Researchers at the Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD) at Queen Margaret University have been awarded a six figure sum (£111,835) towards developing models of integrated health and social care for older stroke patients in China.
Funded by the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Department for International Development, the 16-month development grant project was developed in collaboration with researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China.
Dr Karina Kielmann at IGHD is the Principal Investigator. Working with QMU’s head of nursing Professor Brendan McCormack and Guanyang Zou, a doctoral candidate in IGHD based at Sun Yat-Sen University, the team will explore how health and social systems are currently responding to the needs of older adults, who may suffer from multiple chronic and non-communicable disease conditions. The team is interested to understand how the experiences of high-income countries that have developed models of integrated health and social care might be transferred to the Chinese setting, with a particular emphasis on the situation of older adults who are recovering from a stroke.
Commenting on the grant award Dr Kielmann said: “China's population is rapidly ageing, and approximately half of adults over 60 are living with chronic diseases. High blood pressure is the main risk factor for stroke which is a leading cause of death and disability in the country. Family structures, levels of social support, and access to health insurance for older adults have changed due to the one-child policy, internal migration, and health reforms since the late 90's.
“Older adults in rural and urban settings have different levels of health awareness and support and seek health care differently, but overall, the care they receive is inconsistent and patchy. While acute stroke care within hospitals in the region we are working is very good, post-stroke rehabilitation and linkages to community care are weak.”
The researchers will examine experiences of older adults, lay caregivers, and professional health and social care providers in urban and rural areas of Guangdong Province to identify how the systems currently work, and to what extent they help or hinder integrated and person-centred care. Their recommendations will identify potential strategies that can integrate elements of current health and social care systems to improve the care of older stroke patients.
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