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Doctoral Research

Digital Clinical Safety for Older People accessing Adult Social Care Occupational Therapy Services.

This doctoral research aims to better understand and manage the digital clinical risk communications relating to older people’s occupational engagement with complex/advanced technology while accessing adult social care services, to:

  • Support best practice adoption, and optimise people’s safety and independence
  • Enhance communication between older people and occupational therapists creating better conversations.

Older people face many challenges, not least being labelled as vulnerable, frail or digitally disengaged or incompetent. The use of AI/IoT has exploded in recent years and older adults are adopting it rapidly, using voice activated smart assistants, home environment controls and security, online platforms such as shopping, social media, emailing and using WhatsApp to keep in touch with friends and family. The advent of ChatGTP and Bard are now adding complexity to occupational therapists practice, working with a more digitally active community of older service users and discussing safety is a challenge.

At the heart of Alicias’ research are older people and occupational therapists, who will be involved in co-creating tools and resources to support better conversations and safe uptake of these technologies, at home. The first study (national surveys) have now been completed and learning from that will inform study 2, an experience based co-design process.

Alicia successfully applied for the Constance Owen Phd Award in 2023, to fund this important research.

Alicia has been sharing her research with colleagues in Canada and Europe, and has been actively supported by the University of Sheffield and York St John University to present at a range of conferences. She is regularly asked to support colleagues in the profession/AHP communities with the co-design of new materials to support safe digital practice.

Ethics No: YSJ ETHICS 2223-0007