Dr Catherine Quinn - Academic in Profile
I am a lecturer in Dementia Studies at the Centre of Applied Dementia Studies. For part of my time I am also based at the Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research. I teach on a MSc in Advanced Dementia studies where I have developed a module on post-diagnostic support. I enjoy teaching because all our students work in the dementia field and it’s always interesting to hear about their experiences.
Since arriving at Bradford I have continued to work with existing collaborators and to identify new ones for my research. I am involved in the older people theme of the NIHR ARC Yorkshire and Humber, and through this, supervise a PhD student who is doing research on cognitive and physical frailty. I am also very much involved with the Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research and see this as an exciting opportunity to meet and collaborate with others.
Most of my post-doctoral career has been spent in research; I was a Senior Research Fellow before I joined the University in November 2018. Previously I worked at Bangor University and the University of Exeter, so I have certainly moved around a lot. My broad research interests lie in improving the quality of care and support for people living with dementia and their carers in the community and residential home settings. I started my research career focusing on family carers of people with dementia, but since then I have worked with people with advanced dementia and those with mild-to-moderate dementia. My initial interest in the dementia field stems from my MSc dissertation project when I analysed interviews with family carers of people with early-stage dementia. Building on this, I was fortunate to receive funding to do a PhD researching the role of motivations, meanings, and relationship quality in the experience of informal carers of people with dementia. This was a mixed-methods study and involved working with the Admiral Nurse Service.
I’ve been involved in a range of dementia research studies which enabled me to develop a broad interest in this area, and an understanding of a range of research methodologies and techniques. My first post-doctoral position was as trial manager in a study improving care for people with advanced dementia residing in care homes (the AwareCare study). This study focused on understanding awareness in people with advanced dementia and developing an observational tool (the AwareCare) and training for care staff. I was Principal Investigator on a pilot trial of self-management in early-stage dementia. In this study I worked in collaboration with staff at Glan Traeth Memory clinic (North-Wales) to develop a self-management intervention for use in the memory clinic setting.
I am currently a Co-Investigator on the IDEAL study (funded by ESRC/NIHR) and the subsequent IDEAL-2 study (funded by Alzheimer’s Society). IDEAL is the largest study of living well with dementia in the UK. Through this study I have led research on how people with dementia and carers understand dementia, and carers’ positive experiences in providing care. In IDEAL-2 I am co-leading a workstream which explores how to better include the perspective of people with advanced dementia in research. Since the start of the IDEAL study in 2014 I’ve worked closely with our patient and public involvement (PPI) group, the ALWAYs group (Action on Living Well: Asking You). Through this collaboration I have co-authored an article, created a masterclass on PPI, and co-presented with them at conferences. Working with the ALWAYs group has shown me the enormous value and benefit of working collaboratively with people with dementia and their carers in our research.