Health of Older People
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Annabelle Long

Research Assistant, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Annabelle Long studied Sports Science and Sports Rehabilitation (BSc) at St Mary's University College in Twickenham and Physiotherapy (BSc) at Southampton University. She has recently completed an MA in Research Methods at The University of Nottingham.

Wanting to dip her toes in the research world she gained a position as a Research Physiotherapist on an NIHR funded study at Nottingham University Hospitals, carrying out the intervention on a chair based exercise study in older people in the community which enabled her to gain a wealth of research experience.

She was then employed as a Research Assistant at The University of Nottingham working on a Dunhill Trust funded grant called the PEACH study. PEACH is an acronym used to refer to a care home research project which took place in South Nottinghamshire. It stands for ' ProactivE heAlthcare for older people living in Care Homes' (PEACH). This project aimed to understand how a quality improvement collaborative (QIC) can help organise healthcare services delivered to care homes to better reflect the principles of comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA).

She is now a Research Assistant on the PrAISED Study (Promoting Activity, Independence and Stability in Early Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment) funded by the NIHR which aims to test the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a therapy intervention designed to promote activity and independence and reduce falls amongst people with early dementia or mild cognitive impairment

She is a member of the CLAHRC Faculty and a member of the East Midlands Research into Ageing Network. She is also a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), AGILE - the professional network of the CSP for therapists working with older people, the Physiotherapy Research Society and the British Geriatrics Society.

Research Summary

Research Assistant (August 2018 to present) on the Promoting Activity, Independence and Stability in Early Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment (PrAISED) project funded by the NIHR. My roles are to… read more

Current Research

Research Assistant (August 2018 to present) on the Promoting Activity, Independence and Stability in Early Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment (PrAISED) project funded by the NIHR. My roles are to recruit, screen and consent people in the community into the study and the undertake data collection which will include planning, preparing, setting up, conducting and recording all baseline and follow up assessments. I have also been involved in training research assistants in other sites and testing the study databases.

Past Research

Research Physiotherapist (July 2015 to September 2016) on an NIHR funded feasibility study with older people in the community. My role was to deliver the intervention but there was scope to get involved in other areas of the project. I assisted with the recruitment of participants, assessing capacity, taking informed consent or consultee advice as appropriate. I administered several standardised outcome measures with participants including, 3 m walk, Timed Up and Go, 30 sec chair stand, Grip Strength, Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS 15) Abbreviated Mental Test (AMT) Euroqol (EQ-5D self and proxy) Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living, Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) I developed a database to keep track of intervention delivery and adverse events. I was able to refresh skills such as literature searching and critical appraisal and gained new knowledge such as financing research projects and applying for grants. I was accepted for a poster presentation at a national conference on recruitment difficulties and was successful in gaining funding from the British Geriatric Society to attend this conference. I completed a further poster presentation at a local conference also on recruitment difficulties which was awarded the prize for best general poster.

An abstract was accepted for a poster presentation for an international conference in Barcelona in November 2016 on the difficulties of delivering an intervention in a care home and I was successful in gaining funding from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to attend this conference. I am co-author on the main publication for this study.

Research Assistant (October 2016 to July 2018) on the Proactive Healthcare in Care Homes (PEACH) project funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust. My roles were to recruit and consent care home residents, collect resident outcome measures, input data and maintain the study database. I designed the data collection forms and led the development of an improved CSRI form to allow for easier collection of health economics data. I was actively involved in the design of the study database, the data entry and data cleaning. Additionally, I was also the editor of the PEACH newsletter.

I am co-author on two publications for this study.

Future Research

I have recently completed a systematic literature review on the effectiveness of exercise interventions in people with moderate to severe dementia in community settings and conducted focus groups with residents living with dementia in care homes and care staff who primarily care for people living with dementia to find out what their understanding of exercise and physical activity is and what barriers and facilitators may be present to enable or disenable their participation. This was part of my MA in Research Methods dissertation. This was preparatory work for a potential PhD proposal in which I hope to design an intervention to engage people with more severe levels of dementia with exercise.

Health of Older People Research Group

Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing
School of Medicine
Medical School, QMC
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

telephone: +44 (0) 115 8230239