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Does health and social care provision for the community dwelling older population help to reduce unplanned secondary care, support timely discharge and improve patient well-being? A mixed-method meta review of systematic reviews

Lookup NU author(s): Patience KunongaORCiD, Fiona Beyer, Dr Gemma Frances SpiersORCiD, Professor Dawn CraigORCiD, Professor Barbara Hanratty



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background: This study aimed to identify and examine systematic review evidence of health and social care interventions for the community-dwelling older population regarding unplanned hospital admissions, timely hospital discharge and patient well-being.Methods: A meta-review was conducted using Joanna Briggs and PRISMA guidance. A search strategy was developed: eight bibliographic medical and social science databases were searched, and references of included studies checked. Searches were restricted to OECD countries and to systematic reviews published between January 2013–March 2018. Data extraction and quality appraisal was undertaken by one reviewer with a random sample screened independently by two others.Results: Searches retrieved 21,233 records; using data mining techniques, we identified 8,720 reviews. Following title and abstract and full-paper screening, 71 systematic reviews were included: 62 quantitative, seven qualitative and two mixed methods reviews. There were 52 reviews concerned with healthcare interventions and 19 reviews concerned with social care interventions. This meta-review summarises the evidence and evidence gaps of nine broad types of health and social care interventions. It scrutinises the presence of research in combined health and social care provision, finding it lacking in both definition and detail given. This meta-review debates the overlap of some of the person-centred support provided by community health and social care provision. Research recommendations have been generated by this process for both primary and secondary research. Finally, it proposes that research recommendations can be delivered on an ongoing basis if meta-reviews are conducted as living systematic reviews.Conclusions: This meta-review provides evidence of the effect of health and social care interventions for the community-dwelling older population and identification of evidence gaps. It highlights the lack of evidence for combined health and social care interventions and for the impact of social care interventions on health care outcomes.Registration: PROSPERO ID CRD42018087534; registered on 15 March 2018.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dawson S, Kunonga P, Beyer F, Spiers G, Booker M, McDonald R, Cameron A, Craig D, Hanratty B, Salisbury C, Huntley A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: F1000Research

Year: 2020

Volume: 9

Print publication date: 31/07/2020

Online publication date: 31/07/2020

Acceptance date: 31/07/2020

Date deposited: 29/06/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2046-1402

Publisher: F1000 Research Limited


DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.25277.1


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