While there are many different potential causes of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is by far the most common. Alzheimer’s blights countless lives here in the UK and worldwide, affecting both the quality of life of the sufferer and their loved ones alike. In order to combat Alzheimer’s and to ensure that future generations don’t have to suffer the emotional pain of dementia, it’s important that we prioritise high-quality healthcare research. But how should one best approach Alzheimer’s research? Alzheimer’s presents numerous challenges for those looking to research the disease, so if you’re new to the field there’s a lot you ought to know. Take a look at our Alzheimer’s research best practice guide and ensure that your healthcare data is accurate, thorough and useable in future.
Alzheimer’s disease is an understandably sensitive issue. Sufferers’ conditions will deteriorate at different rates and intensities, so it’s important to approach them with sensitivity and an understanding of their illness. Alzheimer’s patients may become confused or undergo sudden changes in mood, so researchers should strive not to cause additional stress or aggravation. Patients’ families and loved ones must also be treated with sensitivity – remember that dementia causes suffering beyond the patients themselves…
Look out for associated health problems
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that can deteriorate dramatically over time, and as a patient’s cognizance begins to dissipate associated health problems can become more and more common. Many patients will struggle to communicate health problems to doctors and researchers as confusion sets in, while Alzheimer’s sufferers often exhibit impaired motor skills, increasing the risk of falling, choking, or contracting pneumonia after inhaling food or liquids. An awareness of these associated health problems is crucial for the wellbeing of the patient and the accuracy of your research.
Remember cause and effect
Whilst Alzheimer’s itself is known to be one of the most common causes of dementia in the UK and worldwide – responsible for around two thirds of all cases – the causes of Alzheimer’s itself are less thoroughly understood. It may be that your research focusses around the cause and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, in which case you may wish to focus your efforts on sufferers exhibiting the early stages of the illness. The effects of Alzheimer’s disease are more readily apparent, and while some symptoms can be treated the disease itself is currently incurable. It’s important to remember how Alzheimer’s can affect sufferers and their families alike.
Always put the patient first
Healthcare research is vitally important, so those working with Alzheimer’s patients will naturally prioritise their studies very highly indeed. This isn’t to say, however, that your research should be allowed to assume a greater significance than the patients themselves. The wellbeing of the subjects of your study is paramount, so while you may be locked in the pursuit of useful data and information, always ensure that you take time to administer to the needs of the people that make your study possible.
Use an appropriate data capture method
Alzheimer’s research data capture is a difficult task to get right. When approaching patients who may be confused, suffering from impaired judgement, awareness and low mood, selecting an appropriate data capture method is crucial. Might an inappropriate data capture method simply add to a patient’s confusion? If you’re looking for the most accurate Alzheimer’s data gathered with the most practical, intuitive data capture methods, take a look at the range of healthcare research tools available on our website, or contact us for more information about how we can help your study.