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A guide to research with care homes

Luff, R., Laybourne, A. H., Ferreira, Z. & Meyer, J. (2015). A guide to research with care homes. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 16(4), pp. 186-194. doi: 10.1108/qaoa-06-2015-0027


Purpose - A growing older population with complex care needs, including dementia, are living in care homes. It is important to support researchers in conducting ethical and appropriate work in this complex research environment. The purpose of this paper is to discuss key issues in care homes research including examples of best practice. The intention is to inform researchers across disciplines, leading to more sensitive and meaningful care home research practice.

Design/methodology/approach - Experienced care homes researchers were invited to provide methodological insights and details not already reported in their publications. These have been analysed, creating key themes and linked to project publications.

Findings - The need for reflexivity was a key finding. In particular, researchers need to: appreciate that the work is complex; see participants as potential research partners; and consider how cognitive and physical frailty of residents, staffing pressures and the unique environments of care homes might impact upon their research. Other challenges include recruitment and consenting people who lack mental capacity.

Research limitations/implications - As the care homes research landscape continues to develop and grow, there still remains limited reflection and discussion of methodological issues with a need for a "safe space" for researchers to discuss challenges.

Originality/value - This review is an updated methodological guide for care homes researchers, also highlighting current gaps in the mechanisms for continuing to share best research practice.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Emerald Publishing 2015
Publisher Keywords: Older people, Frailty, Research, Skills, Workforce, Care homes
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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