Viet-Hai Phung attends KCL social science research summer school

Viet-Hai Phung, research assistant and doctoral student at CaHRU recently attended the summer school, ‘Doing social science research in healthcare settings’ at King’s College, London, 13-14 July 2017. This is his account of the course.

vhp2“It was a pleasure to attend this two-day summer school that was run by King’s College, London aimed at Early Career Researchers and PhD students. The five sessions spread over two days covered a range of topics of particular interest and relevance to me. First up, we looked at using theory in applied health research. This started off with the basics of comparing positivism, with its emphasis on objective reality, and interpretivism’s accommodation of multiple realities. The session continued by linking micro, meso and macro-theory. A key focus was Bourdieu’s logic of practice which explores how context and structures affect decisions.

The afternoon session examined how reflexivity can be used at different stages of the research process. Reflexivity also has its place within positivism and interpretivism. There then followed a discussion of the merits of ethics committees. Do they ensure that research is conducted to the highest standards or are they too risk averse? The session concluded by examining the role of the researcher in data collection.

sunflowerThe final day’s morning session continued to discuss the role of ethics committees. It discussed the way research governance has evolved within the healthcare sector and universities. In particular, we discussed the research governance process, particularly, the role of the Health Research Authority. The way they operated was compared (unfavourably) with university ethics committees, which from personal experience, I would agree with. The second morning session discussed the types of social science research that is likely to attract funding. Researchers are encouraged to publish to benefit their institutions in the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Increasingly, PhD students are encouraged to publish papers from their thesis. Deductive projects are particularly attractive to funders because they start with a clear research question, while the initial lack of clarity inherent in inductive research is less persuasive to potential funders.

The final session of the summer school examined the process from an initial idea to it becoming implemented. Apparently, this process normally takes around 17 years, with many pitfalls that can potentially slow the process down.

As a healthcare researcher and a PhD student, I found the summer school to be highly useful and relevant. The sessions were delivered clearly, in an engaging manner and with great enthusiasm. I would definitely recommend it to others in similar career situations.”

By Viet-Hai Phung

 

 

CaHRU study on CFRs presented to National Ambulance Forum

vhp2Viet-Hai Phung presented the findings of a University of Lincoln study on Community First Responders at a meeting of the National Ambulance Service First Responder Managers Forum at East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust at Beechdale, Nottingham on 25th April 2017. The presentation set out the aims and objectives of the research, which were to explore the role of CFRs in a rural location, using a systematic scoping review followed up by qualitative interviews.

This study team of Viet-Hai Phung, Fiona Togher, Ian Trueman, Prof Roderick ├śrner and Prof Niro Siriwardena, began the research in April 2016 with a systematic scoping review of CFR schemes in the UK which was published recently. CFRWordItOut-word-cloud-2426149Then followed a qualitative study involving 16 interviews of CFRs, conducted from June-July 2016. After describing the progress of the study, Viet-Hai Phung outlined the key findings of the scoping review. These included that: volunteers became CFRs mainly for altruistic reasons; they wanted more training and feedback on incidents they had attended; there were concerns about the possible emotional impact on CFRs responding to incidents; there was low public recognition of CFR schemes and sometimes confusion with ambulance staff; relationships with the ambulance staff were sometimes affected by confusion over roles; CFRs wanted local autonomy for CFR schemes but with greater sharing of best practice. Some of the findings from the scoping review were reinforced by the interview study. These findings, alongside others, were reinforced by the interview study.

The broad consensus among the regional ambulance managers was that further research was needed on CFRs and CFR schemes building on the work so far, and CaHRU is committed to working with ambulance trusts to further develop the work on CFRs. Professor Niro Siriwardena, who was also present at the event, said there were plans to discuss this further with ambulance service research leads at the next meeting of the National Ambulance Research Steering Group.

By Viet-Hai Phung

Dr Julie Pattinson presents at International Medical Graduates (IMG) Conference 2017 in Boston, UK

PHOTOJulie Pattinson of CaHRU presented her work on reasons for variations in performance in the MRCGP Applied Knowledge Test at the recent International Medical Graduates’ conference at the Conference Hall, Centre for Medical & Dental Education, Pilgrim Hospital. Speakers included Dr Bijoy Sinha (GP Speciality Training Programme Director, Lincolnshire), Dr Nick Humphry (GP Speciality Training Programme Director, Lincolnshire), Dr Bevis Heap (Programme Director HEE, East Midlands) and Dr Sathya Naidoo (Associate Postgraduate Dean and ARCP Lead for the East Midlands).

The purpose of the meeting was to identify needs of IMGs to help support them in GP training with a specific focus on the trainers’ roles. There were around 50 attendees in total, with the majority of the audience being GP speciality programme directors, vocational training managers, GP trainers and General Practitioner Speciality Training Registrars (GPSTRs). Dr Humphry opened the conference talking about the challenges and opportunities for IMGs in primary care training. This was followed by a talk from Dr Heap, who spoke about the challenges identified for IMGs that are different from those of indigenous graduates. Dr Naidoo spoke about identifying ‘at risk’ GPSTRs and the RCGP iMAP.

CaHRU_logotypeDr Julie Pattinson gave a presentation on ‘Understanding reasons for variation by ethnicity in performance of general practice specialty trainees in the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Applied Knowledge Test: cognitive interview study’. Her talk was about the differences that exist in candidate performance in high stakes medical licensing examinations, specifically the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP), between black and minority ethnic (BME) compared to white British doctors. The grounded theory analysis generated insights into reasons for difficulty in answering AKT questions in all participants, but it emerged that overseas trained (OST) participants do face additional difficulties answering AKT questions compared to UKGs and this could provide the basis for developing interventions to reduce differential attainment in UK specialty training for general practice. Feedback from Dr Humphrey following her talk stated ‘There was quite a buzz about it after and it stimulated a lot of conversation. I think our trainers and GPRs will find it useful when considering how to improve success in the AKT.’

bostonDuring the afternoon session Dr Sinha delivered a talk about IMG in practice and the GPSTRs’ experience. Emphasis was placed on supporting IMGs in speciality training. There was a talk from a scheme graduate how to get the best out of training, understanding examinations and how they may be challenging. Overall the conference was very interactive and group discussions followed each presentation. In the afternoon there were workshops exploring problems and solutions for IMGs.

By Dr Julie Pattinson

 

 

 

 

Community and Health Research Unit & NHS Health Research Forum, June 2017

sunflowerThe latest CaHRU/NHS Research Forum took place on 7th June 2017 at the University of Lincoln. The Research Forum, which takes place three times a year, is an opportunity for colleagues to showcase their research particularly focussing on studies conducted within Lincolnshire. The meeting began with a lunch and was attended by NHS staff, university staff and students, and colleagues interested in health and social care research.

At the forum three researchers presented their work: Helene Markham (the University of Lincoln & United Lincolnshire Hospitals); Michael Toze, PhD student at CaHRU and Dr Murray Smith, Research Fellow in Econometrics and Health Economics in CaHRU.

mtozeHelene was first to present on her doctoral study entitled: ‘Evaluating follow-up and complexity in cancer clinical trials’. Helene explained that her study seeks to develop an objective methodology to define and quantify trial complexity, intensity and workload to improve operational management and enhance models of trial delivery.

Next, Michael Toze presented his doctoral work on older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) people’s experiences of primary care. His study sought to elicit older LGBT people’s experience of healthcare when consulting with their GP or primary care staff.

murraysmith1Last but not the least was Dr Murray Smith who discussed his work relating to ‘Value of specialist shoulder physiotherapy in the perspective of cost effectiveness’ which involved a cost analysis of extended scope physiotherapy.

All three speakers gave excellent presentations of their work, and there was a lively discussion and response to questions following each. Professor Niro Siriwardena, Director of the Community and Health Research Centre (CaHRU) thanked the speakers and the attendees for helping to make the forum a successful event.

By Joseph Akanuwe

CaHRU students win top spots to present at SAPC Annual Scientific Meeting

sapcposterSeveral members of the Community and Health Research Unit have been selected for oral and elevator presentations at the forthcoming Society for Academic Primary Care Annual Scientific Meeting (SAPC ASM). This year’s conference will take place at the University of Warwick. The SAPC annual conference is the main international conference for primary care in the UK.

Dr Julie Pattinson will speak on her study, ‘Understanding reasons for variation by ethnicity in performance of general practice specialty trainees in the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Applied Knowledge Test: cognitive interview study’.

Dr Zahid Asghar will also give an oral presentation on, ‘Performance of candidates with dyslexia in the Applied Knowledge Test for Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners.’

An oral presentation will be given by Dr Murray Smith on the ‘Effect on hypnotic prescribing of a quality improvement collaborative for primary care of insomnia: a segmented regression analysis’.

CaHRU_logotypeDr Steph Armstrong will also speak at an elevator session on, ‘Ethical considerations in prehospital ambulance based research: an interview study of expert informants’, a study funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of the Network for exploring Ethics in Ambulance Trials (NEAT) project.

Michael Toze, will give an elevator pitch on his doctoral study, ‘Coming out in General Practice: the experience of older LGBT patients – his place ta the confernece was funded through the Best Oral Presentation Prize at the recent Trent Regional SAPC Conference hosted by CaHRU and the University of Lincoln.

clematis

Finally, the abstract submitted by Joseph Akanuwe, research assistant and doctoral student at CaHRU, ‘Exploring Service User and practitioner perspectives of QCancer use in primary care consultations’ was among the top 10 highest scoring abstracts and will be eligible to be considered for the SAPC/North American Primary Care Research Group travel prize.

The whole team have done particularly well this year to be awarded oral and elevator pitches for all abstracts presented, but our doctoral students in particular have excelled.

By Niro Siriwardena