Wendy is a Lecturer in Older Adult Care within the School of Health Sciences. Since qualifying in 1991 Wendy has worked in a variety of posts working mainly with older people - in particular dementia care. Her research interests include dementia, education, simulation and older person care.
I am currently undertaking a PhD as part of a collaborative project with the University of Brighton Medical School and Alzheimer’s Society – Time for Dementia project.
My research interests have two main areas care of older adults and dementia. Specifically I'm interested in:
- Supporting people with dementia and their carers
- Long Term conditions
- Service user involvement in education
- Development of educational podcasts.
I am also an active member of the Healthy Ageing and Supporting Long-term Conditions Research Theme.
I teach across a range of pre-registration and CPD modules.
I am also a dissertation supervision for the Research for Professional Practice module and a personal tutor for adult nursing students.
Background Internationally there are too few suitably skilled registered nurses to meet the demands for dementia care. Research has established low preferences in undergraduate nursing students for working with older people. However, there is limited research on preferences for dementia care. Understanding career preferences is one component of ensuring future workforce capacity. Objective To assess student nurses' preferences during undergraduate training in relation to working with people with dementia. Methods Data from a longitudinal survey collected at two UK universities were analysed (n = 488). Measures included career preferences, demographics, participation in a dementia educational intervention, and measures of attitude, knowledge, and empathy to dementia. Open text responses were also included to explore the students' reasons for their preferences. Results The preference for working with older people and people with dementia was low and decreased during training. A linear regression analysis supports a strong relationship of preferences with attitudes to dementia. Content analysis of students' reasons for their preferences found that perceived difficulty and lack of confidence contributes to the negative evaluation of working with people with dementia. Conclusion Undergraduate nursing education needs to continue to review its contribution to preparing the dementia workforce and act to support positive attitudes to working with people with dementia across nursing specialties.
Background: Net survival rates for cancer are increasing worldwide, placing a strain on health service provision. There is a drive to transfer care of cancer survivors - individuals living with and beyond cancer - to the community and encourage them to play an active role in their own care. Telehealth, the use of technology in remote exchange of data and communication between patients and healthcare professionals, is an important contributor to this evolving model of care and may offer additional benefits to cancer survivors. Telehealth is a complex intervention and understanding patient experiences of it is important in evaluating its impact. However, a wider view of patient experience is lacking as qualitative studies detailing cancer survivor engagement with telehealth have yet to be synthesised. Objective: Systematically identify, appraise and synthesise qualitative research evidence on the experiences of adult cancer survivors participating in telehealth intervention(s), to characterise the patient experience of telehealth interventions for this group. Methods: Medline (PubMed), PsychINFO, CINAHL (Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health Professionals), Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trial were searched on 14th August 2015 and 8th March 2016 for English-language papers published between 2006 and 2016. Inclusion criteria were: adult cancer survivors aged 18 and over; cancer diagnosis; experience of participating in a telehealth intervention (defined as remote communication and/or remote monitoring with a healthcare professional(s) delivered by telephone, internet, or hand-held/mobile technology); reporting qualitative data including verbatim quotes. An adapted Critical Appraisal Skill Programme (CASP) Checklist for Qualitative Research was used to assess paper quality. The results section of each included article was coded line by line and all papers underwent inductive analysis, involving comparison, re-examination and grouping of codes to develop descriptive themes. Analytical themes were developed through an iterative process of reflection on, and interpretation of, the descriptive themes within and across studies. Results: 22 papers were included. Three analytical themes emerged, each with three descriptive subthemes: 1. Influence of telehealth on the disrupted lives of cancer survivors a. Convenience b. Independence c. Burden 2. Personalised care in a virtual world a. Time b. Space c. The human factor 3. Remote reassurance – a safety net of healthcare professional connection a. Active connection b. Passive connection c. Slipping through the net Telehealth interventions represent a convenient approach which can potentially minimise treatment burden and disruption to cancer survivors’ lives. Telehealth interventions can facilitate an experience of personalised care and reassurance for those living with and beyond cancer, but it is important to consider individual factors when tailoring interventions to ensure engagement promotes benefit rather than burden. Conclusions: Telehealth interventions can provide cancer survivors with both independence and reassurance; both important for everyday life or wellbeing. Future telehealth interventions need to be developed iteratively and in collaboration with a broad range of cancer survivors to maximise engagement and benefit.
This paper describes an innovative undergraduate educational initiative called the Time for Dementia programme. It was developed to improve the knowledge, attitudes and skills in dementia among healthcare students. Time for Dementia involves pairs of healthcare students (medical, paramedic, adult and mental health nursing, and allied health professionals) visiting a person with dementia and their carer in their homes over a period of 2 years. The aim of the programme is to enable students to learn with people with dementia and their carers—recognising that people with dementia have unique expertise derived from their experiences. Their personal narratives offer students a unique insight into the subjective experiences of dementia.
Background: With life expectancy continuing to rise in the United Kingdom there is an increasing public health focus on the maintenance of physical independence among all older adults. Identifying interventions that improve physical outcomes in pre-frail and frail older adults is imperative. Methods: A systematic review of the literature 2000 to 2017 following PRISMA guidelines and registered with PROSPERO (no. CRD42016045325). Results: Ten RCT trials fulfilled selection criteria and quality appraisal. The study quality was moderate to good. Interventions included physical activity; nutrition, physical activity combined with nutrition. Interventions that incorporated one or more physical activity components significantly improved physical outcomes in pre-frail and/or frail older adults. Conclusions: Physical activity interventions are key to maintaining independence in pre-frail and frail older adults. A lack of consensus regarding the definition of frailty, and an absence of core measures to assess this means any attempt to create an optimal intervention will be impeded. This absence may ultimately impact on the ability of older and frail adults to live well and for longer in the community.
Objectives Traditional healthcare education, delivered through a series of time-limited clinical placements, often fails to deliver an understanding of the experiences of those with long-term conditions, a growing issue for healthcare systems. Responses include longitudinal integrated clerkships and senior mentor programmes allowing students' longer placements, continuity of contact and opportunities to learn about chronic illness and patient experience. We review their development and delivery in dementia and present the Time for Dementia (TFD) Programme, a novel 2-year interdisciplinary educational programme. Design The study design involves a scoping review of enhanced placements in dementia for healthcare professionals in training including longitudinal integrated clerkships and senior mentor programmes and a case study of the development of TFD and its evaluation. Results Eight enhanced programmes in dementia were identified and seven in the USA. None were compulsory and all lasted 12 months. All reported positive impact from case study designs but data quality was weak. Building on these, TFD was developed in partnership between the Alzheimer's Society, universities and NHS and made a core part of the curriculum for medical, nursing and paramedic students. Students visit a person with dementia and their family in pairs for 2 h every 3 months for 2 years. They follow a semi-structured interaction guide focusing on experiences of illness and services and complete reflective appraisals. Conclusions We need interprofessional undergraduate healthcare education that enables future healthcare professionals to be able to understand and manage the people with the long-term conditions who current systems often fail. TFD is designed to help address this need.