Claire continues to undertake Professional Doctorate in the recognition of delirium within the organic mental health unit


Claire Pryor, Nurse Practitioner in older people’s services at Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, has been awarded a Florence Nightingale Foundation research scholarship for the second time to undertake her Professional Doctorate. Her project has evolved over the first year of research and the title of her study is now ‘Delirium Superimposed on Dementia: Closing the Know-Do Gap’.

This is the second time NHS Professionals has sponsored Claire’s research scholarship so we wanted to catch up with her to find out how her project has progressed.

You can find Claire’s previous interview here.

What made you reapply for a scholarship with the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF)?
The support from the FNF in the first year of my Doctorate was fantastic and their interest and encouragement really spurred me on. Having the support of such a renowned organisation encouraged me as it made me feel like my work was understood, valued and recognised as a worthwhile piece of research.

When I was being interviewed for the second year of my scholarship, I was concerned as the research title and some specific elements of the research methodology had changed as I progressed and refined the overall research plan. However, the positivity and support from the panel made me feel confident that I was progressing in the right direction.

Have the aims of your research remained the same?
While the overarching aims of the research have remained the same, they have been refined to provide a more robust and concise premise for the research. This is why the title of the research is now ‘Delirium Superimposed on Dementia: Closing the Know-Do Gap’. The research focus remains on nursing experience and education, but with a clear outcome of exposing what helps or hinders knowledge being translated to practice.

What is delirium superimposed on dementia?
“Delirium superimposed on dementia” refers to the presence of delirium – as a severe confusional state, not attributed to dementia; occurring in a person who has a pre excising dementia process. It is by its very nature a very complex condition as the person already has dementia and may have symptoms of confusion or an altered state of consciousness, but its recognition is vital to prevent misdiagnosis and to facilitate appropriate treatment.

How has the project developed since you started?
The project is now awaiting final ethical approval before advancing to the data collection phase. There have been several considerations and refinements made, including changes to population size, the inclusion of surveying and an educational strategy. A draft policy will also be devised from the findings.

What methods have you used so far?
There has been careful consideration about what methodological structure would best suit the research question, and what would obtain the most appropriate data for analysis. Initial one-to-one interviews with nurses to gather personal accounts and identify emergent themes will form the basis for the development of a new and specific survey, which will be administered to the total sample of nurses.

About the author

NHS Professionals administrator

NHS Professionals manages the temporary staffing needs of around 66 NHS Trusts across England. An integral part of the NHS, it aims to reduce Trusts’ spending on flexible workers without compromising quality, by providing greater transparency of demand and supplying bank staff at the best possible rate. Its bank of more than 40,000 flexible workers comprises general and specialist nurses, doctors, midwives, admin/clerical , allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, support services among other healthcare professionals.

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