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Health and Science Mis/Disinformation Thematic Issue, with a Covid-19 Flavour

The top-tier open-access journal, Media and Communication, has released a timely bumper thematic issue on heath and science controversies in the digital world, edited by Associate Professor An Nguyen of BU and Dr Daniel Catalan of University Carlos III of Madrid.

In addition to nine full research articles covering a range of health and science controversies (e.g. anti-vaccine movements, climate change denial, Flat Earth doctrine, anti-5G vandalism, nanotechnology, green energy), the issue features ten rapid-response commentaries on the Covid-19 infodemic from Africa, China, Japan, Vietnam, Italy, Spain, Germany and the US.

“Digital media, especially online social networks, open a vast array of avenues for lay people to engage with news, information and debates about important science and health issues,” said Dr Nguyen.

“But, as the Covid-19 infodemic shows, they have also become a fertile land for various stakeholders to spread misinformation and disinformation, stimulate uncivil discussions and engender ill-informed, dangerous public health and science decisions.” 

(more…)

Building Strong Primary Health Care in Nepal

New  BU co-authored article ‘Building Strong Primary Health Care to Tackle the Growing Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in Nepal’ will be published soon [1].  This paper has been accepted by the international journal Global Health Action (published by Taylor & Francis).  The international authorship comprises Nepal, Denmark and the UK.

Nepal is currently facing a double burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and communicable diseases, with rising trends in the former. This situation will add great pressure to already fragile health systems and pose a major challenge to the country’s development unless urgent action is taken. The paper argues that while the primary health care approach offers a common platform to effectively address NCDs through preventive and curative interventions, its potential is not fully tapped in Nepal. In line with the Alma-Ata and Astana declarations, the authors propose an integrated approach for Nepal, and other low-and middle-income countries, including six key reforms to enhance the primary care response to the increasing burden of NCDs.  These six key areas are: (1) Life-course approach to addressing NCDs; (2) Task shifting for NCD risk factor management; (3) Strengthening informal care givers; (4) Strengthening quality of PHC and health systems;  (5) Establish strategic information management system; and (6) Healthcare financing.

Publication Cover

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

  1. Gyawali, B., Khanal, P., Mishra, S.R., van Teijlingen, E., Meyrowitsch, D.W. (2020) Building Strong Primary Health Care to Tackle the Growing Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in Nepal, Global Health Action (accepted) https://doi.org/10.1080/16549716.2020.1788262

 

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology publishes all 15 reports based on its Covid-19 Expert Survey

In March, POST launched the Covid-19 outbreak expert database, inviting anyone who wanted to support Parliament in its work, and had expertise in COVID-19 and/or its impacts to sign up. In April, more than 1,100 experts on this database – including a number of BU researchers – responded to POST’s survey, asking for their immediate, short, medium and long term concerns relating to COVID-19 and its impacts.

All 15 reports arising from this survey have now been published, and you can read them here:

  1. Economy and finance
  2. Business and trade
  3. Work and employment
  4. Virology, immunology and epidemiology
  5. Research and innovation
  6. Health and social care system
  7. Public health
  8. International affairs
  9. Law and human rights
  10. Society and community
  11. Media and communications
  12. Crime, justice and policing
  13. Education
  14. Infrastructure
  15. Environment

POST will also be publishing a report summarising what data or information the experts want to see the UK Government release relating to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The following BU researchers were among those responding to the survey: Professor Katherine Appleton; Dr Emily Arden-Close; Professor Christopher Hartwell; Professor Ann Hemingway; Dr Sarah Hodge; Dr John Oliver; Dr Karen Thompson; Dr John McAlaney; Professor Lee Miles; Dr Andy Pulman and Professor Barry Richards.

Animations & Transitions in Powerpoint: A guide to Youtube resources

I firmly believe that when you are delivering classes online the quality of visual presentation needs to be greatly improved, in particular in terms of how professional it looks. This includes using more colour, more visual elements and adding a dynamic dimension to the presentation. Animations are great to do that. A blank background with bullet points of text coming in at the same time does not provide for the most engaging online learning experience.

Over the past two months I’ve spent a considerable amount of time learning how to animate PowerPoint presentations. At May’s BUBS educational enhancement session colleagues showed an interest in knowing more about how bring their presentations to life. Responding to this interest, I developed a short PowerPoint presentation (what else!) that I shared with BUBS colleagues at this month Educational Enhancement Forum. The presentation Animations & Transitions in Powerpoint: A guide to Youtube resources has now been recorded and the video uploaded on Youtube.

The presentation doesn’t teach how to animate presentations, rather it directs viewers to (mainly youtube) resources that they can use to learn about how to animate presentations. I hope it encourages colleagues to learn more about these, while saving them time by directing them to good resources.

Miguel Moital, Principal Academic in Events Management

Department of Sport & events Management, Bournemouth University Business School

Recipient of the VC Fusion Prize 2019 publishes in top Events journal

Events Management graduate Sabine Töppig, who received the VC Fusion Prize in 2019, has just seen a paper based on her dissertation published by the International Journal of Event & Festival Management. The IJEFM, an Elsevier Journal, is one of the two top events management journals (Scopus CiteScore 2018 – 1.73; Scopus CiteScore Tracker 2019 (updated monthly) – 2.14).

The paper, jointly authored with her supervisor Dr. Miguel Moital, explored the techniques, outputs, and outcomes of circulation management at exhibitions. For those who are unable to access the full published paper, a word version is deposited here.

Commenting on the process leading to the publication of the paper, Sabine said:

“It was great to continue working with with Miguel beyond the submission of my dissertation, to adapt it to journal standards, carry out additional research and examine circulation management at exhibitions in even greater detail. Collaborating with him helped me refine my academic style, broaden my horizons in terms of research methods, and navigate the peer-review process which requires a lot of expertise and flexibility to meet reviewers’ demands. It was also valuable to gain an understanding of the academic publishing system by experiencing it firsthand.”

From a personal perspective, Sabine said:

“It is an amazing feeling to see this paper published. For me, it represents the journey I have been on and how much I’ve learnt about both academia and events during my time at BU. I am pleased to be able to share my excitement for the exhibition industry with others, who can hopefully use this paper to complement their knowledge and learning. Knowing that this paper may be cited in the future or used by practitioners to inform their circulation management decisions feels surreal but incredibly fulfilling.”

Commenting on the achievement, Dr. Miguel Moital said:

“I am immensely proud of Sabine’s achievement.  Sabine did a great piece of research for her dissertation and when challenged to work with me on turning the dissertation in to a paper, she did not hesitate. She diligently navigated the steps and challenges that come with submitting and revising a paper. It has been a pleasure working with her. Congratulations, Sabine!”

Dr. Carly Stewart, Head of Department, said:

“The entire team at the department of Sport & Events Management is delighted at the news that Sabine’s paper has been published in such a high standard journal. Concluding her brilliant academic journey at BU by publishing in such high quality journal for our field is a credit to Sabine’s determination and intellectual capability. On behalf of the department, I would like to congratulate Sabine for her achievement.”

 

Publishing the article follows from two other activities related to the dissemination of her dissertation research:

Presenting a paper at the annual International Conference of Strategic Innovative Marketing and Tourism (ICSIMAT) , in Chios, Greece.

Presenting my dissertation research at an international conference

Delivery of a guest lecture to MSc events Students:

VC Fusion Prize winner delivers guest lecture to MSc Events students

Sabine received the Fusion Prize from BU’s VC Professor John Vinney at the 2019’s graduation ceremony:

New COVID-19 publication by FHSS academics

Congratulations to Dr. Preeti Mahato, Dr. Nirmal Aryal and Dr. Pramod Regmi  in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences on their latest COVID-19 publication.  Yesterday the Europasian Journal of Medical Sciences informed us of its acceptance of the article ‘Effects of COVID-19 during lockdown in Nepal’ [1].  The Europasian Journal of Medical Sciences is a peer-reviewed Open-Accessed journal which is published biannually online as well as in print version. It is an official publication of the Nirvana Psychosocial Care Center & Research Institute.

This is the fifth COVID-19 publication by our team since lock down began (in both the UK and Nepal).  Previous publications with colleagues based in the UK and elsewhere across the globe focused on maternity care, public health, Nepal and the apparent effect of COVID-19 on people from ethnic minorities int he UK [2-5].

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)

 

References:

  1. Mahato, P., Tamang, P., Shahi, P., Aryal, N., Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P. (2020) Effects of COVID-19 during lockdown in Nepal, Europasian Journal of Medical Sciences (accepted).
  2. Sathian, B., Asim, M., Mekkodathil, A., van Teijlingen, E., Subramanya, S.H., Simkhada, S.,Marahatta, S.B., Shrestha, U.M. (2020) Impact of COVID-19 on community health: A systematic review of a population of 82 million, Journal of Advanced Internal Medicine 9(1): 4-11https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/JAIM/article/view/29159
  3. Tamang, P., Mahato, P., van Teijlingen E, Simkhada, P. (2020) Pregnancy and COVID-19: Lessons so far, Healthy Newborn Network [14 April] healthynewbornnetwork.org/blog/pregnancy-and-covid-19-lessons-so-far/
  4. Asim, M., Sathian, B., van Teijlingen, E.R., Mekkodathil, A., Subramanya, S.H., Simkhada, P. (2020) COVID-19 Pandemic: Public Health Implications in Nepal, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology 10 (1): 817-820. https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/28269
  5. Alloh, F.T., Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2020) Is ethnicity linked to incidence or outcomes of Covid-19? (Rapid Response) BMJ (14 May) 369:m1548

Widespread media coverage in Nepal for BU researcher

This week Dr. Preeti Mahato in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) appeared in several newspapers and new website in Nepal. The media reported both in Nepali [1-4] and in English, the latter in South Asia Time [5] on her recently published paper on birthing centres in Nepal.  This latest paper from her PhD was published in the scientific journal  PLoS ONE [6].  The paper is co-authored by CMMPH’s Dr.Catherene Angell, Prof.Edwin van Teijlingen and Prof. Vanora Hundley as well as BU Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada (Associate Dean International at the School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield.

We are very grateful to BU’s Dr. Nirmal Aryal for engaging with all his media contacts in Nepal to achieve this great coverage.

 

References:

  1. https://ekantipur.com/diaspora/2020/06/02/159107091260531499.html
  2.  https://www.nepalilink.com/2020/06/02/5326.html
  3. http://www.nepalbritain.com/?p=79336
  4. https://globalnepalese.com/post/2020-06-942777589?fbclid=IwAR3RJlHpeG4p3PdryUWzhvCDG0yiYjNrdnQZNJo4uzznyuFA8cF6DKLbKU8 
  5. https://www.southasiatime.com/2020/06/04/birthing-centers-are-savings-lives-in-rural-nepal/
  6. Mahato, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Angell, C., Hundley, V. (2020), Evaluation of a health promotion intervention associated with birthing centres in rural Nepal PLoS One 15(5): e0233607. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233607

BU PhD student presenting at European Sigma Nursing Conference

Bournemouth University Ph.D. student Peter Wolfensberger presented today at the 5th Sigma European Conference in Coimbra, Portugal.  This is probably the first major global online conference in nursing!  The title of Peter’s presentation was Creating Meaning – People Living with Mental Illness in Switzerland. In true COVID-19 style he gave his presentation life online.  Consequently, this workshop session was well attended by nurses from across Europe, and it had the added benefit that all his Ph.D. supervisors could attend online too.  The World Health Organisations (WHO) has designated the year 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”, in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.  This  Sigma European  Conference focused very much on importance of nurses and nursing in health care provision.

Peter has successfully defended his thesis and is currently writing up a few minor corrections.  He has been supervised by Dr. Sarah Thomas, Prof. Sabine Hahn and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.

Publication success BU postgraduate researchers

Congratulations to Bournemouth University researchers Adam Spacey, Orlanda Harvey and Chloe Casey on the acceptance of their research paper ‘Postgraduate researchers’ experiences of accessing participants via gatekeepers: ‘Wading through treacle!’’ [1]  The study is partly based on their experiences as postgraduate researchers interacting with gatekeepers which they used to design an online questionnaire for postgraduate researchers. The results of the survey highlighted that postgraduate researchers face a range of challenges when using gatekeepers to access participants for studies, and that there is a negative emotional impact arising when challenges are faced. Thematic analysis revealed six themes  (1) Access to participants; (2) Relationships; (3) Perceptions of research; (4) Context for gatekeepers; (5) Emotional impact; and (6) Mechanisms to address challenges.  This paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Further and Higher Education (published by Taylor & Francis).

 

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)

 

Reference:

  1. Spacey, A., Harvey, O., Casey, C. (2020) Postgraduate researchers’ experiences of accessing participants via gatekeepers: ‘Wading through treacle!’, Journal of Further and Higher Education (accepted)

Qualitative comments: How the C-19 lockdown has affected the work-life balance of BU academics (Part 4)

Over the last two weeks we (Dr Luciana Esteves, Professor Ann Hemingway and I) have been giving the BU community a blog update of the findings from our opportunistic, cross-faculty survey focusing on the work-life balance of academics within and beyond BU. The previous blogs, Part 2 and Part 3 , have provided data detailing participant responses on the difficulties, or otherwise, of managing a work-life balance during the current pandemic lockdown.

Today’s update puts some additional qualitative flesh on the bones of statistical data. Thematic analysis of the qualitative comments provided some very important insights into the impact of lockdown restrictions; and here we found a broad consensus on certain issues, although these were strongly split between negative and positive viewpoints. It should be noted again that the gender balance of respondents was weighted heavily towards women academics over male respondents; and given these demographics a body of findings carried clear gendered overtones in the survey comments, in terms of the experienced ramifications of lockdown.

While some responses applied to both sexes any gender differences in survey responses appear to be strongly foregrounded by normative, but often overlooked, social constructions pertaining to gendered roles, which are being reinforced, or perhaps more likely, glaringly highlighted, by the material conditions under which lockdown is being enacted. The impact on the publication output of female academics during this period, compared to that of male colleagues, has already been highlighted in the Guardian newspaper, in addition to a recent article in the Times Higher Education regarding the marginalisation and muting of women STEM experts working on Covid-19, in comparison with a dominant male presence occupying the media stage, whether experts on the virus or otherwise.

Returning to the findings of the BU survey, in terms of positive aspects caused by lockdown academia, there were many responses referring to the benefits of working at home as a rule, rather than as a tolerated exception. One of the strongest points concerned the end of travel to the office. This was a significant plus for those commuting from some distance, while for others just the daily struggle of negotiating traffic, the ever-present anxiety of finding a vacant parking space (a particular concern on the Lansdowne campus), together with the exhausting morning rush of organising families prior to getting into work, was felt to be a real boon. Hours were magically freed up for many people and while the financial savings were appreciated, it was certainly not less than the warm feeling of being able to do something really positive in the fight against the climate crisis.

This new, novel freedom to work from home was managed in different ways and for several people could be fitted into a personally tailored and structured day; one with the added benefits of being not only better paced, but healthier as well in terms of improved nutrition, regular exercise, protection from Covid-19 exposure, reduced stress and physical wear-and-tear, as noted in these responses:

‘Freedom to engage with workload at times to suit me and my household. Online meetings were at first a positive as it highlighted to all that in future this could be a way forward instead of travelling up and down the M27 to attend meetings at our campus in xxx. Thus reducing our travelling costs, petrol consumption, stress free and reducing the carbon footprint on the environment.’

‘During lockdown I now do yoga and another form of exercise everyday- and my stress levels are reduced. I save money from the costs of the commute to work and exorbitant childcare costs.’

However, these positive accounts were balanced by those referring to high levels of stress and physical exhaustion, which for many, had been greatly exacerbated by lockdown. This was where gendered distinctions came strongly to the fore. Women academics were now suddenly out of the office outfit and back into the pinafore, overloaded by the typical gendered ‘double-shift’ of balancing waged work commitments and unpaid domestic labour and childcare – a clear case of ‘having none of it’ rather than the clichéd ‘having it all’, as this participant conveys:

‘Constantly feeling I am not doing enough work – knowing I just don’t have time to research. Feeling split between feeling I should be paying my young daughter attention but keep having to look at emails and sort admin etc. Dreading marking coming in as I will spend less time with my daughter while her dad works as a [key worker]. Feels like I am doing two jobs badly: bad mother, bad academic.’

In addition, the lockdown has brought considerable disruption to some professional programmes, where staff are working intensely long hours to mitigate the effects on students, with some struggling with inadequate home office equipment and incompatible or malfunctioning software.

‘Am working extremely long days (average of 12 to 16 hours) as both a mother and a worker. Support for student xxx [professional programme] and cover for colleagues while off sick has increased and requires a lot of personal emotional resources. Am having to deal with a lot of emotions masked as initial anger and frustration and to de-escalate this to support students. Little or no time for own research despite deadlines.’

Even in purely academic programmes the unprecedented strangeness of lockdown has greatly increased student anxiety, resulting in a flood of emails for advice and information, which needs continuous, laborious repetition and new channelling stratgies.

To sum up, this blog provides a limited snapshot of the richness of the qualitative data generated by the survey. While analysis and dissemination continues, a vital new question arises of what important lessons can be developed and applied arising from this very interesting data. While the general public are increasingly aware of the precarity that Covid-19 has unleashed globally, many would argue that these are merely an exacerbation of existing problems that have been around for a long time infecting societies and institutions therein, like academia. In some ways there has never been a better opportunity than now to address them comprehensively and courageously. The question now is how?

Please consider being a participant: the current survey is still open and we hope to gather more responses and which may reflect a greater gender balance from which to draw findings. If you are interested in participating please go to https://bournemouth.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/impact-of-lockdown-on-academics. We would be pleased if you would also share the survey with your wider networks as is open to all academics wherever there are. Please note, if you want us to be able to identify that you are BU staff, you will need to mention BU in one of the open questions.

BU supports challenge to help businesses find innovative ways of hosting digital live exhibitions

BU colleagues are cordially invited to encourage staff, current students and alumni to submit ideas to the Exhibition futures Challenge 2020.

Along with Crowd, the Department for International Trade, and Great Britain Campaign, the Department of Sport & Events Management at Bournemouth University is helping Prodigio re-imagine the magic of live exhibitions that are now affected by the global pandemic.

What solution encompasses all the benefits of an exhibition in a virtual environment?

Many events and conferences are being cancelled for 2020 due to mass gatherings, travel, and face-to-face interaction being off limits during the Coronavirus crisis. This has led to a huge loss in business for exhibition experts such as Prodigio, which is why we partnered with Prodigio to support the “How can we Re-imagine the Magic of Exhibitions through the Exhibition Futures Challenge 2020?” initiative.

This challenge is offering businesses a platform to put forward their creative idea, achieve international exposure, win a cash prize of £5,000 together with a further £5,000 investment in the idea, including the support of the teams at Great Britain Campaign and at Department for International Trade [PS: The applicant does not need to be in the UK but the investment money needs to involve a company based in the UK].

Deadline for putting forward the final idea is 1st July. Anyone and everyone, both within and outside of the events industry, is invited to participate. The Challenge microsite created by Crowd will provide more information, as well as:

  • Recording of a Q & A webinar which took place on the 18th May ​
  • Key aims of the Challenge.
  • A Q&A session which will allow initial ideas to be explored and tested before a submission.

Miguel Moital, Dept. of Sport & Events Management, BUBS

New BU publication on birth centres in Nepal

Congratulations to Dr. Preeti Mahato in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perintal Helath (CMMPH) on the acceptance of the  paper ‘ Evaluation of a health promotion intervention associated with birthing centres in rural Nepal’.   This paper is part of Dr. Mahato’s PhD work and will appear soon in the international journal PLOS ONE.   The journal is Open Access so anyone across the world may copy, distribute, or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited.

The research in this thesis used a longitudinal study design where pre-intervention survey was conducted by Green Tara Nepal a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) in year 2012.  The health promotion intervention was conducted by the same NGO in the period 2014 to 2016 and the post-intervention survey was conducted by Dr Mahato in the year 2017.

The intervention was financially supported by a London-based Buddhist charity called Green Tara Trust.   The results of the pre- and post-intervention surveys were compared to identify statistically significant changes that might have occurred due to the intervention and also to determine the factors affecting place of birth.   This study is co-authored by Professors Edwin van Teijlingen and Vanora Hundley and Dr Catherine Angell from CMMPH and FHSS Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada (based at the University of Huddersfield).