The methodological challenges faced when conducting hydration research in UK care homes

Philip Hodgson*, Glenda Cook, Amy Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: The evidence base for hydration practice in care homes is underdeveloped. High-quality research is therefore needed to determine what practices support older people with dementia in drinking sufficient fluid. However, methodological developments are needed to be able to do this.

Aim: To highlight the methodological issues researchers encountered during a feasibility cluster, randomised controlled trial of ThinkDrink, a hydration care guide for people with dementia living in UK care homes.

Discussion: This is a challenging area because of the complexity of recruitment, participation and data collection in care homes. Researchers must pay extra attention to rigour and quality in the design of their studies. There may be multiple challenges, so various strategies may be required.

Conclusion: It is important that researchers continue to reflect on rigorous approaches to develop evidence in a crucial area of care, despite these challenges.

Implications for practice: Researchers working in complex environments face a variety of challenges to complete methodologically rigorous research. It is important for researchers to be critical of research processes and data, to mitigate and overcome these challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalNurse Researcher
Early online date21 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2024

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