Issue 4 Connecting People Newsletter

Here is issue 4 of the Connecting People newsletter. In this issue we have updates from the team as well as news about the International Issue 4Centre for Mental Health Social Research (ICMHSR). We also take a closer look at one of the agencies involved in the study, n-compass.

Please let us know what you think of the newsletter. Also, if you have ideas for things you want to see in Issue 5 please get in touch.

Many thanks

The Connecting People Study Team

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Issue 3 Connecting People Newsletter

Here is issue 3 of the Connecting People newsletter. In this issue we have updates from the team as well as news of the development of a new training package encompassing video footage of the Connecting People Intervention in action. We also take a closer look at one of the agencies involved in the study.

Issue 3 Connecting People NewsletterPlease let us know what you think of the newsletter. Also, if you have ideas for things you want to see in Issue 4 please get in touch.

Many thanks

The Connecting People Study Team

Issue 2 Connecting People Newsletter

Here is Issue 2 of the Connecting People Newsletter. In this issue we are looking at the Connecting People Intervention in Practice, recruitment to the study and the process of interviewing participants.

Issue 2Please let us know what you think of the newsletter. Also, if you have ideas for things you want to see in Issue 3 please get in touch.

Many thanks

The Connecting People Study Team

Issue 1 – Connecting People Newsletter

An early Christmas present from the Connecting People Team to you…

Here is Issue 1 of the Connecting People Newsletter. This another way in which the Connecting People team will keep people updated on the work we are doing. It is hoped that this will help the team reach out to even more people and promote further interest in our work.

NewsletterPlease let us know what you think of the newsletter. Issue 2 will be produced in Spring 2013. If you have ideas for things you want to see in this get in touch.

Maximising Research Impact

Martin, Hannah, and Meredith recently attended a Research Impact workshop, hosted by the Social Services Research Group (SSRG) to address the gap between research, policy and practice that exists in health and social care research.  The SSRG is a non-profit organisation which aims to provide a network and forum for research with members coming from a range of professional groups and organisations committed to advancing knowledge of social and health care services.

The Research Impact workshop focussed not only on the translation of research but also on the localisation of results into relevant contexts.  The day offered an opportunity to discuss some of the barriers to dissemination and implementation of research results such as language, length, and complexity of research reports.  Diversity in social care services was mentioned several times throughout the day as the field is challenged by many different stakeholders and a varied extent to which practice can be evidence-informed.  Solutions were discussed to engage practitioners with new media, research training opportunities for qualifying practitioners, and developing a formal network to connect with independent sector organisations.

Martin joined Chris Rainey (West Sussex CC and SSRG) and Deborah Rutter (SCIE) on a panel at the start of the day, and we all enjoyed the opportunity to network with other professionals in health and social care.   As a team we discussed ways that we can reach a wider audience with the results from the Connecting People Intervention Study.  Some of those include brochures to share our results from the systematic reviews, videos and packages of training materials, and of course continuing to promote the blog for frequent study updates.  We welcome your feedback on useful tools to disseminate our research findings, please feel free to leave comments below!

Systematic review

Today, Meredith tells us about her work with Sharon on the systematic reviews:

“Sharon and Meredith have been busy over the summer completing three related systematic reviews.  The purpose of these reviews was to identify research focussed on health and social care interventions that promote the enhancement of social networks for 1) adults and 2) older adults with mental health needs, and 3) adults with a learning disability. 

 With only 26 studies across the three reviews meeting inclusion criteria, the small sample limits the overall findings of effectiveness.  The diverse studies that were identified provide evidence for the use health and social care interventions across a range of mental health needs.  Additionally, several key features were found across numerous successful interventions that are also components in the Connecting People Intervention (CPI) Model: strengths- and asset-based approaches such as goal setting, problem-solving techniques, social skill development; an aim to enhance the worker/service user relationship; and engagement in activities for which participants had an existing interest.  Whilst results from the small sample should be considered with caution, we also consider these key features integral aspects of the CPI model.  

The findings from these reviews underline the assertion that future interventions are needed to enhance social network development in vulnerable adults with mental health needs.   The three reviews offer the most comprehensive assessment of the evidence of interventions aimed to enhance social participation and wellbeing in mental health populations to date. There is a clear gap in evidence for effective health and social care interventions, and the few studies that are available reflect the disparate nature of research in this field.

 We are currently in the process of submitting the reviews for publication and will keep you updated on the progress in coming months.  If you’re not currently subscribed to the blog, please enter your email address on the right side of the Home page and we will be sure to let you know when the reviews have been published”

A warm hello from the newest member of the team

Hello, my name is Sharon and I am the latest member of the Connecting People Study team.

Having been involved for just over one month I have got to know the study and the rest of the team and I’m currently engrossed in conducting the systematic review on interventions that promote the social participation and well-being of adults with a learning disability. It’s incredible that such an important part of an individual’s life has such little emphasis placed upon it, with the majority of individual’s with a learning disability having no one they call a friend.

I am optimistic that this can change and we can work together to enhance individual’s social networks and their consequent well-being. As Meredith suggests, the systematic reviews she and I are both conducting will hopefully be a great way to learn what factors make an intervention effective and how we might best develop the Connecting People Intervention to support the needs of both health & social care workers and service users.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please feel free to post here!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Our Growing Team

Hello! My name is Meredith and I’m the newest member of the Connecting People Study.

My background is in child and health psychology and I have recently worked on research projects related to family interventions for youth offenders and the impact of risk perceptions on health behaviour. I also serve on the Board of Directors for an African development organisation. These experiences have led to my strong interest in supporting strategic efforts that empower individuals within community-based health and social care.

The first part of my role on the Connecting People Study is to systematically review the current literature on interventions that promote the social participation and well-being of adults with a learning disability or mental health problem. This is a great way for us to learn what factors make interventions effective (or not!) and how we might best develop the Connecting People Intervention to support the needs of social care workers and service users.

I’ll be sharing interesting findings from my review on the blog so please check back for future posts. Also, your feedback on our progress is always welcome and I look forward to hearing your questions and comments about our findings!