Presentation at GP educator conference and bursary award for doctoral study on early cancer diagnosis

BJoseph Akanuwe, doctoral student at CaHRU, was recently invited to present a workshop with Dr Sharon Black (both pictured below) at a regional primary educator’s conference organised by Health Education East Midlands at the Eastgate Hotel on 14 January 2016. Joseph who is a full time PhD student with CaHRU, continues to work as a nurse to support his studies which are supervised by Prof Niro Siriwardena, Dr Black and Prof Sara Owen.

joseph and sharon 1The workshop entitled ‘Estimating and Communicating Cancer risk in the GP Consultation’ was based on his work reviewing the literature around use of cancer risk assessment tools and a series of interviews of primary care practitioners and service users on their perceptions of risk assessment using a novel risk tool (Qcancer) and how this might be used in the primary care consultation. Participants discussed the implications for GPs of using Qcancer to quantify cancer risk; the potential uses of QCancer in the consultation; what communication issues might arise when using Qcancer; and the potential challenges to using QCancer in routine general practice. The workshop raised issues about communicating risk in general practice participants found the discussion of potential advantages and disadvantages of using Qcancer.

BJoseph also presented findings of a qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews and focus groups of 19 service users and 17 practitioners on cancer risk estimation and communication. The results of the workshop will contribute to validation of the research findings.¬†Joseph has also been invited to present his most recent study, ‘Patient and practitioner perspectives of QCancer use in primary care consultations’ at the Trent Regional SAPC conference in Leicester in March 2016. His work was recently recognised through a bursary awarded by a member of the University Court to support his studies.

Dr Zahid Asghar presents study results on influenza vaccine and reduced risk of stroke in New York

N0013781 Cerebral infarctDr Zahid Asghar recently attended the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) conference in New York City to present findings from ‘Influenza vaccination and risk of stroke: self-controlled case-series study’. This was an observational study of investigating the association between influenza vaccination and stroke led by Professor Niro Siriwardena, director of CaHRU, and Dr Carol Coupland, associate professor in statistics at the University of Nottingham.

Zahid@NAPCRG2014_750The study involved analysis of almost 18 thousand cases of stroke over a period of eight years from a general practice database, the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. The investigators found a significant reduction in risk of stroke up to 59 days following vaccination. The work follows publication of a case-control study earlier this year and involving almost 10,000 patients showing a 20% reduction in risk of stroke associated with flu vaccination together with previous studies conducted by Professor Siriwardena and his team showing a reduction in risk of heart attack associated with influenza vaccine.

NY2_750It is not known how influenza vaccination prevents heart attack or stroke. It might be because influenza has been shown to occur two to four weeks before these conditions and may trigger them in a proportion of cases or it might be due to immunological protection from the vaccine. There was worldwide interest in this area of research following the team’s study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.