Evaluation is an important process required to determine the reliability and validity of information from various sources, such as journals, text books, and web pages (http://www.lib.berkeley.edu). The article in question looks at “the impact of early dementia an outdoor life”. Bennet (2001) is the framework that will be used to help structure the evaluation of this article, as it should then give an indication if the information is clearly justified or not. The study was carried out by four researchers: who have clearly stated their educational and professional back round in biographical notes Duggan et al (2008). The aim of the study was to determine if it is beneficial to sufferers of dementia to venture outdoors on a regular basis. According to Ferri et al (2005) dementia will affect 81.1 million people by the year 2040.
Duggan has a good knowledge of dementia, experience coming from her personal and professional life, and has carried out previous studies (www.dur.ac.uk). Blackman has an educated understanding of dementia, and is the former director of the Oxford Dementia Centre (www.dur.ac.uk). In addition it was from the above mentioned study with Duggan in which the article of study stems from. Martyr demonstrates an understanding of dementia, and has carried out research in working memory, and deficits in early dementia (www.dem.sagepub.com). Van Schalik is linked with psychology related research, however, he has been involved in another study with Blackman, and Martyr in 2007, which looked at ‘outdoor environments for people with dementia: an explanatory study using virtual reality, ageing and society (www.tees.ac.uk).
The researchers appear to have a sufficient combined knowledge of dementia, and have carried out an appropriate literature review in preparation for the study. Denscombe (1999) states that literature reviews are relevant as they look at studies that have already been done in relation to the study topic, and can contain valuable information that can be helpful. The study in question is recent (2008) which is important, as improvements in medicine are advancing; therefore the data from the research needs to be current, of which it is.
Key terms such as ‘dementia’ were not defined within the study leaving it open to ambiguity for the reader, this can lead to assumptions being made (Babbie 2005). Inclusion of further detail from the original study: ‘Designing and Planning Outdoor Environments for People with Dementia (2007)’ (www.tees.ac.uk), would have been more helpful to the reader as the article in question was based on the 2007 study; that involved the participants going through a simulation of going outdoors, whilst the article in question makes it apparent that the participants were then questioned about actual outdoor experiences, therefore making this is misleading.
Joseph Rowntree’s Older People Inquiry (2005), was irrelevant to the study as it looked at old age rather than dementia. The authors also have gone off topic, looking at issues that have no relevance to the research undertaken such as housing, and the study by Laing & Buisson (2002) cited in Duggan et al (2008), as the aim of the study was to see if it was beneficial for early to moderate dementia sufferers to spend time outdoors regularly. There are also assumptions made that imply that dementia sufferers are socially excluded, this is a bold statement and is certainly not the way many people view sufferers of dementia. The negativity never less, was balanced by including an opposite point of view, this was through Cantley and Bowes (2004), supported by Wilkinson (2002 ) both cited in Duggan et al (2008). All argue that the voices of people with dementia should be heard to give an understanding of what life is like for them, hence they are not socially excluded.
In the article, it is stated that the research was carried out by using the ‘grounded theory approach’. This was developed by Glaser,...
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