Joseph Akanuwe receives PhD for work on communicating cancer risk

Joseph Akanuwe, doctoral student at CaHRU was recently confirmed by the College of Social Science Research Degrees Board that he be awarded his PhD for his thesis ‘Exploring service user and practitioner perspectives of using cancer risk assessment tools in primary care consultations. Cancer risk prediction tools are novel tools that combine risk factors and symptoms to predict an individual’s risk of developing cancer.

WP_20160208_16_16_01_RichThe work included a systematic scoping review followed by interviews of 19 service users and 17 primary care practitioners, the latter before and after they had used the tools in patient consultations. Participants suggested ways to best communicate cancer risk to patients in primary care consultations, emphasising the importance of: tailoring visual representation of risk; being open and honest; informing and involving patients in use of cancer risk prediction tools and providing time for listening, explaining and reassuring in the context of a professional approach.

He also found barriers to the uptake of cancer risk prediction tools including: the additional time required; worry and anxiety generated by referral for investigations; potential for over-referral; practitioner scepticism about using the new tool; and the need for evidence of effectiveness before introducing cancer risk prediction tools in general practice consultations. These barriers were perceived before the use of the tools. The findings add to the knowledge and understanding of how best to communicate cancer risk information to patients when using cancer risk prediction tools. Joseph was supervised by Profs Niro Siriwardena and Sara Owen, together with Dr Sharon Black.

By Prof Niro Siriwardena

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.

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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

Joseph Akanuwe presents doctoral research on cancer detection at early diagnosis research conference

JosephJoseph Akanuwe, research assistant at CaHRU, recently attended the Cancer Research UK’s Fourth Biennial Early Diagnosis Research Conference on 23rd and 24th February 2017 in London. Joseph whose abstract was selected for a poster presentation was awarded a bursary to attend the conference. As part of an Early Career Researcher programme, Joseph was also invited to make a PechaKucha (3 minute) oral presentation of his work on early detection of cancer risk in primary care using QCancer, a novel cancer risk assessment tool.

crukedApart from providing an opportunity for Joseph to explain his work to other researchers, policy makers and practitioners with interest in early diagnosis of cancer, the conference included a wide range of speakers from various fields, with a potential for making a significant difference to the field of early diagnosis research and a positive impact for patients. The conference materials including posters, papers/abstracts, conference photos and film will soon be available at the Cancer Research UK website.

Overall, the conference presented an opportunity to share, learn, network and understand the latest developments in early diagnosis research.

By Joseph Akanuwe

Professor Graham Law joins the School of Health and Social Care and CaHRU as Professor of Medical Statistics

Graham Law, appointed Professor of Medical Statistics, joined the School of Health and Social Care in February 2017. He has worked for 23 years in medical and healthcare research and student education. He has published many papers and books in a wide range of different fields such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular epidemiology, gastrointestinal disease, pregnancy and childbirth.

Graham LawOver the past six years he has been working on sleep research, using both experiments and observations. On sleep he has published papers using the National ‘Understanding Society’, with colleagues in Copenhagen and Cambridge on glucose control in people with diabetes, and using a cohort of women with gestational diabetes. These projects included a paper recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Graham attracted investment for, set up and ran the Leeds ‘Sound Asleep Laboratory’ and is on the UK Biobank Sleep Expert Group. He is Honorary Secretary of the British Sleep Society and in June is publishing a book titled ‘Sleep Better: from myth to science’.

Recently Graham has developed an interest in a statistical field known as Functional Data Analysis, where you stop reducing data to a single number such as the mean, and try to accept, exploit and embrace complexity. Using this he has published, for example, papers on change in birth weight immediately following delivery (used by the WHO publication ‘Beyond Survival’ published in 2013) and changes in glucose during the day and night (for example in Diabetes Care and NEJM).

He is currently working on a number of cohorts including using accelerometer data to assess sleep in the UK Biobank data. This collected data on 100 000 people wearing an accelerometer (think of a Fitbit) for a week.

Joseph Akanuwe joins CaHRU

Joseph Akanuwe recently joined CaHRU as a research assistant working on quality improvement and implementation science projects in primary and prehospital care.

Joseph has a nursing and public health background. After qualifying as a registered general nurse (RGN) he worked within primary and secondary care settings as a staff nurse and a casualty and emergency unit manager in Ghana. He went completed his┬áBachelor’s degree in Nursing and Psychology and a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Ghana. Returning to his former Nurses Training College, he worked as a lecturer before moving to the UK.

JosephIn the UK, Joseph has worked as a staff nurse (RN) in the Dartford and Gravesend NHS Trust from 2004 to 2006, and as a renal nurse (specialising in renal haemodialysis) at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. While working as a renal nurse in Sheffield, Joseph studied at the University of Sheffield, achieving a Master of Medical Science (MMedSci) degress specialising in the management of long term health conditions, and a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) with training in public health research. His MPhil thesis explored the impact of the UK Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) on the quality of diabetes care and health care inequalities in primary care settings in England. Joseph is completing his doctoral studies at the University of Lincoln exploring the perspectives of service users and practitioners on the use of QCancer, a novel cancer risk assessment tool, for early detection of cancer in primary care settings.

Joseph is a Practitioner Member of the UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH), a member of the European Public Health Association, a registered member of the UK Nurses and Midwifery Council (NMC) and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). He also contributes to the teaching of the health promotion module, as part of the Health and Social Care and Nursing programmes at the University of Lincoln.