This mixed-methods PhD project aims to better understand the complex issue of low-intake dehydration amongst older adults, particularly those living with dementia in long term care settings, and to explore ways of promoting and improving drinking for these individuals.

The PhD project encompasses three studies. The first study is a systematic review which will establish the prevalence of low-intake dehydration (from not drinking sufficiently), amongst older adults in community and long-term care settings, using robust measures. The second study (The DRINC Study) will explore hydration care provision in long term care settings and identify what might promote or prevent drinking amongst care home residents, particularly those living with dementia. The third study will involve developing and assessing the feasibility of a care pathway decision model, which will be used to improve drinking amongst care home residents. 

"Hot Water dispensers" by cbb4104 is licensed under CC BY 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/68552389@N00/5809649208
"Hot Water dispensers" by cbb4104 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Key Research Aim

This mixed-methods PhD project aims to better understand the complex issue of low-intake dehydration amongst older adults, particularly those living with dementia in long term care settings, and to explore ways of promoting and improving drinking for these individuals.

Research Design and Outputs

This PhD project uses mixed-methods and has three main objectives:

  1. Establish the prevalence of low-intake dehydration amongst older adults (≥65 years), in community and long-term care settings.
    - Systematic Review protocol
  2. Identify the barriers to drinking for people living with dementia in long term care settings. Identify the challenges these decisions pose for care staff.
  3. Develop a care pathway decision model to assist care staff with hydration care provision for people living with dementia in long term care.

Outputs

The findings from this research will be published in appropriate and relevant peer-reviewed journals. The findings will be further disseminated on social media, at conferences/meetings and in the local media. The findings will be presented to PpiRes (patient and public engagement in research), Alzheimer’s Research network and at the University of East Anglia’s Bitesize seminars.

Research Team

Lead Researcher: Ellice Parkinson

Supervisory Team: Dr Diane Bunn, Dr Lee Hooper and Professor Fiona Poland

Systematic Review Team: Ellice Parkinson, Diane Bunn, Judith Fynn, Lee Hooper, Stephanie Howard Wilsher, Titilopemi Oladosu, Simone Roberts, Elien Van Hout.