The article titled “The effects of 8 weeks of inspiratory muscle training on the balance of healthy older adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study” has been published by Physiological Reports.
It is the first research to describe the effects of inspiratory muscle training (i.e. breathing exercises that improve the strength of inspiratory muscles) on static and dynamic balance (measured with the clinical tool mini-BEST) and functional mobility (such as Timed Up and Go and 5 sit to stand tasks) with community dwellers older adults (aged 65+).
The research is part of Francesco Ferraro PhD journey. Journey guided with the supervision of Professor Alison McConnell, Dr James Gavin and Tom Wainwright
The article is now fully available as open access here
To examine the effects of 8‐week unsupervised, home‐based inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on the balance and physical performance of healthy older adults. Fifty‐nine participants (74 ± 6 years) were assigned randomly in a double‐blinded fashion to either IMT or sham‐IMT, using a pressure threshold loading device. The IMT group performed 30‐breath twice daily at ~50% of maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP). The sham‐IMT group performed 60‐breaths once daily at ~15% MIP; training was home‐based and unsupervised, with adherence self‐reported through training diaries. Respiratory outcomes were assessed pre‐ and postintervention, including forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, peak inspiratory flow rate (PIFR), MIP, and inspiratory peak power. Balance and physical performance outcomes were measured using the shortened version of the Balance Evaluation System test (mini‐BEST), Biodex® postural stability test, timed up and go, five sit‐to‐stand, isometric “sit‐up” and Biering–Sørensen tests. Between‐group effects were examined using two‐way repeated measures ANOVA, with Bonferroni correction. After 8‐week, the IMT group demonstrated greater improvements (P ≤ 0.05) in: PIFR (IMT = 0.9 ± 0.3 L sec−1; sham‐IMT = 0.3 L sec−1); mini‐BEST (IMT = 3.7 ± 1.3; sham‐IMT = 0.5 ± 0.9) and Biering–Sørensen (IMT = 62.9 ± 6.4 sec; sham‐IMT = 24.3 ± 1.4 sec) tests. The authors concluded that twice daily unsupervised, home‐based IMT is feasible and enhances inspiratory muscle function and balance for community‐dwelling older adults.
Yesterday the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology published its latest issue which included the paper on ‘Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among the Flood Affected Population in Indian Subcontinent’ . This Short Communication is co-authored by Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen and two members of the Visiting Faculty in our Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, namely: Prof. Padam Simkhada and Dr. Brijesh Sathian. The Nepal Journal of Epidemiology is an Open Access journal hence this paper is freely available for anybody with internet access to read.
- Asim, M., Mekkodathil, A., Sathian, B., Elayedath, R., N, R., Simkhada, P., & van Teijlingen, E. (2019). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among the Flood Affected Population in Indian Subcontinent. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, 9(1), 755-758. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v9i1.24003
Researchers from BU wishing to conduct their research within NHS premises will require the appropriate documentation. There is plenty of guidance available to guide researchers through these processes.
The Human Resources (HR) Good Practice Resource Pack has been reviewed and updated in light of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force in the UK on 25 May 2018.
The HR Good Practice Resource Pack describes the process for handling HR arrangements for researchers and provides a streamlined approach for confirming details of the pre-engagement checks they have undergone with the NHS.
Changes to the document include:
- Inclusion of a transparency notice, which informs and clarifies to the applicant the purpose of collecting their personal data, their rights relating to data processing, as well as fulfilling other GDPR transparency requirements.
- The data requested in the Research Passport application form has been minimised following discussion with Data Protection and Information Governance Officers and Human Resource experts.
- All references to the Data Protection Act 1998 have been updated to DPA 2018.
You can find all the updated documents here along with the RDS workflow here surrounding staffing and delegation.
Remember that there is guidance available at BU with regard to implementing your research in a healthcare setting. Take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for documents, links and training opportunities. You can also get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team with any queries.
Copyright and licensing are becoming more complex in the world of academic publishing.
Creative Commons licences are becoming increasingly more popular for Open Access works and are a requirement by several funding bodies. These licences allow authors to decide how their work (articles, conferences, monographs, data, artwork, for example) may be shared.
Many publishers, such as Elsevier, request a specific type of licence in their copyright paperwork (when a paper gets submitted), so it is important to be aware of the differences.
The good news is that your librarians can help. We have put together guidance on Creative Commons. In doubt, you can also contact your library team.
You might also like to have a look at these articles (1 and 2) about the complexities of copyright and self-archiving (i.e. submitting articles to BURO or other repositories). The author, Elizabeth Gadd, is an expert in this field. The conclusions from these studies are that most academics are happy to share their work and that copyright legislation and restrictions imposed by publishers are sometimes in excess of what researchers need.
Whether you want to continue with existing university or external activities, have caring responsibilities or are returning from a career break, EPSRC is committed to provide support both as part of your initial application and should your situation change over the course of your grant. With this in mind, we welcome applications from academics who job share, have a part-time contract, or need flexible working arrangements.
Read EPSRC’s blog post on this topic to see what’s available to you as an applicant and existing grant holder.
In addition, EPSRC wish to ensure the support they offer is flexible in practice as well as in principle, and are interested to hear your views. Throughout April they will have a survey open where you can share your experiences of where their support has and has not worked for you and help them improve their guidance and policy. A separate survey is available for students.
On Saturday 30th March Research Professional will be performing essential updates to Research their server infrastructure. They’re expecting to experience some site downtime while the updates take place; the scheduled window for the updates is 11.00 – 15.00 GMT.
If you are preparing an application to UKRI or any of the research councils, or you have an awarded project that requires either maintenance or end of award actions, please take note of the following:
From 17:00 GMT on Thursday 21 March to 08:30 GMT Tuesday 26 March 2019 the Je-S system will be unavailable.
Working closely with UKRI, UK SBS will be renewing and moving the IT infrastructure that supports the grant administration services for UKRI and their Councils, known as Je-S. To complete this work the Je-S system will be unavailable for a 4 day period, including the weekend between 17:00 Thursday 21 March – 08:30 Tuesday 26 March.
This is mainly an infrastructure change and there will be no effect on the functionality or look and feel of the Je-S system itself.
Please also note that Je-S email addresses are being changed from RCUK to UKRI. The following from email addresses will be changing for Je-S automated emails:
Current email New email
Over the past decades interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary research has grown in popularity. REF2021 promises that all types of research shall be assessed on a fair and equal basis, including interdisciplinary and collaborative research. New to REF 2021 compared to REF2014 is the Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel (IDAP) which has been established to advise the REF team and panel chairs on interdisciplinary research. Furthermore, REF2021 will: (1) appoint at least two members to specifically oversee the assessment of interdisciplinary research in each UoA (Unit of Assessment) to ensure equitable assessment; (2) allow universities to flag-up outputs in the submission system with an ‘interdisciplinary identifier’; and (3) require an discrete section in the environment template on the submitting UoA’s structures to support interdisciplinary research.
Many academics from all disciplines can at some point benefit from working with other scholars from other disciplines. Interdisciplinary research can bring new insights and understanding across disciplinary boundaries. Novel interdisciplinary research can transcend disciplinary boundaries to address sophisticated and so-called wicked problems in society. We would argue that some disciplines are more open to interdisciplinary approaches, and we would argue that the discipline of Public Health as a multi-faceted discipline is probably the most interdisciplinary of all.
Having decades of research experience between us we also recognize that there can be difficulties arising from researchers trained in different individual disciplines trying to work together. We have highlighted some of these issues which interdisciplinary research in Public Health needs to consider and, where necessary, address before they become barriers in an article published this month in Health Prospect . In this Open Access article we remind the reader that doing interdisciplinary research is not an easy option. Interdisciplinary research may involve a mixed-methods approach and could be underpinned by conflicting, and according to some incommensurable, research philosophies.
We argue, for example that in an interdisciplinary team topic specialists face potentially challenging demands on their range of skills and knowledge. For example, sociologists are required to have a broad knowledge at hand to represent the social science perspective in a study of a disease they know little about, designed by clinicians with a health services research outcome in mind. We also suggest that Public Health researchers have to be versed in both qualitative and quantitative methods. Working multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary means that they have to be able to understand the methods of the epidemiologists (e.g. ‘interrupted -time series’ or ‘nested-case control studies’) and those of health service researchers (e.g. ‘double-blind randomised controlled trials’) and have the whole range of qualitative methods at your command to improve the quality of the overall study.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, Dr. Pramod Regmi & Dr. Nirmal Aryal
(all based in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences)
Dr. Pratik Adhikary &Prof. Padam Simkhada
(both BU Visiting Faculty)
- van Teijlingen, E., Regmi, P., Adhikary, P., Aryal, N., Simkhada, P. (2019). Interdisciplinary Research in Public Health: Not quite straightforward. Health Prospect, 18(1), 4-7.
An updated Code of Conduct for the application of data-driven technologies in the NHS was published on Tuesday of this week – the code ‘sets out what the NHS expects from companies who are developing new technologies for the health system, and what they can expect in return.
In order to assist applicants and researchers, the HRA have created new pages that set out the approvals process for data-driven technology research.
The section incorporates two pages of support –
The help pages will be added to the Clinical Governance section of the blog, for ease of access.
Hunter Hines, a PhD student supervised by Dr Genoveva Esteban in the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (SciTech), has had a piece published by the prestigious journal Nature. Hines is the first author on an article about using social media in microbiology outreach at a global scale. Hunter’s Instagram account @microbialecology currently has 55,000 followers. At the end of 2018 his account received over 1.4 million views in a single week. Around this time this also went viral being picked up by ~30 international media outlets, including National Geographic (Russia). The Nature piece published this week can be read here: doi:10.1038/d41586-019-00493-3
Hunter’s Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/microbialecology
NatGeo Russia: http://www.nat-geo.ru/nature/1249648-snyato-cherez-mikroskop-ili-chto-proiskhodit-v-kaple-vody/
Hunter’s PhD research is on the global distribution of the single-celled organisms known as protists.
Research England have this morning published the final guidance for REF 2021 submission. The following documents:
- Guidance on submissions
- Panel criteria and working methods
- Guidance on codes of practice
Are available under the publications page of the REF 2021 website: https://www.ref.ac.uk/publications/
For further information, and to read the official announcement, please visit the REF news page
Conducting interdisciplinary or even transdisciplinary research has become more to the fore in many academic fields. As a result of the steady rise of multidisciplinary research It has been made more explicit in REF 2021 . For example, REF 2021 UoA 2 Public Health, Health Services & Primary Care “recognises the breadth and diverse range of single, multidisciplinary and/or multi-professional research across public health, health services and primary care”, whilst UoA22 Anthropology & Development Studies states that its submissions “can be multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary and may combine social science with other disciplines”.
However, doing multidisciplinary research is not without its problems (and barriers). In a paper accepted today we reflect on some of these issues . The co-authors are Bournemouth University’s Dr. Pramod Regmi, Dr. Nirmal Ayral and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, and BU Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada (Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University) and BU graduate Dr. Pratik Adhikary (Green Tara Nepal). We all are Public Health researchers, with very different educational backgrounds and training, reflecting the diversity of and interdisciplinarity in the field. Several of us have a first degree in Education or Health Education, but one has a first degree in Sociology. Whilst four of the five authors have Master degree in Public Health and/or Health Promotion, two have a Master in Education. Most of us have a Ph.D. in Public Health, but again one of us has a Ph.D. in Sociology. Our paper ‘Interdisciplinary Research in Public Health: Not quite straightforward’ has been accepted by the journal Health Prospect . The advantage of this journal, which is part of the NepJOL family is that it is Open Access and hence freely available for anybody working in Public Health across the globe.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
- REF 2021 (2018) Consultation on the draft panel criteria and working methods https://www.ref.ac.uk/media/1013/consultation-on-the-draft-panel-criteria-and-working-methods-ref-2018_02.pdf
- van Teijlingen, E., Regmi, P.R., Adhikary, P., Aryal, N., Simkhada, P. (2019) Interdisciplinary Research in Public Health: Not quite straightforward, Health Prospect (forthcoming)
You may have seen an earlier post regarding recent developments, surrounding changes to the way that NHS research costs will be attributed and funded.
Acord specialists working within Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRN) are available to assist researchers in completing the SoECAT.
However, there is also further guidance and support on offer at BU. Email Research Ethics with any queries you may have, as well as requests for any guidance surrounding NHS research and associated procedures.
We have been informed by MRC of changes to the way that NHS research costs will be attributed and funded. You may already be aware but the Department of Health and NIHR have introduced a new attribution tool called the Schedule of Events Attribution Tool (SoECAT) which will now be mandatory for any researcher wishing to access resources within the NHS for their study. The Pilot stage for the project began on 1st October 2018 and there are three main changes;
1. Any researcher applying to a funding call that opened from 1st October will be required to submit a SoECAT with their proposal or with their second stage proposal if applying to a 2-stage application process.
2. All current research projects accessing resources within the NHS will be asked to migrate onto the new SoECAT system.
3. A ‘high threshold’ is being introduced where the portion of NHS costs attributed to Excess Treatment Costs (ETC) will in future be reassessed for value to the NHS before these ETC are funded. This threshold is set at more than 1M per study or 20,000 per patient.
There are Acord specialists working within Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRN) who are available to assist researchers in completing the SoECAT. It is anticipated that these Acord specialists will be in high demand and while DH is training more Acord specialists they advise that researchers wishing to access this resource do so early during preparation of their proposals.
During this Pilot stage MRC are working with DH and NIHR to devise appropriate ways of working for MRC applicants and will be able to update their Guidance for Applicants in early 2019.
Next steps for researchers undertaking/planning to undertake clinical studies;
1. Contact your Acord specialist within your LCRN for more information and to discuss completion of the SoECAT.
2. While they are updating MRC guidance more information can be found here on the NIHR web-site.
If you have any questions, please contact your LCRN Acord specialist.
The Times Higher Education (THE) have published an article where seven academics offer tips on good refereeing, and reflect on how it may change. You may have to register on the THE site to read the full article.
Patient data underpins and leads to improvements in research and care.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has recently shared a resource surrounding the use of patient data in clinical research. The page contains a number of useful links to guidance such as the NHS pages on why patients’ data matters and also the Understanding Patient Data resource, which outlines a set of key principles that should be followed in using patient data for research purposes.
It’s important that if a researcher uses patient data, that they acknowledge it by using the following citation –
“This work uses data provided by patients and collected by the NHS as part of their care and support”
The above has been developed by use MY data, a movement of patients, carers and relatives, in place to ensure that the patient data used is protected by the appropriate safeguards, and is treated with the respect and confidentiality it deserves.
National data opt-out programme
The page likewise signposts the above programme which allows patients and the public to opt-out of their confidential patient information being used for planning and research purposes.
All health and care organisation will uphold these choices by March 2020.
The UKRI Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) service will be unavailable between 9pm GMT on Friday 23 November to 8am GMT on Monday 26 November due to essential database maintenance.
If you are working on an application to the research councils, you will need to be aware of this and may want to download any essential documents (for your application or help text/guidance) before 9pm on Friday.
UKRI apologise for any inconvenience.