1. What are 'bathing adaptations'?
Bathing adaptations are alterations to or around baths or showers which make them easier and/or safer for disabled people to use. The most common form of ‘major adaptation’ to bathing facilities is the removal of the bath and replacement with an accessible showering facility – this is the adaptation that we are evaluating in our study.
2. Why is this study needed?
Housing adaptations have been identified as one of the top ten prevention services for older adults, with bathing adaptations being the most commonly requested. Such adaptations may improve the health and wellbeing of older adults and their carers. However, many local authorities have lengthy waiting times which may increase costs, reduce the effect of the adaptations, and reduce the preventative effect. Furthermore, there is an absence of robust quantitative evidence of the effect of these adaptations on: health, wellbeing, functional ability and subsequent health and social care service use.
3. What are you testing?
We want to determine whether it is possible to conduct a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) of these adaptations to evaluate the effect on health and social care related quality of life. We aim to randomly allocate people to one of two groups:
- Routine Adaptations (waiting list) – People in this group will go onto the usual waiting list and will be allocated to a project officer to plan their adaptations (accessible shower) when they come to the top of the waiting list. The waiting list is usually around 3 months.
- Immediate Adaptations (no waiting list) – People in this group will be allocated to a project officer to plan their adaptations (accessible shower) as soon as possible and will not go onto the routine waiting list.
We will collect information from people in both groups at three and six months after they have been enrolled in the study. We will collect measures of quality of life, health status, wellbeing, functional ability and health and social care service use. If we show that we can use this method in our research we aim to plan a further study where we compare the outcomes between the two groups.
4. How many study participants do you need?
We aim to recruit between 40 and 60 participants, to the feasibility RCT to test the research procedures and processes. We are also aiming to carry out qualitative interviews with up to 20 participants.
If a participant has a person who acts as a carer for them we will also invite the carer to take part in the study and we will collect information on their health related quality of life, physical and mental wellbeing and carer strain. We are also aiming to carry out qualitative interviews with up to 10 carer participants.
5. How long will the study last?
The study will run for 24 months, commencing in March 2016 and ending in February 2018.
6. Who are the researchers?
Dr Phillip Whitehead is a research fellow and an occupational therapist with a background in social care practice. Professor Marion Walker MBE is professor of stroke rehabilitation, an occupational therapist and NIHR Senior Investigator. Professor Marilyn James is professor of health economics. Mr Tony Dawson is the manager of the Adaptations and Renewals Agency at Nottingham City Council. Mr Stuart Belshaw is an experienced Public and Patient Involvement Representative.
7. How can I find out more?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and request to go on our mailing list to receive updates about the study or follow us on Twitter @bath_out.