CaHRU/LIH seminar: Scoping reviews – Viet-Hai Phung

The latest CaHRU/LIH Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar was on scoping reviews, delivered on 28th February 2017 by Viet-Hai Phung, Research Assistant at CaHRU. Viet-Hai began the seminar by stating the aims of scoping reviews: to “map rapidly the key concepts underpinning a research area and the main sources and types of evidence available, and can be undertaken as stand-alone projects in their own right, especially where an area is complex or has not been reviewed comprehensively before” (Mays et al., 2001: 194).Viet Hai Scoping Reviews

Viet-Hai who is currently conducting a scoping review as the first phase of his PhD, explained that he is doing this because the extent of knowledge on the evidence relating to his research area in ‘healthcare experiences of migrants in Europe’ is limited. Secondly, the scoping review will help to establish themes or research questions for further exploration using appropriate research methods.

He went on to outline the features and steps to conducting a scoping review and took time to explain each in detail, placing emphasis on the need to have a well-defined search strategy for capturing all potentially relevant studies. He also recommended the use of EndNote and Excel for managing the studies or data generated from the search, which can facilitate the identification and inclusion or exclusion of studies from the review. Constructing a flow diagram can also help in presenting a summary of the study identification process.

vhp2For the synthesis of the data generated, Viet-Hai suggested that reviewers may summarise each of the included studies according to relevant headings: population, methods, results etc, and thematically summarise the evidence from the review using a narrative, reflective approach.

He concluded the session by highlighting a number of caveats which should be noted when planning to conduct a scoping review. He said, for example, that some search terms may need to be adapted or modified for different databases, and that only a limited number of publications can be imported to Endnote at a time. In addition, many publications have copyright statements that need to be removed in Excel, and that data extraction can be time consuming.

By Joseph Akanuwe

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CaHRU/LIH seminar: Consensus methods – Dr Paul Leighton

WP_20170124_11_59_23_RichThe latest CaHRU/LIH Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar was given on 24th January 2017 by Dr. Paul Leighton, Deputy Director at the NIHR Research Design Service for the East Midlands. Paul’s talk, entitled ‘The Delphi technique and other methods of consensus development in applied health settings’, focussed on useful tools for achieving consensus among experts.

WP_20170124_12_05_46_RichPaul began the seminar with an overview of the background of consensus methods and gave examples of how such techniques have been used in the past. He then presented the three most commonly used approaches to reaching consensus: the Delphi technique, the nominal group technique, and the consensus conference. He explained the different techniques, discussed issues around using them and conducting consensus events, and finished by comparing the three methods.

Paul also offered guidance on when it is best to use each technique; this covered when it was appropriate to use a particular method, choosing the correct number and most suitable members/experts for panels, agreeing on the threshold for consensus, and the proper reporting standards. At the end of the seminar, Paul reminded everyone that the key enemy of consensus methods is always dropout rates!

The seminar was very well received and raised some very important issues around consensus methods. The next Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar will be presented by Viet-Hai Phung, researcher at CaHRU, on Tuesday 28th February 2017 on the topic of scoping reviews.

By Despina Laparidou

Society for Academic Primary Care Trent Regional Conference – Research Challenging Practice – Lincoln 21 March 2017

SAPC 2017 poster FINAL flattenedWe look forward to welcoming colleagues to the beautiful city of Lincoln for the Trent Regional Spring Conference of the Society for Academic Primary Care. The meeting is being hosted by the University of Lincoln on 21 March 2017 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Brayford Wharf North, Lincoln LN1 1YW.

Abstract submission is now closed and the conference programme will be available to download from the Community and Health Research Unit website by the end of January.

Our keynote speakers for 2017 are Nigel Mathers, Emeritus Professor of Primary Medical Care and previously Head of the Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care at the University of Sheffield, Aneez Esmail, Professor of General Practice at the University of Manchester and Navjoyt Ladher, a clinical editor at The BMJ.


Nigel Mathers is Professor Emeritus at the University of Sheffield where he was head of the academic unit of primary care until 2016. His research interests have included diabetes prevention, the development of patient decision aids, shared decision making and the evaluation of complex interventions in primary care.



EsmailAneez Esmail is Professor of General Practice at the University of Manchester and Director of the NIHR Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre. He has published work in several areas of public health including prevention of cot deaths, epidemiology of solvent abuse, preventing paediatric admissions, and the evaluation of telemedicine and patient safety.

N Ladher photoNavjoyt Ladher is a clinical editor at The BMJ. She heads the scholarly comment section of the journal, is editorial lead for The BMJ Awards, and – her favourite part of the job – is responsible for the BMJ Christmas issue.



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The venue for the Society of Academic Primary Care Conference is the Doubletree by Lincoln Hotel located on Brayford Wharf North, Lincoln, LN1 1YW. The easiest way to travel to the conference is by rail. The Doubletree by Hilton is a short walk from the railway station in Lincoln, the route from the station to the Doubletree by Hilton is shown on the Lincoln City Centre map

If you are travelling by coach or minibus then we can arrange a drop off point and parking for the bus on the University Campus. Please e-mail Sue Bowler to arrange this. The nearest car park to the venue is the Lucy Tower car park, Lucy Tower Street, Lincoln, LN1 1XL. The daily parking rate is £7.50. For more information about car parking in Lincoln please see

If you wish to stay overnight in Lincoln, the Doubletree Hilton will offer a special rate for delegates. Also, the Holiday Inn Express is close by and has a University room rate. Please contact Sue Bowler for details. Please book as soon as possible. For alternative accommodation visit the following website:

To register please click here. For further information please e-mail

CaHRU/LIH seminar: Accumulative evidence synthesis – Prof Chris Bridle

chrisThe latest CaHRU/LIH Implementation Science and Research Methods seminar was given on December 6th 2016 by Professor Chris Bridle, Director of the Lincoln Institute for Health on the topic of “Accumulative evidence synthesis: Fast track through the implementation pipeline”. Before taking up his current post in January 2015, Chris was Professor of Human Behavioural Science and Director of Research at Aberystwyth University (2012-14) and prior to this Associate Professor (Reader) of Behavioural Interventions (2008-12) in the Clinical Trials Unit at Warwick Medical School.

LIFH-logo-web2The seminar focussed on the bottleneck of translating research findings and on an innovative idea for how to deal with this. After discussing some commonly encountered issues affecting the implementation process, from forming an initial research idea to translation of study findings, Chris introduced to attendees a new and improved method for progressing through the pipeline in a more time and cost-efficient manner involving adding results of small scale trials to the meta-analysis of existing studies. He then considered some key pre-conditions, before asking attendees to discuss potential issues relating to the adoption of his proposed method by researchers, funders and healthcare commissioners.

CaHRU_logotypeThe seminar and Chris’ proposed method were very well-received and were the starting point for many thought-provoking discussions on the advantages, potential disadvantages, and prerequisites for such an approach. January’s Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar will be presented by Paul Leighton, Deputy Director at NIHR Research Design Service for the East Midlands, on January 21st 2017. His topic will be “The Delphi technique and other methods of consensus development in applied health settings”.

By Despina Laparidou

CaHRU seminar – Incorporating ethical considerations in research – Dr Stephanie Armstrong

CaHRU_logotypeThe latest CaHRU Implementation Science and Research Methods seminar was given on November 22nd 2016 by CaHRU’s very own Dr Stephanie Armstrong. Stephanie, currently a Lecturer in Healthcare Quality Improvement at the University of Lincoln, comes from a diverse background, starting in the fields of Zoology (Trinity College Dublin) and Equine Studies (University of Coventry), moving on to studying Forensic Anthropology (University of Lincoln) and working on ethics and human rights. She is now researching the ethics of ambulance trials through a grant funded by the Wellcome Trust: Network exploring Ethics of Ambulance Trials (NEAT).

Stephanie’s talk focused on research ethics. She started the seminar by asking the participants to think about ethics Steph750 11.16and what their definition of ethics was. After a quick discussion around the participants’ thoughts, Stephanie gave an overall definition of research ethics and discussed issues around both the philosophical and legal aspects of ethics. The majority of the seminar was around the four basic constructs of research ethics: autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, and justice. Stephanie discussed the most relevant and important laws concerning research, such as the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations (2004) – for Clinical Trials Involving Medicinal Products (CTIMPs), before reviewing the different types of participant consent used in research studies. At the end of the seminar, Stephanie reminded the attendees of the importance of ethics in animal research and discussed issues around its governance by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

NThe seminar was very well presented and raised some very important issues around research ethics. The next Implementation Science and Research Methods seminar will be presented by Professor Chris Bridle, Director of the Institute for Health at the University of Lincoln, on Tuesday December 6th 2016. His topic will be “Accumulative Evidence Synthesis: fast track through the implementation pipeline”.

By Despina Laparidou