York St John University - Research for Occupation and Mental Health

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The Bridge                                                      Issue 41

Bridging the gap between research and practice

Dr Alison Laver FawcettThis edition of the Bridge comes from the RCOMH Occupation and Older People's Mental Health research programme. When this RCOMH research programme was set up we had a 'think tank' to consider possible areas for research. The potential scope for this research programme is very broad and diverse. Currently, the programme is led by Dr. Alison Laver-Fawcett, who is based at York St. John University, York UK. Alison is leading research in two areas; measurement development; and related to occupation and people with dementia.

We are looking for one or two more researchers to co-lead this research programme in order to lead research in other areas, for example: occupation and people ageing with a serious mental illness; occupation and people with mental health problems secondary to long-term physical health conditions; occupation and retirement; and occupation and older people with functional mental illness. RCOMH is looking for people with a completed PhD and a post-doctoral research profile who would be interest in collaborating with Alison to co-lead this programme.

For more information or to express interest please contact Alison E: a.laver-fawcett@yorksj.ac.uk


Enriching life for people with dementia through Creative expression - Claire Ford, Creative Engagement Facilitator/Activities Coordinator

This article provides an overview of Claire's Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship in the USA.Claire Ford

Dr Gene Cohen, the founder of the National Centre for Creative Aging (NCCA) suggests that as cognitive ability deteriorates with dementia, creative inhibitions increase, enabling new ways of communication through creative engagement. Dementia is predicted to double in the next decade, with the arts to be seen as a powerful vehicle, providing rich life opportunities for people affected by dementia.

Becoming older can be a frightening and daunting experience. Not only does health and mobility decrease but there can be numerous loses of family members and friends. So how do individuals feel when they develop dementia? The loss of memory can affect relationships, communication, language, problem solving, functioning in daily activities, behaviour changes and emotions. The disease affects not only the individual but families, carers and friends alike too.

I was awarded a Travelling Fellowship which was funded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to support the development of knowledge and skills in Arts and Dementia Programming. Travelling for ten weeks in six US cities, including Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC meant that I could explore creativity at an entirely innovative level, observing, taking part and facilitating art activities. I had the phenomenal experience of shadowing, discussing and debating with leading practitioners and clinicians in the field of arts and dementia. The Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship provided an enriching experience across the USA, in which to explore dementia access through creativity and the arts. Art forms included Poetry, Storytelling, Visual Arts, Theatre, Dance and Digital Medium. The arts can be a stimulating source to re-engage and bring joy back into an individual's life. How do we implement these successfully to provide new opportunities? Read the main story

A new PhD student joins RCOMH: Discourse of Dementia: exploring how a person with dementia’s daily occupation is interactionally achieved
Lindsey LindleyLyndsay has recently taken up a PhD studentship, funded by York St John University, researching the Discourse of Dementia. The research, supervised by Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett and Dr Andrew Merrison, is a joint project bringing together the two research centres of RCOMH (Research Centre for Occupation & Mental Health) and LIdIA (Language and Identities in InterAction). Having spent some time working with people with dementia and their companions as a volunteer facilitator in a Reminiscence Therapy research project, her own research will focus on language and communication between people with dementia and their families and carers. The intention is to obtain naturally occurring conversational data, and using the tools of Conversation Analysis, explore how a person with dementia's daily occupation is interactionally achieved. Read more here
Update on the development of the ACS-UK

The development of the Activity Card Sort –United Kingdom (ACS-UK) is proceeding well. The 91 activities which emerged from the project undertaken by Alison Laver-Fawcett and Sarah Mallinson (see previous edition of the Bridge August 2011) have now been photographed and the sorting cards have been produced. This academic year the research has been further by four BHSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy students at York St John University in a Student as Co-Researcher (SCoRE) dissertation project lead by Dr. Katrina Bannigan, Director of RCOMH and Alison Laver-Fawcett. The ACS-UK was administered to 16 community dwelling health older people. Following the test administration they were interviewed, using a semi-structured interview schedule, regarding the face validity and utility of the measure. Overall the face validity and utility of the ACS-UK appears good. Now Alison and Joyce Latimer, from RCOMH partner The Retreat in York, are reviewing the recommendations from this project and are working on an ethics proposal for the next planned research project to further explore the psychometric properties of the ACS-UK. For more information contact Alison E: a.laverfawcett@yorksj.ac.

Spotlight on Research

This month's spotlight on research has been provided by Claire Ford
Creative Engagement Facilitator / Activities Coordinator
Evaluation of the Meet Me at MOMA programme by New York University and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA


Reasonable adjustments

The NHS Confederation have recently commissioned NDTi to look at the reasonable adjustments that mental health services are making to respond positively to people with learning disabilities, and to people with autism. I'd like to hear about your experience.

  • Have your local mental health services made any adjustments?
  • Did they help?
Please get in touch. You can read more about our work on this at http://www.ndti.org.uk/major-projects/reasonably-adjusted/


Developing the Role of the Clinical Academic Researcher in the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions

On 8 March 2012 the Department of Health announced a new strategy to develop 'the clinical academic workforce in nursing, midwifery and allied health professions (AHPs). It offers support for the national clinical academic training scheme administered through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and addresses the low participation in research careers among nurses, midwives and AHPs'.

The strategy can be accessed at:http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/03/developing-clinical-researcher/


National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) Review Paper on 'How many qualitative interviews is enough? Expert voices and early career reflections on sampling and cases in qualitative research' by Sarah Elsie Baker from Middlesex University and Rosalind Edwards from NCRM, University of Southampton.

In this paper the author concludes: 'Our intention in putting this NCRM Methods Review together has been to answer the question 'How many qualitative interviews is enough?' To this end, we have gathered together a set of succinct 'expert voice' contributions from 14 prominent qualitative methodologists and five 'early career reflections' from those embarking on academic careers. These pieces range across epistemological and disciplinary positions, and across conversational and academic styles…. the recurring answer to the question 'how many' is 'it depends'. The usefulness of this resource for students, lecturers and researchers rests on the guidance offered by our contributors as to what it depends upon. These include epistemological and methodological questions about the nature and purpose of the research: whether the focus of the objectives and of analysis is on commonality or difference or uniqueness or complexity or comparison or instances, Practical issues to take into account include the level of degree, the time available, institutional committee requirements And both philosophically and pragmatically, the judgment of the epistemic community in which a student or researcher wishes to be or is located, is another key consideration' (p.42)

This review paper can be accessed at: http://eprints.ncrm.ac.uk/2273/4/how_many_interviews.pdf

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