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Dinsdag 16 maart 2021


TRANS-SENIOR is an EU funded project designed to train healthcare innovators who will shape future care for seniors. The dual focus of the TRANS-SENIOR research is on avoiding unnecessary care transitions and improving care for transitions that are needed. In February 2019, the first batch of PhD students started their research. Below you will find a peek into some of the research that is currently being done by 3 of our doctoral students:

Farah Islam (TELE-TRIAGE: Evaluating the effectiveness of telephone triage protocols for older populations seeking out-of-hours unplanned care)

To date, we have finalized the first objective of our planned research and submitted a manuscript titled “Consistency of decision support software–integrated telephone triage and associated factors: a systematic review” for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

We have also had the opportunity to present our ongoing research at several scientific conferences including the European Emergency Medicine (EUSEM) Congress (September 2020), the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) Congress (October 2020), and the Belgian Society for Gerontology and Geriatrics (BSGG) Winter Meeting (February 2021).  

Furthermore, a favourable response was received by the Medical Ethics Committee of the University Hospitals Leuven to conduct the second phase of our planned research (i.e. to explore user trends and evaluate the appropriateness of calls dispatched). Following contact with relevant stakeholders, we are in the process of analyzing data related to our planned objective (described above) in preparation for a second publication in a scientific journal.

Additional efforts are also in place to explore these data to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the use of telephone triage services in older segments of the populations.

Merel Leithaus (Evaluating the impact of integrated care projects (ICP’s) on improving transitional care)

The research objective is to evaluate the impact of integrated care projects (ICP’s) on improving transitional care for older patients with chronic diseases. Specifically, we focus on evaluating the Belgium health care reform plan ‘Integrated Care for Better Health’ (https://www.integreo.be/nl). 

Until now, we have defined the research protocol for 3 studies in this regard: a survey to measure the patient experience during the transitional care process and quantitatively evaluate the transitional care impact using statistical analysis on survey responses, a qualitative patient interview study to understand their experience after being discharged from the hospital to home and finally another qualitative stakeholder interview study to better understand the integrated care impact on transitional care within the ICP region of Leuven. We have received the approvals from the Medical Ethics Committee for the 3 protocols and are progressing with the data collection. 

Additionally, in parallel, we are performing an ongoing systematic literature review in which we aim to identify integrated care components that impact on transitional care.


Lotan Kraun (Empowering senior citizens and informal caregivers in transitional care decision-making)

The main aim of Lotan Kraun’s project is to develop a guidance tool for the empowerment of senior citizens and informal caregivers in transitional care decision-making. 

Towards this aim, he first performed a systematic review focusing on senior citizens’ and informal caregivers’ experiences, views and needs in transitional care decision-making. This review is about to be submitted for publication.

Currently, Lotan works on a qualitative study aiming to explore the same issue with senior citizens and ‘informal caregivers’ in Flanders, to this time also explore barriers and facilitators for their empowerment in transitional care decision-making. This qualitative study uses individual semi-structured interviews, and the analyses are guided by the Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven (QUAGOL).

In the near future, focus groups and a study using nominal technique studies are performed, with the aim of exploring and prioritizing methods for the empowerment of senior citizens and informal caregivers in transitional care decision-making in the Flemish context. In addition to the ongoing research activities, Lotan will have the opportunity to conduct academic secondments at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel) and at AGE Platform Europe (Belgium). 


We look forward to keeping you posted with lots of new updates throughout this new year!



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Aspirant doctoraatsbeurs Lisa Geyskens

AccentVV award 2021: laureaat bekend!