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

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.

Developing new veteran housing in Kent: An investigation of needs and optionsMarch 2017 - May 2017

This piece of work will investigate the needs and options for the development of new veteran housing in Kent. The aim of the research is to inform development of any future housing for veterans in Kent.

A systematic scoping review of research prioritisation exercises relevant to children and young people with life-limiting conditionsJanuary 2017 - September 2017

This review is part of the early priority-setting work by the Martin House Research Centre. The results will contribute to the Centre’s decisions regarding the focus of its work.

Independent financial advice about funding social care in later life – a project exploring evidence and practiceNovember 2016 – December 2017

This study explored existing research and current practice regarding independent financial advice about funding social care in older age.

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 THINC project: therapy interventions for children with neurodisability - a scoping study of current practice and perceived research needsMay 2016 - February 2017

This scoping study will be used to inform future research into physical, occupational and speech and language therapy support used by children with neurodisabilities.

Pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for non-respiratory sleep disturbances in children with neurodevelopmental disorders: a systematic reviewFebruary 2016 - January 2017

Many children with neurodisabilities experience sleep problems: this project is reviewing existing evidence on the effectiveness of the different ways sleep difficulties may be managed.

Workplace Personal Assistants: exploring the role of workplace personal assistants for physically disabled peopleJanuary 2016 - September 2017

An exploration of the role of workplace personal assistants and their relationships with disabled people and colleagues.

Children's WorldsJanuary 2016 - December 2018

International comparative school based survey of eight, ten and twelve year old children’s subjective well-being in 2017.

Specialist nursing support for unpaid carers of people with dementiaNovember 2015 - July 2017

This project is evaluating a specialist support service for the carers of people with dementia.

The IRIS project: Improving Rehabilitation for People with Impaired SightSeptember 2015 - May 2018

The project examines the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two types of community-based vision rehabilitation services funded by LAs in England.

Disability, care and participation: secondary analysis of the Life Opportunities Survey and the 2009/10 Survey of Carers in HouseholdsMarch 2015 - August 2016

This project is reanalysing data from three national surveys of caring and of impairment and disability.

The SIgN project: self-funders and information needsFebruary 2015 - October 2016

This project will produce a short film and leaflet to help people looking for care and support as they get older.

The MoRE project: models of reablement evaluation: a mixed methods evaluation of a complex interventionOctober 2014 - July 2017

This mixed-methods study aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different ways of providing reablement in England.

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.