Check out this abstract for a presentation given by a colleague at the most recent Architecture, Media, Politics and Society (AMPs) conference, 1st – 3rd December 2021.
The physical design of buildings can have an impact on physical and mental health. Numerous studies have identified physical design features of inpatient facilities and their impact on a range of outcomes. However no studies to date have synthesised the evidence for physical design of supported accommodation for people with mental ill health and intellectual disabilities. The aim of the scoping review was to synthesise the evidence for the use of physical design in supported accommodation to achieve a range of outcomes. The objectives included 1) to review the physical design of supported accommodation, 2) to identify the potential impact of physical design on outcomes and 3) to identify what works and for which populations in which setting. Literature searches were conducted across seven electronic databases. Studies were included for review if they met the following criteria; 1) conducted in a community supported accommodation setting; 2) reported at least one measure or description of physical design; 3) the mean age of participants was over 18 years; 4) included adults with mental ill health or intellectual disabilities; 5) full text and available in English. Eight studies were eligible for inclusion in the review. Results indicate that design features including: private rooms which support autonomy with opportunity for personalisation; common areas with natural light and homely features; outdoor spaces with greenery and furniture, located in good neighbourhoods with access to green spaces; and community accessibility are key design features of supported accommodation. The results from this review may be used to inform the planning, building and adapting of supported accommodation for people with intellectual disabilities and mental ill health. There is a dearth of research on physical design of supported accommodation, further research is warranted to create a robust evidence base.Johnston, A., Davidson, G., Webb, P, McCartin, N., McAllister, K., Broughton, R, Sutherland, D., Kennedy, C. (2021) Physical design of supported accommodation for people with mental ill health and intellectual disabilities: a scoping review. In Architecture, Media, Politics and Society (AMPs) Conference: Environments by Design, Syracuse University, Northumbria University, Italian Society for the Study of Health, Chalmers University of Technology, Virtual Conference, December 1st – 3rd 2021.
Here’s the abstract for a presentation which our team gave at the 8th annual social work and social care conference on the 10th March 2021!
“Poor mental ill health is the biggest cause of long-term absence at work” (CIPD, 2020 p. 2) with three fifths of respondents in a recent survey reporting that there had been an increase in common mental health conditions (ibid, p 2). Sickness-absence, presenteeism, leaveism and work-related stress due to mental ill health may however be managed by staff who engage with their employer’s well being initiatives. This study assesses the efficacy of one initiative using an online assessment tool.
The study evaluated a training module, designed by the Mental Health Foundation and Unum (Mental Health Foundation, UNUM, Managing Mental Health in the Workplace, Module 7, n. d.) which aims to increase the well being of staff in the workplace by providing support when problems emerge. The training module was selected by three members of the research team who work in services. The module had not been evaluated before. The study addressed the following question: did completing the work place module have an impact on staff mental health and well being? The study was a pilot with a subset of Praxis Care staff (n = 50).
The research used an untreated control group quasi-experimental design with pre and post-tests with attention being paid to threats to validity (Cook and Campbell, 1979 pp. 103 – 112). Two groups of staff were selected. One group received training (the treatment) and one group not (the control). A pre and post-test questionnaire was administered to the treatment and control groups. The questionnaire included the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS, NHS Scotland, University of Warwick, University of Edinburgh, 2006). WEMWBS was selected to study the efficacy of the module because it is a valid and reliable measure of subjective well being and psychological functioning (Stewart-Brown et al 2008 pp. 4 – 8). All participants were Praxis Care staff. The study received ethical approval from the Research Ethics Committee, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University of Belfast.
Analysis included exploratory data analysis, calculation of mean well being scores for both groups and the use of a range of parametric and non-parametric tests including analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to detect treatment efficacy. Due regard was paid to p values and effect sizes (Ellis, 2010).
Both the treatment and the control groups reported lower mean well being scores at post-test than pre-test with the mean well being score for the intervention group declining at a faster rate. The module therefore did not have an impact on staff well being. All mean well being scores – irrespective of group or time point – were close to the mean well being scores in larger studies.
Social care providers are now increasingly developing health and well being strategies. Such strategies need to be assessed. This study used a quasi-experimental design to evaluate the efficacy of an untested well being intervention. Although this particular intervention was ineffective, the study has implications for how to conduct research studies in online settings and for how to deliver well being programmes.
Bunting, G., McIlvenny, L., Webb, P. (2021) Managing mental health & well being in the workplace: assessment of a well being intervention. In Public Health Agency, Health and Social Care Board, Building a Research Community ‘Ongoing learning: human, digital and organisational’, 8th Annual Social Work and Social Care in Practice Conference, Virtual, 10th March 2021.
Teaching yourself something new can have substantial benefits for your well being. Here’s a podcast which I and a colleague gave on this subject.
The podcast forms part of a series from Redbridge Talking Therapies.
Each of these podcasts…. will guide you in strategies for coping with worry, low mood, isolation, loneliness, relaxation and mindfulness.
A further Cochrane Systematic Review – Qualitative Protocol– is available on the factors that influence participation in physical activity for people with bipolar disorder.
Main objective: To identify the factors that create barriers or facilitate physical activity for people with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder from the perspectives of service users, carers, service providers and practitioners to help inform the design and implementation of interventions that promote physical activity.
The overall aim of this review is to identify, appraise, and synthesise qualitative research evidence on the barriers and facilitators to engaging in physical activity in general lifestyle settings or as part of an intervention designed to increase physical activity for people with bipolar disorder. This will allow us to identify factors that create barriers and facilitators of physical activity in this population to inform the development, design, and implementation of future interventions. We will communicate our findings to public health commissioners and other stakeholders.
McCartan CJ, Yap J, Firth J, Stubbs B, Tully MA, Best P, Webb P, White C, Gilbody S, Churchill R, Breedvelt JJF, Davidson G. (2020) Factors that influence participation in physical activity for people with bipolar disorder: a synthesis of qualitative evidence. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 3. Art. No.: CD013557. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD013557.
Our paper on the key components of supporting and assessing decision making ability was published today in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry.
People’s ability to make decisions may be impaired for a wide range of reasons, including by mental health problems and learning disabilities. Individual autonomy, the ability to make decisions about our own lives, is a fundamental tenet of democratic societies. This has been reinforced by laws governing substitute and supported decision making and most significantly by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Article 12 of the UNCRPD requires everyone to have equal recognition before the law and, to achieve this, the necessary support and safeguards must be available. There has been considerable debate about the important theoretical and philosophical issues involved and growing research about the practice complexities of supporting and assessing decision making ability or mental capacity. This article aims to present some of the key components of the support and assessment process to inform further service development and training in this area. The key components were identified as part of a qualitative, participatory research project which explored the decision making experiences of people with mental health problems and/or learning disabilities. The conventional approach to the assessment of capacity is to consider four main components, whether the person is able to: understand, retain, use and weigh, and communicate the information needed to make the decision at that time. The findings from this research study suggest that people generally don’t usually talk about their experiences of decision making in terms of these four components and approaches to supporting people to make decisions don’t necessarily break the support down to explicitly address the assessment process. However, considering support for all aspects of the functional test may be helpful to ensure it is as comprehensive as possible. The challenges involved in providing effective support and assessing decision making ability are discussed and the article concludes with some of the implications for training, service development and practice.
Webb, P., Davidson, G., Edge, R., Falls, D., Keenan, F., Kelly, B., McLaughlin, A., Montgomery, L., Mulvenna, C., Norris, B., Owens, A. & Shea-Irvine, R. (2020) Key components of supporting and assessing decision making ability, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 72, C, 101613. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2020.101613
An interesting, and useful, Cochrane Systematic Review – Qualitative Protocol – is now available on the factors that influence participation in physical activity for anxiety and depression:
Main objective: To identify the factors that create barriers or facilitate physical activity for people with a diagnosis of anxiety or depression from the perspectives of service users, carers, service providers and practitioners to help inform the design and implementation of interventions that promote physical activity.
The overall aim of this review is to identify, appraise, and synthesise qualitative research evidence on the barriers and facilitators to engaging in physical activity in general lifestyle settings or as part of an intervention designed to increase physical activity for people with anxiety and depression. This will allow us to identify factors that create barriers and facilitators of physical activity in this population to inform the development, design, and implementation of future interventions. We will also integrate the findings from the QES with the two associated effectiveness reviews (Cooney 2014; Larun 2006). We will communicate our findings to public health commissioners and other stakeholders.
McCartan, C., Yap, J., Firth, J., Stubbs, B., Tully, M., Best, P., Webb, P., White, C., Gilbody, S., Churchill, R., Breedvelt J.J.F., Davidson, G. (2020). Factors that influence participation in physical activity for anxiety and depression: a synthesis of qualitative evidence. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 3. Art. No.: CD013547. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD013547.
Great to see that our first paper on supported decision-making has been published in Health and Social Care in the Community!
This article presents the findings from a qualitative, participatory research project which explored how people with intellectual disabilities and/or mental health problems have, or have not been, supported to make their own decisions. The aim of the research is to help inform how supported decision‐making, as required by Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, can be effectively operationalised. The project provides an overview of experiences of support as well as identifying which supports are valued. It was conducted between July 2017 and July 2018 and was a partnership between disabled people, service providers and a University. It involved peer researchers interviewing 41 people with mental health problems and/or intellectual disabilities, in community settings, about their experiences and views of support. The key findings include that decision‐making is a central aspect of people’s lives. Participants discussed the positive role which decision‐making can have but also how it felt when they were not supported to make their own decisions. Participants said that there were three main things that make decision‐making harder: the type of decision; the role of other people; and what the outcome might be. Time was consistently identified as a very important factor. In terms of support, people said that they would like: practical support including more accessible information; emotional support including someone to talk to; and sometimes the options to choose from. There was very little mention of existing, more formal processes of support such as advance decisions or care planning. The peer researcher aspect of the project was valued by participants. The main implications of the research are for how support for decision‐making should be provided including the need for an individualised approach as the support needed varies across decisions, time and people.
Webb, P., Davidson, G., Edge, R., Falls, D., Keenan, F., Kelly, B., McLaughlin, A., Montgomery, L., Mulvenna, C., Norris, B., Owens, B., Shea Irvine, R. (2020) Service users’ experiences and views of support for decision making. Health Soc Care Community. 00:1–10. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12961
A short film is now available of our inspirational team giving a presentation at the Annual Social Work and Social Care Research in Practice Conference which took place at Belfast Castle on the 6th March 2019 on the theme of supported decision making.
To view the film, please go to the link here.
Colleagues from our research team gave a wonderful presentation on their experiences of working on a co-produced research project at the Annual Social Work and Social Care Research in Practice Conference on the 6th March at Belfast Castle.
Here’s the abstract for the presentation:
Making decisions about your own life is a key aspect of independence, freedom and human rights. Mental health law has previously allowed compulsory intervention even when a person has the decision making ability to decline intervention. This discriminates against those with mental ill health and intellectual disabilities. The Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) became statutory law in May 2016 and will replace rather than run in parallel to a mental health law. A core principle of the new act is that people are “not to be treated as unable to make a decision…unless all practicable help and support to enable the person to make a decision about the matter have been given without success” (Article 1(4)). There are people who, without support, would be assessed as incapable of making certain decisions but with the appropriate support are capable of making those decisions, and so to not provide that support infringes their rights, undermines their autonomy and reinforces their exclusion from society.
The study was funded by Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) and was a multi-agency partnership between Praxis Care, Mencap NI and Queen’s University of Belfast. The study was designed because there is limited research evidence about people’s experiences of the different approaches which can support decision-making, Four peer researchers were therefore employed for the duration of the project and 41 interviews were conducted with people with mental ill health and intellectual disabilities in order to understand their experiences of supported decision-making, their preferences and ideas for how decision-making should be supported. This presentation will look at the process of co-production and the pros and cons of conducting co-produced studies which involve people with mental ill health and intellectual disabilities. Suggestions for how to overcome the barriers to successful co-produced projects will be given.
Edge, R., McLaughlin, A., Norris, B., Owens, A., Webb, P. (2019) Perspectives on co-production: supported decision making – experiences, approaches and preferences. In Public Health Agency, Health and Social Care Board, Building Research to Evaluate Complex Interventions in Social Work and Social Care: A Consideration of Methodological Issues, 6th Annual Social Work and Social Care in Practice Conference, Belfast Castle, Belfast, UK, 6th March 2019.
Support for decision making needs to be individualised.
Our co-produced research report on supported decision making for people with intellectual disabilities and mental ill health made a number of recommendations.
Take a look at page 44 of the report for further information.
Davidson, G. Edge, R., Falls, D., Keenan, F., Kelly, B., McLaughlin, A., Montgomery, L., Mulvenna, C., Norris, B., Owens, A., Shea Irvine, R. and Webb. P. (2018) p. 44