Our research

SPRU conducts research in a variety of applied health and social care areas employing a broad range of methods. We both generate research agendas and respond to calls generated by funders.

Our research projects are within SPRU's six research themes. 

Read about our research themes

Current / recently completed research

Exploring experiences of loneliness and improving social care supportApril 2020 - January 2023

This study is testing a service improvement approach from healthcare in which people using and providing a service co-design changes.

The preferences of older self-funders navigating community social care (the PRESENCE study)January 2020 - December 2021

Investigating the preferences and decisions of older self-funders of community social care as they navigate the system.

Scoping the evidence on the use and effectiveness of decision aids in adult social careDecember 2019 - March 2020

This study will assess the research evidence about, and current availability of, online decision aids in adult social care

Helping older people to engage effectively with community social care (The HOPES study)September 2019 - February 2021

This study aims to understand how support workers help older adults with mental health needs to accept and receive social care.

Finding and funding social care: a qualitative study of the experiences of self-fundersSeptember 2019 - February 2021

The purpose of this project is to understand self-funders' experiences of finding and funding social care, and create an online resource of peer experiences.

Parents' stories of their children's lives: a follow-on study of QUEST parentsMay 2019 - June 2020

The purpose of this study is to understand the factors that influence the mental health and well-being of teenagers on the autism spectrum.

Care Leavers' Transition into the Labour Market in EnglandMarch 2019 - August 2020

Using linked national datasets and interviews with stakeholders, this research explores factors and trajectories contributing to employability for care leavers.

Implementing the Person-Centred Community Care Inventory (PERCCI) as a measure for quality in social care servicesJanuary 2019 - August 2019

How can we translate a person-centredness score into something meaningful for understanding service quality?

DETERMIND: Determinants of quality of life, care and costs, and consequences of inequalities in people with dementia and their family carersJanuary 2019 - December 2023

DETERMIND is designed to address critical, fundamental, and as yet unanswered questions about inequalities, outcomes and costs following diagnosis with dementia.

The role of different diets in children who are gastrostomy fed (the Your Tube study)October 2018 - March 2022

What are the risks, benefits and resource implications for using home-blended food for children with gastrostomy tubes compared to currently recommended formula feeds?

The Early Days Project: parents’ experiences of the early days of bereavement and the support they receive from children’s hospicesMay 2018 - May 2020

This project will survey all UK children’s hospices about the cold bedroom/cooling blanket/cuddle cot facilities they provide and practices around their use.

The INSIGHT project: Isolation and loneliness for people with sight loss in care homesAugust 2017 - April 2019

This study will explore current provision for the identification and prevention of loneliness and social isolation in older people with sight loss in care homes.

The influence of social care on delayed transfers of care (DTOC) among older peopleApril 2017 - March 2019

This project will explore the relationship between the discharge approach employed by a particular NHS/local authority site and their delayed transfers of care (DTOC) rates. The project aims to answer two questions: 1) why delays are happening; and 2) how they might be reduced or prevented.

The PEDRO study: partnerships between deaf people and hearing dogsOctober 2016 - March 2020

The PEDRO study is evaluating and exploring hearing dog partnerships. The aim of the study is to understand the impacts and experiences of these partnerships, and their place within wider support and provision for deaf people and people with hearing loss.

Exploring the contribution of the social work role in CMHTs for working age adults and older people October 2016 - 30 April 2019

A study to explore the unique contribution of social workers to community mental health teams.

Evaluation of Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC)October 2016 - April 2019

The Department of Health has commissioned a summative evaluation of the Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme. The evaluation aims to identify key lessons about the effectiveness of IPC schemes.

The SHAPE project: mapping and evaluating Specialist Autism Team service modelsSeptember 2014 - March 2019

This project is evaluating Specialist Autism Teams, and investigating their role in supporting autism-specialist practice in mainstream services.

The Making Sense? study: how do parents and young adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders make sense of behaviour problems and mental health difficulties?September 2014 - April 2019

This study is exploring how young adults with Asperger syndrome, and parents of children with autism, understand and make sense of emotional and behavioural difficulties.