The 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.
The 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.
The 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
The 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 and 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.
The 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
CaHRU, in conjunction with NHS partners including East Midlands Ambulance Service and Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trusts, held its latest Research Forum of 2016 on 16th November. The forum followed its usual two-hour format with three speakers giving detailed presentations about a study they have been working on and then responding to questions.
The first presentation was from Dr Murray Smith, CaHRU’s health economist and econometrician, who talked about ‘An Economic Feasibility Study on the Fluoridation of Drinking Water in the East Midlands’. This study is being led by NHS Nottingham City on behalf of all nine primary care trusts in the East Midlands. It examined the cost of setting up fluoridation plants, where they would be and the cost of ongoing maintenance. Ultimately, the feasibility study will produce a report for each of the areas covered by the nine participating primary care trusts.
Next was Professor Niro Siriwardena who presented on behalf of Dr Zahid Asghar on their study examining the performance of candidates with dyslexia in the Applied Knowledge Test (ATK) for Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). A key finding of the study was that there was no evidence of differential attainment in candidates declaring dyslexia compared with those who did not once other candidate attributes such as age, gender, ethnicity and country of primary medical qualification had been accounted for.
Dr Stephanie Armstrong concluded the Research Forum by presenting findings from the Network exploring the Ethics of Ambulance Trials (NEAT) study. This is a Wellcome funded study led by the University of Lincoln and involving a number of other UK, as well as Dutch and Swiss, universities. The study has been running for less than a year but has already achieved an impressive set of outcomes. These include: a systematic review of published randomised controlled trials; a review of global and national regulations; and preliminary results of interviews with expert informants, paramedics and patients who have been involved in ambulance trials.
By Viet-Hai Phung
Julie Pattinson who recently joined CaHRU as a research assistant, recently successfully defended her doctoral thesis evaluating psychological and physical health as predictors for problem gambling in British older adults.
The aim of the doctorate was to build knowledge and understanding of British older adult gambling behaviour to understand psychological and age-related physical health differences as predictive risk factors for problem gambling. The study used a mixed methods approach. A qualitative study using grounded theory suggested that British older adults gambled to alleviate distress experienced from psychological, lifestyle and physical changes associated with ageing. A cross-sectional survey investigating risk factors for problem gambling behaviour found the strongest predictor was use of slot machines. The third study used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis found that British older adult women gambled to fill voids, for emotional escape, and in doing so risked overspending.
Overall the thesis provided a detailed analysis of how psychological and physical health factors affect British older adult gambling behaviour. This will inform future research on gambling behaviour, with a long-term goal of informing development of gambling interventions for this population.
By Julie Pattinson
Ana Godoy, Lecturer in Health Economics at the University of Extremadura, Spain and visiting research fellow at CaHRU, presented her thesis “Four essays about quality in the delivery of healthcare” last week to obtain her international doctorate.
Ana’s thesis considered the importance of quality indicators in primary healthcare, and included the development of a weighted measurement scale of patient satisfaction with healthcare (the w-HEALTHQUAL), a multi-level analysis of patients’ satisfaction with primary healthcare in the Extremadura region of Spain, and an investigation into the use of various patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) in the analysis of hospital performance in the UK.
After giving a detailed presentation of her work and responding to questions from the international panel, which included Drs. Coral Sirdifield and Zahid Asghar from CaHRU, Ana was successfully awarded her international doctorate. She now plans to build on her studies through future research at the University of Extremadura.
By Dr Coral Sirdifield