Dr Kirsten Challinor

Australian Catholic University 

Times, Tools, Skills: Using Intuitive Technology to Overcome Aged Care’s 3 Most Significant Challenges in Delivering Person Centred Care

Wednesday 12 October 2022

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Speaker Bio

Dr Kirsten Challinor is a neuroscientist whose research focuses on the psychology of better aging. Driven by her goal to bring joy to seniors, she implements over 20 years of experience researching the relationship between the brain and behaviour in aged care settings. As the leader of a research program collaborating with the aged-care industry, her primary focus is to answer research questions that are meaningful in ‘real world’ settings, not only in academic ivory towers. For example, her research interests include music as a therapy for people living with Dementia, reduction of PRN use, carer wellbeing and trauma, and the complex factors of a carer-resident relationship that can lead to an unsafe workplace.



RACFs in Australia care for large cohorts of seniors with complex and diverse needs, including dementia. While staff recognise the value of personal connection with residents, social engagement, and meaningful activity, they lack the time, tools, and skills to provide this type of support around-the-clock in a truly personalised way.

The discussion features Dr Kirsten Challinor (PhD), Neuroscientist and lecturer from ACU, Alison Harrington, Founder and CEO, Moove and Groove and Stacey Torode, Quality and Innovation Manager at Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) Inc.  These industry insiders discuss Dr Challinor’s research and M&G case studies, focusing on the impact of providing aged care staff and residents with easy, on-the-spot access to a therapeutic program of video and audio experiences.

Dr Challinor’s research focus:

Aim: Measuring the effectiveness of a wireless headphone technology program delivering audio-visual content to residents in RACF. Outcomes of interest include staff wellbeing, reduction of psychotropic PRNs and reduction in behaviours of concern.

Method: A series of studies over several years have employed mixed methods, including:

-Online survey of aged care staff across 63 services during 2020, before, and during the COVID-19 pandemic 2020.

Online focus group via Zoom to further discuss staff experience with the audio-visual content.

-Medication chat data (2021) analysis of psychotropic PRN use of 1399 residents before and after the introduction of M&G.

-Results: The online survey (n=34) yielded high scores on the job stratification subscale, with 85% of staff agreeing that the program could improve job satisfaction on a 5-point Likert scale.



Similar results were found for program enjoyment (96%), social connection to residents (94%) and ease of use (91%). Thematic analysis of the focus groups (n= 9) revealed that the staff found the program a valuable additional resource that saved time. It allowed for a deep connection of person-centred care. In particular, overcoming cultural or language barriers. It was a timely resource during the pandemic. PRN medication administration rates were unchanged after only three months of M&G, during a time when rates were predicted to increase significantly due to the impact of Covid-19, which indicates a promising future for the program.

Alison Harrington shares key M&G learnings and best practices in overcoming staff challenges relating to Time, Tools and Skills. The data and case studies shared are reflective of the last 3 years spent working with 100’s of RACFs and 1,000s of staff across Australia and supporting and coaching them in using the therapeutic program to offer consumer-centric experiences to residents.  The experiences offered to residents include music therapy, exercise, spiritual and cultural connection, dementia programs, and palliative care.