Identifying barriers and facilitators to the inclusion of older adults living in UK care homes in research: a scoping review

Brittany Nocivelli*, Victoria Shepherd, Kerenza Hood, Carolyn Wallace, Fiona Wood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: With an ageing population, older adults will have more complex health and social care needs and many of these older adults will be living in care homes. Despite the growth in care home populations, care home residents are often excluded from research that could potentially benefit their care. The purpose of this scoping review is to explore resident-related barriers and facilitators to including older people living in UK care homes in research and to identify potential approaches to modify such barriers.

Method: The 6-stage scoping review methodology framework proposed by Arksey and O’Malley guided this review. Five electronic databases (MedLine, PsychINFO, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL) and grey literature were searched. Identified articles went through two levels of screening, and those deemed relevant were collated, summarised and reported using a thematic analysis approach.

Results: 90 reports were eligible for inclusion and were synthesised into 7 themes and related subthemes: (1) research design; (2) understanding and beliefs about research (resident and care home staff); (3) communication; (4) relationships; (5) eligibility criteria (resident and care home); (6) preference-based decisions; and (7) care home staff and environment. Given the complex interplay of the factors identified, both direct and indirect factors were included.

Conclusions: A number of recurring barriers and facilitators to the inclusion of care home residents in research are reported. However, isolating resident-related barriers was complex as both direct and indirect factors must be considered as influential. Understanding the barriers and facilitators to inclusion will enable these factors to be addressed and increase the evidence-base for care provided to older people living in care homes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Research
  • Barriers
  • Facilitators
  • Residential home
  • Care home
  • Inclusion
  • Scoping review
  • Older adults
  • Participation
  • Nursing home


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