Laura Simmons, PhD student in CaHRU and the Lincoln Institute for Health, recently attended the Division of Occupational Psychology Annual Conference on the 10th-12th January in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The conference’s main theme surrounded the notion of “Evolution +/or Revolution”, focussing on the contribution of new research whilst strengthening existing evidence. Keynote speakers included colleagues with expertise in leadership (Dr Edwin A. Locke) and employee wellbeing (Professor Karina Nielsen). Speaking about his experience of using the P value in Psychology, Andy Field presented an interesting session on the use of research methods within Psychology. There were a mixture of oral presentations, discussions and symposiums on a wide range of topics focused on applying research to an organisational setting. Laura attended sessions on workplace resilience and adventurous training (Nicola Bass) and Schwartz Rounds as an intervention to support employee wellbeing (Imelda McCarthy).
Laura also presented the results of the review, which was conducted alongside her colleagues Prof Christopher Bridle, Prof Niro Siriwardena and Dr Arwel Jones. The review focused on synthesising evidence on interventions that aimed to reduce sickness absence among healthcare workers. The poster was received well among delegates and sparked conversation regarding the applicability to healthcare systems within the United Kingdom.
The review found issues with consent were the most significant ethical issue for ambulance trials. The type of consent gained differed depending on the condition or intervention being studied, but the country in which the research took place had less influence on the type of consent. The terminology used to describe consent varied widely with multiple terms used to describe the same processes. This, coupled with the the wide range of consent types used led to the conclusion that standardisation of consent models and terminology used to describe them was warranted.
The systematic review was published in BMC Medical Research Methodology and is available open access at the following link: http://rdcu.be/vUxW
Viet-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 Ørner 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. Then 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.
Dr Stephanie Armstrong joined CaHRU this month to work on the Wellcome Trust funded ‘Network exploring Ethics in Ambulance Trials (NEAT)’ project. She says, “I come to Community and Health Research Unit from a rather diverse background having begun my academic life in the field of Zoology. I completed a PhD in Zoology from Trinity College, Dublin in 2006, where my work focussed on the nutrition and behaviour of large captive herbivores and in particular zebra.
In 2004 I joined Sparsholt College, Hampshire as a lecturer in the Equine Studies section and worked my way up to Head of Department for Animal Management Higher Education. This career path however, took me away from hands on research and, after working for Sparsholt College for 7 years, I realised that I needed a change of direction. With that in mind I undertook an MSc in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Lincoln, reigniting my passion for research. I also hold degrees in Equine Studies and Herbal Medicine.
As a result I have extensive experience in a wide range of research both quantitative and qualitative ranging from novel animal behaviour studies to in-depth systematic reviews. My research interests lie within the areas of ethics and human rights.” The NEAT project is CaHRU’s first Wellcome Trust grant, led by Prof Siriwardena in collaboration with Dr Adele Langlois from the School of Social and Political Sciences.
A new study has been published by led by Prof Sarah Redsell of Anglia Ruskin University and a team of researchers at the Universities of Cambridge, Nottingham and Lincoln, including Prof Niro Siriwardena of CaHRU. The study, published in Maternal and Child Nutrition, was entitled ‘Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of interventions that aim to reduce the risk, either directly or indirectly, of overweight and obesity in infancy and early childhood’.
This new review sought to identify randomised controlled trials of interventions delivered antenatally or during the first 2 years of life and designed to reduce the risk of overweight/obesity from birth to seven years of age. The authors identified 35 eligible studies published from January 1990 to September 2013 in six electronic databases. This included 27 unique trials of interventions including nutritional and/or responsive feeding, breastfeeding promotion and lactation support for mothers, parenting and family lifestyle, maternal health changing formula milk composition or diet, and modifying parental responsiveness to infant cues. The interventions had variable effects on feeding practices, behaviour and weight in infancy or childhood.
There were few intervention studies for pregnant women that continued during infancy. The authors are developing and testing the feasibility of a complex intervention comprising an interactive, educational programme (ProAsk) for health practitioners to guide and enhance communication with parents of infants about obesity risk identification and prevention strategies, funded by the Medical Research Council.