Integrated care for children living with complex care needs: an evolutionary concept analysis
Children with complex care needs (CCNs) are in need of improved access to healthcare services, communication, and support from healthcare professionals to ensure high-quality care is delivered to meet their needs.
Integrated care is viewed as a key component of care delivery for children with CCNs, as it promotes the integration of healthcare systems to provide family and child-centred care across the entire health spectrum. There are many definitions and frameworks that support integrated care, but there is a lack of conceptual clarity around the term. Furthermore, it is often unclear how integrated care can be delivered to children with CCNs, therefore reinforcing the need for further clarification on how to define integrated care. An evolutionary concept analysis was conducted to clarify how integrated care for children with CCNs is defined within current literature. We found that integrated care for children with CCNs refers to highly specialised individualised care within or across services, that is co-produced by interdisciplinary teams, families, and children, supported by digital health technologies. Conclusion: Given the variation in terms of study design, outcomes, and patient populations this paper highlights the need for further research into methods to measure integrated care.
What is Known:
- Children with complex care needs require long-term care, and are in need of improved services, communication, and information from healthcare professionals to provide them with the ongoing support they need to manage their condition.
- Integrated care is a key component in healthcare delivery for children with complex care needs as it has the potential to improve access to family-centred care across the entire health spectrum. What is New:
- Integrated care for children with CCNs refers to highly specialised individualised care within or across services, that is co-produced by interdisciplinary teams, families, and children, supported by digital health technologies.
- There is a need for the development of measurement tools to effectively assess integrated care within practice.