Following the award of funding from the ‘Closing the Gap’ Network (CTG), which aims to improve physical health and reduce the health inequalities for people with severe mental illness,
this project aims to develop a new, multidisciplinary (and cross-institution) collaboration of clinicians, researchers, individuals with lived experience, charities to address the physical health inequalities of women in prison.

Professors Tammi Walker (Teesside University) and Carolyn Chew-Graham (Keele University) co-hosted a virtual meeting, with 22 participants. The aims of the day were to:

• Produce a visual output from today’s event
• Develop one or two potential research projects in…

On the 24th April 2020 we were to hold our first MSK virtual Critically Appraised Topic (CAT) meeting. By this point virtual/ remote meetings are the new normal. However as with all “first times” it would be interesting to see how doing this particular meeting remotely, would be affected compared to us running this normally at Keele University.

This meeting was to be a little different, not least due to far fewer numbers of colleagues present. As ever the phenomenal Kay Stevenson, not content with mediocre do-the-same-thing-just-remotely, oh no we would tackle the process of “doing” a CAT, remotely. In…

On 29 January, the West Midlands Teaching Partnership and Keele University hosted a workshop on emotions in social work practice for experienced social workers and social work students, led by Professor Alessandro Sicora from the University of Trento, Italy.

Professor Sicora’s work outlined that emotions have often been described as obstacles to effective social work. A detached attitude towards service users is still considered by many as one of the fundamental components of being a good practitioner in any helping profession. This idea excessively simplifies a more complex reality in which empathy, intuition and other ‘non-rational’ components appear, on the…

Written by Professor Athula Sumathipala | Published 23rd March 2017

Professor Athula Sumathipala summarises the events of a two-week Ethics Teachers’ Training Course (ETTC) which took place on 20th February for two weeks in Sri Lanka. The training was delivered jointly by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Institute for Research and Development (IRD), and aims to promote quality ethics education by building professional international networks of ethics teachers.

The Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences (‘iPCHS’) has established strong collaborative links with the Institute for Research and Development (‘IRD’) as well as…

Written by Dr Chris Littlewood | Published 25th May 2017

On Monday 15th May the Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences hosted a seminar attended by 70 clinicians and academics from across the UK. The aim of the seminar was to develop networks and also to share research work and ideas in relation to shoulder pain.

Shoulder pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal pain problems with up to one in four people suffering at any one time. Shoulder pain can have a significant impact on the quality of life including an effect on work, hobbies and…

Written by Treena Larkin |Published Thursday 14th September 2017

Every four months, a group of Allied Health Professionals get together to form the NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership Trust (SSOTP) ‘Evidence-Based Practice’ (EBP) group. The group is made up of clinicians working within musculoskeletal healthcare, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and extended-scope podiatrists who have joined forces with musculoskeletal researchers and health librarians to answer clinically generated questions and get research implemented into practice.

The group has been meeting for the past two years, and is led by Treena Larkin (Physiotherapy Research Facilitator) and Kay Stevenson (Consultant Physiotherapist). …

Written by Isabela Troyer | Published 15/09/2017

As an international PhD student studying in the UK, I am committed to developing research links between the UK and my home country, Ecuador. In particular, investigating the opportunities to translate my research into an Ecuadorian context. I was recently given the opportunity to travel back to Ecuador with the Santander travel bursary, where I was able to explore the transferability of my research around mental health and using patient and public involvement.

There are two core/influential elements that form part of my research: first, research that is meaningful in the real world, and the key to this is that it is informed by Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE); and the second, increasing the understanding of mental health problems through research, specifically in vulnerable and under-served populations.

My PhD will add to the understanding of self-harm in older adults. I am conducting a review of the published evidence and also interviewing older adults who self-harm or have done so in the past, as well…

Written by Dr Faraz Mughal

As a GP and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Clinical Fellow for Children and Young People’s Mental Health, I was delighted when I heard the news that my NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) In-Practice Fellowship application was successful. The fellowship will not only allow me to develop research skills and evolve as a clinical academic, but will also allow me to further understand self-harm within primary care, a subject which personally, really troubles me.

But what is an In-Practice fellowship?

More often than not, General Practitioners will go through their training and have little to no involvement with research. This isn’t to say we have no interest in it, on the contrary, we often come across conditions that need further research to better inform practice, but we often don’t know how to contribute.

In short, the fellowship offers an academic training opportunity to fully qualified General Practitioners who may have already spent time in NHS practice or fresh from general practice training, but have had little formal academic training so far. …

Written by Dr Ben Saunders

I think I speak for most qualitative researchers when I say saturation is taken for granted, yet there continues to be inconsistency in how it’s used and even uncertainty on how to use it. Drawing on our recently published paper, this blog tackles the ‘what, where, when, why and hows’ of using saturation in research.

What is Saturation?

In short, saturation is used as a criterion for qualitative researchers to decipher when data collection or analysis is discontinued — in essence they reach ‘saturation point’. …

Written by Chris Morton | PhD Student

Multi-state modelling, a flexible framework which describes complex clinical processes over time, is often overlooked by the more favourable survival and longitudinal models. In this blog, I hope to provide an accessible introduction to multi-state modelling, drawing on my recent dissertation for my MSc at Lancaster, whilst also introducing my current research.

What is a multi-state model?

The concepts of multi-state models may be more familiar to researchers than they realise.

In a multi-state model, an individual/patient falls under one of several ‘states’, and may transition between those states over the course of their lifetime.

So in a 3-state illness-death model, a healthy patient is in state 1, they transition to stage 2 if they become diseased and stage 3 reflects death. Traditional survival analysis can be considered a 2-state (alive or deceased) model.

Health researchers are often interested though, in the effect of covariates (e.g. treatment regime) on the…

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