Research at Leeds Beckett
Sarah Jane Smith
About Sarah Jane Smith
Sarah’s research concerns understanding the cognitive changes people with different types of dementia may experience, for example changes in ability to remember parts of your personal history or remember to do something in the future. Investigating everyday changes that people experience in their thinking abilities assist researchers to develop individualised approaches to diagnosis, as well as providing tailored post diagnostic support that respects the different challenges that people living with dementia experience.
Through her research Sarah is interested in developing interventions that support people living with dementia to stimulate cognitive function (e.g. cognitive rehabilitation). She is also interested in evaluating the effectiveness of different types of non-pharmacological interventions (for example music) for people living with different types of dementia in terms of improving cognition, social function and well-being.
Sarah has increasingly been involved in projects using innovative technology to conduct research and deliver healthcare solutions. She has experienced in conducting evaluation research using quantitative and qualitative approach.
Sarah has spent over 6 years developing and delivering training and education to the dementia care workforce. She is interested in conducting research to understand the needs of the dementia care workforce, with a specific focus on providing training and education to support the delivery of person centred diagnosis and early post diagnostic support.
Supervision of Masters dissertations and doctoral students.
Sarah's current research is targeted at providing improved experience for people with dementia at the point of diagnosis and providing more effective postdaignstic support. She is involved in projects developing technology to inform early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
She is working with researchers at the University of Manchester to assess the feasibility of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy for people with Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia.
Sarah continues to be involved in research evaluating the effectiveness of education and training in the dementia workforce.
She is involved in supervising PhD students examining a range of topics, including evaluating Art and Music interventions, interventions in long term care, developing a measure of self for people with dementia, and managing medicines in community settings.