use of best practice
  • Staff work engagement, empowerment and job satisfaction
  • Resident quality indicators in the topic areas identified (using RAI-MDS 2.0 data).

For more information, please contact Dr. Rene Dery, SCOPE Project Manager:

Advice Seeking Networks in Long Term Care

This study is identifying existing advice seeking networks among care homes in the four western, four Atlantic provinces and the three northern provinces/territories.

Nursing home leaders from nearly 1000 facilities are being asked to complete a short online survey which collects information on who nursing leaders look to for advice. Data collection is complete in Atlantic Canada and currently active in the four Western Provinces and the north, if you receive an online invite, please respond!

Information from the surveys will be used to generate maps which show the connections in the residential long term care sector. Key individuals central to the network will be identified and these opinion leaders may be able to assist with the roll out of innovations and other operational or research initiatives, as well as the spread of best practices.

Work is underway to develop the Atlantic maps and to begin focus groups which will assist with understanding the maps and connections. Preliminary results will be available in June 2015 at the TREC AGM.

For more information, please contact Ms. Nikki Nosworthy:
Advice Seeking Networks - Translating Research in Elder Care
Watch this video for more information on the Advice Seeking Networks in Long Term Care

Response rates


TMS Papers

SCOPE Papers

Next Issue

Find out about our system, the regions in which TREC is being conducted, further updates on our projects, trainee projects, meet the Regional Project Coordinators, and more....


Please feel free to share this TREC newsletter with your colleagues, put up on the notice board etc.


If you have any items that you would like to be included in the newsletter, please contact Dr. Clare Gibson:
Copyright © 2015 Translating Research in Elder Care, All rights reserved.

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