Category / Impact

Using Drama and Storytelling in Dementia Care

 

Irma Konovalova, Danielle Wyman, Dr Ben Hicks and Prof Jan Wiener, members of the ADRC, have been working on ERASMUS+ funded project ‘Using Drama and Storytelling in Dementia Care’. This project has demonstrated the potential for creative psychosocial initiatives to support well-being in people with dementia and their care partners. The team have been working in collaboration with people with dementia to develop a storytelling and creative drama programme that aimed to enhance communication within this population and promote a positive sense of identity.

The Story2Remember team have produced the third output “Storytelling and alternative communication methods in dementia care: Toolkit for family members”. This toolkit aims to enhance the skills of family members of people with dementia through the use of  storytelling as well as alternative communication methods. The toolkit includes a brief description of the most common situations in which communication difficulties may arise, it describes how storytelling and alternative communication methods can be used in these situations and provides step by step guidelines to implement activities that can support communication between people with dementia and their family.

We asked dementia professionals from the partnering countries, England, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria, to review this toolkit and provide their feedback. Professionals identified it as a useful toolkit to support communication between family members and people with dementia. They thought it is well supported by empirical evidence and suggested that this toolkit provides new and alternative ways to communicate with people with dementia that may stimulate memories and positive feelings. One of the professionals reported: “the activities that have been created and outlined at the end of the booklet are an excellent way of developing communication and enhancing the caring relationship between the person with dementia and the family member”. Some professionals also suggested that this toolkit raises awareness of the importance of communication.

Reviewers also commented on how professional and engaging look of the toolkit looks and that it has been written and designed very well. There are a lot of useful tips for family members and practitioners to enhance their communication techniques with people with dementia and it has been tailored to specific difficulties people with dementia and their family may encounter throughout the progress of dementia. The toolkit emphasises individual differences and encouraged people to address them. Reviewers also enjoyed the case study examples of people using story-telling communication techniques to support the person with dementia: “These added some real-life examples to the text and helped to show how they can work in practice”. They suggested that the communication methods encourage originality and creativity.

Reviewers liked the novel ideas and suggestions to support communication, especially the Adventures: “I think the Adventures are excellent and provide a really useful, creative and engaging mechanism for family members to communicate with the person with dementia. I think these activities will be of real benefit to family members who find it difficult to communicate with the person with dementia and are struggling for activities to engage them. This is likely to be even more pertinent in the current global context, where people are self-isolating at home and are likely to be in desperate need of mental, physical and emotional stimulation”.

Professionals also highlighted some areas for improvement that could be addressed in the future. For example, some practitioners mentioned that it may become challenging to use some of the suggested strategies once dementia is more advanced. They wanted more information about how to adapt communication strategies to different stages of dementia, especially if people with dementia eventually loose the ability to communicate. It may have also been useful to address the emotional impact that the progression of dementia has on family members and care partners and how these emotions can be managed.

Even though majority of professionals suggested that the toolkit is very easy to follow and that it is written clearly and contains a logical flow to it, there were suggestions about how the large amount of information provided by the toolkit could be presented in a more accessible format, for example by providing links within the text and by avoiding terms such as ‘personhood’ and ‘PwD’, especially for the lay audience.

Generally, however, the reviewers provided very positive feedback, reporting that the toolkit met their expectations and the content was excellent. They emphasised how much they enjoyed reviewing the toolkit and how novel it was.

Thank you for your research, implementation and desire for improvement of the tool!”

I am really glad that this new approach has been taken for the benefit of people with dementia and family members. It is a tool for all family members who care for people with dementia, whether they are in the early or advanced stages of the disease.”

“Thank you for the shared experience!”

I think this is a really excellent project that demonstrates the importance of creative initiatives to support the well-being of people with dementia and their family members. It will be important to publicise the toolkit widely and so ensure that family members develop the knowledge and skills to run these beneficial activities”.

The toolkit can be downloaded on the project website: https://story2remember.eu/

The provision of nutritional advice and care for cancer patients

Prof Jane Murphy from the ADRC and Lead of the Professionals Workstream for the NIHR Cancer and Nutrition Collaboration Research has just published the largest UK survey looking at the provision of nutritional care for cancer patients across a wide range of health care professionals has just been published in Supportive Care in Cancer. See below for details:

https://rdcu.be/b68QL

New publication: International study on academic misconduct calls for collaborative approaches across the HE sector

An international, three-country study on academic integrity has been accepted for publication by the BMC Springer International Journal for Educational Integrity.

It examines academic misconduct as identified by university academics and quality control administrators.

It is a multi-voice interpretation of what constitutes academic misconduct, how it systemically manifests, and the need for proactive, innovative, diverse, and consistent approaches to management across the sector. It advocates for preventative education and technology for both staff and students in order to counter the ‘arms race’ of contract cheating services that are feeding a growth in academic misconduct.

The paper “Managing the mutations: Academic misconduct in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK” is a collaboration between BU’s Prof. Stephen Tee and Dr Steph Allen with Prof. Melanie Birks at Massey, and Prof. Jane Mills at La Trobe and has been widely acclaimed by participating universities as a ‘much needed study’.

Deadline approaching: Call for Deputy Chair of the Research Impact Funding Panel

The Research Impact Funding Panel is responsible on behalf of the Research Performance and Management Committee for providing internal funding and support to aid the development of research impact at BU.  This will ensure a pipeline of case studies for REF 2021 and beyond. It is responsible for assessing and determining priority areas for impact support and investment.

We are seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) for the Deputy Chair of the Research Impact Funding Panel. Deputy Chairs should be members of the Professoriate (Associate Professors).

EoIs for the Deputy Chair role will be reviewed against selection criterion which includes knowledge and experience of research impact, experience of chairing meetings and plans for leading the impact agenda across the university.

EoIs should consist of a CV and short case (maximum length of one page) outlining suitability for the role. These should be submitted to the Research Impact panel mailbox by the deadline of 5pm on 1 September 2020.

Full details are available on the Staff Intranet: https://staffintranet.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/news/thismonth/researchimpactfundingpanelcallfordeputychair.php

Research Impact Funding Panel – call for Deputy Chair

The Research Impact Funding Panel is responsible on behalf of the Research Performance and Management Committee for providing internal funding and support to aid the development of research impact at BU.  This will ensure a pipeline of case studies for REF 2021 and beyond. It is responsible for assessing and determining priority areas for impact support and investment.

We are seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) for the Deputy Chair of the Research Impact Funding Panel. Deputy Chairs should be members of the Professoriate (Associate Professors).

EoIs for the Deputy Chair role will be reviewed against selection criterion which includes knowledge and experience of research impact, experience of chairing meetings and plans for leading the impact agenda across the university.

EoIs should consist of a CV and short case (maximum length of one page) outlining suitability for the role. These should be submitted to the Research Impact panel mailbox by the deadline of 5pm on 1 September 2020.

Full details are available on the Staff Intranet: https://staffintranet.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/news/thismonth/researchimpactfundingpanelcallfordeputychair.php

Research Impact Funding Panel – call for Deputy Chair

The Research Impact Funding Panel is responsible on behalf of the Research Performance and Management Committee for providing internal funding and support to aid the development of research impact at BU.  This will ensure a pipeline of case studies for REF 2021 and beyond. It is responsible for assessing and determining priority areas for impact support and investment.

We are seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) for the Deputy Chair of the Research Impact Funding Panel. Deputy Chairs should be members of the Professoriate (Associate Professors).

EoIs for the Deputy Chair role will be reviewed against selection criterion which includes knowledge and experience of research impact, experience of chairing meetings and plans for leading the impact agenda across the university.

EoIs should consist of a CV and short case (maximum length of one page) outlining suitability for the role. These should be submitted to the Research Impact panel mailbox by the deadline of 5pm on 1 September 2020.

Full details are available on the Staff Intranet: https://staffintranet.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/news/thismonth/researchimpactfundingpanelcallfordeputychair.php

POST Parliamentary Academic Fellowship Scheme: latest news

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) has formally launched its Parliamentary Academic Fellowship Scheme, with further details of the application process for expressions of interest and a list of parliamentary offices participating in the scheme.

If you are interested in applying, please follow the guidelines below:

  1. Firstly, inform your Faculty Dean or Deputy Dean of your interest and discuss potential sources of funding.
  2. Identify an idea for a potential project to conduct in a participating Host Office in UK Parliament. A list can be found on p. 10 of the Guidance note for applicants.
  3. Before completing the Expression of Interest Application Form, read the Parliamentary Academic Fellowship Scheme Open Call 2020 – Guidance Note for Applicants. POST strongly recommends applicants also read the Appendix to this document. It contains information about the offices in Parliament participating in the scheme, the kinds of projects you could propose to do with them and any topics they are particularly interested in receiving proposals on.
  4. Complete an Expression of Interest Application Form and send a copy of the completed form, along with a two-page CV, to postfellowships@parliament.uk. You should mark the subject of the email as: “PAFS Open Call: [name of proposed parliamentary Host Office]”. POST also requests that you complete and send them the diversity monitoring questionnaire, although this is voluntary.

If successful, you will be asked to submit a detailed application in September, which will also confirm BU budget approval. Interviews are likely to be conducted in October/November and the Fellowship will commence January 2021, following security clearance.

Please note, the BU Policy team and your faculty impact officer are available for guidance, support and to track your application.

POST Academic Fellowship Scheme: expressions of interest invited

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is inviting expressions of interest for its Parliamentary Academic Fellowship Scheme from Monday 8 June.

Securing a prestigious fellowship with POST provides researchers with unique access to Parliament, policy experience and direct potential for impact. It is open to all employed academics with a PhD, and applicants propose their own project for Parliament to conduct. These projects might include contributing to the work of a parliamentary office, filling gaps in expertise, helping to grow Parliament’s academic networks, informing parliamentary scrutiny, analysing and evaluating parliamentary practices, building staff capacity and skills, providing advice and support to a committee, scrutinising a specific area of government policy, providing briefing material or advice, generating data to facilitate effective scrutiny, writing specific papers for parliamentary teams, studying aspects of the parliamentary process or perceptions of that process, or something else!

There is no external funding associated with these fellowships, and the cost will need to be met either by BU internally or by other research funders. The types of cost the fellowship will entail are: cover arrangements, travel, subsistence and accommodation alongside consideration of your time. Do not let concern over costs or other factors hold you back at this stage. Parliament have a keen diversity agenda and applications from all career stages (from PhD onwards) and other equality characteristics are welcomed – you do not have to be a professor!

The fellowship will usually last for 1 year; there may be flexibility over the start date (and this may help to save or manage costs). Fellows will spend some of their time in Westminster and some aspects will be completed remotely. The amount of time spent in Westminster will be dictated by the nature of your project. It could be one day per week, or a week block every six weeks, or another pattern.

Expression of Interest applications will be invited from Monday 8 June, when more information about the scheme, what to cover in your expression of interest, and a list of the parliamentary offices participating will be released by POST. The closing date is Friday 26 June 2020. We will update this blog with the new details once they are released.

Process

  • Now: Inform your Faculty Dean or Deputy Dean , that you are interested in applying
  • June: Complete the expression of interest and forward before the 26 June deadline, and discuss potential sources of funding with your faculty leadership
  • September: Submit detailed application for the fellowship which will also confirm BU budget approval
  • Oct/Nov: Interview
  • If selected – complete security clearance, complete Fellowship Agreement
  • Jan 2021 – commence Fellowship

The BU Policy team and your faculty impact officer are available for guidance, support and to track your application.

Click here for full details from POST, as well as testimonials from previous fellows.

This is also an informative and useful document – it contains some examples of projects successful Fellows undertook and the evaluation of the whole scheme including what needs improvement.

 

 

How the C-19 lockdown has affected the work-life balance of BU academics (Part 5): lessons learned

As the week ends, we would like to close this series of blogs by sharing with you some of the lessons we believe can be learned from the experiences of 70 BU colleagues who completed our survey. Many thanks to all who have already contributed to this research. The results we have presented so far are only part of the data. The survey will remain open until the end of May, when we will then analyse all responses to improve our understanding of the impact of the C-19 lockdown on academics across the UK and beyond. If you have not yet contributed to this survey, you are kindly invited to do so here: tiny.cc/acad19, and please do share with your networks. This is a cross-faculty (FHSS and FST) collaboration conducted by an interdisciplinary team with expertise in social sciences (Prof Sara Ashencaen Crabtree), public health (Prof Ann Hemingway) and physical geography (Dr Luciana Esteves).

Lesson learned 1. The complementarity of the quantitative and qualitative data.
The quantitative data helped identifying the factors that are affecting the largest number of respondents and where there are contrasting views or experiences between groups of respondents. The qualitative data provided insights into how the factors have affected the respondents and why, particularly on specific personal circumstances and other aspects that were not included in the closed-ended questions. This research would be deficient without one or the other.

Lesson learned 2. Working from home is bringing compounded benefits to the majority and is something that is wished to remain as an option in the longer term.
You can find some insights about the benefits identified by respondents at the end of blog Part 2. Academics are not alone in wishing for flexibility to work remotely to continue after lockdown and some employers have already surveyed their employees preferences as they start planning for reshaping their office spaces.

Lesson learned 3. Some negative aspects of working from home will subside when lockdown restrictions are reduced but others will persist.
These are some examples:

  • Less pressure from balancing family and work needs when schools re-open; home-care support can resume; when social distancing measures allow some more interaction with family and friends (even if just a small number)
  • Inadequate workspace at home may persist due to space and/or financial difficulties in making adjustments to transform home shared spaces into quiet workspaces.

Lesson learned 4. Online teaching is seeing as positive by some and negative by others (see blog Part 2).
Part of the negative effect was due to the increased workload resulting from the fast pace in which adjustments needed to be made, sometimes under duress of lack of experience/training (including how to use software/tools) and/or inadequate equipment. Considerations of how to provide training and sharing of good practices are likely to be beneficial to some staff.

Lesson learned 5. The increased inequities that are arising from the rapid changes in the academic environment.
Conditions are wide ranging when the workspace is each one’s home. Some are perfectly suited or can be well adjusted, others were never meant to be. Identifying and supporting the staff who need to work from an office outside their home becomes crucial and urgent. Other long-standing inequities have been aggravated during lockdown (see blog Part 4), including but not limited to gender bias, with strong consequences to research.

Lesson learned 6. A fresh management approach is needed to address these emerging inequities.
Providing the specific support that is needed by staff who have been the most negatively affected should be prioritised to reduce inequities. The resulting short and long-term impacts of lockdown on staff productivity, health and wellbeing need to be taken into consideration in appraisals and career progression decisions.

Lesson learned 7. Most are greatly concerned about workloads and work-life balance when lockdown ends (see blog Part 1).
In addition to addressing emerging inequities, there is considerable concern and opposition to a possible ‘return to normal work’, which has been expressed by respondents (and the academic community at large) as working arrangements and demands affecting productivity and the health and wellbeing of staff.

Lesson learned 8. There is a need to improve communication and guidance from managers to staff dealing with students’ requests and concerns, such as programme leaders.
Managing students’ expectations is a major concern for a large proportion of respondents, more so for specific cohorts or programmes.

Lesson learned 9. Many staff are missing the interaction and support from colleagues.
Identifying ways to promote spontaneous interactions 1-2-1 or in small groups is likely to benefit staff.

Lesson learned 10. Staff wish that their experiences inform decisions and help shaping the ‘new normal’ working environment.
A working group with university management, UCU and senior leadership staff could be formed to co-create and shape the ‘new normal’ and the strategies that can be implemented to reduce emerging and long-standing inequalities.