Members of the CATCH team have been collaborating with international colleagues on two recently published research papers.

PhD student Sarah Abdi, Centre Director Mark Hawley and Professor Luc de Witte worked with colleagues from Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and Bangalore Baptist Hospital in India on Identification of priority health conditions for field-based screening in urban slums in Bangalore, India, which has been published in BMC Public Health.

The study sought to identify and prioritise the key health issues occurring in urban slums which is essential for effectively developing programmes to enhance the health of these local communities. The research focused on the perceptions of health professionals and community workers in the rapidly growing city of Bangalore, India.

The top health issues prioritized were: diabetes and hypertension, dengue fever, malnutrition and anaemia. Diarrhoea was also selected as a top priority in children. These health issues were in line with national and international reports that listed them as top causes of mortality and major contributors to the burden of diseases in India. The results of this study will be used to inform the development of technologies and the design of interventions to improve the health outcomes of local communities. The paper recommends the identification of priority health issues in the slums of other regions of India, and in other low and lower middle-income countries.

The full paper can be accessed here.

The second paper, Facilitating aging in place: A qualitative study of practical problems preventing people with dementia from living at home, published in the Geriatric Nursing journal, is a collaboration between Professor Luc de Witte and colleagues from Maastricht University and Zuyd University of Applied Science.

Although the majority of people with dementia wish to remain at home, they are particularly susceptible to nursing home admission. Nurses can play an important role in detecting practical problems people with dementia and their informal caregivers are facing and in advising them on various ways to manage these problems at home. Six focus group interviews with formal and informal caregivers and experts in the field of assistive technology were conducted to gain insight into the most important practical problems preventing people with dementia from living at home.

Problems within three domains were consistently described as most important: informal caregiver/social network-related problems (e.g. high load of care responsibility), safety-related problems (e.g. fall risk, wandering), and decreased self-reliance (e.g. problems regarding self-care, lack of day structure). To facilitate aging at home and/or to delay institutionalization, nurses in community-based dementia care should focus on assessing problems within those three domains and offer potential solutions.

The full paper can be accessed here.