Category / Knowledge Exchange

HRV and Traumatic Injury- systematic review protocol published in PloS One by MSPH researcher

Rabeea Maqsood is a first year PhD student within the department of Medical Sciences and Public Health. She is exploring the role of serious battlefield traumatic injury and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) in military veterans and personnel in a collaborative project between BU and the ADVANCE study, UK (For more:

Recently, as a part of her PhD thesis, Rabeea’s study protocol on traumatic injuries and HRV has been published in PloS One with open access. The article has been downloaded and viewed hundreds of times since its publication. Here’s the link:

Watch this space for the full systematic review which will address the evidence gap in the field of HRV and combat trauma research.

New cross faculty HEIF project underway: exploring the narratives of childbirth

A social marketing perspective on current narratives of childbirth choices and their influence on women’s views and maternity service use.


This cross-faculty HEIF-funded project aims to explore the current narratives of home birth choices found in social media and provide understanding of how knowledge exchange could influence them.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines in the U.K recommend that pregnant women are offered choices regarding birth settings. This might be home, free-standing midwifery unit, alongside midwifery unit or an obstetric unit.  However, there is evidence that many women are only familiar with the obstetric unit as a birthing option. In the recent national survey only 47% of women had enough information to help them decide where to have their baby and 20% of women were not offered any choices. Although home birth has been described as positive and fulfilling, women are offered limited choices for a home birth.

Our study focuses on societal knowledge regarding place of birth. It is suggested that the negative portrayal and absence of other birth settings options apart from obstetric units in  the media and in society has framed childbirth as medical and has offered women limited choices Current research shows that pregnant women are increasingly relying on the media especially social media for pregnancy information needs and to find connections. Therefore, it is important to explore current social media content surrounding home birth narratives to understand what information is presented and to begin to explore the influence of these narratives on women’s decision making. The findings can subsequently be used to inform social marketing strategies to promote positive narratives surrounding homebirth.

This mixed method study will explore home birth narratives in social media and its influence on women’s decision-making using social media data scraping and qualitative interviews. The team will use PPI (patient and public involvement) to shape the development of the research tools and ensure stakeholders are actively involved throughout the project.


The research team:

Dr Julia Hibbert (BUBS), Assoc. Professor Chris Chapleo (BUBS), Aniebiet Ekong (HSS), Professor Vanora Hundley (HSS), Professor Edwin van Teijlingen (HSS), Assoc. Professor Ann Luce (FMC) and Anna Marsh (HSS) partnering with service users and women’s groups.


Some useful references:

Coxon, K., Chisholm, A., Malouf, R., Rowe, R. and Hollowell, J., 2017. What influences birth place preferences, choices and decision-making amongst healthy women with straightforward pregnancies in the UK? A qualitative evidence synthesis using a ‘best fit’framework approach. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 17 (1), 1-15.

Coxon, K., Sandall, J. and Fulop, N. J., 2014. To what extent are women free to choose where to give birth? How discourses of risk, blame and responsibility influence birth place decisions. Health, risk & society, 16 (1), 51-67.

Fletcher, B. R., Rowe, R., Hollowell, J., Scanlon, M., Hinton, L. and Rivero-Arias, O., 2019. Exploring women’s preferences for birth settings in England: A discrete choice experiment. Plos one, 14 (4), e0215098.

Naylor Smith, J., Taylor, B., Shaw, K., Hewison, A. and Kenyon, S., 2018. ‘I didn’t think you were allowed that, they didn’t mention that.’A qualitative study exploring women’s perceptions of home birth. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 18 (1), 1-11.

NICE, N. I. f. H. a. C. E., 2017. Intrapartum care United Kingdom

Sperlich, M. and Gabriel, C., 2022. “I got to catch my own baby”: a qualitative study of out of hospital birth. Reproductive Health, 19 (1), 1-13.

Vickery, M., van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V., Smith, G. B., Way, S. and Westwood, G., 2020. Midwives’ views towards women using mHealth and eHealth to self-monitor their pregnancy: A systematic review of the literature. European journal of midwifery, 4.













My Turing Scheme experience in Nepal

My name is Sulochana Dhakal-Rai. I am a final-year PhD student at Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (FHSS). My PhD research is related to factors affecting the rising rate of CS in urban hospitals in Nepal. There are several reasons to choose BU to do PhD study. Firstly,  this university offers strong professional orientation with focus on academic excellence and employability to multinational students from multicultural background. Secondly, it provides opportunities to students for undertaking  different activities, for example – international student exchange programme. I am always keen to be involved in such types of activities for my personal and professional development.

I applied for Turing Scheme Fund to do research activities in Nepal. The application process was very easy. I had received positive support from my supervisors and team of international grants. I was delighted to participate in international mobility, because I had a chance not only  sharing my research experience to student and teachers at Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS), Kathmandu, but also to do my own research activities (secondary data verification and analysis).

Although, it was hot weather, polluted and over-crowded  in Kathmandu, I enjoyed eating Nepali cuisine, meeting own people and speaking Nepali language. For me, there was not any problem in local language and culture. However, it was uncomfortable using public transport at times. I had suffered from of an episode of indigestion problem as well.

I loved meeting students and teachers of MMIHS. During my stay in MMIHS, I had the opportunity to share experience about my research study, using mixed methods in research study and my experience working as a foreign nurse in UK to relevant teachers and students. They were really good and inspiring people. I always received respect and support from them while I was there.

After this international activity, I have learnt how to work with people from different organisation and different place. I have developed my confidence in employability and career skills. I would like to express my thanks to Bournemouth University for providing me such a golden opportunity. I strongly recommend to other student at Bournemouth University to participate these kinds of international mobility programmes.

Sulochana Dhakal-Rai.