Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    'I know they are not trained in dementia': Addressing the need for specialist dementia training for home care workers
    Polacsek, M ; Goh, A ; Malta, S ; Hallam, B ; Gahan, L ; Cooper, C ; Low, L-F ; Livingston, G ; Panayiotou, A ; Loi, S ; Omoro, M ; Savvas, S ; Batchelor, F ; Ames, D ; Doyle, C ; Scherer, S ; Dow, B (WILEY, 2019-10-23)
    Global population ageing has meant a rapid increase in the numbers of older people with dementia, most of whom live in their own homes. Staying at home is an important determinant of health and well-being. As care needs increase, the quality of community support which older people receive directly influences their capacity to remain in their own homes. While many are supported informally by family carers, formal support provided by home care workers often enables them to remain at home for longer period. However, providing community-based care for people with dementia can be challenging. Workers often lack training in dementia-specific care for clients with increasingly complex needs, and typically work without direct supervision. As the demand for person-centred home care for people with dementia increases, specialist dementia training for home care workers is urgently needed. In this qualitative study, we used in-depth interviews of a purposive sample, comprising 15 family carers and four older people with dementia, to understand the experience of receiving community care. Data analysis was guided by Braun and Clarke's approach to thematic analysis and revealed the following five overlapping themes, relating to home care workers' understanding of dementia, person-centred care, communication and rapport, mutual collaboration, and the influence of organisational constraints on continuity of care. Although participants acknowledged that service providers operated under challenging circumstances, they were frustrated with home care workers' lack of dementia knowledge and inconsistent staff rostering. Conversely, an understanding of the lived experience of dementia, effective communication and rapport, and continuity of care contributed significantly to a positive experience of receiving care. The findings of this study will be used to inform the essential elements of a training program aimed at enabling and empowering a skilled, specialist home care workforce to support older people with dementia to live well at home for as long as possible.
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    Exercise interveNtion outdoor proJect in the cOmmunitY for older people - the ENJOY Senior Exercise Park project translation research protocol
    Levinger, P ; Panisset, M ; Dunn, J ; Haines, T ; Dow, B ; Batchelor, F ; Biddle, S ; Duque, G ; Hill, KD (BMC, 2019-07-11)
    BACKGROUND: Creating inclusive and accessible outdoor environments that provide and encourage opportunities for older adults to engage in physical activity and social interaction is important for healthy ageing. The Senior Exercise Park is outdoor exercise equipment designed specifically for use by older people that provides physical and social benefits for older people in the community, and has the potential to be used widely as a sustainable mode of physical activity. The aim of this study is to implement and evaluate the effects of sustained engagement through the use of a community-based novel outdoor physical activity program (purpose-built exercise park) for older people on physical, mental and social health and physical activity outcomes (the ENJOY project). METHODS: This is a prospective pre-post design study with 12 months follow up. Adults aged ≥60 years will be recruited from the general community from the suburbs close to the Senior Exercise Parks locations in Melbourne. Participants will undergo a 12 week structured supervised physical activity program using the outdoor Senior Exercise Park equipment followed by 6 months unstructured physical activity program. Participants will be assessed at baseline, 3, 9, and 12 months. The following outcomes will be assessed: physical activity, physical function, psychosocial and mental health outcomes, falls risk and falls occurrence, participants' feedback and satisfaction, and health care resource use. DISCUSSION: The ENJOY trial is designed to operate in a community setting with local government engagement to maximise the usage of the exercise park and provide an outdoor space for older people to be physically active. This project will evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of the outdoor exercise park on a range of health outcomes and its long-term usability in the community. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial is prospectively registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. Trial registration number ACTRN12618001727235 registered 18th of October 2018.
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    Combatting social isolation and increasing social participation of older adults through the use of technology: A systematic review of existing evidence
    Baker, S ; Warburton, J ; Waycott, J ; Batchelor, F ; Thuong, H ; Dow, B ; Ozanne, E ; Vetere, F (WILEY, 2018-09-01)
    Objectives There are growing concerns that social isolation presents risks to older people's health and well‐being. Thus, the objective of the review was to explore how technology is currently being utilised to combat social isolation and increase social participation, hence improving social outcomes for older people. Methods A systematic review of the literature was conducted across the social science and human‐computer interaction databases. Results A total of 36 papers met the inclusion criteria and were analysed using a four‐step process. Findings were threefold, suggesting that: (i) technologies principally utilised social network services and touch‐screen technologies; (ii) social outcomes are often ill‐defined or not defined at all; and (iii) methodologies used to evaluate interventions were often limited and small‐scale. Conclusion Results suggest a need for studies that examine new and innovative forms of technology, evaluated with rigorous methodologies, and drawing on clear definitions about how these technologies address social isolation/participation.
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    National Physical Activity Guidelines for older Australians with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Subjective Cognitive Decline
    Lautenschlager, N ; Cox, K ; Hill, KD ; Pond, D ; Ellis, K ; Dow, B ; Hosking, D ; Chong, T ; You, E ; Curran, E ; Cyarto, E ; Southam, J ; Anstey, K (Dementia Collaborative Research Centres, 2018)
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    Translating Falls Prevention Knowledge to Community-Dwelling Older PLWD: A Mixed-Method Systematic Review
    Meyer, C ; Hill, S ; Dow, B ; Synnot, A ; Hill, K (OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2015-08-01)
    PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Falls prevention evidence is strong, but little is known about uptake of strategies for people living with dementia (PLWD). This mixed-method systematic review aimed to integrate evidence of falls prevention efficacy with views/experiences of PLWD. DESIGN AND METHODS: Eight electronic databases were searched. Inclusion criteria included quantitative or qualitative studies examining knowledge translation of falls prevention strategies in community-dwelling PLWD and/or their caregiver. Study quality was assessed, and findings are narratively described. RESULTS: Six quantitative and five qualitative studies were included. Study quality was mixed. Quantitative studies showed limited evidence of effectiveness on reduction in falls risk, falls and hospitalization rates, nursing home admission, decline in activities of daily living, and adherence to strategies. Qualitative themes showed inclusion of caregiver and health professionals as key to program success, but many factors influence participation. IMPLICATIONS: Synthesizing the findings generated a new understanding of falls prevention for this high-risk group. A focus upon health professional and caregiver involvement and accommodation of individual preferences may result in increased engagement with falls prevention strategies.