Overcoming challenges of conducting research in nursing homes
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Overcoming challenges of conducting research in nursing homes

Catharine Jenkins Senior lecturer, Birmingham City University
Analisa Smythe Dementia lead, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Magdalena Galant-Miecznikowska Research assistant, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Peter Bentham Consultant psychiatrist, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Jan Oyebode Professor, Faculty of Health Studies, University of Bradford

Catharine Jenkins, Analisa Smythe and colleagues explore the processes, barriers and make recommendations for research in long-term care settings

In the UK, one third of the 850,000 people with dementia live in care homes. This article explores the process of carrying out research in nursing homes, identifying barriers and enabling factors, and making recommendations for researchers.

The authors’ experiences derive from an ongoing study investigating the effect of educational interventions to promote and embed person-centred care, designed for nurses caring for the people with dementia in nursing homes.

Design issues arose from the need to use cluster randomisation which requires a large sample size, implementation fidelity, poor compliance and high numbers of participants lost to follow up. Further difficulties included gaining ethical approval, recruitment, raising concerns and the practicalities of participant retention. There are many benefits of conducting research in care homes, for the homes themselves, their staff and residents. These include training and education, networking and empowerment of staff and subsequent improved standards of care. For the research team, benefits include opportunities to contribute to an underserved setting, to advance care standards and improve nurses’ working lives.

Nursing Older People. 28, 5,16-23. doi: 10.7748/nop.28.5.16.s24

Correspondence

catharine.jenkins@bcu.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 20 October 2015

Accepted: 15 January 2016