Thrive Research: Multi-group benefits for an evidence-based model

By / Posted on April 25th, 2012

The Green House Project has partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s THRIVE (The Research Initiative Valuing Eldercare) collaborative to learn more about the Green House model as well as other models of care.  Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the THRIVE team is conducting a series of interrelated research projects that together will compose the largest research effort undertaken to date in Green House homes.  Each month, a member of the THRIVE team will contribute a blog post to the Green House Project website.

 

Let’s be honest—when someone comes along and says, “Wouldn’t it be great to do a research study to learn about how well Green House Homes function and the impact that they have on residents?” It won’t sound like a good idea to everyone, especially those who are asked to spend time and effort on the study.  The time needed for site visits and data collection will lead some people to ask, “Is it really worth the time and energy?”

We think it is — and let us tell you why.

Many groups of people benefit from studies of the Green House model. The first group is–naturally–the residents of the homes.  Sharing best practices across homes is sure to help care and resident well-being. When researchers look at best practices they don’t just look at one home with a good idea, they look across a number of homes to see if the practice works in various settings or could work in various settings, or instead whether it’s a one home phenomenon.

The second group to benefit is the homes that want to move to the Green House model, or to adopt some of its best ideas. They need evidence that this model will be worth the effort it takes to make change. Within the homes, the staff who make the changes need evidence, and so do their bosses.

The third group is the agencies who foot the bill. Whether it’s a government program or a foundation, “payers” want to know the facts. Stories of success are important, but only information collected in a standardized manner across a number of homes will provide them with the evidence they need.

Participating in research does take some time, but what can be learned by thoughtful, experienced researchers is useful not just to those they study but to the field overall. Participating in research is an act of giving to your residents, their families, and caring staff all over the country. Thank you for all that you do.

 

Questions about THRIVE can be directed to Lauren Cohen (lauren_cohen@unc.edu or 919-843-8874).

 

The THRIVE research studies are funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.