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JFSF Vol 5, No 1, March 2020, p.6-9

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-05-006


Original Article

Mission (im)possible: Engaging care homes, staff and residents in research studies

Maria Giné-Garriga1,2, Marlene Sandlund3, Javier Jerez-Roig4, Jo Booth1, Dawn A. Skelton1

  1. School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
  2. Department of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Psychology, Education and Sport Sciences (FPCEE) Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain
  3. Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, Sweden
  4. Research group on Methodology, Methods, Models and Outcome of Health and Social Sciences (M3O), Faculty of Health Science and Welfare, University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia (UVIC-UCC). Vic, Spain

Keywords: Care home setting, Older adults, Research engagement, Staff perceptions


Objectives: With increasing age the risk of institutionalization increases. To address the problem of underrepresentation of care homes and their residents in future research studies, we aimed to explore care home staff members’ thoughts on barriers, challenges, facilitators and key aspects of engaging in research studies. Methods: Five staff members from four care homes in Glasgow and Barcelona were interviewed. Transcription of the interviews was completed verbatim and an inductive thematic analysis was conducted to understand the difficulties and challenges they perceive for engaging in research studies. Results: Three themes emerged that encapsulated the staff members’ perspectives. ‘Too much to deal with’ included two subthemes; ‘interested but with support’ encapsulated four subthemes; and ‘on the residents’ terms’ highlighted three subthemes. Staff members showed interest in engaging in research studies if a clear management support accompanied by a whole team approach was evident. The involvement of the resident’s relatives was seen as essential if residents were to be supported to be engaged. Conclusions: Despite the small sample size, the perspectives of staff members, irrespective of country, provided valuable insights for informing researchers on best approaches to maximize care home and resident engagement in research.