Category / Guidance

Article published in Physiological Reports

 

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

https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.14076

Abstract

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.

Floods and PTSD in India

Cover of NJE 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’ [1].  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.

  Reference:

  1. 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

Research in the NHS – HR Good Practice Resource Pack updated

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Understanding Creative Commons licences and copyright for your research outputs

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.

EPSRC supporting flexible research careers

EPSRC logoWhether 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.

Je-S unavailable for 4 days in March

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

JeSHelp@rcuk.ac.uk       JeSHelp@je-s.ukri.org

Je-S1Help@rcuk.ac.uk   Je-S1Help@je-s.ukri.org

Je-SHelp@rcuk.ac.uk     Je-SHelp@je-s.ukri.org

HRA help guides – data and technology

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.

New HRA guidance launched for public co-applicants in research

‘Increasing numbers of public contributors are helping to shape and deliver health and social care research, and there has been a rise in the number of public co-applicants joining research teams.

Involving members of the public in research design and development has been shown to have a positive effect on projects by improving the quality and relevance of research. However, until now there has been no guidance, either for researchers or for people involved, about what it means to be a co-applicant.

Now new guidance co-developed by NIHR-INVOVLE, the NHS R&D Forum and the Health Research Authority, has been launched to help support members of the public who are co-applicants on research grants and ensure that their contribution is valuable and rewarding.’

See the HRA’s update here and remember that support is on offer at BU if you are thinking of introducing your own research idea into the NHS – email Research Ethics for advice and take a look at the Clinical Governance blog.

REF 2021 – Final Guidance Published!

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

NHS research cost attribution and funding update – support on offer at BU

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.

Changes to the way that NHS research costs will be attributed and funded

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.

 

#DataSavesLives – using patient data for research

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.

Acknowledging contribution

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.

Je-S outage – are you working on a research council application?

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.