Abstract

Importance: Occupational therapy can play a role in primary care management of chronic diseases among older adults.

Objective: To assess the feasibility of delivering a primary care occupation-focused intervention (Integrated PRimary care and Occupational therapy for Aging and Chronic disease Treatment to preserve Independence and Functioning, or i-PROACTIF) for older adults with chronic disease.

Design: Feasibility study comparing i-PROACTIF with complex care management using a two-group randomized controlled trial design with data gathered at baseline and during and after the 8-wk intervention.

Setting: Family medicine clinic serving an urban, low-income, working-class community.

Outcomes and Measures: Feasibility indicators were recruitment, retention, utility of clinical assessments, and acceptability of interventions assessed through feedback surveys completed by patients and primary care providers (PCPs). Patient outcomes, including perspectives on chronic illness care, occupational performance, and overall well-being, were collected using standardized, validated measures and analyzed descriptively.

Participants: Eighteen adult volunteers, ages ≥50 yr, with heart disease, arthritis, and uncontrolled diabetes completed the study. Ten PCPs completed feedback surveys.

Intervention: i-PROACTIF focuses on preserving functional independence, is based on the Person–Environment–Occupation framework, and consists of two assessment sessions and six weekly treatment sessions.

Results: Recruitment goals were achieved, with an 86% retention rate. Clinical measures unearthed deficits in areas that were unreported or underreported by patients. Participants reported being extremely satisfied with the intervention. Physicians and nurses also supported the intervention. Both groups showed improved scores on most outcomes.

Conclusion and Relevance: Delivering and evaluating i-PROACTIF was feasible and acceptable. Future efficacy trials are needed before it can be used in clinical settings.

What This Article Adds: The results of this study can inform future occupational therapy interventions and clinical trials in primary care for older adults with chronic conditions.

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