School of Health Sciences and Social Work

Health and Social Care of the Older Person

We conduct and support collaborative research in all areas of older person well being and have particular expertise in the conduct of systematic reviews, design, implementation, analysis and interpretation of qualitative studies clinical trials and epidemiological studies.

Research focus

participatory projects

User-driven, participatory projects, to address practice-based problems

We focus on planning and conducting the research process with end users, those people whose life-world and meaningful actions are under study. The needs wants and limitations of end-users is given attention at each stage of the design process so that the aim of the inquiry and the research questions develop out of the convergence of two perspectives — that of science and of practice. 

PEOPPLE Project (Putting Evidence for Older People into Practice in Living Environments)

This project ran from January 2010 to December 2012. The aim was to address some of the unmet needs of older people living in the local community (in a variety of living accommodations). Central to this study was the desire to establish and maintain strong links with older people and to maximise user involvement. This was done by talking with older people in order to prioritise problems, seeking the best available evidence to meet their needs, and working with people to implement and evaluate the evidence in practice.

To achieve this, the University worked in partnership with key organisations and local groups who were central to engaging with the local community and collaborators on the study. In addition, members of the public were also part of the project team and Steering Group.

The study was funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), with additional support from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.


Falls and fall-related injury prevention

Falls and related injuries are a major issue affecting older people. We undertake interdisciplinary and collaborative projects in this important area, utilising a range of methods, to address issues of effectiveness, utilisation and acceptance, as well as to generate hypotheses for new avenues of research and novel interventions. Some of our recent and ongoing projects include:

  • A Cochrane Overview of Systematic Reviews on falls prevention interventions
  • The HIP-HOP Flooring Study (Helping Injury Prevention in Hospitalised Older People)
  • Effect of bedroom size on falls in hospital
  • Design of dementia care wards for falls prevention, a collaboration with the Health & Safety Laboratory
  • A qualitative study of falls and injury prevention interventions and the resulting psychosocial effects for care home residents and staff

Psycho-social well-being

We concentrate on living well, mixed methodology are incorporated to explore further psycho-social well being for older persons.

Current projects include:

  • Evaluation of the Kit Bags and Berets activity and reminiscence group run by the local branch of the Alzheimer’s Society through one-to-one qualitative interviews.
  • Qualitative exploration of the attitudes, perceptions and beliefs of the UK Bangladeshi community about dementia to include qualitative synthesis of primary studies to explore the South Asian older people’s views about dementia (Protocol CRD42013004885 published at and interviews with older persons living with dementia and carers.
  • Exploration of the older adult’s (65 years and over) perceptions and experience of the impact of asthma on their daily lives. This will include exploring goals that older people with asthma have towards the management of their condition and describing the characteristics of asthma in the older adult in order to understand clinical description of their asthma, functional status, locus of control and co-morbidity.
  • Ageing in place: how does the home environment impact on the quality of life of informal carers of people with dementia. A qualitative synthesis and one-to-one ‘walking’ interviews with carers of people living with dementia.
  • Settings of care for homosexual men with dementia.
  • A qualitative exploration of carers’ journeys when caring for a person with dementia.
  • Improving communication between people with dementia and their informal carers.

Research Group Members

Postgraduate students