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.

This is UCAIRE’s second online survey for care-home staff. We are running it in spring 2022 to see if staff experiences of infection-control measures are similar to or different from what staff reported in autumn 2021 of the pandemic.

Take the survey for care-home staff

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 thank everyone who participated in interviews to date for the UCAIRE study.

Care-home staff who we have already interviewed may wish to review their participant information.

Family or friends (of care-home residents) who have been interviewed can review their participant information, too


“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

Download the Presentation

Further outputs will be made available at the end of the study.

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);

Care-home resident; 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 runs for 12 months year, ending in May 2022.