My personal research interests are drawn primarily from the qualitative paradigm and built around four hubs: 1) creative social research methods; 2) grounded theory; 3) user and family involvement in research; and 4) pluralistic and constructivist evaluation. Since 2008 I have been the lead of the inter-disciplinary Dementia and Ageing Research Team [DART] which has a base at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work and is one of the School’s research groups. Over the last 20 years I have been involved in a range of local, national and international studies in dementia care that span a number of funding providers, from Research Council to charitable sources to local care and service providers.
I am Chief Investigator on the ESRC/NIHR Neighbourhoods and Dementia mixed methods study which forms part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia. The Neighbourhoods Study is a five year research study and has has eight inter-linked work programmes. Work programme 1 is about the active involvement of people living with dementia and their care partners [the Member Involvement Strategy]. Work programme 2 uses representative longitudinal study data, such as the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing (also known as ELSA), to determine neighbourhood characteristics associated with good/poor cognitive ageing. This will help us to identify profiles of risk at a neighbourhood level. Work programme 3 establishes an agreed standardised set of outcome measures, generating a core outcome set for research involving people with dementia and care partners. Work programme 4 adopts participatory approaches to understand the ways in which neighbourhoods support the wellbeing and everyday lives of people with dementia and their care partners. Work programme 5 is about developing the evidence base for evaluating dementia training in NHS hospitals. Work programme 6 is about the piloting and development of a couple-orientated self-management course - provided at home - to help sustain and enrich everyday life. Work programme 7 is about the development and testing of a linguistically appropriate and culturally sensitive personalised digitised life story tool for use by and with Deaf sign language users with dementia. Work programme 8 comprises the health and wellbeing strategy for staff and participating members. The duration of the research study allows these work programme dynamics and relationships to be explored over time. There are 27 named co-investigators involved in the Neighbourhoods Study with over 10 partner organisations. There are three full-time programme-linked ESRC PhD studentships, two situated in the north west of England and one in Scotland, and 2 PhD studentships offered through CEDER. This research programme will run between May 2014-April 2019
I have co-edited and/or co-authored a number of books in dementia, such as: Cox, S. and Keady, J. (Eds.). Younger People with Dementia: Planning, Practice and Development. 1999. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; Community Mental Health Nursing and Dementia Care: Practice Perspectives (Keady, Clarke and Adams, Open University Press, 2003; Keady, J. and Watts, S. (Eds). Mental Health and Later Life: Delivering an Holistic Model for Practice. 2010. London: Routledge. I have also published over 100 peer reviewed articles.
Since 2007 I have worked with Dr Sion Williams (Bangor University) to create and test a new method of qualitative data collection based on biographical interviewing and the development of centre stage storylines.