We’re often asked (ok never, but go with it!) what our research involves, so we thought we’d use this blog to give you a bit of an insight into the sort of research activities we’ve been doing over the past few months.
A lot of research involves reading, especially if you’re doing a literature review or realist review (see this SCI-Dem blog post to find out more about what this is).
Not only do you have to find the articles, reports, websites etc. that you’re interested in, but you’ve also got to read everything and be able to summarise it in a concise way that still makes sense. No mean feat!
Researchers also do their fair share of different writing activities. From ethics applications to make sure people are protected when they take part in our research projects, to interim, annual and final reports detailing our findings, we have to write different things for different audiences. That’s not including our journal articles to disseminate our work, and blog posts to keep people up-to-date with our progress – particularly for the Meeting Centres and SCI-Dem projects.
Our recent journal articles include:
- Bray, J. (2019). Permission to speak: encouraging conversations. Journal of Dementia Care, 27(2), 12-13.
- Bray, J., Atkinson, T., Latham, I. & Brooker, D. (2018). Practice of Namaste Care for people living with dementia in the UK. Nursing Older People, 31(1), 22-28.
- Evans, S., Garabedian, C., Bray, J., Kennard, R. and Herz, M. (2019). Evaluation of Active Minds activity kits in care homes. Journal of Dementia Care, 27(2), 22-25.
- Lion, K., Szcześniak, D., Buliríska, K., Evans, S.B., Evans, S.C., Siabene, F., d’Arma, A., Farina, E., Brooker, D., Chattat, R., Meiland, F., Dröes, R. & Rymaszewska, J. (2019). Do people with dementia and mild cognitive impairments experience stigma? A cross-cultural investigation between Italy, Poland and the UK. Aging and Mental Health, 1-9.
We’ve also got several articles waiting to be published, so it’s a busy time.
This is mainly about data, and we deal with quite a lot of it! First off, we have to collect data, which can involve online surveys, questionnaires, going out to meet people, carrying out observations, working with care homes and service providers to capture data on our behalf, and pretty much everything in between. This can often result in a lot of data needing to be entered into spreadsheets or other formats, depending on the type of data. To give you an example, the image below shows the questionnaires from a previous project, all of which had to be entered by hand (I still have nightmares…). The work doesn’t end there as the next step is analysis, which can have its own challenges. I do like a good graph though!
Not an ‘r’, but we also do a lot of talking in almost every aspect of research. Sometimes this can be carrying out telephone interviews, but it can also involve site visits or case study visits which are very exciting as we actually get to go out and about and see what’s happening in the real world. Recently a couple of us have been lucky enough to take part in some outdoor activities as part of the Dementia Adventure in a Box project, and you never quite know what you’re going to end up doing. One day you’re reading articles at your desk, the next you’re making clay animals, toasting marshmallows over a campfire or holding a chicken – obviously still working very hard. It’s always advisable to wear wellies though (see, that’s where the wellies come into it!).
Finally, and generally not requiring wellies, we do a lot of presentations and workshops at various conferences and events. This could be within the University of Worcester, at local events, or pretty much anywhere across the UK (and even the world!). Recent conferences have taken us to a number of places including Birmingham, London, Brighton, Salford, Swansea, Glasgow, Ireland, Belgium, America and Israel.
Who knew research was so varied?
To find out more about our current research projects please see our website.
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