OER18 conference ‘Virtual Reality: the implications for open educational resources’ presentation by BU staff. A conference presentation by Liz Falconer and Denyse King explored the meaning of open educational resources (OER) in relation to virtual reality (VR) technologies used for education. They argued that VR has been overlooked in the OER debate to date, and that the growth of educational VR platforms will require consideration of the many of the issues that arise from the more traditional concerns of open resources.
Liz and Denyse discussed Virtual Avebury and Virtual Urinalysis as two case examples that illustrate the issues that might arise, sharing their experiences of creating these learning environments in collaboration with university colleagues, commercial developers, and other interested parties such as Health Education England and patient representatives. The audience enthusiastically received their presentation and there were a number of interesting questions asked. The OER18 conference was also a valuable networking experience for Liz and Denyse, who met in person with delegates who had travelled from many different countries including America, South Africa and Brazil.
Following on from this successful experience they are hoping to be invited to present at the Future Technologies Conference in November 2018 to present Denyse’s virtual reality learning environments (VRLE) doctorate project – the Collaborative Immersive Learning Virtual Reality Series (CILVRS).
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
We know that public health works and thinks long-term. We’ll typically see the population benefits of reducing health risks such as tobacco use, obesity and high alcohol intake in ten or twenty years’ time. But we often forget that preceding public health research into the determinants of ill health and the possible public health solutions is also slow working. Evidence-based public health solutions can be unpopular with voters, politicians or commercial companies (or all). Hence these take time to get accepted by the various stakeholders and make their way into policies.
I was, therefore, glad to see that Scotland won the Supreme Court case today in favour of a minimum price for a unit of alcohol. As we know from the media, the court case took five years. Before that the preparation and drafting of the legislation took years, and some of the original research took place long before that. Together with colleagues at the Health Economic Research Unit at the University of Aberdeen, the University of York and Health Education Board for Scotland, we conducted a literature review on Effective & Cost-Effective Measures to Reduce Alcohol Misuse in Scotland as early as 2001 . Some of the initial research was so long ago it was conducted for the Scottish Executive, before it was even renamed the Scottish Government.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Research started years ago! Ludbrook et al.(2002) Effective & Cost-Effective Measures to Reduce Alcohol Misuse in Scotland: Lit Review, HERU, Univ. of Aberdeen. [ISBN: 0755932803] http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/1124/0052548.pdf
The government’s key priority of reducing childhood obesity through adult education (as announced by Jeremy Hunt in Sept 2015), prompted BU’s Denyse King to write a proposal to Health Education England. Denyse is a Midwifery Lecturer / Public Health Practitioner in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) at Bournemouth University. The proposal outlined her wish to develop a stand-alone mobile learning resource for health workers who care for families of overweight or obese children, and for families who need to identify individual needs to facilitate behavioural changes.
The development of this project pivoted on putting patients and the public in the centre of the process. Patients and the public were engaged through focus groups where insights were gathered to identify the challenges and issues to the problem. A series of online focus groups were undertaken with service users and professionals to understand the key challenges and issues respondents came across when trying to prevent/manage overweight and obesity. Key themes from the focus groups were:
- Empowering – the solution needs to recognise the experiences people bring and therefore the tools need to be empowering in supporting families to address obesity.
- Parenting tips – to address challenges with encouraging positive health behaviours with children.
- Responding to barriers – from parent/carers who are being supported by health professionals.
- Obesity isn’t a quick fix – recognising that sustained behaviour change takes time and support to overcoming barriers is vital.
- Healthy snacks and activities – provide easy and simple ideas to support parents/carers and professionals to identify quick ways to support healthier eating and increase activity.
- Portion size – understanding that portion size is important in addition to eating healthily.
Topic experts were identified and invited to join the project steering group where they provided the governance and steer of the overall development of this project whilst Denyse King wrote the content. The following Apps have been developed as a result and will be available to all as free download in IOS and Android platforms from late September 2017:
- NoObesity Family Focused App – After consultation with a healthcare worker, families set health goals, identify potential barriers and strategies to overcome them, record their progress towards their goals, earning points and awards as they go. Families are encouraged to link accounts to healthcare professional accounts (see below). The tool also includes parenting tips, games and useful links.
- NoObesity Professional Focused App– Healthcare professionals can see the goals, barriers, strategies, progress, points and awards of linked families, making them better able to provide tailored advice to the families, to help them achieve their goals. This is based on research findings that ‘one-size- fits-all’ health advice simply doesn’t work for most families. The tool also includes the Wessex MECC-based guidance on how to best support families, how to handle common objections, games and useful links.
Denyse would like to thank Dr. Joanne Newton project proposal support, Felicity Hargreaves and Helen Bingham for approval of the final project proposall. Thanks to all those who contributed to answering the research questions, as well as those who tested and fed back on the prototype, and also to Bournemouth University, University of Southampton, and NHS England for their support of this project.
List of the members of the steering group
||Steering Group Role
||Head of Public Health Workforce Development Programmes
||Health Education England (Wessex)
||Steering Group Chair
||Technology Enhanced Learning Lead (South)
||Health Education England (South)
|Dr. Jenny Godson (MBE)
||National Lead for Oral Health Improvement
||Public Health England
||Dental and dental aspects of nutrition
|Prof. Edwin van Teijingen
||Professor – Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health
||Research supervision and education governance
|Dr. Juliet McGrattan
||Cumbria Medical Chambers
||GP role governance
||Health and Wellbeing Programme Lead
||Public Health England (South East)
||Intervention Manager and behaviour change specialist
||School staff role governance
|Dr. Jo Walker
||Portsmouth Hospitals Trust
||Consultant doctors role governance
|Dr. Wendy Marsh
||Lead Midwife for Safeguarding
||Portsmouth Hospitals Trust
||Consultant in Public Health and Dietitian
||Lees & Latouze
||Lecturer in Midwifery and Public Health Practitioner
||Content author and governance
This week the Oxford Encyclopaedia published our contribution on religious organisations and health promotion . The paper in question ‘Faith Communities and the Potential for Health Promotion’ is co-authored by scholars based in England, Scotland and Canada. This new publication is part of a growing number of publications at Bournemouth University on the contribution of faith communities to public health.
Faith communities often have multiple resources, existing networks and an infrastructure that can be applied to health promotion programmes for their own membership or as an outreach to the wider community. Health programmes in a faith community in high-income countries may include targeted initiatives, ranging from walking groups or weight checks, health events, or health assessments, to diabetes self-management. These activities can be organised by charities and NHS organisation and held at local churches, synagogues or mosques which is referred to as faith-placed health promotion. If the health promotion is part of the ministry of the religious organisation it is referred to as faith-based health promotion.
On top of this encyclopaedia entry, the Open Access journal African Health Sciences [Impact Factor 0.66] accepted our paper in the same field a few weeks ago. This paper ‘Influence of faith-based organisations on HIV prevention strategies in Africa: a systematic review’ formed part of the first author’s M.Sc. in Public Health . Our previous papers reported on a study of faith-based and faith-placed health promotion in and around Dundee [3-4].
Professor Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Prenatal Health
- Kiger, A., Fagan, D., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Faith Communities and the Potential for Health Promotion. In: Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Message Design & Processing, Parrott, R. (ed.) New York, Oxford University Press. (http://communication.oxfordre.com/).
- Ochillo, M., van Teijlingen, E., Hind, M. (2017) Influence of faith-based organisations on HIV prevention strategies in Africa: a systematic review. African Health Sciences (accepted June).
- Fagan, D., Kiger, A., van Teijlingen E. (2010) A survey of faith leaders concerning health promotion and the level of healthy living activities occurring in faith communities in Scotland. Global Health Promotion 17(4): 15-23.
- Fagan, D., Kiger, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2012) Faith communities and their assets for health promotion: The views from health professionals and faith leaders in Dundee, Scotland, Global Health Promotion 19(2): 27-36.
Public Lecture by Professor Jane Noyes, Bangor University
Date: Friday 12 May 2017
Time: 10.50 -12:00
Venue: B321, Bournemouth House
Getting the message across about Zika: using qualitative evidence to inform the global WHO risk communication guidelines for public health emergencies, and lessons learned for intervention development.
Jane is the Professor of Health and Social Services Research and Child Health at Bangor University. She specialises in child health and social care research. She is also an expert in methodology, including complex intervention development and evaluation, and qualitative and mixed method systematic review methodology. Jane is Lead Convenor of the Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group and Editor of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Jane’s talk will be followed by a short lecture by of Queen’s University Belfast on ‘Social technology solutions to postnatal care in Brazil’.
Fiona is a Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation, Queen’s University Belfast. Her research focuses on enhancing maternal and child health and wellbeing. Her expertise includes conducting economic evaluations alongside intervention-based studies.
Complimentary lunch will be served at 12.30pm
Please RSVP to Sam Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org
This lecture is part of the ‘Social technology solutions to postnatal care in Brazil’ project funded by the British Council through the Newton Fund.
Please share with your networks, this Flyer is available to send out.
Closing date: 08 Jun 2017 16:00 GMT+1
The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) offers a unique opportunity for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) to launch a global public health initiative that responds to the challenge of bringing together expertise in medical science and health interventions in developing countries, with an understanding of local knowledge and history, cultural dynamics, community engagement, and trust.
The overarching driver of this partnership building activity is to develop inter-disciplinary research capacity and capability in both the UK and developing countries, jointly and collaboratively and across career stages. The aim is to generate reciprocal benefits through integrating understanding of cultures and histories into medical and public health challenges in a global context and to equip the next generation of researchers to work collaboratively and blend scientific, cultural and policy research.
The activity should catalyse the creation of sustainable, balanced relationships between UK based research organisations and researchers with those in developing countries. Learning and knowledge exchange should be reciprocal with clear mutuality of benefit for all collaborators.
This call is designed to complement previous GCRF foundational awards calls, including the cross-Council calls led by MRC on Global Infections and Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) and by ESRC on Anti-microbial Resistance (AMR). It seeks to add distinctive value to those calls through focusing on the development of inter-disciplinary research capability and innovation which combines expertise in the medical and health sciences with research in the arts and humanities and which strengthens international collaboration and partnerships. This call is part of two consecutive partnership award calls that will run in 2017 with the second opening in Autumn 2017.
Click here for further information about the scope, eligible activities, funding available, and the application process.
If you are interested in applying, please contact the RKEO Funding Development Team.
Two BU papers and a poster at the International Conference on Transforming Lives & Healthcare through Technology
On 9th January 2017, I presented a paper entitled ‘Qualitative research in health technology assessment’ in a scientific session at the International Conference on Transforming Lives and Health Care through Technology (TLHTicon 2017), Wardha, India. This paper was prepared jointly with by Prof Edwin van Teijlingen and BU’s Visiting Prof Padam Simkhada (Liverpool John Moores University). At the same conference Mrs. Preeti Mahato’s poster on ‘Factors affecting health facility delivery in rural Nawalparasi, Nepal’ was also displayed. Preeti is a PhD student in FHSS. In another scientific session, BU visiting faculty Prof Padam Simkhada presented a paper around global public health and health technology assessment. Prof Edwin van Teijlingen and Dr Pramod Regmi co-authored this presentation.
The conference, which attracted more than 180 oral scientific papers and 97 posters, was organized jointly by Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, DU, Datta Meghe Institute of Engineering, Technology & Research and Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering in association with the Global Consortium for Public Health Research. The Global Consortium for Public Health Research was recently formed . Prof Edwin van Teijlingen, Dr Pramod Regmi, both from HSS, BU are part of it among the 14 academics/researchers from UK, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and few other Low and Middle-Income Countries. Some of them are BU visiting faculty too. Unfortunately, Prof Edwin van Teijlingen could not get a visa in time for India, so he recorded a good-luck message. This pre-recorded message was played to the conference goers.
I found the scientific sessions were a nice blend of scientific talks, plenary sessions, symposia and scientific track sessions. Overall, this conference provided a much-needed platform for academicians, researchers, practitioners and professionals from medical, engineering and industry to disseminate their innovations in interdisciplinary field of health sciences through technology. The conference show-cased innovations in health-care through technology, which shall be useful in transforming lives of people in Low and Middle Income Countries. In these two days; I have been able to all refreshed with thought-provoking & informative talks rendered by experienced researchers around technology in health care.
Dr Pramod Regmi, Post Doc Research Fellow, HSS
- Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Regmi, P.R. et al., 2016. Need and scope of global partnership on public health research. Journal of Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences University, 11 (2), 202-204.
Yesterday’s health promotion dissemination meeting in Kathmandu has been widely reported in the national media in Nepal. Some of the national media focused largely (but not solely) on the words of the Minister of Health Mr Thapa, whilst the television news reports included the organisers and presenters at the event. The Green Tara Nepal Health Promotion Dissemination conference in Kathmandu was supported by the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health at BU and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and Green Tara Trust UK (a Buddhist charity based in London). BU has been working with Green Tara Nepal for the past eight years on a number of maternal health promotion projects in rural Nepal. Overall the media in Nepal had difficulty understanding the notion of ‘health promotion’, therefore many journalists focused on health services as this was mentioned by the Minister of Health.
The event was also attended by BU Visiting Faculty Prof. Padam Simkhada (based at LJMU), CMMPH PhD student Preeti Mahato and FHSS Post-Doc. Dr. Pramod Regmi.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Mr. Jib Acharya presented at The Nutrition Society Student Conference in Chester last week. He presented from his PhD work Healthy eating among mothers in Nepal: A qualitative exploration, which is supervised by Dr. Jane Murphy, Dr. Martin Hind and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen. His thesis found that mothers in Nepal misunderstand the role of healthy eating to combat nutritional problems in their children. Often their beliefs and attitudes can result in the improper feeding of young children which can lead to several complications, particularly in pre-school-aged children. There is a growing quantitative research on nutrition in Nepal but very little qualitative research. Therefore, as part of his mixed-methods study Jib explored food knowledge, beliefs and attitudes, and behaviour of mothers related to feeding preschool aged children and their perceptions of key barriers to healthier eating.
Using seven focus groups with four pharmacists, seven policy-makers, eleven health workers, five spiritual healers, seven Auxiliary Nurse midwives, seven mothers participating in a mothers’ group, and nine social workers. A thematic approach was performed for data analysis. Relevant quotes are presented. His qualitative thematic analysis revealed the following themes: poverty, education level, strong cultural beliefs, family size, household income, time and a growing preference for fast food. This particular presentation at the University of Chester highlighted the themes related to culture and societal behaviour.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Today BU staff and post-graduate students published our latest diabetes paper. In the International Journal of Food, Nutrition and Public Health (IJFNPH) publish by the World Association for Sustainable Development (WASD) you’ll find ‘Diabetes prevention and management in South Asia: a call for action‘.
The lead BU author is Dr. Pramod Regmi. he is joint by Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS) PhD student Ms. Folashade Alloh as well as Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen of the Centre for Midwfiery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH). Further national and international co-authors are: Dr. Om Kurmi based at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford; Dr. Nirmal Aryal, from the Department of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand; Dr.Puspa Raj Pant based at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, University of the West of England; and Amrit Banstola based in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, also at the University of the West of England.
The paper can be found here! Please note, you need to be a WASD member to login and download this paper. Once you are logged in you will see a ‘Download’ button in the box above. If you do not have a login, you can register to join WASD free of charge.
Diabetes prevention and management in South Asia: A call for action
Today the International Journal of Food, Nutrition and Public Health accepted our paper Diabetes prevention and management in South Asia: A call for action for publication . The Public Health paper argues that is an urgent need to reduce the diabetes prevalence in South Asia through evidence-based interventions ranging from prevention and early detection to appropriate treatment and care. The authors suggest that a multi-sectorial collaboration across all stakeholders is necessary to raise awareness about diabetes, its prevention, treatment and care in the region. The paper, with Dr. Pramod Regmi as lead author, is co-authored with colleagues at the University of Oxford, the University of Otago (NZ), University of the West of England, and, Bournemouth University, including BU PhD student Folashade Alloh.
- Regmi, P.R., Kurmi, O., Aryal, N., Pant P.R., Banstola, A., Alloh, F., van Teijlingen, E. Diabetes prevention and management in South Asia: A call for action International Journal of Food Nutrition and Public Health (forthcoming).
Congratulations to FHSS post-doctoral researcher Dr. Pramod Regmi who is the lead author on the forthcoming editorial ‘Sustainable Development Goals: relevance to maternal and child health in Nepal’. The Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) has extensive research experience in the field of maternal and child health in Nepal. This latest editorial was invited by the editors of Health Prospect. The scientific journal Health Prospect is published by the Nepal Public Health Students’ Society.
The editorial outlines the recent history of the Millennium Development Goals which came to an end in 2015  and which are now replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals . The authors argue that continued technical and financial support from external development partners is necessary to sustain Nepal’s achievements in maternal and child health and to strengthen its health-service provision. They also suggest that the Sustainable Development Goals offer an opportunity to change Nepal for the better.
This is a joint publication with BU Visiting Faculty Prof. Padam Simkhada (Liverpool John Moores University) and two of CMMPH PhD students who research aspects of maternity care in Nepal, namely Sheetal Sharma and Preeti Mahato.
Professors Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen
- Regmi, PR, van Teijlingen, E, Hundley, V, Simkahda, P., Sharma, S, Mahato, P. (2016) Sustainable Development Goals: relevance to maternal and child health in Nepal, Health Prospect (accepted for publication).
- van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V., Matthews, Z., Lewis, G., Graham, W.J., Campbell, J., ten Hoope-Bender, P., Sheppard, Z.A., Hulton, L. (2014) Millennium Development Goals: All good things must come to an end, so what next? Midwifery 30: 1-2.
- World Health Organization (2015). Health in 2015: from MDGs, Millennium Development Goals to SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. Available: http://www.who.int/gho/publications/mdgs-sdgs/en/
Our latest paper and the last one for 2015, published the day before Christmas. The paper ‘Implementing Health Policy: Lessons from the Scottish Well Men’s Policy Initiative’ appeared in AIMS Public Health . The paper draws on evaluation research led by Dr. Flora Douglas (University of Aberdeen). This was a set of evaluations of the Well Men’s Health projects which were part of an initiative running in many health regions (or health boards as they are called in Scotland).
The focus of this particular paper centres around the fact that little is known about how health professionals translate government health policy into action . Our paper examines that process using the Scottish Well Men’s Services policy initiative as a ‘real world’ case study . These Well Men’s Services were launched by the Scottish Government to address men’s health inequalities. Our analysis aimed to develop a deeper understanding of policy implementation as it naturally occurred. We used an analytical framework that was developed to reflect the ‘rational planning’ principles health professionals are commonly encouraged to use for implementation purposes.
Our analysis revealed four key themes: (1) ambiguity regarding the policy problem and means of intervention; (2) behavioral framing of the policy problem and intervention; (3) uncertainty about the policy evidence base and outcomes, and; (4) a focus on intervention as outcome. This study found that mechanistic planning heuristics (as a means of supporting implementation) fails to grapple with the indeterminate nature of population health problems. A new approach to planning and implementing public health interventions is required that recognises the complex and political nature of health problems; the inevitability of imperfect and contested evidence regarding intervention, and, future associated uncertainties.
The paper is published in an Open Access journal, so it is easily and freely available to public health professionals, policy-makers and health workers across the globe.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Douglas, F., van Teijlingen, E., Smith, W.C.S., Moffat, M. (2015) Implementing Health Policy: Lessons from the Scottish Well Men’s Policy Initiative, AIMS Public Health 2 (4): 887-905. http://www.aimspress.com/article/10.3934/publichealth.2015.4.887/fulltext.html
- Killoran, A., Kelly, M. (2004) Towards an evidence-based approach to tackling health inequalities: The English experience. Health Education Journal;63: 7-14.
Yesterday BMJ Open published our latest article on the weight management in obese men, under the title A qualitative evidence synthesis on the management of male obesity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first synthesis of qualitative studies investigating men’s perceptions and experiences of weight management services. The interdisciplinary study was conducted between the three research centres at the University of Aberdeen, namely the Health Services Research Unit (HSRU), the Health Economics Research Unit (HERU) and the Rowett Institute of Health & Nutrition, the University of Stirling’s NMAHP Research Unit, the University of Edinburgh’s Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy (SCPHRP) and Bournemouth University.
Studies published between 1990 and 2012 reporting qualitative research with obese men, or obese men in contrast to obese women and lifestyle or drug weight management were included. The studies included men aged 16 years or over, with no upper age limit, with a mean or median body mass index of 30 kg/m2 in all settings. In total 22 studies were identified.
Health concerns and the perception that certain programmes had ‘worked’ for other men were the key factors that motivated men to engage with weight management programmes. Barriers to engagement and adherence with programmes included: men not problematizing their weight until labelled ‘obese’; a lack of support for new food choices by friends and family, and reluctance to undertake extreme dieting. Retaining some autonomy over what is eaten; flexibility about treats and alcohol, and a focus on physical activity were attractive features of programmes. Group interventions, humour and social support facilitated attendance and adherence. Men were motivated to attend programmes in settings that were convenient, non-threatening and congruent with their masculine identities, but men were seldom involved in programme design.
The paper concluded that men’s perspectives and preferences within the wider context of family, work and pleasure should be sought when designing weight management services. Qualitative research is needed with men to inform all aspects of intervention design, including the setting, optimal recruitment processes and strategies to minimise attrition. This paper grew out of the larger ROMEO study which was published in our full HTA (Health Technology Assessment) report, which is also freely available on line, click here! 
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Stewart, F., Robertson, C., Boyers, D., Avenell, A. (2015) A qualitative evidence synthesis on the management of male obesity. BMJ Open 5: e008372. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008372 http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/10/e008372.full.pdf+html
- Robertson, C., Archibald, D., Avenell, A., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D., Stewart, F., Boachie, C., Fioratou, E., Wilkins, D., Street, T., Carroll, P., Fowler, C. (2014) Systematic reviews of & integrated report on the quantitative, qualitative & economic evidence base for the management of obesity in men. Health Technology Assessment 18(35): 1-424. http://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/118180/FullReport-hta18350.pdf
Sometimes my co-authors and I wonder why a particular paper get more cited after a few years of publication. Is is because the paper and the research were are ahead of their time? Or is there simply a lag time between publication and other researchers publishing in the field finding your paper (or stumbling upon it perhaps)?
Take for example the following paper published in 2006 when I was still based in the Department of Public Health at the University of Aberdeen: Promoting physical activity in primary care settings: Health visitors’ and practice nurses’ views and experiences in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Published in 2006 our paper was first cited in Scopus in 2007 (just once),three time in the following year (2008), five times in 2009 and then just a few times per year until this year. In 2015 we have six citations already and the year is not even finished.
We really wonder what lies behind that increased popularity of this 2006 paper.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Douglas, F., van Teijlingen E.R., Torrance, N., Fearn, P., Kerr, A., Meloni, S. (2006) Promoting physical activity in primary care settings: Health visitors’ and practice nurses’ views and experiences Journal of Advanced Nursing, 55(2): 159-168.
We were very fortunate to receive Fusion funding for our collaboration between colleagues and students in Health and Social Sciences, Sports Science, and a variety of external practice partners. Essentially the funding will enable us to obtain psychophysiological recording equipment to be used to measure emotional responses in a wide variety of learning and training settings. Below is a screenshot of a typical recording from this kind of equipment.
Huge progress has been made over the last couple of decades in our understanding of emotion and feelings. A compelling conclusion from this enormous body of work is the primacy of emotion in how we operate in the world. Darwin knew this, as did Freud, but many still cling to the notion of the achievements of homo sapiens (“wise man”!) as founded on cognition and rational thinking. For them, feelings are a vestigial remnant of our evolutionary past, not dissimilar to the appendix – no longer having any purpose, and also potentially a threat to our well being.
Affective neuroscience completely opposes this so-called rational approach: emotions and feelings guided our survival in our evolutionary past, but the big news is that they still do! Accumulations of theory and research from fields such as affective neuroscience, positive psychology, and health psychology support this simple but crucial switch in emphasis. Some everyday practice reveals the primacy of emotion, for example emotionally skilled doctors tend to bring about better health outcomes for their patients, children are taught to pay attention to their ‘uh oh’ signs (involuntary emotional responses of sweaty palms and heart beating faster) to keep them safe. So emotions are not the redundant and fickle “appendix” of our behavioural systems, but in fact are their driving force.
Despite an array of pragmatic findings about the way emotions and feelings work, this largely ‘pure’ body of neuroscience has not been directly applied to any particular field of practice. This project aims to correct that omission. The applications of affective science to how we learn and change our behaviour are potentially enormous, as the physiological emotional measures offer a straightforward ‘window’ into the person’s emotional responses.
The Fusion funding enables us to build on one of the applications, through running a study developing a previous pilot. This will be based on a form of training using natural horsemanship that has been demonstrated to be very successful in behaviour change for young offenders and young people who do not engage with school. This is an example of what it looks like (thanks to TheHorseCourse for the picture):
The equipment, and experience gained through carrying out the initial study, will also allow for projects with other practice partners to go ahead, for example, work with people with acquired brain injuries, and children with profound learning disabilities. If any of this interests you, please get in touch with Sid Carter or Emma Kavanagh, and we’d be glad to tell you more.
Colleagues associated with the Health Economics Research Unit (HERU), Health Services Research Unit (HSRU) and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health (all based at the University of Aberdeen), the Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professional Research Unit (University of Stirling), the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy (SCPHRP) based at the University of Edinburgh and the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health (CMMPH) at Bournemouth University published their latest paper on obesity research. The paper ‘A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of non-surgical obesity interventions in men’ is published in the journal: Obesity Research & Clinical Practice. This systematic review summarises the literature reporting the cost-effectiveness of non-surgical weight-management interventions for men. Studies were quality assessed against a checklist for appraising decision modelling studies. This research is part of the larger ROMEO study.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
Boyers, D., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Robertson, C., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of non-surgical obesity interventions in men, Obesity Research & Clinical Practice (online first)
Today my colleagues at the University of Aberdeen’s Health Economics Research Unit (HERU) published their latest HERU Policy Brief on ‘Gaining pounds by losing pounds: research finds financial incentives could help reduce obesity’. The policy brief is now available on line. These policy briefs are concise summaries of the findings of research projects, presented with a focus on policy implications. Linking research findings to possible policy improvements increase the chance that our research has an impact on the wider society. Furthermore, that our research has an impact in REF terms.
This latest policy brief ‘Gaining pounds by losing pounds: research finds financial incentives could help reduce obesity’ is part of a larger project called PROGRESS (Prevent Obesity GRowing Economic Synthesis Study), funded by the National Preventative Research Initiative (NPRI) and the Universities of Aberdeen and Melbourne. The project started when I was still at the University of Aberdeen, before I came down to Bournemouth more than five years ago now. Our research highlights that despite evidence that dietary interventions are the most effective way to lose weight, respondents preferred lifestyle interventions involving physical activity. Also that behaviour-change support improves effectiveness of interventions, but its value to participants was limited. A general preference to maintain current lifestyles, together with the sensitivity of take-up to financial costs, suggests financial incentives could be used to help maximise up-take of healthy lifestyle interventions. Finally, men required more compensation to take up healthier lifestyles.
Full details on methods and results are available in the health economics paper due to be published later this year, currently ‘published ahead of print’ (Ryan et al. 2014).
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
Ryan, M., Yi, D., Avenell, A., Douglas, F., Aucott, L., van Teijlingen, E. & Vale, L. (2014) Gaining pounds by losing pounds: preferences for lifestyle interventions to reduce obesity, Health Economics, Policy & Law, [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1017/s1744133114000413.