Dr Jane Robertson is a Lecturer in Dementia Studies at the University of Stirling. Researching ageing, dementia and cancer care, her central interest is contributing to knowledge and innovation to improve the wellbeing of older people. Improving quality of life and quality of care for people affected by dementia is at the core of her teaching on the Dementia Studies programme.
She has experience on projects exploring health and wellbeing in the context of dementia and cancer. Jane completed a PhD at the University of Stirling using narrative to explore perspectives on quality of life with dementia. She also holds an MSc in Applied Social Research from Stirling and an MA in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh.
Current Doctoral Students
Suzanne Croy - Living with a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia: the experience of adjusting in everyday life
Lindsay Fitzpatrick - Management of confused people in hospitals: nursing perceptions across the pathway on how to deliver best care
Bernadette Keenan - The effect of the environment on the care of older people with dementia in acute general hospital settings
Laura Reynolds - Care home band: creation and evaluation of music initiative in care homes for people with dementia, care staff and the community
Rayne Stroebel - Deconstructing Western codes of understanding dementia within an African indigenous context
Angelika Welzel-Connolly - Resilience in dementia: learning from Japanese experiences of how people with dementia and their carers adapt collectively to changing environments
Rosalie Ashworth - Experiences of early and late-onset Alzheimer's disease: perceptions of stigma and future outlook
Emma Law - Research in care homes: issues of participation and citizenship
Research interests centre on well-being and quality of life in older age, with a focus on living with dementia, caregiving and dementia care provision. Jane has also worked as a researcher in cancer care. She has expertise in qualitative methodologies including biographical-narrative interviewing and analysis. Supervising doctoral students in the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, Jane is happy to connect with potential new research students and collaborators in the field of ageing and dementia.
May 2018 - November 2018: A Good Life, Sharing the Findings - This project is an extension of the 'Quality of Life in Later Years' project funded by the Life Changes Trust. It will see the introduction of a dedicated website, creation of resources that can be used by community researchers to disseminate the findings at events and development of a quality of life toolkit.
February 2018 - April 2019: ASUME Volunteering and Dementia in Norway - Led by Vikki McCall, and funded by Aktivitetsvenn in Norway, we are working with Louise McCabe and Mari Berge (who is based at the Western University of Applied Sciences, Bergen) to take forward the successful ASUME project (www.asume.co.uk) by developing an evaluative toolkit for volunteering activity that can be applied to a national volunteering project in Norway. The project will explore how volunteers can bridge boundaries across health, housing and care to learn 'what works' for supporting community-based models of care. We will develop a cross-country comparative framework and practical evaluative toolkit that will support volunteering and dementia agencies to assess quality and impact of volunteering services.
January 2018 - August 2018: Housing and Ageing: Linking Strategy to Future Delivery for Scotland 2030 - Led by Vikki McCall, and funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, the project team led workshop events using Serious Game methodology to link the strategic policy priorities of Housing and Ageing together with practice and service user experience. A policy working group brought together ministers, senior policy officers and members of expert groups in Scotland, Wales and England to facilitate analysis of shared policy challenges and priorities. A practice-based working group shared knowledge and experience of delivering strategies in practice. A stakeholder working group of older people considered first-hand experiences of the impact of housing on quality of life. A final conference event presented findings and analysis of the three working groups to produce co-designed recommendations for the UK governments.
January 2018 - March 2018: Age, Home and Community: Analysis of Age Scotland's Housing Project - Led by Vikki McCall and working with Corinne Greasley-Adams, Grant Gibson and volunteer community researchers, the project has extended our understanding of the role of housing in the quality of life of older people. This builds on the success of the Quality of Life in Later Years ('A Good Life') project that developed innovative co-production methodology and produced significant findings about quality of life for older people in Scotland.
February 2017 - July 2017; October 2017 - March 2018: Dementia Friendly Walking Evaluation - With Grant Gibson, Catherine Pemble, Rog Harrison and Sheila Thorburn, we were funded by Paths for All to obtain the views of people living with dementia and their carers about their experiences of dementia friendly walks, and to investigate the provision, opportunities and barriers to effective delivery of the dementia friendly walking project from the perspective of health walk coordinators.
May 2016 - August 2017: Quality of Life in Later Years - Working with Corinne Greasley-Adams, Grant Gibson, Vikki McCall and 28 volunteer community researchers, we were funded by the Life Changes Trust to work alongside Age Scotland on a research project about Quality of Life in Later Years that enabled older people to voice their opinions on the essence of a 'good life'. The project co-produced 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? A national survey to explore perspectives on what matters most to people aged 50 years and over in Scotland was 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.
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. 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 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 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 conducted 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.
McNamee P, McNeill A, Bollina P, Robertson J, McNamee P, Molloy G, Hubbard G, McNeill SA, Bollina PR, Kelly D & Forbat L (2016) Couple-based psychosexual support following prostate cancer surgery: Results of a feasibility pilot randomized control trial. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 13 (8), pp. 1233-1242. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.05.013.
Robertson J & McCall V (2016) Exploring the 'Creating Conversations' toolkit: the impact of art-based activities on those living with dementia. Scottish Funding Council. Artlink Central. Artlink Central.
Innes A, Kelly F, Bowes A, Macintosh S & Robertson J (2011) ‘Facing dementia Together’: Post diagnostic support pilot for people with dementia and their families in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire - Final Project Evaluation Report. Scottish Government. Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC).
Robertson J (2010) Making sense and finding meaning: comparing narratives of older people with dementia and carers about the quality of an ordinary life. Doctor of Philosophy. University of Stirling. http://hdl.handle.net/1893/2530