York St John University - Research for Occupation and Mental Health

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The Bridge                                                      Issue 34

Bridging the gap between research and practice

Dr Alison Laver-FawcettDr. Alison Laver-Fawcett, welcomes you to this month’s Bridge which relates to the Research Programme for Occupation and Older People’s Mental Health.  We are sharing an update on a project based at York St. John University, articles written by staff from one of our founding partners, The Retreat, and two ‘Spotlight on Research’ sections, one of which has been written by an occupational therapist who contributed to the work of the research programme through a Student as Co-researcher (SCoRE) dissertation project.
Application of best practice guidance for environmental design to facilitate occupational engagement of people with dementia in an in-patient setting.

Joyce LatimerJoyce Latimer, Senior Occupational Therapist for the Katherine Allen Unit at the Retreat describes how this service have considered and applied best practice guidance for environmental design to facilitate occupational engagement of people with dementia.

Read the article  »

An update on the development of a culturally relevant measure of occupational engagement for use with older adults: The Activity Card Sort – United Kingdom (ACS-UK)

Sarah MallisonSarah Mallinson, Research assistant, and Dr. Alison Laver-Fawcett, Lead for the Research Programme for Occupation and Older People’s Mental Health, who are both based in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at York St John University, provide an update on a current RCOMH research project to develop a United Kingdom (UK) version of the Activity Card Sort (ACS-UK).

Update on ACS-UK  »

Plans for clinicians at The Retreat to collaborate with RCOMH in a research project to further the development of the ACS-UK for older people with mental health problems

It is planned that the occupational therapists working in the Older People’s Service at The Retreat will be participating in research to examine the psychometric properties and clinical utility of a UK specific version of the Activity Card Sort (ACS: Baum & Edwards 2001; 2008) with a sample of in-patients.  The ACS is a self-report measure of occupational engagement that requires older adults to sort photographs, of other older people performing a range of activities, into different categories of engagement. 

Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett (Head of Programme for the full-time BHSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programme at York St John University) and Sarah Mallinson (research assistant) have been conducting a content validity study this past year and we have offered to assist with the further development of the ACS-UK. Following a positive discussion at the Retreat’s Research committee in June 2011, joint applications are planned to ethics committees, both at the Retreat and IRAS, in the early autumn with the intention to begin the research later in 2011. 

The Retreat has four older people’s units that cater for people with a range of mental health problems.  It is hoped that the format of using photographs of occupations will provide opportunities for narrative and reminiscence as well as providing an easy to use assessment tool which could be used for both descriptive and evaluative assessments.

Joyce Latimer (Senior OT), Katherine Allen Unit, The Retreat

 Karen Heaslip and  Maureen Horsley

Occupational Therapists
 Karen Heaslip (left) and Maureen Horsley (right) The Retreat

Reference: Mallinson S (2010) Website: York St John University Last accessed 27th January 2011 http://w3.yorksj.ac.uk/rcomh-1/rcomh/research-programmes/occupation-and-older-peoples/activity-card-sort-project.aspx

STOP Press****STOP Press****STOP Press

On the 28 of June 2011 the Department of Health published the Headline report of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Dementia Research. This group was ‘set up to find ways to increase the volume and impact of high quality research’ (p.4) and this report proposes a set of actions intended to take dementia research forward. The actions are summarised in a ‘Route Map for Dementia Research.’ The report can be accessed at:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/ Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_127750

Spotlight on Research

The first of this month’s Spotlight on Research focuses on an article by Horowitz and Vanner (2010) and has been written by Sarah Mallinson, Research assistant in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. The article, explores the relationships among active engagement in life activities and quality of life for assisted-living older people.

Read Sarah's review  »

Rebecca MacGillivrayThe second Spotlight on Research this month provides a review of a study by Aggarwal, Vass, Minardi, Ward, Garfield and Cybyk (2003) entitled ‘People with dementia and their relatives: personal experiences of Alzheimer’s and of the provision of care’ which has been reviewed by Becky MacGillivray, Band 5 Occupational Therapist (Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board) and graduate from the York St John University BHSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy Programme. During her third year Becky undertook a group dissertation project, linked to RCOMH, to explore the impact of dementia on the occupational engagement of people with dementia and their carers.

Read Becky's review  »

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