We undertake research grounded in real world contexts which seeks to address contemporary health and care challenges nationally and internationally.
Our mission is to collaboratively undertake research that:
- is innovative and advances contemporary health and social care knowledge and practice across all disciplines.
- has a real-world focus and contributes to addressing public health priorities and health inequalities.
- improves quality and safety within interdisciplinary practice, services, care facilities (including hospitals and home like settings).
- informs and strengthens leadership, workforce development and interprofessional learning for practice.
- refines conceptual and methodological understandings and develops new methods to collect data aligned with our applied and solution focussed research agenda.
Academic staff and postgraduate research students form a scientific community working closely with stakeholders and NHS partners on projects and thesis related to contemporary national and international priorities.
Some of our research themes include:-
- Ageing, Frailty and Dementia (Affiliated to the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice)
- Integration of Health and Care
- Mental Health
- Digital Health and Care
- Public Health
- Workforce development
Dementia is a global public health challenge. Our research aligns with the World Health Organisation Global Action Plan to enable high quality care, support positive living and address inequalities and dementia related hardships.
We respond to dementia as an illness experience, caused by underlying pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease, which have a profound impact on the individual and their families through the disruption to brain health. We view dementia as a complex and multifaceted experience requiring a research informed integrated response.
Our aim is to advance understanding of the experience of dementia, from the perspective of the person with dementia, their family members, supporters and practitioners. We endeavour to apply evidence-based knowledge to influence policy, advance practice and improve lives. Our work recognises the different contexts and circumstances in which people age and seeks to understand individualised, personalised and collaborative ways we can help people living with dementia, to live the best life possible from midlife through to advanced old age.
Our research priorities are:
- Experience of dementia
- Living the best life possible
- Best practice and the fundamentals of dementia care
- Dementia education
- Frailty and Integrated Care
Professor Debbie Tolson. (Nurse. Gerontologist) Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at UWS. Director of the Institute of Health and Care Research at UWS.
Dr Margaret Brown. (Mental Health Nurse. Gerontologist) Depute Director Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at UWS.
Dr Louise Ritchie. (Psychologist) Reader, Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at UWS.
Dr Rhoda MacRae. (Sociologist) Senior Lecturer, Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at UWS.
Dr Anna Jack-Waugh.(Mental Health Nurse) Senior Lecturer, Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at UWS.
Dr Raymond Duffy. (Nurse) Lecturer. Division of Mental Health and Integrated Practice.
Visiting Professor Iva Holmerova (Geriatrician and Gerontologist). Charles University, Prague. Czech Republic.
Angela Gregory (HCPC registered Occupational Therapist)
Supervisory Team: Dr Margaret Brown, Dr Rhoda Macrae and Dr Angela Beggan
Full time: Recipient of the Erskine / Alzheimer Scotland / UWS Studentship
Date Commenced: 27th August 2019
Thesis Overview: Angela’s study aims to explore how meaning can be understood in activities and interactions with people living with advanced dementia. The main objective is to increase understanding of how meaning in this context can be created and supported. Action Research and creative methods will actively involve people with advanced dementia in a care home setting, their families and care home staff. Possible creative methods include exploring objects with people with advanced dementia, creating diaries with family members, and using a confidential ‘App’ with staff. Expected outcomes include guidance around creating meaning with people with advanced dementia, and a creative display of the research journey and findings.
Michael Smith (Health Psychology)
Supervisory Team: Dr Louise Ritchie, Dr Margaret Brown, Professor Debbie Tolson.
Full Time: Recipient of the Abbeyfield Research Foundation Studentship
Date Commenced: November 2019.
Thesis Overview: Michael’s research focusses on living with a diagnosis of dementia in supported housing. The research aims to explore various models of supported housing in Scotland and how these affect the social, psychological, and physical wellbeing of people living with dementia. To address this, a systematic review highlighting gaps in research exploring the needs and experiences of people living with dementia in supported housing was carried out. The second phase of the research will conduct in-depth case studies involving people living with dementia living in supported housing, their family members, supported and health and social care professionals. It is expected that this research will provide new and important insights into best practice for supporting people living with dementia in supported housing.
Mohammad Mollah (Social Work)
Supervisory Team: Professor Debbie Tolson, Professor John Connelly (Political Sciences), Dr Anna Jack-Waugh.
Full time: Recipient of the Bangabandhu Overseas Scholarship Program at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Date Commenced: December 2019.
Thesis Overview: A mixed method study, which aims to investigate and analyse Scottish dementia care policies and workforce development approaches to determine their utility for application within Bangladesh. Data collection approaches will involve Documentary Policy Analysis (desk based), Stakeholder Interviews (Key informants from Scotland), A Policy Delphi (online with experts from Bangladesh and Scotland) and Nominal Group Technique (on site in Bangladesh). Theoretical influences include rights based approaches and policy learning.
Carol Beckwith (Song-writer/Musician)
Supervisory Team: Dr Louise Ritchie, Dr Kathryn Burnett, Dr Margaret Brown
Date Commenced: October 2020
Thesis Overview: This research project focuses on the narratives of carers of people with young onset dementia, exploring the experience of being an unpaid carer through songwriting practice. It will specifically look at understanding how they manage the complexities of being a carer for a younger person with dementia, the particular challenges that this presents and how they support their own health and wellbeing, particularly in relation to how they retain their own lives and identities.
As this is a creative project and is practice based, the methods adopt a practice as research approach (PAR) reflected in the creative practice of the student (song-writing), this will sit alongside Narrative Inquiry which will frame the ‘story-telling’ nature of the research.
Yvonne Manson (Nurse and Care Home Expert)
Supervisory Team: Dr Rhoda MacRae, Dr Bryan Mitchell, Professor Debbie Tolson
Part-time: funded by Abbotsford Care
Date Commenced: October 2020
Thesis Overview: Yvonne’s PhD will explore the experiences of advanced dementia in care homes for families and staff and the impact on relationships, personal outcomes, and maintenance of self with collaborative working.
Care home quality assurance systems are often mixed method taking various aspects of the care home into account. The study will also be mixed method however it is expected that the qualitative records will be more heavily present in the form of substantive field notes, and interviews.
Dementia in Prison
Title: Improving the health and well-being of older people with cognitive frailty and dementia in prison
Funders: Dunhill Medical Trust
Status: Seeking Ethical Approval
Start/end: – 28/3/21 TBC
Research Team: – Dr Rhoda MacRae, Prof Debbie Tolson, Dr Kirstin Anderson and Dr James Taylor
Overview: The study aim is to identify and develop new effective ways to improve the health and well-being of the increasing numbers of older prisoners living with dementia and cognitive frailty. This mixed methods study will investigate current care and lived experience of dementia in prison, and co-design research informed healthcare pathways.
Project Title: Development and Refinement of the ASCPP Carers’ Academy a co-operative research and service development initiative.
Funders: Alzheimer Scotland
Start Date: Feb 2020 for three years
Project Team: Susan Holland (Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Alison Toner (ECR –UWS), Dr Margaret Brown UWS, Dr Rhoda Macrae, Professor Debbie Tolson (UWS)
Synopsis:- The purpose of the ASCPP Carer’s Academy is to provide state of the art practical skills based learning and information that will support and sustain family caring of a relative with dementia. Focussing on:
- Enhancing knowledge and understanding of the effects of dementia.
- Developing practical skills in the fundamentals of care and caring.
- Facilitating opportunities for peer to peer learning.
An important function will include a best practice approach to carer emotional support and follow up before, during and after participation in learning activities. Following on from our previous modelling work and pilot studies, this three year project seeks to create two sustainable ASCPP Carers’ Academy Hubs at the UWS Ayrshire and Lanarkshire Campuses. A mixed method Family Carer led evaluation will permit, evidence based ongoing and continual improvement and refinement of the learning model.
Publications: in Submission.
“Best Educational Initiative” Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2019
“Innovations in Education Award”, Mental Health Nursing Forum Scotland Awards 2019
Dementia Inclusive Singing Network Evaluation
Project title: An evaluation of the Dementia Inclusive Singing Network and the experience of group singing for people living with dementia and family carers.
Researchers: Dr Louise Ritchie, Dr Margaret Brown, Carol Beckwith and Dr Stuart Wood (Independent Health and Music Researcher).
Funders: Life Changes Trust
Date Commenced: April 2019
Overview: The Dementia Inclusive Singing Network was established in 2019 by Luminate to promote and support singing activities for people living with dementia throughout Scotland. The evaluation aims to:
- Understand the impact of dementia inclusive singing for people with dementia and unpaid carers.
- Assess the working of the Dementia Inclusive Singing Network in terms of its ability to raise awareness of dementia and improve access to the arts for people affected by dementia within Scotland.
- Explore the best ways of working for the Network
Using a realistic evaluation methodology, the project will draw on a range of data sources including video footage of choirs and singing activities, project documents and interviews with team members, choir leaders and choir members.
Dementia Champions-Workforce Development
Project title: Development, delivery and evaluation of a training programme to prepare NHS and Social Services Dementia Champions as change agents.
Funders: Scottish Government
Project Status: Dissemination Phase
Project Team: Dr Anna Jack-Waugh, (Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, UWS), Dr Rhoda MacRae, (Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, UWS), Dr Margaret Brown, (Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, UWS), Dr Louise Ritchie, (Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, UWS), Dr Raymond Duffy, (Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, UWS) J Oliver Hartley, (School of Health and Life Sciences. UWS), Dr Barbara Sharp, (Alzheimer Scotland), Jenny Henderson, (Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, UWS)
Overview: In recognition of the often poor experience of people living with dementia in general hospitals and the lack of dementia curricular content of health and social care professionals, the Scottish Government commissioned a National Dementia Champions Programme for qualified health and social care professionals in 2011. Ten cohorts were delivered up to 2019 by a team of dementia specialist from University of the West of Scotland, Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Boards and Scottish Social Services Council. The six-month programme has a blended learning approach, including five face to face study days and three assignments. A description of the programme and ongoing evaluation is in Banks et al. (2014) and Jack-Waugh et al. (2018).
The ongoing research demonstrated that the Dementia Champions programme significantly improves attitudes and knowledge of dementia and increases participants' feelings of self-efficacy in delivering person-centred dementia care. A ProfD study into the experience of being a dementia champion illuminated the long-term negative impact of knowledge and skills gaps in dementia education and on people living with dementia and health and social care professionals. This study has also led to developing a learner, experience, research and practice centred approach to dementia workforce education called SCOTIA, with people with dementia at the centre.
Banks, P., Waugh, A., Henderson, J., Sharp, B., Brown, M., Oliver, J. & Marland, G. 2014. Enriching the care of patients with dementia in acute settings? The Dementia Champions Programme in Scotland. Dementia (London) [Online], 13. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1471301213485084
Brown, M., Waugh, A., Sharp, B., Duffy, R. & Macrae, R. 2018. What are dementia champions and why do we need them? Dementia [Online], 17. Available: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1471301217743413
Jack-Waugh, A., Ritchie, L. & Macrae, R. 2018. Assessing the educational impact of the dementia champions programme in Scotland: Implications for evaluating professional dementia education. Nurse Education Today [Online]. Available: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0260691718306828
Waugh, A., Marland, G., Henderson, J., Robertson, J. & Wilson, A. 2011. Improving the care of people with dementia in hospital. Nursing Standard, 25, 44-49.
Multispecies Dementia Network
Project title: Multispecies and Dementia Research Network
Researchers: Dr Nick Jenkins, Dr Anna Jack-Waugh and Dr Louise Ritchie
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date Commenced: October 2019
Overview: This project aims to set up and establish the Multispecies Dementia Network. Drawing on current research from across the humanities, social sciences and biological sciences, the network will chart the contours of an alternative (multi-species) perspective, in which relations between human and non-human bodies becomes the primary lens for understanding dementia and its effects. The Network, 60 members representing 16 disciplines internationally. As we continue to develop the network, we have launched a monthly newsletter, blog series, and are developing best practice guidance for multispecies dementia care.
Publications: In submission
Handedness and vitamin D as predictors of dementia
Researchers: Dr Bianca Hatin, Dr Hannah Lithgow, Dr Andisheh Bakhshi, Dr Nicola Douglas-Smith, Dr Rhoda MacRae
Project title: - Can handedness and Vitamin D levels predict the development of dementia?
Project status: – in progress
Funders: – UWS Crucible fund
Start/end: – January-June 2021
Overview: The main aim of our project is to establish for the first time whether left-handedness, together with levels of vitamin D, can predict the onset of dementia. Research has suggested a link between left handedness and early early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease (Ryan et al., 2019), and moreover vitamin D status has been associated with the onset of dementia (Annweiler et al., 2013). The proposed study will use the UK BioBank database and English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) database to undertake a quantitative secondary analysis of key variables and apply statistical methods to estimate the odds ratios of the outcome. Results will show whether lower Vitamin D levels and left handedness cumulatively increase the risk of developing dementia, particularly early-onset AD.
Rapid Covid; Care Home Study
Project Title: Care homes, social distancing and behavioural changes – an assessment of the psychosocial impact of Coronavirus on families with relatives in care homes in Scotland.
Research Team: Dr G. Palattiyil, (UoE), Dr S. Jain (UoE), Dr J. Hockley (UoE), Prof L. Jamieson (UoE), Prof L. McKie (UoE); Dr D. Sidhva (UWS), Prof D. Tolson (UWS), Dr N. Quinn (UoS) and Prof T. Hafford-Letchfield, (UoS); R. Iversholt (IRISS). Research Fellows Dr S Swift (UWS), Dr B Mason (UoE).
Funded by Chief Scientist Office Scotland: Rapid COVID Study £150,000
Duration: 6 months
Synopsis: Between May and October 2020 we conducted 36 in-depth interviews with family carers to understand the impact on them being prevented from visiting their relatives in care homes. Our café style interviews involved five sessions with staff drawn from four separate care homes and explored creative practices used to connect residents with family carers. To help understand measures taken to reduce the impact on family members, we undertook 19 interviews with key stakeholders from the health and social care sector. Finally, using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ 12), we conducted an online survey of people who had a loved one in a care home, which yielded 444 responses, representing 31 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
Our findings reveal the disproportionately high impact on care home communities of the pandemic, and the consequences of policies that give primacy to NHS services over long-term care services. The high level of emotional distress reported by family carers sits uncomfortably within a service leadership structure that is over reliant on social media reporting and tolerant of serious inequalities, harms and system failures that were only too evident to staff and family members.
Publications: in Submission
Listen to Iriss.fm’s podcast on How 'essential visitor' status can support families: First findings of a collaborative research project. https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=206393108#episodeGuid=55334c41-3dfe-45d2-8592-5080a792f6cb
KINNECTIONS ‘DEMENTIA: CARE HOME COMMUNITIES’
Funders: Life Changes Trust
Project Status: Dissemination Phase
Research Team: Dr Anna Jack-Waugh, (Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, UWS), Dr Edel Roddy (UWS), Dr Annette Coburn (School of Education and Social Sciences, UWS), Alison Nugent,(Expert by Experience), Val Allen, (Integration Lead, Scottish Care), Charlie Allan, (Contracts and Commissioning Office, East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership).
Overview: Kinections is a UWS research project affiliated with My Home Life working with care homes across East Ayrshire. The Kinections project started in October 2018 and ends in February 2021, the project is in its final dissemination phase.
The aims of the project
- Find out what is important to people in care homes living with dementia and those who support them.
- Co-create a picture of what community in care homes looks like at its best.
- Work together to enhance everyday ways in which people’s experiences of community can be strengthened in care homes.
- Engage with people and groups from local communities to strengthen ways in which those who live and work in care homes are valued and cherished
Appreciative Inquiry was the methodology used which focuses on:
- Using a Strengths-based approach
- Tapping into how visuals and language can evoke new insights.
The project co-created 20 actions, processes and events, all are summarised in the Kinections Chronicles and Kinections website. A series of resources for developing community in and around care homes designed for use across the care home sector and more broadly in all areas of health and social care are here Kinections Resources, Kinections on Youtube and here Kinections Key Outputs.
Listen to Iriss.fm podcast on Kinections: what community means for care homes https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=206393108#episodeGuid=1538c9c5-03f4-47be-a746-7955e4d6c318
Dementia and Employment
Research Team: Dr Louise Ritchie (UWS), Professor Debbie Tolson (UWS), Dr Valerie Egdell (Northumbria University), Prof Jill Stavert (Edinburgh Napier University) Emeritus Professor Mike Danson (Heriot-Watt University)
Programme title: Dementia and employment
Funders: Alzheimer’s Society, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland
Overview: Approximately 40,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with dementia whilst of working age, but little attention is afforded to the impact this has on employment. The aim of this developing programme of research is to understand the experience of people with dementia who are diagnosed whilst still in employment and the support required for employees, employers and families.
Study 1: Dementia in the workplace: the potential for continued employment post diagnosis was seminal case study research on dementia and employment, carried out between 2013 - 2015 and funded by the Alzheimer’s Society. This research was the first study to explore the experiences of people with dementia who are still employed and highlighted that people with dementia can continue to work post diagnosis, although support to continue employment is complex and many do not get the support required, with many losing employment pre or at the point of diagnosis as a result.
Study 2: Employers’ responses to dementia in the workplace was funded by Carnegie Trust and led by Edinburgh Napier University with UWS collaboration. This mixed method survey and interviews with employers highlighted gaps in knowledge and understanding of dementia and its effects in the workplace.
Study 3: Dementia, Work and Employability was a secondary analysis of data sets collected across the two previous projects, providing a theoretical perspective on dementia in the workplace, using the lens of Sen’s Capability Approach. The findings of this study outline the range of personal resources, supports and environments required to enable positive employment-related experiences and practices for people with dementia.
Egdell, V., Cook, M., Stavert, J., Ritchie, L., Tolson, D., & Danson, M. (2019). Dementia in the workplace: are employers supporting employees living with dementia?. Aging & Mental Health, 1-8.
Ritchie, L., Banks, P., Danson, M., Tolson, D., & Borrowman, F. (2015). Dementia in the workplace: a review. Journal of Public Mental Health.
Ritchie, L., Tolson, D., Danson M. (2017) Dementia in the workplace case study research: understanding the experiences of individuals, colleagues, managers and family. Ageing and Society. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X17000563
Ritchie, L., Egdell, V., Danson, M., Cook, M., Stavert, J. and Tolson, D. (2020) Dementia, work and employability: Using the Capability Approach to understand the employability potential for people living with dementia. Work, Employment and Society https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017020961929
Advanced Dementia Related Hardships – India
Project Title: Developing family and community capacity to provide evidence-informed advanced dementia care, and reduce risks of dementia-related elder abandonment and abuse.
Funders: Scottish Funding Council Global Challenges Research Fund 2018-19
Research Team: Professor D Tolson1 , Professor E Sanatombi Devi2, Dr L Ritchie1, Dr A Jack-Waugh1, Dr V Binil2, J Henry2, CS Martis2, Dr A George2.
1The University of the West of Scotland, UK.
2Manipal College of Nursing, Manipal Academy of Higher Education. India.
Synopsis: There are 4 million people living with dementia in India and an urgent need to establish dementia education and care aligned to the Global Sustainable Development Goals. Advanced dementia within India is a hidden problem, which places individuals and their sometimes-young carers at high risk of poverty and other inequalities. There is an immediate need to develop practical and theoretical understanding among practitioners, policy decision-makers and the public about advanced dementia alongside an understanding of advanced dementia related abuse and abandonment. This mixed method project has begun to explore the experiences and vulnerabilities of people affected by advanced dementia, to establish the principles to inform culturally sensitive dementia education linked to care.
Methods used to collect data included:-
- review of research literature
- desk based research to map local services and access public health data
- focus groups to explore the experience of family care giving
- educational gap analysis
- community co-design conversations and user acceptability questionnaires exploring relevance and cultural sensitivity issues of an existing research based training resource UWS-Class in the Bag-Dementia.
Ritchie, L., Jack-Waugh, A., Devi, E. S., Binil, V., George, A., Henry, J., ... & Tolson, D. (2020). Understanding family carer experiences of advanced dementia caregiving in India: towards a vision for integrated practice. Journal of Integrated Care. https://doi.org/10.1108/ JICA-02-2020-0006
Project title: An Evaluation of the Social Impact of a Pilot Dementia-Friendly Walking football Programme
Research Team: Dr Eilidh Macrae and Dr Rhoda MacRae, UWS
Funders: RS Macdonald
Start/End: 1/2/19 – 1/2/20
Overview: Dementia friendly walking football (DFWF) is an increasingly popular way to encourage men living with dementia to engage in a form of physical activity (PA) traditionally attractive to them, yet no published empirical evidence exists regarding its social impact. This project aimed to evaluate the social impact of a pilot, monthly DFWF programme on the lives of men living with dementia and the people who care for them. Mixed qualitative methods, including semi-structured interviews and observation
MacRae, R., Macrae, E and Carlin, L (2020) Modifying walking football for people living with dementia: lessons for best practice. Sport in Society. Accepted 15/09/20 DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2020.1825383
MacRae, R., Macrae, E., and Carlin, L (2020). The social impact of participating in sport for people living with dementia. Alzheimer Europe-virtual conference. 20-22/10/2020
MacRae, R., Macrae, E., and Carlin, L (2020). The social impact of participating in football for people living with dementia. Thirteenth Annual Summit of Rural and Remote Dementia Care, Canada - virtual conference. 10/11/20
Dementia Palliare: Advanced Dementia Care
Project Title: Interprofessional experiential learning (IPE) solutions: equipping the qualified dementia workforce to champion evidence informed improvement to advanced dementia care and family caring (Palliare).
Funders: Erasmus+ 2014 Key Action 2 (KA2), Strategic Partnerships
Project Team: Professor Debbie Tolson 1, Professor Iva Holmerova2 ,Dr Rhoda Macrae1, Anna Waugh1 Dr Simona Hvalič- Touzery3, Professor Wilson de Abreu4, Professor Manuel Lillo Crespo5 Anne Merta6, Professor Elizabeth Hanson7
- Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice. University of the West of Scotland UK
- Centre of Expertise in Longevity and long Term Care, Charles University, Prague
- Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care, Jesenice, Slovenia
- Porto School of Nursing, Porto, Portugal
- University of Alicante, Spain
- Turku University of Applied Sciences Ltd TUAS, Finland
- Swedish Family Care Competence Centre, Linnaeus University, Sweden
Synopsis: The Palliare Project was completed between 2014-2017 by a partnership of seven European countries (Czech Republic, Finland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden). The aim of the dementia Palliare project was to create an inspirational experiential interprofessional learning solution to equip the European qualified dementia workforce to lead and champion practice reform. This required new knowledge to generate an experienced based understanding of advanced dementia and best practice for care delivered in partnership with family carers, and to use this knowledge to create state of the art advanced dementia education. Palliare, means to cloak in support, the term Dementia Palliare was chosen as a new concept to describe dementia specific palliation. Building the evidence for Dementia Palliare and Palliare education involved 11 work streams and included the following research activities:-
- Literature Review
- Policy Analysis
- In-depth case studies
- Educational Gap Analysis
- Experiential learning pedagogical review
Hanson, E., Hellstrom, A., Sandvide, A., Jackson, GA., Macrae, R., Waugh, A. Abreu, W. & Tolson, D. (2016). The extended palliative phase of dementia – an integrative literature review. Dementia DOI: 10:1177/1471301216659797.
Tolson, D., Fleming, A., Hanson, E., Abreu, W., Lillo Crespo, M., Macrae, R., Jackson, G., Hvalic-Touzery, Routasola, P. & Holmerova, I. (2016) Achieving Prudent Dementia Care (Palliare): An International Policy and Practice Imperative. International Journal of Integrated Care, 16 (4), 18, 1–11, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/ijic.2497.
Lilo-Crespo, M., Riquelme Golindo, J., Macrae, R., Abreu, W., Hanson, E., Holmerova, I., Cabaneor, M,J., Ferrer, R., Tolson, D. (2018) Experiences fo advanced dementia care in seven European countries: implications for educating the workforce. Global Health Action 11(1):1478686.
Hvalič-Touzery, S., BrigitaSkela-Savič, B., Macrae, R., Jack-Waugh, A., Tolson, D., Hellström, A., de Abreu, W., Pesjak, K. (2018) The provision of accredited higher education on dementia in six European countries: An exploratory study. Nurse Education Today 60, 161-169 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2017.10.010
Tolson D (2020) Transforming advanced dementia: the Palliare Best Practice Statement, an interprofessional learning framework and tool for improvement .Nursing Standard. 35, 10, 56-59. doi: 10.7748/ns.35.10.56.s33.
Project Title: The contribution of dementia dogs to living well with dementia: a realistic evaluation.
Researchers: Dr Louise Ritchie, Dr Nick Jenkins, Dr Samuel Quinn, Dr Barbara Sharp and Professor Debbie Tolson.
Funders: Alzheimer Scotland
Date Completed: 2016
Overview: The Dementia Dog Project was developed through collaboration with Glasgow School of Art, Alzheimer Scotland, Dogs for the Disabled, and Guide Dogs UK in 2013. The project aims to train dogs to support people to live well with dementia. This study aimed to understand the contribution of Dementia Dogs to the lives of people with dementia and family caring. A realistic evaluation methodology was used to conduct a secondary analysis of project documents and artefacts alongside interviews with the project team. The research found that having a Dementia Dog can be beneficial to people living with dementia and their families, however this is dependent on the context of the situation and the promotion of the human-animal bond.
Ritchie, L., Quinn, S., Tolson, D., Jenkins, N., & Sharp, B. (2019). Exposing the mechanisms underlying successful animal-assisted interventions for people with dementia: A realistic evaluation of the Dementia Dog Project. Dementia, 1471301219864505.
Jenkins, N., Ritchie, L., & Quinn, S. (2020). From reflection to diffraction: exploring the use of vignettes within post-humanist and multi-species research. Qualitative Research, 1468794120920258.
Food for Thought
Project Title: Enhancing the dignity of the person with advanced dementia using innovative methods to facilitate eating and drinking.
Research Team: Dr Margaret Brown (UWS), Prof Pauline Banks (UWS), Hazel McWhinnie (UWS), Janice McAllister (Erskine Care Home), Mrs Valerie Logan (Erskine Care Home) , Mrs Karen Heron (Erskine Care Home), and Mr John Booth (Erskine Care Home)
Start Date: 2013-2014
Funder: Burdett Trust for Nursing and Queen’s Nursing Institute for Scotland
To enhance the dignity of the person with advanced dementia using innovative methods to facilitate eating and drinking.
- To enhance dignity, quality of experience and improve dietary intake for the person with advanced dementia.
- develop nurse-led innovative ways of identifying food and drink preferences.
- develop a sustainable guide to enhance quality and choice for the person with advanced dementia
A nurse-led partnership approach included residents, family carers, speech and language, catering, and academic staff. Intensive education involving staff and family, led to an intervention period of 12 weeks where a sensory framework supported innovative ways of improving the experience of eating and drinking for the person with advanced dementia. The outcomes were an improved dietary intake, eating pleasure, independence and weight maintenance for the people with advanced dementia; empowered staff and family knowledge and innovation in supporting eating and drinking with improved collaboration among staff and families. This project underpins the framework to support eating and drinking for residents at Erskine. The learning has formed educational materials used in pre-registration and post-graduate learning at UWS and for family carers through the ASCPP Carers’ Academy.
Published report and film
Burdett Trust for Nursing and Queen’s Nursing Institute for Scotland (2014) Food for Thought online at https://www.qnis.org.uk/project/food-for-thought-enhancing-dietary-preferences-for-the-person-with-advanced-dementia/
Food for Thought 26/03/14 Queen’s Nursing Institute for Scotland Conference, Stirling
Enhancing Dignity in Dementia Care. 02/04/14. The Sixth Scottish Caring & Dementia Congress Edinburgh
Food for Thought 8/04/16 Royal College of Nursing Edinburgh
Dementia education in primary schools
Researchers: Dr Louise Ritchie, Dr Susan Henderson-Bone, Angela Gregory, Dr Nick Jenkins
Project title: Understanding dementia education in primary schools from the perspective of the pupils
Project status: Dissemination
Funders: UWS Crucible Fund 2017
Overview: Using the Award-winning Understanding Dementia: Class in a Bag, this project aimed to explore the experiences of learning about dementia in a primary school setting from the perspectives of the pupils. The project used a participatory video approach, asking the pupils to film their own experiences of the dementia education session in order to understand what stood out to them and how interacting with the materials in the bag informed their understanding of dementia.
Publications: in preparation
Mental health is fundamental in reaching and sustaining individual and collective health and wellbeing and it is therefore paramount that research focuses on ways in which it can be enhanced, improved and preserved. Our Mental Health research grouping therefore aims to raise awareness and advance knowledge surrounding mental health issues in a variety of contexts and gain a fuller appreciation of the complex links between mental and physical health outcomes within health and care practice worldwide.
Mental health is a global issue that requires a global response. Rapid advancements in digital technology allow us to work together with international collaborators in the design of innovative approaches to novel interventions and effective strategies for enhancing mental health and for combating mental health concerns.
Working with collaborators from a range of disciplines from across the United Kingdom and globally, our work explores complex problems in different populations and settings. These include, forensic care; acute and community; child, maternal and family mental health.
Our research priorities are:
- Global Mental Health
- Forensic Mental Health
- Digital Technologies for Promoting Mental Health
- Infant and Maternal Mental Health
Dr Helen Walker (Consultant Nurse, Forensic Network) Senior Lecturer Institute of Health and Care Research at UWS
Dr Joanne Lusher (Registered and Chartered Health Psychologist) Senior Lecturer Institute of Health and Care Research at UWS
Dr Robin Ions (Nurse) Senior Lecturer Division of Mental Health and Integrated Practice at UWS
Dr James Taylor (Nurse) Head of Division of Mental Health and Integrated Practice at UWS
Dr Hamish Fulford (Nurse) Lecturer Division of Mental Health and Integrated Practice at UWS
Dr Audrey Cund (Nurse) Lecturer Division of Mental Health and Integrated Practice at UWS
Dr Robert Boyd (Nurse) Lecturer Division of Mental Health and Integrated Practice at UWS
Dr Mark Gillespie (Nurse) Lecturer Division of Mental Health and Integrated Practice at UWS
Dr Marie McCaig (Nurse) Lecturer Division of Mental Health and Integrated Practice at UWS
Dr Karen McMahon (Nurse) Lecturer Division of Mental Health and Integrated Practice at UWS
Dr Eileen Harkess-Murphy (Psychologist) Lecturer Division of Mental Health and Integrated Practice at UWS
Barbara Gonçalves (Physiotherapist)
Supervisory team: Dr Joanne Lusher, Dr Eileen Harkess-Murphy, Dr Audrey Cund
Full time: PhD
Date commenced: October 2017
Thesis title: Exploring the psychosocial impact of patients living with advanced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) attending palliative care services.
This study explores the psychosocial impact of living with advanced COPD among patients attending palliative care services. A concurrent mixed-methods approach has been employed to investigate the biopsychosocial experiences of living with COPD. Patients with advanced COPD were recruited from two different services using a model of palliative care: one being provided by secondary care and another from hospices. Findings indicate that early education of patients and their carers is crucial in coping with COPD and contributes to patient’s decreased psychological burden in advanced stages of the disease.
Patricia Coia (Forensic Mental Health Nurse)
Supervisory Team: Dr Helen Walker, Dr James Taylor
Part time: Professional Doctorate
Date Commenced: October 2019
A twelve-month prospective study will be undertaken in The State Hospital (TSH) with the aim of exploring the experiences of recently qualified clinicians, who work in a high secure forensic unit. Over a two year period the project will: provide a description of the subjective experience of recently qualified clinicians working in a high secure forensic setting in Scotland; explore the factors which recently qualified clinicians working in the high secure forensic unit found helpful and challenging in relation to their role new role; explore the extent to which pre-registration education prepared the recently qualified clinician for work in a high secure forensic unit. One-one interviews will be undertaken with staff to gather more detail about their early experience in clinical practice and elicit their views on this experience.
Lindsay Tulloch (Senior Charge Nurse)
Supervisory Team: Dr Helen Walker, Dr Robin Ions
Part time: PhD
Date commenced: February 2021
This PhD will be achieved by publication. A number of projects have been completed by the student over the past few years, on the subject of managing serious violence and aggression in forensic mental health facilities. The aim is to add a new dimension to the existing evidence base, in particular through patient and carer perspectives.
Vynne Frederick (Counsellor)
Supervisory Team: Dr Robert Boyd, Dr Karen McMahon, Dr Marie McCaig.
Date of commencement: October 2020
The lived experience of benzodiazepine dependence, withdrawal and recovery: an interpretative phenomenological inquiry.
The aims of this study are: to examine, portray and deepen our understanding of the lived withdrawal experience; to identify effective coping interventions and techniques; to identify any important differences in the experiences of the unprescribed and prescribed groups; to consider and identify factors that could influence harm reduction policies; to consider implications for training and good practice The most important objective in undertaking this study is to explore and describe the experience of withdrawal, from the participants’ perspectives, giving them ‘a voice’ by allowing them the opportunity to relate their stories. It will provide valuable insight and will contribute to identification of their needs.
Donna Maguire (Mental Health Nurse)
Title: Trauma-informed Practice with Pre-Registration Student Nurses
Supervisory team Dr Mark Gillespie, Dr Karen McMahon and Dr Robert Boyd
Part time PhD
Date Commenced October 2020
The aim of this research is to embed trauma-informed education within the undergraduate nursing programme at a higher education environment. Explore university staff, placement area staff and student experiences of trauma-informed nurse education.
- Does self-reported knowledge increase when trauma informed practice training is implemented?
- Does compassion satisfaction increase, and compassion fatigue decrease when trauma informed practice is implemented?
- What are the experiences of staff, students, and practice placements when trauma informed practice is implemented in university settings?
An explanatory sequential mixed methods study is proposed, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative research will draw upon elements of a quasi-experimental approach and qualitative methods will draw upon some of the principles of a phenomenological approach. This approach will provide a deeper knowledge and understanding.
To collect data on self-reported knowledge pre and post knowledge questionnaires used at regular timed intervals over the 3 year nursing cohort will be used. To gain a deeper understanding from staff in university, staff in placement areas and student nurse, focus groups will be arranged at timed intervals over the 3 year cohort.
Dr Shahneela Memon (Physician)
Supervisory team: Dr Helen Walker and Dr Glen Marland
Full Time: PhD
Dates: 2017- 2020
Dissemination stage: – Article in preparation.
This study explored third sector support workers’ perspectives on the promotion of life and social skills for people experiencing negative symptoms of schizophrenia (service users). Grounded theory methodology was used to generate theory from the data. The focus on the nature of support workers’ relationship with service users made a constructivist approach the most suitable for this study. Just as the support relationship between service users and support workers is a partnership, the constructivist approach also encourages partnership between the researcher and the participants in the co-construction of theory. Grounded theory constructed from the data is presented in a three-phase model. Phase one, ‘optimism’, characterises support workers’ motivation for their role in promoting life and social skills. This optimism is based on their theoretical knowledge, the organisation’s values and ethics and learning from the experiences of supporting service users. Phase two, ‘floundering’, characterises support workers’ emotional struggle with new service users assigned to them. Phase three, ‘integration’, characterises support workers’ ability to integrate theoretical understanding with practical experiences by using reflective practise alongside support, counselling, learning and training. This allows support workers to navigate the floundering phase and manage their role effectively.
Henna Vuoriranta (Registered Midwife)
Supervisory team: Dr Eileen Harkess-Murphy, Dr Joanne Lusher and Dr Mari Lahti (Turku University of Applied Sciences)
Date commenced: October 2020
Thesis overview: The overall goal of this research is to explore obstetric violence phenomena in institutional care and develop education about obstetric violence for midwives. The aim of this study is to have positive effect on women´s overall experience about labor by preventing obstetric violence in the future. This work concentrates on women´s experiences on obstetric violence and midwives perceptions, attitudes and educational needs on obstetric violence.
Psychosocial impact of COVID-19 lockdown
Project title: The psychosocial impact of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions
Research Team: Dr Joanne Lusher (UWS); Core study group: Professor Morenike Oluwatoyin Folavan (project oversight) Obafemi Awolowu University, Nigeria. Brandon Brown (University of California); Nicaise Ndembi and John Nkengasong (Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ethiopia). Dr Joseph Chukwudi Okeibunor (WHO Afro); Maha El Tantawi and Nourhan Aly (Alexandria University, Egypt); Oliver Ezechi (Institute of Medical Research, Nigeria) and Benjamin Uzochukwu (University of Nigeria).
Project status: Current
Dates: July 2020-
COVID-19 is causing anxiety and stress resulting from concerns about loss of life, health and wealth, with challenges associated with restrictions in access to healthcare aggravating pandemic-related stress. This study sits within our Global Mental Health research priority area and forms part of an on-going, International multi-site survey that is run by the Mental Health and Wellness (MEHEWE) study group in collaboration with the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) research group at the University of Washington.
Research aim: This particular project aims to determine effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychological wellbeing of adults in the UK.
Overview of Methods: Survey data are being collected from 204 countries and territories across the globe on sociodemographic; medical; health; financial and cognitive variables.
Findings: Using survey data, this correlational study will determine associations with the mental health status of adults during lockdowns as well as identify the interacting medical, cognitive and social factors.
Mental Health Risk Assessment during Covid-19
Understanding and learning about the conduct of mental health risk assessment in a rapidly implemented telenursing model during Covid-19
Dr Robin Ion UWS, Dr Nutmeg Hallett University of Birmingham and Dr Fiona Watson Northumbira University. Project lead: Prof Geoff Dickens from University of Northumbria. Other team members are:
Project status: Seeking Ethical Approval
Funders: Burdett Trust
To understand how community mental health teams conducted remote risk assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic and to explore learning from their experiences
Acute Mental Health: Values-Based Practice
Project title: Exploring and developing positive experiences of values-based practice in an acute mental health ward using appreciative action research
Research Team : Dr Marie McCaig et al
Project Status – Dissemination Phase: Completed Doctoral Research
Dates: 2013-2019 (Part-time)
Overview: Values-based practice is an approach to supporting decision-making and person centred care in healthcare settings. While considered a complementary partner to evidence-based practice, there is a tendency for the literature to focus on the skills of values-based practice rather than experiences of values based practice.
Study aim: to explore and develop positive experiences of values-based practice in an acute mental health ward
Overview of methods: photo elicitation, interviews (n=20), focus groups (n=6) and reflection groups (n=6) were used to explore the experiences of patients (n=18), staff (n=14), carers (n=4), and students (n=2) during an 11-month period. Data were shared with participants throughout the research to facilitate analysis, reflection and democratic knowledge construction.
Findings of this research emphasise dialogue, connecting with others and connecting with ourselves as features of positive experiences of values-based practice. Participants described values-based practice as occurring in a range of relationships, including patient-patient interactions.
Heterogeneous focus groups encouraged democratization of knowledge, facilitating values awareness and creating space for debate, offering an understanding of the range of positive experiences of values-based practice occurring simultaneously within an acute mental health ward setting.
Findings add methodological insights into the use of appreciative action research and photo elicitation in an acute mental health ward.
Publications and Papers:
McCaig, M 2016, ' Values Based Practice in Acute Mental Health Care: Impossible dream or incredible journey? ', Paper presented at Enhancing Nursing through Educational Research (ENTER) Conference 2016, 18/11/16 - 18/11/16 .
Project Title: Re-scripting: A Grounded Theory study of the contribution that fathers make to Family Based Treatment when a young person has anorexia nervosa.
Research Team: Dr Karen McMahon et al
Project Status: Dissemination Phase: Completed Doctoral Research (University of Stirling)
Dates: 2010-2019(Part Time)
Overview: Family Based Treatment(FBT) is the first line evidence-based treatment when a young person has anorexia nervosa. An FBT approach requires the involvement of all family members however fathers are often peripheral or absent during the treatment process. This research study set out to capture the experience of fathers who had chosen to be involved in FBT.
Study Aim: The aim of this study was to develop an understanding of the experience of fathers and the contribution that they made to FBT when a young person had anorexia nervosa.
Methods-Grounded Theory was utilised within the study to capture the paternal experience of taking part in FBT and to generate a substantive theory. 15 individual interviews were conducted and analysed using the process of constant comparative analysis.
Findings-Four categories emerged from the data: Being on the Outside, Finding a Way In, Finding a Way to Be and Finding a Way to Let Go. The core category of Repositioning reflects the way that FBT changes the father’s position within the family. The substantive theory of Rescripting describes how fathers, in the context of AN in the family, redefine themselves and their role for the duration of FBT; it identifies the challenges fathers face within this new and different role. This study addresses a gap in knowledge regarding the paternal experience of and contribution to FBT. It informs CAMH clinicians practice in relation to supporting and involving fathers in treatment.
Trauma informed mental health nurse education
Project title: Trauma informed mental health nurse education
Project Team: Jennifer Young (NHS Forth Valley) James Taylor (University of the West of Scotland), Brodie Paterson (Calm Training), Ivor Smith (NHS Forth Valley), Sandy McComish (University of Stirling)
Start date: 2013
Overview: The development and implementation of trauma informed nurse education.
Young, J., Taylor, J., Paterson, B., Smith, I. & McComish, S. (2019) Development and implementation of a psychological trauma informed undergraduate Mental Health Nursing curriculum. Mental Health Practice
McGuire, D., & Taylor, J. (2019) A systematic review on implementing education and training on trauma informed care to nurses in forensic mental health settings. Journal of Forensic Nursing 15:4, 242-249. doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000262
Stevenson, C., & Taylor, J. (2020) Nurses perspectives of factors that influence therapeutic relationships in secure inpatient forensic hospitals. Journal of Forensic Nursing
Self-isolation and seclusion in a high secure facility
Project title: Self isolation and seclusion in a high secure facility; management strategies
Research Team : Dr Helen Walker, Lindsay Tulloch
Project Status: Completed Project
Funder: The State Hospital £11,600
Dates: 2016-2018 (Part-time)
Introduction: Forensic mental health nurses working at the forefront of services can intermittently face enduring and somewhat harrowing or stressful situations.This project offers an overview of the nursing experience when using mechanical restraints for a prolonged period.
Method: The experience of nursing a patient under extreme conditions was captured through use of a qualitative study, using semi structured interviews with a purposive sample of (n=10) staff nurses and nursing assistants in a high secure hospital. This was part of a wider study to explore the management / recording and reporting of violence and aggression.
Results: Thematic analysis was undertaken generating four themes: sense of responsibility, aptitude, enablers / inhibitors and consequence.
Conclusions suggest that Soft Restraint Kits provide a useful method of containment, although prolonged use presents considerable challenges for staff. The importance of preparation and training cannot be underestimated and continued support and supervision are absolutely essential.
Publications and Papers:
Walker, H., and Tulloch, L. (2020) ‘A necessary evil’; staff perspectives of Soft Restraint Kit use in a high secure hospital. Frontiers Psychiatry, 11, 357. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00357. eCollection 2020
Conference presentations: International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, New York 2016, Forensic Network Conference, Polmont 2016.
Use of communication technologies: people with mood disorders
Project title: Exploring the use of mobile information and communication technologies by people with mood disorders
Researchers Name: Dr Hamish Fulford
Project Status: Completed.
Funders: NHS Tayside & University of Dundee
Overview: An exploratory qualitative study, within secondary and specialist mental health Services, was undertaken. Data generation involved in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews with 26 people with mood disorders. Participants’ data sets were analysed using constructivist grounded theory (CGT). The resultant theory explains how mICTs were used in daily life, and also, more specifically, how they were used to manage recovery from mood disorders. The findings reveal that people with mood disorders used their mICTs to centralize themselves within their on‐ and offline worlds and their importance of attachment were central in their continued use.
- Fulford H, McSwiggan L, Kroll T, MacGillivray S. Exploring the Use of Information and Communication Technology by People With Mood Disorder: A Systematic Review and Metasynthesis. JMIR Ment Health 2016;3(3):e30. https://mental.jmir.org/2016/3/e30
- Fulford, H., McSwiggan, L., Kroll, T. and MacGillivray, S. (2019), Exploring the use of mobile information and communication technologies by people with mood disorders. Int J Mental Health Nurs, 28: 1268-1277. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12632
Conferences where research presented:
- 2017 Speaker, International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, 23rd Annual Qualitative Health Research (QHR) Conference 2017, Quebec City, QC, Canada.
- Speaker, 23rd International Mental Health Nursing Research (MHNR) Conference 2017, Wales, UK.
- 2016 Invited speaker, Employing Information and Communication Technologies in Homes and Cities for the Health and Well-Being of Older People 2016, Chengdu University, Chengdu Province, China.
As one of the largest providers of nurse, midwifery and paramedic science education in Scotland our work recognises the value and contribution different disciplines bring in terms of leadership, creativity and innovation. Academics contributing to this theme are at the forefront of practice based education and workforce development.
Testimony to our collaborative leadership and national standing is our prestigious Advanced HE 2020 CATE Award (Collaborative Teaching Excellence). Our research propels innovative education and curricula for health, nursing, midwifery and integrated care practitioners. We have strong partnerships with carers networks across the West of Scotland and involve patient and public engagement in our research, development and academic activities. We work collaboratively with a range of partners to develop educational solutions that improve practice and care experiences. We are forwarding thinking and have placed an emphasis on ensuring the existing and future workforce are ready to work in a digital age.
Examples of our research priorities are:
- Workforce Development
- Leadership and Change
- Digital technologies and capabilities
- Simulation and use of innovative technologies
- Trauma Informed Practice