The Career Development Fellowship has been a career-changing experience. It not only provides you with funding to lead a multidisciplinary team to conduct a research project of importance, but the opportunity to undertake a training and development programme. This has enabled me to further develop my skills and expertise in clinical trial research methods so that I can undertake larger, more complex studies, and therefore go on to produce much higher quality work with greater impact.
The new fellowship that I will start in January 2019 is a Clinical Trials Fellowship. These are designed to provide further advanced research methods training in clinical trials. They provide hands-on experience with several trials at different phases of progression and are to be based in a clinical trials unit. For me, I will be based at PRIMENT, the Clinical Trials Unit at UCL with expertise in trials conducted in primary care and to do with mental health, including my area of dementia. This will help consolidate the experience I have gained so far and training from completing an MSc in Clinical Trials, with further hands-on experience in dementia trials at a leading trials unit.
I can highly recommend NIHR fellowships and happy to discuss them with colleagues interested in applying for one.
Over the past year, Dr Ben Hicks and Dr Shanti Shanker have been running a range of public outreach seminars, funded by the British Psychological Society, to explore identity and raise awareness of issues related to the brain and neuropsychology. Part of this work included a series of graffiti workshops for people living with dementia both in the community as well as an Assisted Living Facility in Brighton. These workshops sought to use this art form as a means to engage people with dementia and explore their sense of ‘self,’ whilst also providing them with an opportunity to participate in new, meaningful activities and continue their life-long learning.
As part of the project this work was filmed and the final piece is now available for public dissemination. If you are interested in the work, please take a look at the video below, which details the 2-day graffiti workshop at the Assisted Living Facility, Brooke Mead in Brighton. The graffiti workshops were delivered by Angela El-Zeind from GraffInc. and the video was produced by James Skinner from Skinner Productions.
On the 13th July 2018, the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) hosted a free half-day workshop for dementia practitioners and academics interested in understanding how digital gaming technology can be used to support the well-being of people with dementia and their care partners.
The event was attended by people from a range of professional backgrounds including care home staff, day centre Activity Coordinators, community volunteers, researchers and local Government. The morning session provided them with the opportunity to listen to presentations from:
Dr Ben Hicks (ADRC and Psychology) on the Erasmus+ funded ‘AD-Gaming platform’ that promotes the use of Serious Games for people with dementia as well as the HEIF funded ‘Game Plan’ platform that supports practitioners to use off-the-shelf gaming technology with people with dementia and exchange knowledge on best practice through a Virtual Café.
Dr Phil Joddrell (CATCH, Sheffield University) on the AcTo Dementia website that provides a list of iPad applications accessible for people with dementia, each of which have been tested using an evidence-based framework.
Laura Wade (BU Nursing student) on the use of a Virtual Application, ‘A Walk Through Dementia’ that places users in the position of someone living with dementia; thereby providing them with a more humanistic understanding of what it might feel like to live with the condition.
During the afternoon session, the attendees were provided with a more ‘hands-on’ opportunity to use the applications and talk to the researchers in more detail about how the technology could be incorporated within their practice. These sessions were facilitated by Bournemouth University students Amy Dytham, Amy-Jane Pegler and Olivia Bryant who have been involved as Research Assistants in a number of the projects.
The event provoked some interesting questions and seemed to raise awareness of how technology can be used in the future care of people with dementia; both in providing those living with the condition with better opportunities for meaningful leisure activities and those supporting them with a more informed understanding of what it may be like to live with a dementia. The event also provided a great networking opportunity for the attendees, and discussions regarding future collaborations are already underway.
For more information on the event or for a copy of the presentations that were delivered on the day please contact Ben Hicks on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Hicks discussing the HEIF funded Game Plan project
Laura Wade discussing A Walk Through Dementia
Phil Joddrell discussing the development of the AcTo Dementia website
Amy Dytham leading a training session on the AD-Gaming platform
Yolanda Barrado-Martín from the Psychology Department and Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) attended the 47th edition of the British Society of Gerontology in Manchester (UK) from 3rd July to 6th July 2018.
International researchers from different disciplines gathered in Manchester to learn about projects under the theme “Ageing in an Unequal World: Shaping Environments fro the 21st Century”. This was a very well attended conference (with a waiting list), with up to 17 parallel sessions. Dementia had a relevant space in this conference with different sessions highlighting the use of diverse interventions to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and those providing support such as facilitating decision making processes, exploring environmental adaptations and supporting home-care for those willing to stay at home.
Yolanda Barrado-Martín had an oral presentation entitled: “How is Tai Chi received by people living with dementia and their informal carers?” Those attending the session showed their interest in the topic and asked questions about people living with moderate dementia’s involvement in the classes and about the Ransomised Controlled Trial Phase of the study. This was a great experience for Yolanda who presented her PhD pilot results to a friendly international audience.
The ADRC’s work was also represented by Dr Michele Board who gave a presentation on “Evaluating the impact of the Virtual Reality app ‘A Walk Through Dementia’, and Mananya Podee who discussed leisure activity, arts and social inclusion for those with dementia.
Participation in the BSG conference was a valued addition in knowledge regarding psycho-social interventions for people living with dementia and a great opportunity to network with researchers from the gerontology background. Yolanda’s attendance to this conference was possible thanks to one of the Santander Mobility Awards.
British Society of Gerontology 47th Annual Conference – Ageing in an Unequal World: Shaping Environments for the 21st Century.
Dr Samuel Nyman and Yolanda Barrado-Martín from the Psychology Department and Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) attended the 4th EU Falls Festival in Manchester on 2nd and 3rd July 2018.
International researchers met in Manchester to learn about current projects under the theme, “New Solutions to Old Problems: Ensuring sustainability of falls prevention interventions”. Yolanda Barrado-Martín presented a poster entitled: “How is Tai Chi received by people living with dementia and their informal carers?” Attendants showed interest in the poster over the two day conference and voted Yolanda´s as the second best poster of the conference!
This year’s conference included sessions around Cochrane Updates on falls preventions, the use of new technologies to prevent falls, epidemiology and the implementation of research into practice. This year there was also a space for specific conditions such as dementia and the use of “qigong” to improve balance and prevent falls amongst older adults, which made this conference particularly relevant for the TACIT Team.
You can learn more and keep updated about the TACIT Trial via the following links:
After completing the second year of my Biological Sciences course I wished to gain some formal research experience so I applied to be a Student Research Assistant with the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre at Bournemouth University. Understanding the significance of dementia related problems, I was excited and proud to get involved with research on such a problematic and widespread condition, and to work alongside Professor Jane Murphy.
The project aim was to evaluate the impact and use of a learning resource and training video produced by the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre. I was provided with a well-structured plan for my 4-week project. Principally, this involved collating data from a questionnaire regarding the resource’s usefulness, analysing the results using qualitative methods, and producing a report of the results.
I got stuck in quickly and within hours I had already mastered aspects of Excel and Word I had never used previously. As the work began to develop momentum, data analysis became the next task to be executed. My course has always prioritised quantitative data analysis due to the nature of data usually obtained, and I had no prior experience working with qualitative data. By the end of the third week I had delved into various approaches in the field of qualitative research, and had conducted a thematic analysis of over 400 questionnaire answers.
Prior to this experience, the research process was alien to me. However now I have knowledge of the different stages involved and the fundamental organisational skills required, which has really helped me plan and develop ideas for the independent research project in my final year. I have really enjoyed the project and have developed incredibly useful skills as well as learning about nutritional care for people who have dementia.
Over the last 3 years, Prof Jane Murphy from Faculty of Health & Social Sciences and The Ageing and Dementia Research Centre has been working with The Nutrition in Older people Programme team at the Wessex Academic Health Science Network as Clinical Lead. The team has been shortlisted in the ‘ Community Nutrition Professionals of the Year’ category for the Complete Nutrition awards in the Community Nutrition Professional of the Year category that recognises their contribution to support nutritional developments in the community.
Please click on below for further details and would be great if you can add your vote!
Just select Wessex Academic Health Science Network – Nutrition in Older People Programme Team ‘ Community Nutrition Professional of the Year’ and any other categories to suit.
On the 10th April 2018, Dr Ben Hicks (Psychology Lecturer and ADRC) presented on the graffiti work that was undertaken at the Brooke Mead assisted living facility in Brighton. The event was used to mark the opening of Brooke Mead, a facility with 45 self-contained flats for people with dementia and their care partners, and was attended by the Brighton Mayor and local councillors.
Over the past month, as part of a British Psychological Society funded project, Ben has worked with Dr Shanti Shanker (Psychology Lecturer), Angela El-Zeind (Graffiti Artist) and James Skinner (documentary film maker) to deliver a series of graffiti workshops to residents of Brooke Mead who are living with dementia. The workshops focussed on exploring participants’ sense of ‘self’ and identity since the on-set of dementia and their transition into a new environment. As part of this, they were encouraged to ‘get creative’ by crafting their own stencils, developing their own ‘tag’ (a symbol that is personal to them) and expressing their message on a canvass board using spray cans. A short film documenting the workshops was created as part of the project and was premiered at the opening alongside the residents’ art work.
The art work was warmly received by those attending the event, and informal discussions highlighted the potential that graffiti has for providing a creative platform whereby people with dementia can challenge negative public perceptions of their capabilities. As Brooke Mead continues to fill its rooms with local Brighton residents, they are keen for further graffiti workshops to take place. Boosted by these positive findings, the researchers will use this preliminary data alongside the short film to seek funding for a more substantial project that will examine how graffiti arts can be used as a medium to support identity and social inclusion in people with dementia.
NIHR Career Development Fellow, Dr Samuel Nyman (Dept. Psychology and Ageing & Dementia Research Centre), is the lead editor of a newly published Handbook.
It is published as an eBook and hardback (https://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319712901), and a copy will be available in the BU library in the near future.
A summary of the book is below:
The Palgrave Handbook of Ageing and Physical Activity Promotion
Presents an ambitious, highly original and very timely addition to the social gerontology canon
Offers a broad expertise across social science and health science, with a strong mix of senior scholars and early career academics
Discusses critically the global issue of an ageing population
The ageing of our population is a key societal issue across the globe. Although people are living longer, they need to be living longer in good health to continue to enjoy quality of life and independence and to prevent rises in health and social care costs. This timely and groundbreaking volume will provide an up-to-date overview of the factors that promote physical activity in later life. Despite advances in the fields of gerontology and geriatrics, sports and exercise science, sociology, health psychology, and public health, knowledge is largely contained within disciplines as reflected in the current provision of academic texts on this subject. To truly address the present and substantial societal challenges of population ageing, a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach is required. This handbook will inform researchers, students, and practitioners on the current evidence base for what physical activities need to be promoted among older people and how they can be implemented to maximise engagement. This handbook will be an invaluable resource for researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and students across the social sciences.
On the 11th April Dr Andrea Padilla-Munoz from the University of Rosario, Bogota, Colombia will be visiting Bournemouth University. Andrea is a qualified lawyer and academic with an interest in ageing, human rights, disability and inclusion.
During her visit, she is keen to meet with other BU academics to explore potential future collaborations. To support this, I will be hosting a workshop on the 11th April in the Fusion Building, F111 from 11am-1pm, where Andrea will provide an overview of her research. There will also be time to discuss future research ideas with her over tea and coffee.
If you are interested in attending please let me know, so I have an idea of numbers and can book refreshments accordingly. Alternatively, if you are unable to make the workshop but would like to meet with Andrea, let me know and we can arrange something.
Jane Murphy from the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) was invited to join the ‘Fifth Annual Wessex Clinical Research Network Ageing Research Meeting’ on 13th September 2017 at Royal Bournemouth Hospital. There were a wide range of interesting and insightful presentations by clinicians of mostly NIHR funded research in ageing including frailty, dementia and neurodegenerative disorders and stroke. The Specialty National Lead for Ageing, and Lead for Ageing and Dementia Theme NIHR CLAHRC Professor Helen Roberts chaired the morning session followed by Dr Divya Tiwari, Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex Ageing Specialty Lead who chaired the afternoon session.
Martine Cross, The Research Delivery Manager for Ageing at the Wessex CRN presented a key update on projects and plans. Please note that Martine will be coming to BU and for academics with an interest in ageing research and considering applying to NIHR, it would present an ideal opportunity to meet Martine and know more about the Wessex CRN and discuss your plans.
For expressions of interest to join the meeting, please email Michelle O’Brien, ADRC administrator (email@example.com) and we will send further details.
We cordially invite staff and students with an interest in ageing and/or dementia research to join us at our monthly Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) research meetings. The meetings provide an opportunity for those with related research interests to network and hear about the wealth of research in this area across BU.
We kick off our first ADRC Research Meeting on 9th May 2017 from 11-12.30 (S218, Studland House, Lansdowne Campus) with our theme leaders providing an overview of our three research themes:
Ageing and Dementia Friendly Environments – Prof Jan Wiener