The research group at SESAM consist of nearly 25 researchers and professor Dag Årsland is the lead researcher. One part of the research at SESAM is clinical but translational research - where clinical research is combined with laboratory-based research, is an ever-increasing part of the research activities. Under Årsland's leadership, SESAM has gone from conducting pure clinical research to translational research - a more complex approach that combines basic research with research on how to best treat patients.
A lot of the research at SESAM is multidisciplinary, and a total of 12 PhD candidates are affiliated with SESAM in whole or in part. In 2018, researchers at SESAM were involved in 33 scientific publications in various journals, in addition to oral presentations at national and international conferences.
The research activity at SESAM is mainly based on external funding. This requires that we keep ut with project development, write applications ourselves and join as partners in applications.
In 2018, SESAM was lucky enough to receive a great gift from the Nursing Home Association in Rogaland in connection with the sale og Blidensol nursing home. 35 million NOK is earmarked biomedical dementia research that will help to understand mechanisms and find new diagnostic methods and new medical treatment strategies.
Basic medical research, clinical research and translational research contribute to increased knowledge that is clinically relevant, but the innovations do not contribute to better pratice if not used. Therefore, the second part of the research at SESAM is of a more social science nature, focusing on the implementation of new knowledge in practice - within psychosocial treatment for people with dementia and their relatives, nutrition, quality and safety in health services and health technology. Implementation of new knowledge in practice, so that the field of practice and the individual patient can benefit, is an important part of SESAM's research.
In the spring of 2016, SESAM took the initiative to establish FOKUS; a network of nursing homes in Helse Stavanger's field of impact, which focuses on research and knowledge of dementia through participation in various research projects. The purpose of the FOKUS network is:
1) to contribute to the development of methodology related to health service research;
2) to contribute to the enhancement of competence in research in nursing homes and in health care staff in nursing homes, and;
3) to contribute to the implementation of new knowledge.
The network builds on the collaboration with King's College London, which established the Care Home Research Network (CHRN) in 2012, and is led by SESAM centre leader Ingelin Testad. FOKUS now includes 10 nursing homes in Helse Stavanger's field of impact. The network and the organization of this ensures greater ownership of the research as well as dissemination and implementation of new knowledge in the field of practice. Among other things, this gives nursing homes the opportunity for participation and user involvement throughout the research process.
Locally, it is crucial for SESAM to have a good research collaboration with departments that have clinical activity within Stavanger University Hospital, especially at the psychiatric and geratric division. A collaboration with the cardiology department at Stavanger University Hospital has also been established through the research project "Anthocyanins: A new approach to the prevention of dementia? (ACID)" and the National Competence Disability Service (NKB) through several projects. SESAM receives administrative and strategic support and guidance from the Research Department at the hospital.
SESAM also collaborates with other local government agencies and businesses. SESAM is a member of the Norwegian Smart Care Cluster. The purpose of the cluster is to contribute to the innovation, development and commercialization of new solutions in health technology.
The European Union unit at the University of Stavanger has become a key partner for SESAM. The EU unit is a collaboration between six research players in the region, and the aim is to obtain as many EU projects as possible for these research players. It is important for the increased quality of research and education at SESAM that our researchers compete and collaborate with the best in Europe.
SESAM shall be a driving force and a hub for regional collaboration projects in various research areas. Good working relationships in Helse Vest RHF have been crucial in achieving this. Through the efficient use of current resources, combined with great research activity, SESAM has established research collaboration with, among others, Haraldsplass Diakonale Hospital (HDS), Helse Bergen HF/ Haukeland University Hospital (HUS) and the University College in Western Norway.
In 2018, SESAM joined as a partner in GERONETT, a national network for research and skills development on oral health for the elderly. The network was established by the six regional odontological centres of expertise (ROK) to coordinate and increase the research activity on the elderly population's oral health (gerodontology), as well as increase the competence and awareness of the importance of oral health in other health service areas, both in research, education and in the field of practice, and thus facilitating interdisciplinary projects.
Nationally, SESAM is a driving force for the development of several large national collaborative projects in dementia research. SESAM actively collaborate with the Naional Competence Service for Aging and Health through the registry study "Quality and research register in aged psychiatry (KVALAP)." Furthermore, the dementia research community at AHUS, and the Norwegian Centre for Research on Mental Health, the University of Oslo (UiO) are also key partners.
For a long time, SESAM has developed a close and extensive collaboration with internationally leading research groups. In 2018, the collaboration was formalized by signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with King's College London and the University of Exeter. Furthermore, serveral MoUs are being prepared with foreign research institutions, which will take place in 2019. This is part of international cooperation on student exchange and research projects.
User involvement in research is a key part of keeping research relevant to those in question. User involvement is an important priority for SESAM and we have therefore created WiseAge as our platform for user involvement and community engagement. User involvement can contribute to broader processes and perspectives in research due to the unique perspective users and relatives can provide. An overarching goal is that user involvement should lead to increased relevance and better quality in research. By involving users, it can help to research aspects of the services that reflect the users' perspectives and needs to a greater extent. The result can then bring with it new knowledge that the health services and patients benefit from, as well as optimize the implementation and dissemination of research results.
SESAM attaches great importance to the recruitment of master degree students. Student guidance is an important focus area for us as it connects us to different professional backgrounds. Therefore, considerable work is done in the recruitment, supervision and follow-up of the students. This also includes support functions in the form of office space, teaching, assistance and guidance in connection with students' application processes, data collection, data analysis and assignment writing.