Research

QORU research is person-centred in that it focuses on individuals rather than organisations or systems. The research considers how individuals are affected by organisations, services and other forms of support, and how those organisations and systems can and should account for needs and outcomes of individual people. A core element of our strategy is that the concepts, measures and analysis would be grounded in the perspectives and experiences of people with LTCs, and ultimately feed into improving care and support to give people a better quality of life.

QORU research will seek to:

  • involve people with long-term conditions (LTCs) in research
  • identify ways of measuring their experiences and the effects these conditions have on their quality of life
  • find the most appropriate ways to apply and use information about the outcomes and experiences of people to guide the development of health and social care services in England
  • gather evidence about the best strategies to support people with chronic diseases and other long-term conditions to improve service delivery

This will be achieved through activities under four themes:

Engagement

Developing methods to improve participation of ‘hard-to-engage’ people in research and so enable their experiences to be reflected in the evidence base.

Measurement

Identifying what is important to people’s quality of life and finding ways to best measure people’s needs and their quality of life, well-being and health (in a way that is relevant to how they experience services and support.

Application

Understanding how information about care-related quality of life and needs can best be used to achieve person-centred goals for commissioning, regulation and so on. The focus is on how existing datasets (surveys and administrative records) can be used to assess the impact of interventions, and what algorithms or decision-rules can be developed to help decision markers best achieve strategic goals. This theme also includes research on how people actually use outcomes information to guide their care-related decisions.

Service delivery

Developing the evidence-base about which specific interventions do deliver the person-centred outcomes (ideally, where all potentially affected people are engaged, their outcomes measured and this information appropriately applied to best inform prioritisation of resources). A particular focus will be on ways to support the self-management of long-term conditions more effectively.

While developing and maintaining a long-term scientific programme, a fundamental principle of QORU is that the unit will also be responsive to the more immediate requirements of the Department of Health. To date, researchers within the unit have undertaken a series of responsive mode projects, and a number of these have now been adopted and developed into the longer-term research plans.

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