Monday, 22 July 2013

Top poster prize for research into older people’s kitchen practices

The University’s “Vulnerable older adults and kitchen practices in the home” poster won a top prize for an “outstanding presentation” selected from more than seven hundred posters at the recent IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics held in Seoul, Korea.

Dr Angela Dickinson, from the University of Hertfordshire’s Centre for Research into Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC), presented the poster which was based on research from the recently published Kitchen Life report into what really goes on in our kitchens.  The study, led by Dr Wendy Wills from the University’s CRIPACC team including Angela, was carried out on behalf of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Photo credit poison-yvi

People aged sixty and above are considered to be more vulnerable to foodborne illness than younger people.  In the Kitchen Life study, most households did some things that were against FSA recommended practice, for example, not following the “use-by-dates” on food.  But older people may be at higher risk due to more factors working against them (compared to younger people).

The poster showed that the complexity of the kitchen practices of older people has the potential to impact on their vulnerability to foodborne illness in a number of ways.  And those interested in disseminating food safety messages need to account for this complexity and context with which kitchen life is undertaken.

Researchers from CRIPACC also won a poster prize for a poster in the second of the two poster sessions at the conference.  Dr Angela Dickinson presented the poster, which presented work involving Drs Frances Bunn and Charles Simpson also from CRIPACC, along with collaborators from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Brunel University, based on a systematic review ‘Preventing and managing falls among older people with mental health problems’.

This poster reviewed the evidence of the effectiveness of interventions to prevent falls in mental health settings.  It found only one study that had been undertaken in an in-patient mental health setting, this was in the US, and a lack of studies including patients with mental health conditions other than dementia or depression.  The review highlights the need for further research to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of fall prevention interventions for older people with mental health problems.

Copies of both posters can be obtained from Angela Dickinson.

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