Background and Objectives: Many investigators of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD) are unfamiliar with the embedded pragmatic clinical trials (ePCTs) and the indispensable pilot phase preceding ePCTs. This paper provides a much-needed example for such a pilot phase and discusses implementation barriers and additional infrastructure and implementation strategies developed in preparation for a nationwide AD/ADRD ePCT. Research Design and Methods: Two pilot trials were conducted in 2 hospices sequentially to refine and test Aliviado Dementia Care - Hospice Edition, a complex quality improvement intervention for advanced dementia symptom management. Readiness for the subsequent full-scale ePCT was assessed by three milestones: ≥80% training completion rate ("feasibility"), ≥80% posttraining survey respondents indicating intention for practice changes ("applicability"), and at least 1 Aliviado care plan/assessment instrument administered in ≥75% of dementia patients admitted to home hospice within 1-month posttraining ("fidelity"). Results: Participants included 72 interdisciplinary team members and 11 patients with AD/ADRD across the pilots. Feasibility, applicability, and fidelity outcomes (92%, 93%, and 100%, respectively) all surpassed the preestablished milestones (80%, 80%, and 75%). Main implementation challenges were related to hospice staff turnover, integration of the Aliviado toolbox materials within the electronic health records, and hospices' limited research experience and infrastructure. Discussion and Implications: This pilot phase demonstrated feasibility, applicability, and fidelity required to proceed to the full-scale ePCT. Our study findings and discussions of additional infrastructure and implementation strategies developed following the pilot phase can inform researchers and clinicians interested in conducting AD/ADRD-related pilot studies for ePTCs or quality improvement initiatives. Clinical Trials Registration Number: NCT03681119.
- Implementation science
- Interdisciplinary workforce training
- Quality assurance and performance improvement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology