Current projects

Exploring comparative effectiveness and efficiency in long-term care (EXCELC) project

It is predicted that, in coming years and in many countries, the proportion of people needing long-term care (LTC) will increase substantially. To meet the social and economic challenges of responding to this increased demand for care, health and care welfare regimes need to focus on the social care services that matter most to people, and deliver these services effectively and efficiently. In this study, the effectiveness and efficiency of non-institutional LTC (e.g. home care) for older adults and their informal carers is compared across three countries: Austria, England and Finland.

To measure outcomes in LTC and enable consistent cross-country comparison, there is a need for a common, well-validated measure. EXCELC is using ASCOT to achieve this goal. The aims of the project include:

  • Translation of ASCOT SCT4 and INT4 and ASCOT Carer SCT4 and Carer INT4 into Finnish and German (Austria).
  • Development of utility weights for these measures (service user and carer versions of ASCOT) based on the preferences of the Finnish and Austrian populations.
  • Development of utility weights for the carer version of ASCOT based on the preferences of the English population.
  • Comparison of the utility weights/preferences between the three countries.

For more information about the project, please click here.

Validation of the easy read ASCOT

ASCOT is a set of questions included in the Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS), which is an annual survey of users of social services conducted by local authorities in England.  The easy read format of ASCOT in the ASCS was developed under time constraints and with minimal wording adaptation for people with cognitive impairments. The previous phase of QORU-funded research on developing methods for wider inclusion developed a revised version of the easy read ASCOT. This revised version of the easy read ASCOT was developed through an iterative process using feedback from a working group, focus groups and one-to-one interviews with people with learning disabilities and autism. This revised easy read version of ASCOT has been designed to be as accessible and acceptable to users as possible without compromising the essential integrity of the instrument as a measure of social care-related quality of life. To learn more about this work, refer to Turnpenny et al. (2016) and the project report.

The current project work on this previous work is split into two projects with the following aims:

  • To pilot the revised easy read version of ASCOT in the context of a self-completion survey of people with learning disabilities or autism to evaluate the revised instrument’s feasibility in paper-based data collections such as the ASCS, as well as to assess the revised measure’s psychometric properties
  • the research will test whether the revised easy read version of ASCOT may be adapted into an electronic version that may be administered on tablet devices, such as iPads. This study will develop a beta-version for inclusion in future pilot studies to evaluate its usefulness and usability by service users, and assess its impact on the psychometric properties of ASCOT.

Measuring Outcomes Of Care Homes (MOOCH)

The study aims to find out more about the social care-related quality of life of older people living in care homes, and understand what factors are related to differences in quality of life. The study will compare the SCRQoL of care homes with the quality judgements made by the CQC under their new inspection regime. The aims of the project can be summarised as follows:

  • provide information about the SCRQoL of around 300 older people living in care homes in a single local authority in England
  • Examine the impact of the care and support provided by the homes upon residents’ quality of life.
  • Collect data about the SCRQoL of approximately 100 family/friend (unpaid) carers of the care homes residents taking part in the research
  • Explore how care home residents’ quality of life relates to staff attitudes and motivations and the quality ratings given to homes by the local authority and the care regulator (CQC)

For more information about this project, email

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