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Friday, October 21, 2016

Knowing you’re not alone: Understanding peer support for stroke survivors

Stroke Association Voluntary Groups (SAVGs) are volunteer-led, peer support groups based in local communities across the UK. The Nuffield Trust was commissioned by the Stroke Association to independently evaluate the impact of the groups. This document describes the evaluation which drew on the experiences and views of stroke survivors and carers from local groups as well as Stroke Association staff and volunteers. The study included a questionnaire of stroke survivors and carers which captured self-reported measures of health and wellbeing, as well as interviews and focus groups with stroke survivors, carers, staff and volunteers.

The study results, as well as a summary, are available from the following link:

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Who knows best? Older people’s contribution to understanding and preventing avoidable hospital admissions

The pressures on acute care resources are high, particularly with unplanned hospital admissions of people aged over 65. Questions, such as whether they need to be here, or are there other places more suitable for them to go, are often asked. Until now, studies seeking to address these questions have relied largely on retrospective accounts by health professionals with little attention to the views of older people themselves and have focused more on the problems of emergency admissions rather than looking at possible practical solutions.

A new study by the Health Services Management Centre and Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Birmingham has addressed these issues from a different perspective. Older people were interviewed and asked about their experiences of emergency admissions. The research focused on whether older people felt it was appropriate to be admitted to hospitals and if they thought anything could have prevented their admission.

The findings of this study confirm the belief that older people have an important role to play in helping understand the nature of emergency room admissions and devising appropriate responses to their rising numbers. Ignoring this expertise could undermine our efforts to ensure that older people are getting the appropriate care they need.
Following the study, a document outlining key themes and tips for good practice was produced, as well as a video summarising the key findings and highlighting the implications for practice.

Study link:
Key themes document link:
Video link:

Friday, September 30, 2016

Dementia: A Scoping Review of AHP Interventions for People Living with Dementia

This report contains the findings from a scoping review undertaken to provide an overview of research into the effectiveness of interventions delivered by allied health professions for people with dementia, their families and carers. The work was produced to support Scotland’s National Strategy.

The review is divided into sections, each dealing with a specific topic. Each topic includes:
  1. Definitions of the topic
  2. A summary of available systematic reviews
  3. Details of the evidence identified
  4. Conclusion explaining the nature and quality of the evidence
  5. Summary information for relevant studies
This resource can be accessed here:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Crane Library Web Pick of the Week: Young Carers Program

The Young Carers Project in partnership with the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP), engaged in a joint research/knowledge translation project to:
  1. Identify the needs of young carers in our community
  2. Create resources that will help them meet their needs and manage in their roles
  3. Help community agencies understand how they can better support young carers
In 2015, The Young Carers Project launched three new research-based resources created by young carers and distributed to other young carers to help them better cope with their situations, including Support Matters - a By Us For Us guide, a short documentary film and website.

This resource can be accessed here:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

GPS Locator Devices for People with Dementia

From CADTH, an independent not-for-profit organization responsible for providing health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of health technologies, this document provides evidence-based information on the technology, regulatory status, benefits, current developments and implementation issues associated with GPS locator devices.

Locator devices use GPS (global positioning system) that can help to promote safe walking by alerting caregivers when a person with dementia wanders outside of a designated area, and provide geographic coordinates of that person so they can be found more easily. However, locator devices are a form of surveillance and using them raises ethical and legal issues. People with dementia and their caregivers believe the potential benefits such as time and costs saved in search and rescue operations, and an increase in independence, autonomy and freedom may outweigh potential harms.

This resource can be accessed here:

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Music and Memory™ at Misericordia Health Centre

This document is intended to introduce interested long-term care workers and program managers to the role of music in dementia care, in particular individualized music and the Music and Memory™ program. It describes Music and Memory™ implementation at Misericordia Health Centre, the development of an Observational Checklist designed to capture resident responses to music and the research project we designed to test the Checklist. The document also includes:
  • A brief literature review on music and dementia
  • Resources and information on the Music and Memory™ program
  • Music and Memory™ implementation at MHC
  • Discussion of the issue of capacity to consent
  • An analysis of interviews to evaluate the Observational Checklist
This resource can be accessed here:

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Helping you to assess cognition: A practical toolkit for clinicians

This document from the Alzheimer’s Society (England) is endorsed by NHS England, the Dementia Action Alliance, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the College of Mental Health Pharmacy.

It is a toolkit that offers practical advice for clinicians about a choice of cognitive tests which can be used to assess cognition in clinical settings. All of the suggested tests are available free of charge. You can find copies of each test in this toolkit, along with links to their source.

The toolkit is divided into four guidelines, providing advice for each clinical setting, including:
  • Cognitive assessment in primary care
  • Cognitive assessment in memory clinics
  • Cognitive assessment in acute care settings
  • Cognitive assessment in care homes
Assessment tools are recommended for each setting, based on expert panel advice, and feasibility.
This resource can be accessed here: