Research interests centre on health, well-being and quality of life in older age, with a focus on living with dementia, caregiving and dementia care provision. She has also worked as a researcher in cancer care. Jane has expertise in qualitative methodologies including biographical-narrative interviewing and analysis. She supervises doctoral students researching dementia in the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport.
May 2016 - August 2017: Quality of Life in Later Years Working with Corinne Greasley-Adams, Grant Gibson and Vikki McCall, we have been funded by the Life Changes Trust to work alongside Age Scotland on a research project about Quality of Life in Later Years https://agoodlifeinlateryears.wordpress.com/about-us/ that enables older people to voice their opinions on the essence of a 'good life'. The aim of this project is to coproduce research with community researchers to answer the following research questions: What is the essence of a good life in older age? What do older people think is needed to achieve/ maintain this? How might that differ if an individual finds themselves developing a long-term condition (including dementia), or whether they become a carer? The project is now in its third phase of data collection with a national survey to explore perspectives on what matters most to people aged 50 years and over in Scotland. The survey has developed from analysis of visual images and focus group discussions that explored the essence of a good life in later years and what is needed to achieve this. The project findings will be available in autumn 2017.
March 2016 - June 2016: Creating Conversations: Impact of Art-Based Activities on People Living with Dementia 'Creating Conversations' is a creative activities kit designed by Artlink Central for activities coordinators, care staff and volunteers to deliver group activities to older people, including those with dementia. Working with Vikki McCall and colleagues at Artlink Central https://www.stir.ac.uk/news/2016/04/stirling-collaborates-to-develop-dementia-activity-toolkit/ we received a Scottish Funding Council innovation voucher to test and improve this product prior to its market launch. The intended benefits include prompting reminiscence and supporting constructive conversation to engage with personal histories and build social connections in day care and residential care settings. The project assessed these aspects of engagement and identified improvements that could enhance the kit’s impact in these areas. Observation of creative sessions being facilitated using the kit showed its potential to increase confidence, reduce anxiety, affirm identities, support positive social connections and provide opportunities for enjoyable and purposeful activities.
July 2014 – June 2015: Day Care for People with Dementia in Scotland Led by Louise McCabe, and funded by Alzheimer Scotland, this project evaluated the benefits and impact of day care services from the perspective of people with dementia and their relatives. We recruited participants from six specialist day centres run by Alzheimer Scotland located in a mix of island, urban and rural areas. Interviews were conducted with 19 people with dementia and 14 relatives to find out their views about the benefits, limitations and impact of the day care service that they used. Relatives were also asked to complete a questionnaire that asked about the service and how it is delivered. This project was carried out in parallel with the qualitative arm of a large-scale study in Norway funded by the Norwegian Research Council, and we are currently conducting a cross-national comparison of similarities and differences in how day care is delivered and experienced in the two countries.
October 2012 – June 2014: Psychosexual Support following Prostate Cancer Surgery Working as a research assistant to Liz Forbat, and funded by Prostate Cancer UK, this early-stage feasibility study, with built-in pilot, sought to determine the components of an intervention for couples affected by prostate cancer. The first phase of the project involved the development of a couple-based intervention and training for practitioners who delivered the intervention. The second phase comprised a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention compared to a control group of couples who were receiving 'usual care' (routine follow-up hospital appointments). The acceptability and feasibility of the intervention was examined through qualitative interviews with healthcare professionals, the couple support practitioners delivering the intervention, and a subset of couples from the control and intervention arms of the trial. Economic cost implications were also considered.
May 2012 - March 2013: Cumbria Service User Engagement Project Working as a research fellow with Louise McCabe and Fiona Kelly, this project involved gathering views of service provision and support for people with dementia and their carers in Cumbria. The findings from this project supported the implementation of the Cumbria Dementia Strategy to further develop and improve care, support and treatment for people with dementia and their carers. The study was carried out for Cumbria County Council and NHS Cumbria.