How context links to best practice use in long-term care homes: a mixed methods study

Yinfei Duan, Jing Wang, Holly J. Lanham, Whitney Berta, Stephanie A. Chamberlain, Matthias Hoben, Katharina Choroschun, Alba Iaconi, Yuting Song, Janelle Santos Perez, Shovana Shrestha, Anna Beeber, Ruth A. Anderson, Leslie Hayduk, Greta G. Cummings, Peter G. Norton, Carole A. Estabrooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Context (work environment) plays a crucial role in implementing evidence-based best practices within health care settings. Context is multi-faceted and its complex relationship with best practice use by care aides in long-term care (LTC) homes are understudied. This study used an innovative approach to investigate how context elements interrelate and influence best practice use by LTC care aides. Methods: In this secondary analysis study, we combined coincidence analysis (a configurational comparative method) and qualitative analysis to examine data collected through the Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC) program. Coincidence analysis of clinical microsystem (care unit)-level data aggregated from a survey of 1,506 care aides across 36 Canadian LTC homes identified configurations (paths) of context elements linked consistently to care aides’ best practices use, measured with a scale of conceptual research use (CRU). Qualitative analysis of ethnographic case study data from 3 LTC homes (co-occurring with the survey) further informed interpretation of the configurations. Results: Three paths led to very high CRU at the care unit level: very high leadership; frequent use of educational materials; or a combination of very high social capital (teamwork) and frequent communication between care aides and clinical educators or specialists. Conversely, 2 paths led to very low CRU, consisting of 3 context elements related to unfavorable conditions in relationships, resources, and formal learning opportunities. Our qualitative analysis provided insights into how specific context elements served as facilitators or barriers for best practices. This qualitative exploration was especially helpful in understanding 2 of the paths, illustrating the pivotal role of leadership and the function of teamwork in mitigating the negative impact of time constraints. Conclusions: Our study deepens understanding of the complex interrelationships between context elements and their impact on the implementation of best practices in LTC homes. The findings underscore that there is no singular, universal bundle of context-related elements that enhance or hinder best practice use in LTC homes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number63
JournalImplementation Science Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Best practice use
  • Care aides
  • Coincidence analysis
  • Configurational comparative methods
  • Context
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Long-term care
  • Nursing homes
  • Research utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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