Conducting research in care homes is difficult, and research originating from care homes is lacking. This article provides reflective insights into the determinants that affect research engagement among UK care home staff. The Capability, Opportunity, Motivation, Behaviour (COM-B) model of behaviour has been used to structure and explore our reflections relating to time, funding and skills. Our reflections suggest that wider determinants influence research engagement among care home staff and that a culture of research within care homes remains in its infancy. Our reflections highlight that more needs to be done to enable and empower care home staff to engage in research.
Informal care partners of individuals with dementia are often referred to as the ‘invisible patient’, whose needs are under-represented in research. The physical, mental and emotional responsibilities of caring for someone with dementia can be both rewarding and challenging. This qualitative study explored how attending a dementia cafe affected care partner well-being. The co-designed cafe adopted a person-centred approach, valuing members’ unique abilities and contributions. Results showed that the cafe provided a safe environment where individuals could be themselves. Participants found a sense of belonging, camaraderie and friendship that enhanced their sense of well-being and maintained their selfhood and dignity.
This article compares cash-for-care schemes supporting older people with health-related social care needs, as well as their informal carers, in England and Finland. The meso-level policy analysis drills down into the governance arrangements underpinning cash-for-care schemes, including their eligibility criteria, generosity and territorial variations. It explores their implicit and explicit intentions, function and effects in defamilialising, familialising or refamilialising families’ caring responsibilities. This reveals inconsistencies in the familialising and defamilialising effects of schemes according to individuals’ characteristics, choices and policy restrictions. It also exposes an overarching tendency to familialise or refamilialise the activity of caring for older people, which is exacerbated by austerity-related politics.
Data from an international survey of teachers of the Alexander Technique – an embodied form of self-care – illustrate their perspectives on how the Alexander Technique supports caring by combatting carer self-loss. Understanding of care as an embodied phenomenon is furthered by describing: (1) specific embodied habits that seem highly pertinent to care of self and others; and (2) how they might be (re)acquired in learning the Alexander Technique. In offering both practical and philosophical ways in which the Alexander Technique differs from alternatives, the article invites fresh thinking about theory and practice in supporting care, and argues that research on the Alexander Technique in the context of caring is warranted.
This book unpacks the political economy of China’s COVID-19 vaccine supplies to the Global South. Examining the political and economic forces at play, the book demonstrates how China’s vaccine provisions have been determined by a complex set of commercial interests, domestic politics, and geopolitical relationships.
The book sheds light on how domestic interests shape China’s role in global governance and its international economic engagement. Its analysis contributes to broader academic debates on the politics and economics of crises, as well as offering new insights on how pre-existing political and market forces shape aid and trade in the context of crisis.
This concluding chapter summarizes the book’s core arguments and findings, namely that China’s overseas vaccine supplies are driven principally by commercial imperatives, as well as by the party-state’s need to maintain its performance-based legitimacy domestically. It then discusses some broader implications of this analysis. With respect to China’s foreign relations, the findings of this book point to the importance of domestic factors and state-corporate linkages in shaping China’s external interactions. With respect to international political economy, they offer insights into how crises are shaped by existing institutions and patterns, but also provide new opportunities for actors able and willing to seize them. The chapter finishes by looking ahead to the future of Chinese vaccine supplies overseas as production and exchange of COVID-19 vaccines becomes a routine transaction. It outlines both the challenges of increasing competition from other players (in particular, those further ahead in the use of mRNA technologies) and successive variants of the virus, as well as promising opportunities for further development, in particular in vaccine manufacturing collaborations in the Global South.
This chapter lays out the pre-pandemic initial conditions that shaped China’s overseas COVID-19 vaccine supplies by contextualizing China’s position in global health in recent history. First, it describes China’s domestic health governance and its increasing importance to the party-state’s performance-based legitimacy, in particular following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Next, it charts China’s role in health sector foreign aid and international health governance institutions, highlighting Beijing’s longstanding preference for bilateral cooperation over multilateral engagement through institutions such as the WHO. Finally, it describes China’s position in the global pharmaceutical industry and vaccine markets, which has expanded rapidly in recent years – facilitated in part by state support for technological innovation – but nonetheless pre-pandemic was relatively weak compared to other major industrialized economies.