Category / Research news

HSS staff achieve eHealth publication

Dr Carol Bond (Principal Academic Digital Health) and Dr Osman Ahmed (Lecturer in Physiotherapy) have recently had their work on online health information sharing published in the Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics.

Building upon their prior work on online communities, this study took a qualitative approach to explore the information shared by online discussion boards and how users shared this information. The study used diabetes forums as an exam, with key findings showing that much of the information sharing came from experience (including sharing their experiences from interactions with healthcare professionals). Drs Bond and Ahmed are now developing this work further by exploring similar patterns using other social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc).

This paper is available online at:

Bond, CS; Ahmed, OH. Can I help you? Information sharing in online discussion forums by people living with a long-term condition. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics, 2016;23(3):620-626.



Bournemouth University researchers awarded major new research council grant to explore Paralympic coverage

This summer saw Team GB win 147 medals at the Paralympic Games in Rio – their highest total since the 1988 Games in South Korea.  As in 2012, media coverage of the Games celebrated the achievements of Britain’s ‘super humans’, but now the Games have finished for another 4 years, what difference has that coverage made in the lives of people with disabilities?Researchers at Bournemouth University, in collaboration with colleagues at Loughborough University, the University of Bath, Nottingham Trent University, and the University of Western Ontario, have been awarded a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to find out exactly how extensive media coverage of para-sports shapes public perceptions of, and attitudes towards people with disabilities. The interdisciplinary team will be led by Professor Michael Silk, a Professor of Sport in BU’s Faculty of Management and Director of the Sport & Physical Activity Research Centre.

“How people with disabilities are treated in everyday life is influenced by the way that they’re portrayed in the media, but there is very little evidence to explain exactly how the visibility of para-sport athletes makes a difference to the everyday lives of people with disabilities,” explains Professor Silk, “There is a need to find out how para-sport broadcasts are put together and what audiences think of such coverage. This can help us to understand how such coverage changes the way people with disabilities are treated and perceived.”

The project builds on previous research conducted at Bournemouth that explored the way athletes with disabilities were represented in the media during the 2012 Paralympic Games.  This coverage celebrated athletes for their achievements as ‘super humans’.  Subsequent research questions the narrative of para-athletes as ‘super-humans’ and suggests that many people with disabilities largely didn’t benefit from the legacy of the Games.”

“The coverage of the last two Paralympic Games has certainly elevated the visibility of certain types of disability,” continues Professor Silk, “and this might open the door to potential social change.  Despite this, much work is needed to better understand the ways in which athletes are presented in the media and the very real barriers faced by people with disabilities when participating in everyday life.”

“To find out more about the role of Paralympic coverage in everyday life, the research addresses how different audiences make sense of this coverage.  We’ll also be analysing broadcast coverage of this year’s Paralympics and talking to staff from Channel 4 – the UK’s official Paralympic broadcaster and a project partner on this research.  We want to find out more about their editorial decision-making process.  We’ll be sharing our findings through an exhibition and full-length documentary.”

“We’re going to be working with a wide range of people and organisations – Paralympics GB, former Paralympians, disability artists and activists to name just a few – to develop recommendations that will impact future coverage of para-sport.  We want to influence para-sport coverage so that it’s inclusive, stereotype-free and makes a difference to the daily lives of people with disabilities.  Ultimately we hope that our project will help to positively influence the way that para-athletes are portrayed through Paralympic broadcasts across the world.”

research*eu – latest update

EveryCORDIS research eu month the European Commission publishes research*eu, their round-up of the latest news from research projects funded by their various schemes.

The following highlights will be of interest to academics at BU:

October 2016 (Special feature: What we can learn from insects?)

November 2016 (Special feature: Shaping the future of offshore wind)

By taking a look at these items and the many others reported in research*eu, you may find potential partners or spark ideas for future research collaboration. In addition, CORDIS, the European Commission’s primary portal for results of EU-funded research projects, provides a wealth of information to assist you when building a new project.

If you are considering applying for EU funding, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International, to discuss your ideas!

Appointment to the AHRC Advisory Board 2017

ahrcThe AHRC funds research and post graduate training across a wide disciplinary remit as well as facilitating opportunities for researchers to engage in international, knowledge exchange, partnerships and public policy activities. It is a non-departmental governing body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is governed by the AHRC Council, which is responsible for the overarching strategic direction of the organisation.

The role of the Advisory Board is to advise the AHRC Council and Executive on the development and implementation of strategic approaches to funding which reflect the challenges and opportunities arising for arts and humanities research and those that engage with it.

The Board is particularly looking for high level expertise from the arts and humanities academic and user communities in the following areas:

  • Skills – post graduate/early career and research leadership development.
  • Global – international partnerships and collaborations involvement.
  • Knowledge exchange – impact and engagement.
  • Interdisciplinarity – both within and outside the arts and humanities.

Attached are the Terms of Reference (PDF, 105KB) for the Advisory Board and the Role and Person Specification (PDF, 238KB) which outline the skills and experience the AHRC requires for potential Board members.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Board please complete their Expressions of Interest Application Form.

Please use no more than 500 words in total outlining:

  • a) in section 1 (no more than 300 words) how you meet the criteria required
  • b) in section 2 (no more than 200 words) your senior level expertise.

You will also need to attach a short CV (no longer than 2 sides of A4) and the Equal Opportunities form (which is not seen by the panel) by the deadline of 4pm on 6th January 2017. Please complete the application form here.

It is anticipated that interviews will take place at the Medical Research Council, Kemble St, London in March 2017.

The AHRC will seek to ensure a healthy balance of institutional and regional representation on the Board. The AHRC is committed to openness and transparency of process and to provide equal opportunities to all, irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, transgender and working patterns.

If you have any questions concerning the vacancies or completion of the application form, please contact Rose Easton on 01793 416014 or email  If you’re interested in applying then the RKEO would be interested to know and, if we can, help in anyway.

Bournemouth University Researchers Win ‘Innovation Oscar’ for Third Year in a Row

iet-awardBournemouth University researchers Professor Venky Dubey and Dr Neil Vaughan have won a prestigious Information Technology Award at the IET Innovation Awards for their Orthopaedic Simulator.

Funded by the Wessex Academic Health Science Network, the simulator allows surgeons to practice on a virtual engineering-based hip model, which will improve safety and durability in hip replacements.

With the growing aging population, there are 66,000 hip replacements performed annually in the UK. The simulator helps to improve surgeon’s accuracy and skill, by enabling them to practice, which will reduce the amount of surgeries which dislocate. This number currently stands at 20%.

As well as being a considerable resource for trainee surgeons, the device will also enable current surgeons to improve their accuracy. The simulator will allow NHS surgeons to focus more on their patients, by freeing up consultancy time and reducing training costs.

The IET Innovation awards are considered a ‘Technological Oscar’ in science, engineering and technology.

The judging panel commented, “The simulator was an excellent entry that is receiving international acclaim in the important application of 3D technologies within the global health industry.”

The simulator has been developed by research undertaken in a partnership between Bournemouth University and Royal Bournemouth and Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts.

When asked about the award Professor Dubey commented, “It is marvellous winning another innovation award. This is testimony of our hard work and ingenuity that we put in to our projects. This is the third year in a row that we have won the Innovation Awards,”

“This confirms that BU is second to none when it comes to innovation. We’d like to thank our collaborators and partners who have supported our projects over the years.”

Surveys at Avebury and Stonehenge on German TV

Collaborative research between Professor Tim Darvill in the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology at BU and Professor Fritz Lüth of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin was featured in a short television programme made by ARD, the first German channel, first broadcast on 26 November. The programme focuses on the extensive high resolution geophysical surveys being undertaken within the Avebury and Stonehenge World Heritage Site, and was filmed during the 2016 fieldwork season in September. Click here to view the programme.

ERASMUS+: And so it begins in Valencia

erasmusimage1Last week, Dr Ben Hicks (lecturer in Psychology and an associate of the Ageing and Dementia Institute) and Prof. Wen Tang (Head of Research in the Department of Creative Technology) attended the Kick-Off meeting in Valencia for their recently awarded Erasmus+ project. This two year study is led by Alzheimer’s Valencia and includes partners: Alzheimer’s Slovenia, Alzheimer’s Romania, Alzheimer’s Greece and IBV Valencia. The project aims to explore the use of ‘Serious Games’ for people living with dementia and to exchange best practice knowledge between the various EU countries. As part of the study, the research team will develop an online training platform that will enable people living with dementia and their care partners to access and use a range of ‘Serious Games’ that can support their well-being.

The preliminary meeting was an exciting affair with lively discussions between the partners as they outlined their aspirations for the project. Following a two-day meeting that included an unexpected trip to the Regional Parliament of Valencia to meet a representative of the Valencian Government for the European Union, the partners have been tasked with exploring up to date ‘Serious Games’ that are being used with people with dementia in their countries. The research team will initially compile a list of games and devices that are being used within the dementia community.  Following this, each country will host a series of workshops to assess the perceived impact of the games as well as understand best practice for their implementation. Once this information has been collected, work will begin on designing the e-training platform.

Over the next two years, meetings will be held in each of the four countries to enable the partners to continue to share their knowledge. So bring on Greece in March 2017!erasmusimage6

If you would like more details on the project please contact Ben on

Winner of “The strength of young graduates contest”.




Last Friday a postman knocked at my parent’s house in Italy.

He carried a parchment, from The National Strength and Condition Association.

On it is written that my Master Degree Thesis won “The strength of young graduates contest” as second best Italian research in its field.

The study of 2015, is titled: “THE BIOMECHANICS EVALUATION IN STUDYING THE MOTION – COGNITION RELATIONSHIP” and can be summarised as follow:

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-07-37-15using a system of 8 QTM cameras and a force plate, I measured the effect of different tasks upon the static balance in 20 young volunteers.

To do so, I asked them to perform four tasks in a randomised order, while I was recording their centre of pressure (with force plate) and centre of mass (with 3D motion capture system).

Tasks were:

  • Open Eyes (OE). The participants were instructed to hold a steady position, standing up with their feet together, for 30s.
  • Closed Eyes (CE). Same position as OE, but participants were instructed to keep their eyes closed for 30s.
  • Cognitive Dual Task (COGN-DT). Holding the same steady position, I asked them to countdown aloud, backwards in threes from a number that I randomly chose.
  • Motor Dual Task (MOT-DT). Same position, but for this task volunteers were instructed to move their fingers (of the right hand) and touch their thumb alternately, for 30s.

What the result told us was that the COGN-DT was causing more perturbation, followed by the CE task.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-07-37-44Special thanks go to the people who helped me at the MotionLab in Naples (Giuseppe Sorrentino, Laura Mandolesi and Pasquale Varriale), and to my current supervisors (Alison McConnell, Tom Wainwright and James Gavin) who believed in me by giving me the opportunity to be here today.

Looking forward, with hope to collect more milestones.


Research funding in Autumn statement

moneyIn his Autumn Statement on Wednesday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, outlined a new National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) that will add an extra £2 billion a year for research and development by the end of this Parliament.

Through the NPIF the government will fund:

  • Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – a new cross-disciplinary fund to support collaborations between business and the UK’s science base, which will set identifiable challenges for UK researchers to tackle. The fund will be managed by Innovate UK and the research councils. Modelled on the USA’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency programme the challenge fund will cover a broad range of technologies, to be decided by an evidence-based process
  • Innovation, applied science and research – additional funding will be allocated to increase research capacity and business innovation, to further support the UK’s world-leading research base and to unlock its full potential. Once established, UKRI will award funding on the basis of national excellence and will include a substantial increase in grant funding through Innovate UK

There are several sector statements issued and you can read them here:

VeggiEat Project – Free lunch for people over 65 years old

For an EU funded project around healthy eating, we are seeking to recruit people aged 65+ who would like to come to the University and join members of the research team for a free lunch on Wednesday 21st December 2016.

To participate is very easy:

*   Book a place by sending an email at or calling Dr Vanessa Mello Rodrigues on 07478501713
*   Choose the most suitable time: 12.00 or 13.10h

*   Invite a friend or relatives who are also 65+ (if you wish!)

On the 21st December:

Come to Bournemouth University Talbot Campus (The Fusion building); choose among three hot dishes which will be available for lunch, enjoy your lunch and answer a questionnaire about your experience.

Limited places available. Please, book soon if you wish to guarantee your place.



Congratulations to FHSS orthopaedics academics

j-nurs-ortho-2016Congratulations to James Gavin, Tikki Immins and  Thomas Wainwright on the publication of their systematic review: ‘Stair negotiation as a rehabilitation intervention for enhancing recovery following total hip and knee replacement surgery‘.


Gavin, J., Immins, T., Wainwright, T. (2016). Stair negotiation as a rehabilitation intervention for enhancing recovery following total hip and knee replacement surgery. Int J Orthop Trauma Nurs. Available online October 2016


Enhanced Rehabilitation Of The Upper Limb Following Stroke By An Adaptive Virtual Reality And FES Approach

We would like to invite you to the latest research seminar of the Games and Music Technology Research.presimage


Speaker: Nathan Barrett (A Bournemouth University PhD student based at Salisbury NHS).


Title:     Enhanced Rehabilitation Of The Upper Limb Following Stroke By An Adaptive Virtual Reality And FES Approach


Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 30th November 2016

Room: PG11, Poole House, Talbot Campus


Abstract: Of the approximately 150,000 people a year who suffer a stroke in the UK, 85% of survivors are left with some degree of motor dysfunction in their upper limb. Complete functional recovery has been found to occur in just 5% to 34% of cases. These low rates may be due to rehabilitative interventions that lack the volumes of specific motor practice needed to induce neuroplasticity – a form of cortical rewiring that allows the brain to adapt after damage. Assistive technologies, such as Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and virtual games, can augment such therapy and may be beneficial to a person’s recovery.

FES is a type of electrotherapy which has good clinical evidence for its use. Electrically-stimulated movements, however, often lack combined voluntary effort – a factor necessary to aid effectiveness. Virtual games, on the other hand, often inspire huge amounts of volitional movement, although, particularly with popular commercial devices, this movement isn’t always therapeutic.

Combining the two is therefore an attractive prospect, yet attempts at this have resulted in systems that are costly, immobile and commercially unavailable. There is therefore a need to combine the two within a system that fulfils the criteria for an effective assistive technology. The system, Esmé (the Electrically-Stimulated Movement and game Environment), is currently in development. This seminar provides an overview of the project and discusses next steps.



We hope to see you there.

Most read article (Early Career Researcher)

The first article published by FOM academic Samreen Ashraf has become the ‘Most Read’ article on Research Gate compared to those published by other authors in her department.

The paper focuses on consumer trust in Islamic banks. The authors differentiate between the definitions of trust and confidence in the paper. Specifically, it addressed the questions: to what extent are trust and confidence active influencers in the decision-making process, are they differentiated or are they one of the same? Also how does the Pakistani collective cultural context further complicate the application of these concepts? These questions were addressed by using qualitative methods.
This study provided further insight into consumer behaviour within financial services and specifically Islamic banking and has contributed to the theoretical understanding of the concepts of trust and confidence.

For those interested in reading the paper the full reference is: Ashraf, S., Robson, J. and Sekhon, Y., 2015. Consumer trust and confidence in the compliance of Islamic banks. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 20(2), pp.133-144.

Alternatively, the paper can be accessed via Research Gate!