Dr Katie Featherstone

Dr Katie Featherstone

Reader, Medical Sociology

School of Healthcare Sciences

Email:
featherstonek@cardiff.ac.uk
Location:
Room 13.19, 13th Floor, Eastgate House, 35 - 43 Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB
Available for postgraduate supervision

Improving the quality and humanity of care for people living with dementia within acute hospital wards

My research programme uses sociology and sociological methods to provide the empirical foundations for new knowledge and theoretical developments to improve the quality and humanity of care that people living with dementia receive in hospital. This work has a strong focus on applying clinically relevant detailed ethnographic research to provide understandings of the cultures, organization and delivery of dementia care in acute wards that identifies the needs of people living with dementia, their carers, and ward staff within the acute hospital setting.

In 4 years, I established a track-record of leading interdisciplinary teams as PI and obtaining £1M research funding. Current grants obtained include the NIHR HS&DR Researcher-led stream funded studies Investigating the management of refusal of care in people with dementia admitted to hospital with an acute condition (£447,000) and Understanding continence practices in acute settings for people with dementia: raising awareness and improving care ( £508,000). Both studies are hospital ethnographies that involve long-term engagement at ward level within acute hospitals across England and Wales.

Quality of care does not only encompass effectiveness, but humanity and equity. My research programme brings rigour to all of these aspects of acute hospital care for people living with dementia and is providing the empirical foundations for developing low-cost interventions and training.The findings are already having an impact within NHS Trusts and my distinctive approach demonstrates the utility and transferability of sociological theoretical developments that respond to contemporary challenges within clinical settings. More widely, this programme take a creative approach to reducing social inequalities through sustained collaborations with the arts and film.

The podcast of BBC5Live Investigates, featuring my NIHR funded research examining the routine care people with dementia receive when in an acute hospital can be downloaded from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b01djz#play

I am currently working on the monograph: Wandering the wards: Everyday hospital care and its consequences for people living with dementia for Bloomsbury Anthropology (due April 2019)

The summary report of my current research in the acute setting can be downloaded from:
http://www.storiesofdementia.com/2018/04/research-report.html


Follow me: @Drkfeatherstone
Follow my research: @storiesdementia
Instagram: storiesofdementia
Blog: www.storiesofdementia.com

 

 

Prior to my work in the field of dementia and the acute setting, I have contributed a body of ethnographic work within the field of genetics and society, which provided new knowledge on disease classification, the impact of genetic technologies on diagnosis, and genetic risk and disclosure within the context of family networks

I publish across social science and clinical journals and my key publications include two first authored research monographs: Risky Relations: Family and kinship in the era of new genetics (Berg) and Creating Conditions: The Making and Remaking of a Genetic Condition (Routledge). Risky Relations, a sociological study of family in the context of genetic risk, continues to have a significant impact and is highly cited within sociology and by practitioners working in the field of clinical genetics, and has informed government policy.

Central to my teaching is the integration of my research, fieldnotes, analysis within clinical settings. I lead the postgraduate and doctoral modules in ‘Advanced Qualitative Research Methods’ and ‘Protocol Design and Development’.

My distinctive approach, using ethnographic methods to produce research that is theoretically and clinically relevant has led to invitations to teach qualitative and ethnographic methods to international research groups (USA and Sweden).

Current doctoral students

  • Manal Hamithi (International student: Saudi Arabia): an examination of interventions aimed at improving continence in older people living with dementia living in social care settings

Supervision of doctoral Students: Obtained

  • Cindy Sylvia (International student, USA) Nurses in Industry: An Ethnographic Study of Professional Ecology (2017)
  • Nikki West (Florence Nightingale Foundation studentship) The long-term impact of risk reducing surgery on women who are at high risk of breast cancer (BRACA1 and BRACA2) (2016)
  • Amie Hodges (Florence Nightingale Foundation studentship) An exploration of the experiences of the sibling in the chronic illness trajectory (2012-2016)
  • Shema Ammer (International student, SA) A pilot intervention to support young people with diabetes (2011-2015). 
  • Catherine Dunn (RCBC Studentship) Disclosure of erectile dysfunction: stigma, sexuality and ageing in the clinic (2009-2014).
  • Areej Haitham (International Student: King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia) Hidden voices: Postpartum women, health beliefs and their use of on-line forums in Saudi Arabia (2009-2014).
  • Mandayachepa Nyando (International Student: Malawi Government) Invisible women: carers of children living with HIV and AIDS in rural Malawi (2010-2014).
  • Nicola Evans (Health Foundation studentship) Change in an NHS mental health Outpatient Service: an ethnography (2012-2013).
  • Jessica Baillie (RCBC Studentship) Perspectives on peritoneal dialysis: an ethnography of the management of health technologies within the home.
  • Yupares Payaprom (International student: Royal Thai Embassy) Perceptions of influenza and uptake of vaccination amongst high risk Thai elderly people.
  • Victoria Marke (CU studentship) PTSD and emotional affect in patients admitted with Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). 2010.
  • Jackie Hughes (ESRC Studentship) After Genetics – Huntington’s disease, local data, global neuroscience (2006-2010).
  • Rebecca Dimond (ESRC Studentship) The social construction of 22q11 deletion syndrome’(2007-2010).
  • Amy Lloyd (CU studentship) The impact of antenatal screening and decision making for women with a child with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 2009.

Current studies

  • 2015-2017 MemoryCare: Investigating the management of refusal of care in people with dementia admitted to hospital with an acute condition (NIHR HS&DR Researcher-led stream) £447k (Featherstone PI)
  • 2017-2020,Understanding continence practices in acute settings for people with dementia in acute hospital settings: raising awareness and improving care (NIHR HS&DR Researcher-led stream) £508k (Featherstone PI) 

Previous studies

  • 2015-2016, Core Outcome Data Set for Dementia clinical trials (COD Dementia) Development of a consensus for a standardised ‘Core’ Outcome Data Set for Dementia clinical trials (NIHR HTA 15/62/02) £49,999 Co-applicant: Featherstone (2016, 6 months)
  • 2013-2014, Improving the experience of out-patient cancer treatment for people with comorbid dementia in Wales (TENOVUS) £29,976.00
  • 2011-2013, Understanding hospital-level variation in outcomes for patients admitted for acute coronary syndrome: an ethnographic study, (NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme: PB-PG-0909-20262). Co-applicant with Bristol University, Barts and the London, University College Medical School London) £248,354.00
  • 2002 –2006, Evaluation of appropriateness methods to define and improve access across primary, secondary and tertiary care among people with angina. An RCT to evaluate appropriateness ratings as an approach to reducing barriers to access to effective care for patients with angina, (NHS Service Delivery and organisation, National R & D Programme). Co-applicant with University College London, Queen Mary & Westfield College) £261,208
  • 2004-2006 Clinical, molecular, and social aspects of genetic testing for Rett syndrome, (The Healthcare Trust). Co-applicant with Dept Medical Genetics, Cardiff University) £287,000
  • 2004-2005 Investigation of the practical and ethical problems of a surgical RCT: the MRC spine stabilisation trial, (MRC). Co-applicant with John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, University of Oxford) £60,000
  • 2002-2003 The clinical picture: the interaction of clinical medicine and genetic technology, (ESRC). Co-applicant with Dept Medical Genetics, Cardiff), ESRC evaluation: 'Outstanding'. £62,814

I am interested in supervising PhD research in the areas of:

  • Inequalities in healthcare
  • Institutional cultures and ward cultures in the acute setting
  • Qualitative and ethnographic research in clinical settings
  • The care and experiences of people living with dementia and carers 

Current doctoral students
• Manal Ali M Hamithi (International Student: Saudi Arabia) Exploring behavioural interventions aimed at improving continence in older people living with cognitive impairments (Dementia) living in long term care settings.
• Amani Abdullah Alnamnakani (International) Body image perceptions of Muslim women with disabilities.

Supervision of doctoral Students: Completed 
• Cindy Sylvia (International student) Nurses in Industry: A Study of Professional Ecology Doctorate awarded 2018.
• Nikki West (Florence Nightingale Foundation studentship) The long-term impact of risk reducing surgery on women who are at high risk of breast cancer (BRACA1 and BRACA2) Doctorate awarded 2017.
• Catherine Dunn (RCBC Studentship) Disclosure of erectile dysfunction: stigma, sexuality and ageing in the clinic. Doctorate awarded 2015.
• Amie Hodges (Florence Nightingale Foundation studentship) An exploration of the experiences of the sibling in the chronic illness trajectory (2012-2017) Doctorate awarded 2015.
• Areej Haitham (International Student) Hidden voices: Postpartum women, health beliefs and their use of on-line forums in Saudi Arabia (2009-2014). Doctorate awarded 2015.
• Mandayachepa Nyando (International Student) Invisible women: carers of children living with HIV and AIDS in rural Malawi (2010-2014). Doctorate awarded  2014.
• Nicola Evans (Health Foundation studentship) Change in an NHS mental health Outpatient Service: an ethnography (2012-2013). Doctorate awarded 2014.
• Jessica Baillie (RCBC Studentship) Perspectives on peritoneal dialysis: an ethnography of the management of health technologies within the home. Doctorate awarded 2013.
• Yupares Payaprom (International student) Perceptions of influenza and uptake of vaccination amongst high risk Thai elderly people. Doctorate awarded 2011.
• Victoria Marke (CU studentship) PTSD and emotional affect in patients admitted with Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). Doctorate awarded 2010.
• Jackie Hughes (ESRC Studentship) After Genetics – Huntington’s disease, local data, global neuroscience. Doctorate awarded 2010.
• Rebecca Dimond (ESRC Studentship) The social construction of 22q11 deletion syndrome. Doctorate awarded 2010.
• Amy Lloyd (CU studentship) The impact of antenatal screening and decision making for women with a child with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Doctorate awarded 2009.