Recent Research

Let’s Talk Intimacy: An Analysis of Later-Life Intimacy & Sexuality in a Long-Term Care Setting

Assessing the Microbiome

From Primary Care to Home Care: Engaging patients to bridge the gap

Co-Leads, Andrea Bishop, PhD and Mark Fleming, PhD, Saint Mary’s University

Developing a National Framework for Essential Skills: Seeking Harmony while Respecting Diversity

March 2012

Principle Investigator(s): Scott Murray, President, DataAngel Policy Research Inc & Clarence De Schiffart, NSCC

Internal Liaison: Josie Ryan, Corporate Director, In Care Living, Halifax

Objective: To design, test and validate a systemic and structured approach to develop Essential Skills in the workplace and learner environments.

Summary of Findings: What would be the impact of having employees improve their Essential Skills (ES) be on the workplace and services provided to seniors in a long term care facility? Employees in several departments: Food Services, Environmental Services, Physical Plant, and In- Care Living were invited to participate in ES research and training over an eight week period. Twenty two people were assessed using the Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES) and 16 employees participated in 12 hours of classroom training. Of the ten who wrote the post-TOWES, nine scored higher in at least one of their Essential Skills: Reading, Document Use or Numeracy.

Care and Construction: Assessing Differences in Nursing Home Models of Care on Resident Quality of Life 

February 2012

Principle Investigator(s): Dr. Janice Keefe, Professor and Director, Nova Scotia Centre on Aging

Internal Liaison: Margaret Szabo, Corporate Director, In Care Living, Ivany Place & Josie Ryan, Corporate Director, In Care Living, Halifax

Objective: To assess the difference in nursing home models with respect to their impact on resident quality of life, and to disseminate this information to the continuing care sector to positively impact the delivery and efficiency of nursing home care in Nova Scotia and nationally.

Summary of Findings: The Care and Construction research team used a variety of methods to examine resident quality of life from three different perspectives: nursing home residents, family members, and staff. In 2012, a survey of residents, family members and staff allowed a large number of individuals to participate in the study and a  more in-depth examination of contextual factors was achieved through  case studies, interviews, and focus groups. More than 1,600 participants from nursing homes across Nova Scotia were involved with the project.

Results show that positive relationships among residents, family, and staff and a sense of homelikeness within the nursing home are associated with higher resident quality of life (QOL). Facilities that have the self-contained “household” design  (present in facilities recently built in Nova Scotia) were found to have an indirect impact on resident QOL through relationships and homelikeness. From the staff perspective, some elements of the working environment (e.g. clarity of work roles and transformational leadership among supervisors) were associated with higher resident QOL. These findings were shared with sector representatives during a one day workshop to support understanding of the main study findings – importance of relationships, homeliness, working environment – as well as to generate ideas for policy, practice and education that can support the take up of findings. 

Link: Care and Construction Website

 Caregiver Strain Study

January 2012

Principle Investigator(s): Jennifer Wong, Masters Student, Saint Mary’s University

Internal Liaison: Susan Dempsey, Corporate Director, Organizational Health & Retirement Living

Objective: To facilitate a greater understanding of both psychological and physiological demands of providing long-term care.

Summary of Findings: To follow.

Improving Job Performance & Engagement through Organizational & Employee Level Programs – ABLE Program – Phase I & Phase II

November 2011 (Phase II) & September 2009 (Phase I)

Principle Investigator(s): Dr. Arla Day, Professor & Research Chair, Saint Mary’s University & Dr. Lori Francis, Professor, Saint Mary’s University

Internal Liaison: Shelley James, Manager, Organizational Health & Safety

Objective: To validate the ABLE program in terms of its ability to improve employee outcomes, such as work-life balance and well being, as well as organizational indicators.

Summary of Findings: Job Performance

Improved Outcomes with a New Model of Dedicated Primary Care Physicians and Team Approach for Long Term Care Facilities? A Mixed Method Approach

July 2011

Principle Investigator(s): Dr. Emily Marshall, Assistant Professor, Dalhousie University & Capital District Health Authority

Internal Liaison: Josie Ryan, Corporate Director, In Care Living, Halifax

Objective: To evaluate this new model of primary care and explore the experiences of the participants.

Summary of Findings: Results of Improved Outcomes Study

Does Timing of Caregiver Assessment make a Difference: Evaluating the Impact with Older Spousal Caregiver of Persons with Cognitive Impairment

March 2011

Principle Investigator(s): Dr. Janice Keefe, and Canadian Research Chair in Aging and Caregiving Policy

Internal Liaison: Sandra Bauld, Corporate Director, Community Supports

Objective: To advance work on the important role of caregivers in the health care system by better understanding the impacts of caregiver assessment experienced by both the older spousal caregiver (of someone with cognitive impairment) who is assessed, and the nurse trainee who conducts the assessment.

Summary of Findings: Report Available

Competency-Based Health Human Resources Planning for Aging Canadians

February 2011

Principle Investigator(s): Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Professor, Dalhousie University

Internal Liaison: Debbie Stewart, Educator & Recruitment and Retention, People Services

Objective: To develop and evaluate a competency-based approach to health human resources planning for seniors in LTC and Homecare.

Summary of Findings: Report Available

Data Mining to Understand Care Needs & Treatment Expectations of People with Moderate to Severe Alzheimer’s Disease who Reside in Intermediate Care/Assisted Living Facilities – Phase I & Phase II

January 2011 (Phase II) & September 2009 (Phase I)

Principle Investigator(s): Dr. Ken Rockwood, Dementia Guide Inc.

Internal Liaison: John O’Keefe, Senior Social Worker, Client Services

Objectives: To learn how best to meet the needs of people with moderate-severe dementia.

Summary of Findings: Report Available