Practitioner research reports available for download!

We are very pleased to showcase five of the PROP practitioner-research reports.  They can be dowloaded, along with copies of knowledge exchange presentations and images of the summary postcards through the individual practitioner profiles on this blog.

Direct links to the reports are available here

Abenet Tsegai and Becky Gamiz’s report “Carer’s assessment and outcomes focused approaches to working with carers

Gabrielle Colston’s report “Perspectives on personal outcomes of early stage support for people with dementia and their carers

Janice Caine’s report “Is music the best medicine? Using prescribed music to enhance quality of life for people with dementia and their carer

Kathy Litteljohn’s report “Assessment at Home pathway: the experiences of service users, carers and staff in South Glasgow during the early stages of implementation – July 2012 to January 2013

Catherine Robertson’s report “Analysis and review of staff training regarding care for older people”:


PROP on the Radio!

Janice Caine gave a lovely interview last night on the BBC programme ‘Get it on with Bryan Burnett‘ as part of the programme’s special for Dementia Awareness Week.

Janice spoke about her research on music therapy for people with dementia.  This research focuses on the use of music to improve the quality of life for both the person with dementia and their carer.  As Janice says, selecting music ‘that fits the person’ is central to the success of kind of support.  Janice’s research was participatory, and so the participants in her research chose the songs that they would like to listen to.  In order for the music therapy to have an impact, the music should be familiar to the person with dementia.  By including carers in this research, Janice was able to support the selection of music that was important to both the carer and the participant in the project.

As Janice says, ‘the beauty of is that it sparks off all over the brain’.  This means that it can provoke memories from 40 and 50 years ago.  Janice talked about the importance of music for linking people to significant periods in their life – first love, marriage, their first house.  At the end of the interview, she selects a song which is important to her own life: Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye‘.  Well done, Janice!



Presentations from the May KE Event!

We had a wonderful knowledge exchange event on May 9th at the University of Edinburgh!

The practitioner-researchers on the PROP project produced powerpoint and prezi presentations to summarize their research.  These are available for download on the biography pages for each individual practitioner. We also recorded their presentations and have made the audio from these recordings available.

Links to these pages and the presentations can be found here:

In preparation for this event, we created a set of postcards which summarize the research findings from these projects.  PDF copies are available for download through the links above.  If you would like hard copies, please drop Catherine-Rose a line at or get in touch with the practitioner-researchers directly.

Upcoming Knowledge Exchange Event – May 9th 2013

We’re looking forward to our next knowledge exchange event on May 9th 2013 at David Hume Tower in the University of Edinburgh.  We’ve arranged the different PROP research projects into three panels:  service review, service improvement and experiences of older people. This event gives us a chance to share the findings from these projects and develop strategies for the use of this research in practice and policy development.

We’re also delighted to share a set of postcards which capture the key findings from each of the projects.  We hope these will be a useful knowledge exchange tool which the practitioners and their organisations can use to prompt discussion of this research.  More details to follow on these!


Lessons Learned from Practitioner-Research

We have written a short briefing note which captures some of our on-going learning about practitioner-research. Its contents are based on evaluations from previous practitioner-research programmes: (1) Engaging with Involuntary Service Users in Social Work project carried out by The University of Edinburgh in 2010, and (2) Older People, User Involvement and Families and Relationships carried out by The University of Edinburgh in 2008.  These evaluation materials from these projects have been summarized by Catherine-Rose Stocks-Rankin, the research fellow on the PROP project.

The material in this brief is indebted to practitioners involved in those projects who gave thoughtful feedback on their experience with the practitioner-research programme.   For more information, please see the related publications and resources at the end of the document, particularly the article ‘A collaborative approach to defining the usefulness of impact’ by Heather Wilkinson, Michael Gallagher and Mark Smith.

PROP’s First KE Event!

We had our first knowledge exchange event on Monday, October 22nd, and by all accounts it was a great success!  The event focused on two key themes: the experience of doing research as a practitioner and the eight research projects which are underway.

The first set of presentations centered on the research process.  The practitioners grounded their perspectives in a variety of images, each of which gives some insight into the opportunities and challenges one faces when undertaking a new piece of research. In addition to the ripple image here, we were shown pictures of an iceberg, a nebula, a mountain climber and the Tardis from Doctor Who!  Each of these suggests the depth and complexity of the research process.

We also had a discussion about the role of research in organisations.  We were particularly interested in how and why research might be used when planning and delivering health and social care to older people. The key themes from this discussion were (1) improving services for older people (2) using resources better and (3) fostering change and development.

After a short break, we joined the practitioners again for a second set of presentations.  This time, the focus was on their rationale for doing research.  We learned about the motivation for doing a piece of research, the opportunities which being a practitioner has brought to the research process and their aspirations for creating improvement in the delivery of health and social care for older people.

A summary of the different practitioner research programmes can be downloaded here.  Further detail on each of the practitioners-researchers can be found on our blog here.  And more information on our knowledge exchange plans can be found here.


Knowledge Exchange Event, October 22nd, 12:30-4:30

Our first knowledge exchange event is scheduled for this coming Monday, October 22nd from 12:30-4:30 at IRISS in Glasgow.  We’re keen to share some of the early insights about practitioner-led inquiry and hope that you can join us for an informal discussion about the eight PROP research projects.

This afternoon session will give you the opportunity to engage with new research, discuss the use of research and evidence in health and social care, and learn new things about practitioner-led inquiry. An overview of the day and map to the venue can be found here.



Action Research!

IRISS has created a really wonderful video on action research in organisations.  The focus is the improvement of public services.  It uses the example of children’s services and focuses on a piece of action research conducted of Cedar (Children experiencing domestic abuse recovery).  I think it’s a useful way to think through some of the challenges and benefits that we might face on the PROP project. For more detail, see the post on IRISS’ website here.