• Perspectives on ageing, later life and ethnicity: Ageing research in ethnic minority contexts

      Zubair, Maria (2015)
      This special issue focuses broadly upon questions and themes relating to the current conceptualisations, representations and use of ‘ethnicity’ (and ethnic minority experiences) within the field of social gerontology. An important aim of this special issue is to explore and address the issue of ‘otherness’ within the predominant existing frameworks for researching those who are ageing or considered aged, compounded by the particular constructions of their ethnicity and ethnic ‘difference’. The range of theoretical, methodological and empirical papers included in this collection provide some critical insights into particular facets of the current research agendas, cultural understandings and empirical focus of ethnic minority ageing research. The main emphasis is on highlighting the ways in which ethnic cultural homogeneity and ‘otherness’ is often assumed in research involving older people from ethnic minority backgrounds, and how wider societal inequalities are concomitantly (re)produced, within (and through) research itself – for example, based on narrowly defined research agendas and questions; the assumed age and/or ethnic differences of researchers vis-à-vis their older research participants; the workings of the formalised ethical procedures and frameworks; and the conceptual and theoretical frameworks employed in the formulation of research questions and interpretation of data. We examine and challenge here the simplistic categorisations and distinctions often made in gerontological research based around research participants' ethnicity, age and ageing and assumed cultural differences. The papers presented in this collection reveal instead the actual complexity and fluidity of these concepts as well as the cultural dynamism and diversity of experiences within ethnic groups. Through an exploration of these issues, we address some of the gaps in existing knowledge and understandings as well as contribute to the newly emerging discussions surrounding the use of particular notions of ethnicity and ethnic minority ageing as these are being employed within the field of ageing studies.
    • The optimal study: Describing the key components of optimal health care delivery to UK care home residents: a research protocol

      Dening, Tom; Zubair, Maria; Schneider, Justine (2014)
      Long-term institutional care in the United Kingdom is provided by care homes. Residents have prevalent cognitive impairment and disability, have multiple diagnoses, and are subject to polypharmacy. Prevailing models of health care provision (ad hoc, reactive, and coordinated by general practitioners) result in unacceptable variability of care. A number of innovative responses to improve health care for care homes have been commissioned. The organization of health and social care in the United Kingdom is such that it is unlikely that a single solution to the problem of providing quality health care for care homes will be identified that can be used nationwide. Realist evaluation is a methodology that uses both qualitative and quantitative data to establish an in-depth understanding of what works, for whom, and in what settings. In this article we describe a protocol for using realist evaluation to understand the context, mechanisms, and outcomes that shape effective health care delivery to care home residents in the United Kingdom. By describing this novel approach, we hope to inform international discourse about research methodologies in long-term care settings internationally. Copyright © 2014 AMDA - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.