4 reasons why research is everyone’s business

1. Research can improve understanding of the needs of the people we support

  • Research can help better understand the difficulties experienced by the people we support. Understanding people’s needs, together with staff’s expertise, creates “…unparalleled opportunities to translate research questions into studies and research findings into clinical action” (p. 82)[1].

2. Engaging in research is a valuable learning experience and supports professional development

  • Doing research is an excellent opportunity for staff. It provides hands-on experience about the research process, and it enables the development of additional skills, such as and data analysis and critical thinking, to name just a few!

3. Research can change practice

  • Research can find answers to unanswered questions and change the way in which we work for the benefit of the people we support. Getting involved, as a researcher or as a participant, allows people to have input into what the priorities should be, and what might work in the real world – not all ideas created in the lab work in practice, or are acceptable to people, so communication is key!

4. Colleagues and organisations that engage in research produce better clinical outcomes for people we support

  • If anyone is still unconvinced about the benefits of research, they may be interested to learn that it ultimately leads to improved outcomes. This is because:
    • It helps identify the most effective treatments and follow best practice guidance
    • It helps identify which treatments work best for whom
    • It allows the discovery of new care and treatment approaches.

Numerous projects to date have helped us understand the best ways of supporting service users and also our staff. In autism services we have investigated the impact of staff training in positive behavioural support approaches, as these seem to be beneficial to both staff and service users. Other studies carried out in our brain injury services showed that positive psychology interventions led to increased happiness and mood - we now try to embed these approaches into our programmes.

Continue browsing, or email research@thedtgroup.org if you would like to find out more!

[1] Kizer, K. W. Reengineering the veterans healthcare system. In P. Ramsaroop, M. J. Ball, D. Beaulieu & J. V. Douglas. Advancing Federal Sector Healthcare: A Model for Technology Transfer. New York: Springer