Jolien Vos has joined the Community and Health Research Unit this semester as a graduate research assistant and doctoral student. She came from Belgium to the UK at the end of September 2013 to join CaHRU in the University of Lincoln’s School of Health and Social Care. Jolien is currently undertaking a PhD funded by a College of Social Science Scholarship, primarily supervised by Dr Karen Windle and Prof Niro Siriwardena. Her doctoral studies are exploring the area of ICT use and its potential to improve the care for elderly with multiple morbidities. Alongside her PhD, she is also supporting the Clinical trial for elderly patients with Multiple Disease (CHROMED) study.
Jolien did her undergraduate degree in Nursing at the K. H. Kempen University College in Lier. This was followed by an MSc in Health Promotion and Education (Prevention) at Ghent University. Her MSc mainly focused on interventions in health, public health, preventive medicine and health psychology, in which she explored the opinions of GPs in Flanders regarding the registration of risk factors for HIV in the (electronic) medical records. She continued at Ghent University for another year, working as a Research Assistant within the Communication in Health Care and Equity in Health Care research groups. Besides contributing to research within these groups, she supervised Masters students with their dissertations and taught Communication in Health Care to Medical and Dentistry students.
Jo Middlemass, Research Fellow in the CaHRU, was recently been awarded her PhD from the University of Nottingham Sports Centre at University Park campus on Tuesday 10th December, for her study entitled: Behavioural change in the primary prevention of Coronary Heart Disease – Evaluating the Transtheoretical/Stages of Change Behavioural Model: A mixed methods study. The study was supervised by Professor Penny Standen (Professor in Health Psychology and Learning Disabilities) and Professor Nadeem Qureshi (Professor of Primary Care). Jo also expressed gratitude for the encouragement and assistance received from University of Lincoln in particular Professor Niro Siriwardena and Dr. Karen Windle and other members of the CaHRU.
The risk of heart disease is increased by smoking, eating a high fat diet and lack of exercise, all of which are modifiable lifestyle behaviours. The aim of the thesis was to explore the potential for the use of the Transtheoretical/Stages of Change (TTM/SOC) model in primary care and to consider how the findings could help clinicians advise patients to change their unhealthy behaviours. There were three parts to the study; the first part was a structured review which examined studies using the TTM/SOC behavioural model in primary care; the second part reviewed secondary data from a cardiovascular disease study (‘Realising the potential of the family history in risk assessment and primary prevention of coronary heart disease in primary care’ – ADDFAM) which used the TTM/SOC model, to see what change predictors could be found. The third part used semi-structured interviews to identify the facilitators and barriers to behaviour change experienced by individuals attempting to change their unhealthy behaviours, to see if these could be explained in terms of the TTM/SOC model.
The key findings were: although there was validity in the basic premise that people move through the stages of change there was mixed evidence for the TTM/SOC model either as an intervention, or an outcome/predictor measure; in particular, there was some doubt that movement through the stages of changes equated to actual behavioural change. Moreover, while there was evidence to suggest that TTM/SOC model constructs were used in the process of change, there were some noted differences to the processes outlined in the model. Some additional constructs were identified which may be useful to consider including in the model such as denial/fatalism, psychological aspects and demographic data.
Jo Middlemass returns to join the research team this October 2012 as Research Assistant on the CHROMED (Clinical tRials fOr elderly patients with MultiplE Disease) study which is a three-year, international, European Commission funded study investigating the effectiveness and costs of telecare for patients with long-term conditions including COPD and heart failure. Previously Jo worked on the ENACT study (Exploring Social Networks to Augment Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for people with insomnia).
Hello, My name is Zahid Asghar. I joined the Lincoln School of Health & Social Care in September 2011. My background is in mathematical modeling and medical statistics. Currently I am working on a case control study and a self-controlled case series study to investigate the potential for influenza and/or pneumococcal vaccination to prevent against stroke and transient ischemic attack (IPVASTIA). The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit programme and the study team led by Prof Niro Siriwardena (Lincoln) include Dr Carol Coupland (Nottingham University) and Stella Gwini (Monash University, Australia).
Previously I have worked as an infectious disease modeler at Imperial College, London (over five years), Medical Statistician at Nottingham University for chronic liver disease and as a mathematical modeler, data analyst and statistician at Liverpool University, forecasting coronary heart disease and mortality projections for the UK. I have extensive experience in data management and computer programming. I developed algorithmic code to aid policy and advocacy as well as calculated the prevalence of disease burden such as HIV in different country settings.
Viet-Hai in his new role as Research Assistant
Viet-Hai Phung has just joined the School of Health & Social Care working with Professor Niro Siriwardena as a Research Assistant. Viet-Hai’s profile is as follows:-
My name is Viet-Hai Phung and I joined the School of Health and Social Care as a Research Assistant in September 2011. I am currently undertaking a systematic literature review as part of an NIHR programme for applied research entitled Prehospital Outcomes for Evidence Based Evaluation (PHOEBE) which is developing new ways of measuring the Impact of ambulance service care. In addition to this, I am currently involved in the editorial process for the journal, Quality in Primary Care.
My academic background is in politics and research methodology. In addition, I have nine years’ experience of working in applied research across a range of public policy areas, including social policy, community safety, higher education and housing. I have undertaken policy evaluations for the public and voluntary sector. Prior to joining the School of Health and Social Care, I worked as a Research Associate for six and a half years at the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University. I have a range of quantitative and qualitative research skills, as well as extensive experience of undertaking literature reviews and publishing for a range of audiences, including peer-reviewed journals and policy practitioners.