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Rebecca has completed 3 years of her PhD and is currently concluding the last 6 months at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom. “Diabetes, Care Homes and the Influence of Technology on Practice and Care Delivery in Care Homes: Systematic Review and Qualitative Synthesis” was published in JMIR in April 2019. Rebecca has been a student with the University of the Highlands and Islands since 2008 when training to become a Registered Adult Nurse, continuing to complete a 2 year Masters Degree in Care of the Older Person. She then spent 2 years in practice working as a healthcare professional within the public and private sectors of acute, community and care home settings.
Diabetes is increasing in prevalence and complexity in the care home setting, affecting up to 27% of care home residents in the United Kingdom. Health outcomes for these residents are impacted by management of the disease, healthcare professionals’ decision-making skills within the care home setting, and, access to specialist services. This project focuses on the use of technology having the potential to recognise opportunities for early intervention enabling efficient responsive care, taking a fundamental role in linking the care home community to wider specialist services and multi-disciplinary teams for support. By triangulating the perspectives of the care home community, it is anticipated that this project will represent an up to date, evidenced-based overview of the potential for using technology within the care home setting for diabetes management, education and training, as well as stimulate research in this area. Five studies study have been completed with each study informing the next, commencing with a Systematic Review of the literature to give a wider understanding of technologies already being used, followed by questionnaires to 71 care homes within the Highlands and Islands as part of a service evaluation, a focus group with the Community Diabetes Specialist Nurses to gain expert opinion, and, 28 one-to-one interviews with care home staff across the Highlands and Islands to understand their perspectives. These studies lead to the final study of facilitating and evaluating an intervention in practice with care home staff led by a Community Diabetes Specialist Nurse and Specialist Dietician.