Qualitative Research in Age and Ageing

This themed collection of Age and Ageing articles includes a selection of papers published over the last 10 years which highlights the value of qualitative methodologies in health services research, particularly in understanding patient experience of health and illness and decision making about treatment and preventive care. We hope this issue will raise awareness of the scope for further contributions and encourage authors to submit papers reporting qualitative studies to the journal.

Summary of topics and themes:

In an editorial in Age and Ageing (5), we drew attention to the way in which the application of qualitative research methods within the social science disciplines of sociology, anthropology and social psychology can enrich understanding of ageing and illness: for example, through eliciting the meaning and process of ageing, health and illness from the perspective of older people; the practice of service delivery and what shapes it; and the beliefs, values and ‘taken for granted ‘knowledge that professionals may apply in their work with older people. Continue reading

Comprehensive Care – NIHR themed review of research into older people with frailty in hospitals

John Gladman is Professor of the Medicine of Older People, Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing and Honorary Consultant in Health Care of Older People at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Vast sums are spent on research into the care of older people, but they are wasted if the findings are not put into practice.

I had an epiphany a few years ago. I looked at my carefully curated curriculum vitae, and noted that I had over 100 peer reviewed papers to my name. But I suddenly felt deflated when I realised that hardly anybody (apart from the journals’ editors) had ever read them. Deflation was followed by shame as I realised that I had made no effort to disseminate my findings to those who might find them useful, or to encourage the application of the findings in practice. I recovered a bit when I realised that it wasn’t just me. There is a real problem as the amount of research being published is monstrously huge. But I returned to shame again when I thought about how little effort I have taken to ensure that I keep up to date with other people’s research. Continue reading

Blue Ribbon Patient: Do Not Transfer

Rick Strang RN is Emergency Care Improvement Lead at Isle of Wight NHS Trust in England. When not involved in all types of emergency care Rick is usually finding innovative ways to avoid household chores.

Most of us across acute care have been involved in late night bed pressures that call for that dreaded decision to need to move some patients around between wards. Typically we see the only beds available to be surgical ones whilst the demand is for acute medical beds. Moving acute medical patients directly to these outlying beds from the emergency department (ED) may present too much of a risk. Lower acuity patients from acute wards are therefore often sought out to be transferred into these surgical beds thus making way for the more acute ED demand. End of Life (EoL) patients seem particularly at risk of being moved, which can be very distressing for families, friends, the patient and the care teams. Continue reading

Spring Speakers Series: Asthma in the older patient

Dominick Shaw is an Associate Professor and honorary clinician at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham University NHS Hospital Trust. He leads the commissioned severe asthma service and performs clinical studies in asthma. He will be speaking at the upcoming BGS Spring Meeting in Nottingham.

Asthma still presents a major challenge to society. Although classically regarded as a disease of children and young adults, accumulating evidence suggests that late onset asthma carries a poorer prognosis. Moreover although the death rate from asthma has fallen over the last 10-15 years in people under 75, in those aged over 75 it has doubled. Consequently the overall mortality rate has not changed.

Asthma still causes significant social and financial problems for patients, with recurrent exacerbations needing oral steroids, hospital admissions, time off work and impact on families and carers. There is light at the end of the asthma tunnel however and asthma has advanced a long way from, in the words of a geriatrician colleague*, “one puff of the blue, two of the brown”. Continue reading

LOST: Sense of humour

Bridget Leach has been a nurse for over 30 years. She currently work in falls prevention but was also a ward nurse and ward sister for many years.

LOST: Sense of humour OWNER: NHS Reward for return: happier, healthy & retainable workforce.

The above may seem flippant but a simple google of the term ‘Do hospital managers have a sense of humour?’ returned a myriad of articles including academic research.

Some of the articles were what I would consider odd; for example; a member of hospital staff doing tricks with disappearing scarves while …”the surgeons began cutting away dead flesh …” to a ‘humour cart’ containing, amongst other things, ‘funny props’; I know plenty of hospital staff who, in certain circumstances, would consider a bedpan on the head and a proctoscope a funny prop so who knows? Continue reading

January 2018 issue of Age and Ageing journal is out now

The January 2018 issue of Age and Ageing, the journal of the British Geriatrics Society is out now.
A full table of contents is available here, with editorials, research papers, reviews, short reports, case reports book reviews and more.  
Hot topics in this issue include:
  •  Acute coronary syndromes
  • Haloperidol and prevention of
    delirium
  • Oral anticoagulants in atrial fibrillation
  • Vertebral fragility factures
  • Enteral tube feeding in dementia

The Editor’s View article gives an overview of the issue with a summary of highlights. This article is free to read and can be viewed here. Continue reading

Taking control of our homes as we get older

Dr Rachael Docking is Ageing Better’s Senior Evidence Manager. Rachael’s remit is to work on their evidence work stream and manage one of their programmes of work, as well as providing cross-cutting evidence support to other work-streams. Rachael leads on their homes and neighbourhoods programme and has also been managing a commissioned review on inequalities in later life.

Jill is 68 years old. She’s still working and cares for her husband. With reduced mobility due to osteoarthritis, Jill has been in a lot of pain, living in a house that wasn’t suited to her changing needs and didn’t know where to turn to for help. She began to develop coping strategies like shuffling upstairs on her bottom, and couldn’t bathe or shower properly.

After a needs assessment from a local occupational therapist, Jill had a number of adaptations installed at home, including a wet room and extra stair rail. As a result she can now shower herself and though still in pain, the adaptations have helped her remain in her own home. Continue reading

1Ib beefsteak, with 1 pt bitter beer every six hours…

Pandora Wright is a Consultant in Elderly Medicine, Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust. 

 “1Ib beefsteak, with 1 pt bitter beer every six hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don’t stuff your head with things you don’t understand.”  (Jerome K Jerome. Three men in a boat)

With no NICE or SIGN guideline on the management of anaemia and iron deficiency in older people, we determine our own management plans and pathways.

Anaemia is common in older people, accounting for  10% of over 65’s, rising to up to 30% of over 85 year olds. Its presence in this age group is associated with frailty, falls and significantly impacts on survival, quality of life and hospital admission and readmission rates. Continue reading

BGS MDS trainee reps – what’s involved & is this for me??

Jo Russell is a ST7 registrar in geriatric medicine in South Yorkshire, BGS MDS trainee rep since 2015, will be starting her consultant post in March 2018 (with interest in movement disorders). She tweets at @russ_jo 

The BGS Movement Disorders Section are actively seeking to appoint new trainee representatives, ideally at ST4 level or above.

During the BGSMDS meeting in 2015 I was advised of trainee rep vacancies on the committee. My first thought was “I’m not sure that sounds like me”, but after a chat with the committee Chair, I was soon persuaded that it would be a fantastic opportunity. So much so, that I submitted an an expression of interest the following week. Continue reading

A City United, Coronation Street, Take That…. and the 2018 BGS Trainees Weekend!

Dr Niamh Ni Nidh is a graduate of Manchester Medical School and ST7 Trainee in Geriatric Medicine in the North West.

A City United, the place where the atom was first split, home of Emily Pankhurst, Coronation Street, Alan Turing and computer science, The Hacienda, The Smiths, Oasis, Take That . . . .  and the 2018 BGS Trainees Weekend!

The BGS National Trainees Weekend is organised by trainees for trainees. Back in February this year, myself and 6 other local trainees got together to take on the mantel of organising the 2018 meeting. After some fallow years the now annual event was revived here in Manchester back in 2009 and we are proud to bring it back to its spiritual home once again! Continue reading