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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Medical Research Methodology 1/2014

Enabling research in care homes: an evaluation of a national network of research ready care homes

Zeitschrift:
BMC Medical Research Methodology > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Sue L Davies, Claire Goodman, Jill Manthorpe, Adam Smith, Natasha Carrick, Steve Iliffe
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2288-14-47) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

All authors declare: no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

Authors’ contributions

CG, SLD, SI, JM, designed the protocol, SLD conducted online searches and interviews and screened studies for inclusion and extracted data for the phase one review. SLD recorded and evaluated the piloting of the ENRICH care home networks for phase two. CG and SLD wrote the paper. All authors interpreted the data and critically reviewed the paper.

Abstract

Background

In the UK care homes are one of the main providers of long term care for older people with dementia. Despite the recent increase in care home research, residents with dementia are often excluded from studies. Care home research networks have been recommended by the Ministerial Advisory Group on Dementia Research (MAGDR) as a way of increasing research opportunities for residents with dementia. This paper reports on an evaluation of the feasibility and early impact of an initiative to increase care home participation in research.

Methods

A two phase, mixed methods approach was used; phase 1 established a baseline of current and recent studies including the National Institute for Health Research portfolio. To explore the experiences of recruiting care homes and research participation, interviews were conducted with researchers working for the Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network (DeNDRoN) and care home managers. In phase 2, four DeNDRoN area offices recruited care homes to a care home network for their region. The care home networks were separate from the DeNDRoN research network. Diaries were used to document and cost recruitment; DeNDRoN staff were interviewed to understand the barriers, facilitators and impact of the care home networks.

Results

Thirty three current or recent studies were identified as involving care homes as care home specific studies or those which included residents. Further details of care home recruitment were obtained on 20 studies by contacting study teams. Care home managers were keen to be involved in research that provided staff support, benefits for residents and with minimal disruption. In phase 2, 141 care homes were recruited to the care home research networks, through corporate engagement and individual invitation. Pre-existing relationships with care homes facilitated recruitment. Sites with minimal experience of working with care homes identified the need for care home training for researchers.

Conclusions

Phase 1 review revealed a small but increasing number of studies involving care homes. Phase 2 demonstrated the feasibility of care home research networks, their potential to increase recruitment to research and develop partnerships between health services and care homes, but highlighted the need for care home training for researchers.
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