UCAIRE’s research aims

To explore how residents in older people’s care homes, family/friends, and staff experienced coping with preventing spread and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to inform development of guidelines and support in managing future outbreaks of infectious diseases in care homes and in providing support to those living, visiting and working in care homes.

Research Design and Outputs

UCAIRE is a mixed-methods study with three main objectives:

1. Undertake an online survey of care-home staff to identify broad concepts and specific issues or concerns associated with transmission and spread of COVID-19 to and within care homes.

UCAIRE ran a second online survey for care-home staff in spring 2022. We are now analysing results to compare staff experiences of infection-control measures during the pandemic in autumn 2021 with their experiences in spring 2022. Thank you to staff who took part in the online surveys.

2. Undertake semi-structured interviews with care-home residents, family/friends and care-home staff to understand their experiences of coping with preventing infection-transmission and risk during the pandemic.

3. Using a mixed-methods approach, integrate findings from the quantitative and qualitative arms of the study in order to gain comprehensive understandings from which results and overall guidelines can be developed.

Guidelines will be tailored for specific end-users; care-home staff, residents, family/friends of residents.


“We can’t visit and see what going on for her… it’s like having paper-bags over our heads” Experiences of infection-control measures on family and friends of care-home residents during COVID-19

Visiting in Care Homes during COVID-19

Care-home staff experiences of infection-control measures during COVID-19

Care-home staff experiences of
infection-control measures

The experience of older care-home residents with infection-control measures during COVID-19

The experience of older care-home
residents with infection-control

Article published in American Journal of Infection Control, English care home staff morale and preparedness during the COVID pandemic: A longitudinal analysis (A paper on UCAIRE’s qualitative findings will be published next year.)

Final Report and Dissemination

UCAIRE’s Final Report and dissemination materials were submitted to our funder, NIHR SSCR, at the start of December. Our dissemination materials will be made available once our funder has given its approval, which we expect to happen in later January 2023. After approval is obtained, we also look forward to our dissemination activities.

We appreciate very much the contributions of our participants (care-home staff, family and friends of residents, care-home residents, as well as those who took part in our stakeholder workshops) and the valuable input from Advisory Group members during the study. Thank you, everyone.

Our Team

Principal Investigator: Dr Kathleen Lane (HSC)

UEA Co-applicants: Dr Julii Brainard (MED), Dr Diane Bunn (HSC), Dr Anne Killett (HSC)

External Co-applicants: Professor Sarah O’Brien (Newcastle); Suzanne Mumford (Care UK); Julie Houghton (PPI).

Researcher: Laura Watts (HSC).

Advisory Group: Sharon Dunn and Emma Smith (North Norfolk PCN); Christen McDonnell (Leaf Care Services); Barbara Cowell (PPI/Carer); Professor Paul Hunter (UEA); Rhodri Williams (Alzheimer’s Society).

Please contact Kathleen if you have any questions or comments about the UCAIRE study.


National Institute for Health Research - School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR). UCAIRE is grateful to have received a costed extension by our funder.  The study ended on 30 November 2022. We look forward to our dissemination activities.