Exploring and Understanding the lived experience in CAre homes for older people of Infection risk and transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed-methods study to inform what we can learn for future infectious disease outbREaks (UCAIRE)

Kathleen Lane In progress  

Introduction

Care homes for older people worry about outbreaks of highly infectious diseases like norovirus. They spread swiftly and cause illness and death. Safety measures help stop infections spreading. But these measures have been under strain from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is highly infectious. In early stages, symptoms often cannot be seen.

Usual safety measures have not always controlled the spread of this virus; care homes added more measures. These included restricting visitors and changing how care is given. How residents, families and staff have coped with measures to prevent the virus spreading and if these met their needs is not known.

Objectives

This study aims to explore the lived experiences of how residents, staff and families coped with preventing spread and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to inform development of guidelines and support in managing future outbreaks of infectious diseases in care homes and in providing support to those living and working in care homes.

Methods

This study involves a mixed-methods approach and includes:

  1. An online survey of care-home staff, using online technology, to identify broad concepts and specific issues or concerns associated with transmission and spread to and within care homes
  2. Semi-structured interviews with care-home staff, residents and families to understand the lived experience of coping with preventing infection-transmission and risk during the pandemic.

The findings from the quantitative and qualitative arms of the study will be integrated to gain comprehensive understandings from which results and overall guidelines can be developed.