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!
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.
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.
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.
We have now set the date for our first knowledge change event in the PROP project – October 22, 2012. This is an afternoon event running from approximately 13:00-16:00. It will be hosted at IRISS in Glasgow. More detail to follow shortly.
In the meantime, please check out our overview of the Knowledge Exchange activities which we carry out over the course of this project here.