Current Research Projects:
Care and Connect Project
Social Work Department/Age-Related Healthcare Unit, Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin, Incorporating the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght, and the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin.
The Care and Connect Project aims to carry out exploratory research which examines the participation levels of patients within Care Planning meetings in a hospital setting. The Care and Connect Project is an innovative academic, practice partnership which was established in October 2007. It is a joint initiative between Tallaght Hospital and the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. Its aim is to promote best practices in person-centred care planning for older people and to promote partnership in decision-making between older people, families and healthcare professionals, and to gain a deeper understanding of this process.
Objectives of the Project
- To describe, in rich detail, the Care Planning meetings process
- To explore the purpose of Care Planning meetings and their usefulness in a hospital setting
- To identify ways to optimise the participation levels of patients within Care Planning meetings
- Using an action research cycle, develop a framework which will recommend ways of improving practice, which may lead to greater patient participation. The research will focus on stroke patients with a cognitive impairment which has reduced their ability to participate due to cognitive/communication difficulties.
- Develop and implement a training programme in consultation with the multi-disciplinary team and assess whether it has improved participation levels of cognitively impaired patients who have suffered a stroke within Care Planning meetings.
This study sets out to observe and describe, in rich detail, the communication, language and behaviours of older patients, their familly members and members of the multi-disciplinary team within family meetings in a hospital setting.
The study design will incorporate a three-stage action research cycle which will be used to develop a framework which will recommend ways of improving practice as a consequence of systematic critical enquiry through partnership in working with the multi-disciplinary team as 'co-researchers.'
Cycle I included a convenience sample of ten family meetings with inpatients of the Department of Geriatric Medicine. Cycle II inlcuded a convenience sample of ten family meetings with inpatients under the care of the stroke service who were assessed as having a cognitive/communication difficulty. A mixed method study design was adopted which included participant observations of family meetings, questionnaires and staff focus groups. Cycle III consists of the development and implementation of an Education and Training Programme in conjunction with the multi-disciplinary team.
Please contact Sarah Donnelly, Research Social Worker/PhD Student
Tel: (01) 414 2462
The Adelaide Meath and National Children’s Hospital is a teaching hospital with a tradition of facilitating student placements. The Social Work Department offers practice placements to students from Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin primarily. The social work students are at Degree and Masters level and complete 14 week placements. Students from University College Cork and Robert Gordon University Aberdeen have also completed placements with us. In addition we provided a transition placement to a Polish social worker who required validation of her qualification. The Social Work Department will continue to work with the Schools of Social Work in Trinity College and UCD in supporting the training and development of their students.