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
Development of a decision support tool for older people who pay for social care, and their familiesJune 2021 - May 2023
This project will create a ‘decision support tool’ to help older people make decisions about paying for social care.
Helping older people with mental health needs to engage with social care: Enhancing support worker skills through a prototype learning and development intervention (The HOPES 2 Study)1 March 2021 - 28 February 2022
This study will develop a learning package to enable specialist support workers to better engage older people with mental health needs in social care.
Developing guidance on providing psychoeducation after an autism diagnosis1 March - 31 June 2021
This is a short piece of work commissioned by NHS England arising directly from previous research we have done on specialist provision for autistic adults (the SHAPE project). This identified the importance of high quality, extended psychoeducation following a diagnosis of autism. In this new project we are working with expert groups to develop guidance on providing group-delivered, psychoeducation for autistic adults.
The Home Instead Research ProgrammeJanuary 2021 - December 2023
A three-year programme to stimulate new research and promote evidence-based practice in the field of home care.
Supporting the complete care of children and young people with life-threatening or life-shortening conditions, and their familiesAugust 2020 - September 2022
The aim of this study is to gather evidence the NHS and children's hospices can use to guide how they meet the pastoral, spiritual and religious needs of children and young people living with a life-threatening or life-shortening condition, and their families.
Reducing delayed transfers of care (DTOC) for older adults with frailty: a systems-thinking approach to health and social care processes August 2020 - January 2022
This study aims to explore the role of complex social care systems in delayed transfers of care.
Enhancing person-centredness in the community support of older people - the EPIC studyJuly 2020 - December 2021
The project is developing a situational judgement test to assess the person-centredness of domiciliary care workers.
Developing a Patient-Reported Experience Measure for use in children's palliative care settingsJune 2020 - December 2021
This project will develop a Patient-Reported Experience Measure (PREM) for use in children's palliative care settings.
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
Supporting Adult Social Care Innovation (SASCI)September 2019 - September 2024
This study is building evidence to support the adult social care sector to start up, implement and spread innovation.
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 - March 2021
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 - December 2020
This project is about parents’ experiences of the very early days of bereavement and how the support receiving during those early days affects longer-term grief processes and outcomes.
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.