black binocular on round device

Sometimes, it’s not until you give yourself the space to look back that you realise how much has been happening in the space you are in. In week one of #ESTturns10, we thought we’d reflect on the work, and the people with whom we have been involved with, that has focussed on the topic of older adults.

On Monday we doffed our hats to 2 talented PenCLAHRC PhD students Lou Mole and Ross Watkins who we were fortunate enough to work with in this area. They have done some incredible work around mealtimes for older adults in care homes and nutritional care those living with dementia in their own home. Their research outputs can be found at the bottom of this blog. In a blog post Ross talked about his experience of working with us. Nutrition in care homes has been a long standing interest for us, having been identified as an issue and prioritised for study through the PenCLAHRC research priotisation process.  If you are interested to find out more, all the papers are listed at the end of this blog.

On Tuesday we talked pets: both living and robotic! Our systematic review of robopets for older adults in care homes hit the media by storm back in April: everyone wanted to know how a robotic animal could be of any help to older adults. What we found is that they can help reduce loneliness and agitation but they are not for everyone, and they are certainly not there to replace human contact and connection. And we also gave out a sneak preview of our exciting new board game Pet Purrsuit – a game to help those working in care homes understand the benefits and challenges to pet therapy – both those visiting homes and those belonging to the home. 

Wednesday was all about nature and the benefits it can bring, highlighting our work around the value of gardens for care home residents living with dementia and the value of indoor nature. We have worked with some wonderful people in this area, Ruth Garside and Wendy Brewin to name two. Wendy took time to talk about the work we’ve done together in this blog post.

On Thursday we did a shout out to Vicki Goodwin. The EST and Vicki have had a strong collaboration over the years and her work around falls and rehabilitation is widely recognised. Vicki wears many hats at Exeter… and also been seen to sport a variety of awesome shoes!

Finally on Friday we drew together our work around dementia, focussing firstly on the gorgeous Ilianna Lourida and the research she has led in her time at Exeter. Ilianna left the EST in October 2019 to take up a new research post at the University of Newcastle and we wish her all the best. We also highlighted the breadth of other work we have done in the area of dementia care. Our research outputs can be found below.

Whilst we have been able to showcase some of our fabulous colleagues, and tag others on twitter in the process, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those we have been fortunate enough to work with over the 10 years in the area of older adults. It is still a current area of interest to us and we have many ongoing projects in this area and ideas for lots more… so watch this space!


Research outputs

Monday (PhDs and Nutrition)

Mole L, Kent B, Hickson M, Abbott R. ‘It’s what you do that makes a difference’ An interpretative phenomenological analysis of health care professionals and home care workers experiences of nutritional care for people living with dementia at home. BMC Geriatrics. 2019 Sep 10;19(1):250. doi: 10.1186/s12877-019-1270-4.

Mole L, Hickson M, Kent B, Abbott R. Family carers’ experiences of nutritional care for people living with dementia at home: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Dementia (London). 2019 Sep 5:1471301219872032. doi: 10.1177/1471301219872032.

Watkins R, Goodwin VA, Abbott RA, Tarrant M. Eating well in care homes: Testing the feasibility of a staff training programme aimed at improving social interaction and choice at mealtimes. Int J Older People Nurs. 2019 Sep;14(3):e12247. doi: 10.1111/opn.12247

Mole L, Kent B, Abbott R, et al. The nutritional care of people living with dementia at home: A scoping review. Health and Social Care in the Community 2018;26(4):e485-e96. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12540

Watkins R, Goodwin VA, Abbott RA, Hall A, Tarrant M. Exploring residents’ experiences of mealtimes in care homes: A qualitative interview study. BMC Geriatr. 2017 Jul 11;17(1):141. doi: 10.1186/s12877-017-0540-2.

Watkins R, Goodwin VA, Abbott RA, et al. Attitudes, perceptions and experiences of mealtimes among residents and staff in care homes for older adults: A systematic review of the qualitative literature. Geriatric Nursing 2017;38(4):325-33. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2016.12.002

Whear R, Abbott R, Thompson-Coon J, et al. Effectiveness of Mealtime Interventions on Behavior Symptoms of People With Dementia Living in Care Homes: A Systematic Review. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2014;15(3):185-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2013.10.016

Abbott RA, Whear R, Thompson-Coon J, et al. Effectiveness of mealtime interventions on nutritional outcomes for the elderly living in residential care: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ageing Research Reviews 2013;12(4):967-81. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2013.06.002

Tuesday (pets)

Abbott R, Orr N, McGill P, et al. How do “robopets” impact the health and well-being of residents in care homes? A systematic review of qualitative and quantitative evidence. International Journal of Older People Nursing 2019;14(3) doi: 10.1111/opn.12239

Wednesday (nature)

Yeo NL, Elliott LR, Bethel A, White MP, Dean SG, Garside R. Indoor Nature Interventions for Health and Wellbeing of Older Adults in Residential Settings: A Systematic Review. Gerontologist. 2019 Mar 18. pii: gnz019. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnz019

Orr N, Wagstaffe A, Briscoe S, Garside R. How do older people describe their sensory experiences of the natural world? A systematic review of the qualitative evidence. BMC Geriatr. 2016 Jun 1;16:116. doi: 10.1186/s12877-016-0288-0. Review

Whear R, Coon JT, Bethel A, et al. What Is the Impact of Using Outdoor Spaces Such as Gardens on the Physical and Mental Well-Being of Those With Dementia? A Systematic Review of Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2014;15(10):697-705. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2014.05.013


Goodwin VA, Hall AJ, Rogers E, et al. Orthotics and taping in the management of vertebral fractures in people with osteoporosis: A systematic review. BMJ Open 2016;6(5) doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010657

Goodwin VA, Abbott RA, Whear R, et al. Multiple component interventions for preventing falls and fall-related injuries among older people: Systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Geriatrics 2014;14(1) doi: 10.1186/1471-2318-14-15

Goodwin V, Jones-Hughes T, Thompson-Coon J, et al. Implementing the evidence for preventing falls among community-dwelling older people: A systematic review. Journal of Safety Research 2011;42(6):443-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2011.07.008

Friday (dementia)

Webster L, Groskreutz D, Grinbergs-Saull A, et al. Core outcome measures for interventions to prevent or slow the progress of dementia for people living with mild to moderate dementia: Systematic review and consensus recommendations. PLoS ONE 2017;12(6) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179521

Webster L, Groskreutz D, Grinbergs-Saull A, et al. Development of a core outcome set for disease modification trials in mild to moderate dementia: A systematic review, patient and public consultation and consensus recommendations. Health Technology Assessment 2017;21(26) doi: 10.3310/hta21260

Thompson Coon J, Abbott R, Rogers M, et al. Interventions to Reduce Inappropriate Prescribing of Antipsychotic Medications in People With Dementia Resident in Care Homes: A Systematic Review. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2014;15(10):706-18. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2014.06.012

Lourida I, Thompson-Coon J, Dickens CM, et al. Parathyroid hormone, cognitive function and dementia: A systematic review. PLoS ONE 2015;10(5) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127574

Lourida I, Soni M, Thompson-Coon J, et al. Mediterranean diet, cognitive function, and dementia: A systematic review. Epidemiology 2013;24(4):479-89. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3182944410

Lourida I, Abbott RA, Rogers M, et al. Dissemination and implementation research in dementia care: A systematic scoping review and evidence map. BMC Geriatrics 2017;17(1) doi: 10.1186/s12877-017-0528-y

Kuźma E, Hannon E, Zhou A, et al. Which Risk Factors Causally Influence Dementia? A Systematic Review of Mendelian Randomization Studies. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2018;64(1):181-93. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180013

Kuźma E, Airdrie J, Littlejohns TJ, et al. Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery and Dementia Risk in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders 2017;31(2):120-27. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000191

Clare L, Teale JC, Toms G, et al. Cognitive rehabilitation, self-management, psychotherapeutic and caregiver support interventions in progressive neurodegenerative conditions: A scoping review. NeuroRehabilitation 2019;43(4):443-71. doi: 10.3233/NRE-172353