Study Design

Studies in Co-creating Assisted Living Solutions
Contact Information
Sara Shaw
Senior Researcher
Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
University of Oxford
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter
Woodstock Road
Oxford, OX2 6GG

+44 (0)1865 617873

SCALS consists of (so far) five organisational case studies, each an English health or social care organisation that is striving to introduce a technology-supported service(s) to support independent living in people with health and/or social care needs. Treating these cases as complex systems, the research seeks to unpack the link between the choices and actions of individuals and the wider organisational and socio-technical context that shape and constrain those choices.

For each case study, we are drawing on the principles of action research (the cycle of asking a question, collecting data, analysing data, initiating change and collecting more data to assess progress) to work with clinical and social care teams. We are helping the participating organisation(s) to apply what we have called the ARCHIE principles (see past publications) – that is, to consider how assisted living solutions can best be:

  • anchored in the patient experience;
  • realistic about the individual’s capabilities and prognosis;
  • co-created through interdisciplinary dialogue;
  • supported by human networks;
  • integrated in a way that allows different contributions to be coordinated; and
  • evaluated to feed into system learning.
The case studies centre on an organisation that seeks to deliver a service – what we have called the ‘meso level’. The primary aim of each case study is to provide data that will help the organisation set and meet local project goals, embed assisted living technologies into clinical and social care microsystems and service models, and evaluate progress. To that end, we are conducting in-depth ethnographic studies of people’s experience of, and efforts to use, assisted living technologies (micro-level), and we are also exploring the wider national and international context for assisted living technologies and policy (‘macro-level’).

The study design is shown diagrammatically in Figure 1.

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Figure 1: Diagram of the SCALS Programme (first three case studies shown)

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