Over 850,000 people living in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with dementia, yet knowledge about this condition amongst the general population remains relatively poor. Many studies have evaluated the level of public knowledge and understanding about dementia from a research and professional service perspective, however none have considered this condition from the perspective of the wider public. In this preliminary overview, we analyse and describe high level narratives collected from 143 respondents to a dementia Directive commissioned to the Mass Observation Project. These narratives present a perspective on the public knowledge and understanding about dementia not previously considered, where respondents have written openly about their own experiences, and reflected on their perception of the wider public’s knowledge and understanding about dementia. This unique perspective importantly enhances our knowledge about the public’s understanding and awareness of dementia, and informs the main areas of public concern found in the analysis: care responsibilities, impact on relationships, and fears about developing dementia.
This research aimed to ascertain the impact of a pragmatic Cognitive Stimulation Therapy course of ten sessions on the cognitive function of people living with dementia and whether attending a concomitant carers support group was beneficial to carers. A mixed method quasi-experimental approach was adopted, data was collected pre and post intervention. The quantitative arm utilised three validated questionnaires rated by the carers. Qualitative data was collected via semi-structured interviews with carers regarding their perceptions of the impact of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and the carers support group Quantitative data analysis found no statistically significant differences within or between groups. The qualitative data demonstrated that carers perceived Cognitive Stimulation Therapy had some benefits for the people living with dementia, especially social benefits. Carers also perceived that attending the carers support group was beneficial for them in terms of gaining a better understanding of dementia, developing coping skills and having peer support. The study was limited in scale and further research with a larger sample, using direct measures of the impact of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy with people living with dementia and supplementary research exploring which characteristic of carers support groups are effective would be worthwhile.
Bhattacharyya, Sarmishtha; Bailey, Jan; Khan, Farooq; Kingston, Paul; Tadros, George (2017-05)
Community Treatment orders (CTO) were introduced in England and Wales during the 2008 reformation of mental health legislation. There is scant research evidence regarding the use of CTOs with older adults (people aged 65 and over).
The aims were to explore old age psychiatrists’ rationale for using CTOs with older adults and its efficacy.
A mixed-method approach with a quantitative questionnaire followed by a series of one-to-one semi-structured interviews was utilised.
About half of respondents had used a CTO with an older adult and more than half reported they would be comfortable using CTOs with older adults. Data showed that CTOs were predominantly used with patients diagnosed with relapsing mental illnesses with few respondents considering its use in people with dementia. There was also evidence that older people were viewed as being compliant with treatment, which may reflect reality or a stereotype of older people.
Evidence suggested that old age psychiatrists perceived CTOs to have limited efficacy with older people, considering other legislation more appropriate to their care. Further research is recommended to explore whether CTOs are appropriate for older adults and whether respondents’ perception of treatment compliance is accurate.
Eost-Telling, Charlotte L; Kingston, Paul; Taylor, Louise; Bailey, Jan (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-11-08)
Abstract The Mass Observation Project, established in 1937, documents the lives of ordinary people living in the UK, and explores a wide range of social issues. The Project distributes a set of written questions (“Directives”) to a panel of 500 members of the British public (“Observers”) three times each year; “Observers” respond in writing. From the initial commissioning of a “Directive” to data becoming available for analysis takes between four to six months. This approach offers researchers an opportunity to capture in-depth qualitative data from individuals with a range of demographic backgrounds who live across the UK. As there are no word limits on “Observers’” responses and they remain anonymous, a “Directive” often yields rich, high-quality data. Additionally, compared with alternative methods of collecting large volumes of qualitative data from a heterogeneous population, commissioning a “Directive” is cost-effective in terms of time and resource.
Bailey, Jan; Kingston, Paul; Taylor, Louise; Eost-Telling, Louise (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-11-08)
Abstract This presentation will offer new and alternate insights into ‘scams’ and the health effects of fraud on older people. It reports data captured from a Mass Observation Project “Directive” focusing on scams and their impact on individuals. Eighty “Observers’” aged 50 and over responded to the “Directive”. Responses indicate that falling victim to a scam may have negative impacts on individuals’ mental wellbeing, self-esteem and relationships with others. Data analysis also identified that fear of victimisation can also affect individuals, resulting in worry, anxiety and maladaptive coping strategies. Offering a sociology of health perspective, we will focus is on these health impacts of scams and the legitimisation of the issue as a socio-political problem. We will also highlight additional important areas for consideration, such as the absence of a common understanding of the concept and nomenclature of ‘scam’, and the ‘vagaries of scams’ by presenting a typology of scams.
Taylor, Louise; Bailey, Jan; Kingston, Paul; Eost-Telling, Charlotte (2019-11-08)
AbstractThis presentation reflects on self-written narratives from respondents to a mass observation directive, focusing on the experiences of growing older. Narrative methods are theoretically and methodologically diverse, and are helpful in social research to understand events or happenings in human lives. This data presents accounts from a heterogeneous sample in the form of self-penned responses. These experience-centred narratives bring stories of personal understanding into being by means of the first person description of past, present, future or imaginary experiences. This presentation will focus on the findings with reference to physical and mental impacts, both real and anticipated. We will also explore themes arising from the data including gender differences, age-cohort effects and stigma. The data can be used to inform Health and Social Care education and practice, particularly in co-producing appropriate person-centred services with older people.
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