Tagged / collaborative research

Good Clinical Practice refresher – Wednesday 14th August 2019

Are you currently undertaking research within the NHS, and your Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training is due to expire? Or has it expired recently?

GCP certification lasts for two years, so if your training is due to expire, has expired, or you want to validate your learning, then take advantage of the upcoming refresher half day session, taking place at Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester on Wednesday 14th August, 9am – 12:30pm.

Spaces are still remaining, so if you’d like to enrol, get in touch with Research Ethics.

An epidemic of invitations

Once you have submitted you manuscript to a scientific journal, the editor has a (quick) look at it and sends it out for review.  As I remind students and colleagues in training sessions on academic writing and publishing, the editor and the peer reviewers are academics like me and my colleagues who do both the editing and the reviewing, for free and over and above the day job.  Being an editor and a reviewer are part of being any academic’s so-called scholarly activity.  We are expected to do this as part of the wider scientific community for the benefit of our academic discipline(s).

When an academic receives an invitation to peer review, the journal will send you a copy of the paper’s abstract.  On reading this abstract you then decide whether you wish to do the review.  If the paper sounds interesting and it is in your field and you have the time you may volunteer to conduct a review.  Once you have agreed you will get the full paper (or more likely you are send a link to the publisher’s website).  The requirements of the review report varies between disciplines and often between journals. Some follow an informal structure, but others have a more formal approach, sometimes with scoring systems for sections of the paper.

Unfortunately, academics across the globe are experiencing an ‘epidemic’ of invitations to review for scientific journals.  And I am not talking about so-called predatory publishers, i.e. journals and publishers that are only in it for the monetary gain, no I am talking about legitimate journals sending out invitations to review for them.   Especially scholars with a few decent publications receive several emails a week from often high quality scientific journals.  The photo of my email inbox shows three invitations in a row I received in the space of two hours last week (10th July), two are even from different Associate Editors for the same journal!

I would like to stress that doing peer reviews is very important.  It is the backbone of academic publishing.  Reviewing is part of our overall scholarly responsibility so we all do it, although some more than others.  We all have are favourite journals to review for, perhaps because the journal is high quality, or we like to publish in it ourselves, because we know the editor, or our reviewing is recognised on websites like KUDOS.  I would like to urge colleagues who don’t manage to review at least once a month to step up and agree to review a wee bit more often.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

New BU cross-faculty publication

This week Evidence-Based Midwifery published the latest article from the BU team working on the portrayal of midwifery and maternity in the media.  This qualitative paper ‘Changing the narrative around childbirth: whose responsibility is it?’ is co-authored by a multidisciplinary team including the disciplines of Midwifery, Sociology and Media.[1]  The lead author is Prof. Vanora Hundley in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), one of longest established centres at BU, her co-authors are Dr. Ann Luce in the Faculty of Media & Communication, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen director of CMMPH and Sophie Edlund, who was based at BU at the time of the research but who is now at Malmö University in Sweden.

The paper addresses societal’s interest in all aspects of childbirth, which is reflected in both social and traditional media. Stories often focus on dramatic, risky and mostly unrealistic events; misrepresenting childbirth and maternity care professionals. The authors raised the question: “Whose responsibility is it to ensure accurate representations of childbirth?”   Using semi-structured in-depth interviews with ten midwives working in the UK some working in the NHS, some in Higher Education or independent practice, the authors distilled four separate but inter-related themes:

(1) not my responsibility;

(2) fear of retribution;

(3) power balance; and

(4) social media.

The themes sat within two wider societal issues that reflect the current challenges for midwifery, these were (a) the ongoing battle between the social and the medical models of childbirth and (b) the impact of gender.  Finding that midwives fear the media resonates with experiences from a number of countries and professional groups. There is a need to change media discourse in both fictional and factual representations of childbirth and midwives have a critical role to play in this, but to do this they need to equip themselves with the skills necessary to engage with the media. Guidelines on responsible media reporting could ensure that media producers portray pregnancy, midwifery and maternity care as naturally as possible.

This paper is paper of a growing body of interdisciplinary research at BU across faculties, which had already resulted in six earlier publications. [2-7]  In addition last month Dr Chapleo from the Faculty of Management submitted a grant application to the ESRC under the title ‘Rebranding childbirth: understanding the role of marketing in influencing uptake of health services’, a joint application with CMMPH staff (Profs. Hundley & van Teijlingen) and the Media School (Dr. Luce).

 

References:

  1. Hundley, V., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E., Edlund, S. (2019) Changing the narrative around childbirth: whose responsibility is it? Evidence-based Midwifery 17(2): 47-52.
  2. Luce, A., Cash, M., Hundley, V., Cheyne, H., van Teijlingen, E., Angell, C. (2016) “Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 40 http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-0827-x
  3. van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Luce, A., Hundley, V. (2016) Media, Health & Health Promotion in Nepal, Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences 2(1): 70-75. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/JMMIHS/article/view/15799/12744
  4. Luce, A., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (Eds.) (2017) Midwifery, Childbirth and the Media, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. Hundley, V., Duff, E., Dewberry, J., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Fear in childbirth: are the media responsible? MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 24(4): 444-447.
  6. Hundley, V., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) Do midwives need to be more media savvy? MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 25(1):5-10.
  7. van Teijlingen, E., De Vries, R., Luce, A., Hundley, V. (2017) Meer bemoeien met media (In Dutch: more engagement with media). Tijdschrift voor Verloskundigen (in Dutch: Journal for Midwives), 41 (6):28-29.

Challenging paper by Prof. Pritchard and colleagues

Congratulations to Bournemouth University’s Professor Colin Pritchard, Honorary Doctor of Science Anne Silk and their Southampton colleague Lars Hansen who recently published the paper ‘Are rises in Electro-Magnetic Field in the human environment, interacting with multiple environmental pollutions, the tripping point for increases in neurological deaths in the Western World?’  This paper in Medical Hypotheses (published by Elsevier) is a worrying analysis of the effects of (recent) technological progress on our health.  If this paper does not make you worry , at least remember one message: “No mobile phones in trouser pockets or under your pillow as you’re being bathed in 450Mhz.”

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

Pritchard, C., Silk, A., Hansen, L. (2019) Are rises in Electro-Magnetic Field in the human environment, interacting with multiple environmental pollutions, the tripping point for increases in neurological deaths in the Western World? Medical Hypotheses 127: 76-83.

 

Health Research Authority #MakeItPublic Campaign

You will hopefully have seen numerous blog posts regarding the Health Research Authority’s (HRA) commitment to research transparency. This was prompted in response to the  House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report last year on clinical trials transparency, which showed that nearly half of clinical trials fail to publish their results. In their report, the committee made a number of recommendations to the Health Research Authority in order to rectify the situation.

The HRA have recently launched a consultation on their new draft strategy for research transparency – #MakeItPublic. You can find out more about the campaign here on their website where there are also pages outlining their plans and visions for this area of improvement.

If you would like to have your say and be a part of the consultation, you can book onto one of their face-to-face workshops, or via their online survey.

Key role of volunteers in the health system

This week saw the publication of ‘Perceived barriers to accessing Female Community Health Volunteers’ (FCHV) services among ethnic minority women in Nepal: A qualitative study’ [1].  This article in the Open Access journal PLoS ONE highlights the key role volunteers play in delivering health services to minorities/the poorest people, especially in low-income countries like Nepal.

This paper studies community health workers in Nepal, who are known as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs). To address this issue, we conducted a qualitative study to explore perceived barriers to accessing maternal and child healthcare services among ethnic minority groups in two different parts of Nepal with varying degrees of access to local healthcare centres. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty FCHVs, 26 women service users and 11 paid local health workers. In addition, 15 FCHVs participated in four focus group discussions.

A thematic analysis of the data identified five major themes underlying barriers to accessing available maternal and child healthcare services by ethnic minority groups. These themes include: a) lack of knowledge among service users; b) lack of trust in volunteers; c) traditional beliefs and healthcare practices; d) low decision-making power of women; and e) perceived indignities experienced when using health centres.  The paper concluded that community health programmes should focus on increasing awareness of healthcare services among ethnic minority groups, and the programmes should involve family members (husband and mothers-in-law) and traditional health practitioners. Both the FCHVs and local healthcare providers should be trained to communicate effectively in order to deliver respectful care among ethnic minorities if we want to achieve universal healthcare coverage for maternal and child health in low- and -middle income countries.

The paper is based on the PhD research conducted by Dr. Sarita Panday in ScHARR at the University of Sheffield.  Dr. Panday is currently affiliated with the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Centre (APARC) at Stanford University in the USA.  Her co-authors are Prof. Paul Bissell at the University of Huddersfield, FHSS’s Visiting Prof. Padam Simkhada at the Liverpool John Moores University and BU Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.  This is the second paper from Dr. Panday’s excellent thesis, the first paper was also published in an Open Access journal BMC Health Services Research [2].

 

References:

  1. Panday S, Bissell P, van Teijlingen E, Simkhada P (2019) Perceived barriers to accessing Female Community Health Volunteers’ (FCHV) services among ethnic minority women in Nepal: A qualitative study. PLoS ONE 14(6): e0217070.
  2. Panday S, Bissell P, van Teijlingen E, Simkhada P (2017) The contribution of female community health volunteers (FCHVs) to maternity care in Nepal: a qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research 17(1):623.

Setting up clinical research – the ‘Organisation Information Document’

If you are currently conducting research within the NHS or Health & Social Care (HSC), then please bear in mind the following update if you wish/plan to add new NHS/HSC research sites to your study.

As of 5th June, the set-up procedure for clinical research projects involving NHS or HSC organisations changed (see blog post) –

  • If you applying for HRA/NHS REC approval you will be required to follow the new procedure using the Organisation Information Document (OID), as referenced in the above post;
  • If you are already conducting a study with HRA/NHS REC approval, in NHS/HSC organisations, and wish to involve new sites, then please be aware that the OID should be used, even if existing sites were set-up using the previous document, the Statement of Activities.

Further help and guidance

Guidance on the use of the new UK Local Information Pack has now been published in the Site Specific page of IRAS Help to help applicants with the change.

If you have any queries regarding any of the information provided above, information in the referenced blog post, or would like some guidance with regard to implementing your research in a healthcare setting – please get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team.

You can also take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for documents, links and training opportunities.

Breastfeeding paper published today

The journal Women and Birth (by Elsevier) published the latest academic paper by Dr. Alison Taylor today.  Alison’s paper ‘The therapeutic role of video diaries: A qualitative study involving breastfeeding mothers’ had been online as a pre-publication for a while but today in appeared officially in print [1].  Alison is a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) and this scientific paper is part of her completed PhD research project. 

 

 

The paper is based on a large number of video clips recorded by new mothers.  The total recording time exceeded 43 hours. This paper focuses on one theme, the therapeutic role of the camcorder in qualitative research. Four subthemes are discussed highlighting the therapeutic impact of talking to the camcorder: personifying the camcorder; using the camcorder as a confidante; a sounding board; and a mirror and motivator.  Dr. Taylor and colleagues conclude that frequent opportunities to relieve tension by talking to “someone” without interruption, judgement or advice can be therapeutic. Further research needs to explore how the video diary method can be integrated into standard postnatal care to provide benefits for a wider population.

This is the second paper originating from Alison’s PhD research, the first one appeared in Midwifery (also published by Elsevier) [2].   Dr. Taylor’s PhD thesis was supervised by Prof. Emerita Jo Alexander, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen (in CMMPH) and Prof. Kath Ryan at the University of Reading.

[Drawing of Breastfeeding Woman by Allison Churchill.]

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Taylor AM, van Teijlingen E., Alexander J, Ryan K. (2019) The therapeutic role of video diaries: A qualitative study involving breastfeeding mothers, Women & Birth 32(3):276-83. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871519218300064
  2. Taylor A, van Teijlingen E, Ryan K, Alexander J (2019) ‘Scrutinised, judged & sabotaged’: A qualitative video diary study of first-time breastfeeding mothers, Midwifery 75: 16-23.

Applications Open! Re-commissioning the Research Centres

Following a recent review by the Research Performance Management Committee (RPMC) applications are now open for the establishment of new Research Centres.  This process is open to all groups of academic staff, each led by a member of the Professoriate, to put forward proposed Research Centres.  Applications can be from established Research Centres, new groupings or new amalgamations of groupings (old and/or new).  The new Research Centres will be launched in September when existing Research Centres will cease to exist unless they have applied under this process (except where exempt).*

Research Centres are the public face of BU’s research. They bring together individuals and research teams from across the University to form collaborative and interdisciplinary groupings which, through the development and delivery of world-leading research, strengthen and underpin the delivery of the BU2025 vision.  They offer an opportunity for the Professoriate to engage in leadership of research that can contribute significantly to the aims of BU2025 – see leadership role descriptor – and provide a genuine platform for innovation and the achievement of critical mass.

Research Centres provide opportunities for staff at all levels to become members, benefitting from dynamic, creative relationships which cut across the perceived boundaries of discipline, Department and/or Faculty.  Research Centres provide members with the opportunity to be a part of an interdisciplinary research community, which enables individuals to join and establish interdisciplinary relationships and networks which can facilitate and strengthen their own research.

The Process

Applications (see pages 6 – 9) are to be completed and submitted to the Faculty Research and Professional Practice Committee (FRPPC) for approval.  As part of the application process Research Development and Support (RDS) will provide a data set of the KPI’s relating to the proposed membership for the past year.  This means that there are two deadlines – the first being to allow time for the data set to be prepared and the second for final submission to FRPPC.  Arrangements and the dates for submission vary between Faculties and are shown in the table below:

Faculty D/L for proposed

membership list

D/L for completed

application to FRPPC

D/L for approval by Faculty
FMC 5th July 2019

A Faculty meeting on 5th July 2019 will discuss and finalise Research Centre compositions. Proposed Centres and membership lists should be brought to this meeting.

14th July 2019

Details of submitting completed applications to be decided at this meeting but the deadline is 14th July and will be submitted for FRPPC via DDRPP (ethorsen@bournemouth.ac.uk)

18th July 2019
FHSS 14th June 2019

Proposed membership lists to be sent directly to Project Delivery Manager (plynch@bournemouth.ac.uk) by 14th June who will provide data set by 21st June

5th July 2019

Deadline for submission of completed applications to DDRPP (vhundley@bournemouth.ac.uk)

21st July 2019
FoM 28th June 2019

Completed applications (including membership lists) to be sent directly to Project Delivery Manager (plynch@bournemouth.ac.uk) by 28th June 2019.

28th June 2019

Same as deadline for membership list. Project Delivery Manager will forward to DDRPP (msilk@bournemouth.ac.uk)

19th July 2019
FST 21st June 2019, 5 pm

Completed applications (including membership lists) to be sent to DDRPP tzhang@bournemouth.ac.uk

21st June 2019

Same as deadline for membership list.

4th July 2019

For an overview of the approval process please see this flowchart.

If you have any questions please contact me, (plynch@bournemouth.ac.uk EXT 68265), or the DDRPP for your Faculty.

*Institutes will be exempt from this process and addressed later.  The following entities are exempt from this process for the reasons stated: NCPQSW and NCCA as they are externally recognised national centres; DMC, CoPMRE, Centre for GP Practice, Centre for Digital Entertainment and BUCRU as their purpose and remit exceeds the scope of the Research Centres policy and therefore the re-commissioning process

NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is one of the largest funders of clinical research in Europe and have a number of funding streams that you can apply for in order to conduct health-related research. The NIHR then has a number of Clinical Research Networks or ‘CRNs’ that are spread out to each region of England. The local CRN is Wessex, based in Hedge End, Southampton.

The ‘Portfolio’

At the heart of CRN activities is the NIHR CRN Portfolio of studies. This consists of high-quality clinical research studies that are eligible for consideration for support from the CRN in England. Adoption onto the portfolio has a number of benefits for researchers, such as help in identifying potential research sites, access to patients and the public to carry out ‘PPI‘ and advice on recruitment strategy at any point during the study. The CRN offers support to researchers via their Study Support Service and likewise via each portfolio manager and their team. You can see a breakdown of each portfolio here on the Wessex CRN page.

The Portfolio and the NHS

Portfolio adoption is usually vital to participating NHS Trusts when considering the research studies they wish to undertake, as they are reimbursed for the resource given to conduct the study (e.g. research nurse support, data manager time). As a result, it is strongly advised that external funding is considered for BU clinical research projects – the amount of funding doesn’t have to be substantial.

Each CRN is given a budget for the financial year by the NIHR, which is then distributed to sites based on their recruitment figures.

Requirements

In order to be eligible for portfolio adoption, there are three criteria a study must meet:

  • The study must be ‘research’ (this is stipulated, as often what’s classed as research outside the NHS setting, is sometimes a service evaluation, quality improvement etc. within the NHS – see this table);
  • Have appropriate ethical approval; and Health Research Authority (HRA) Approval where required;
  • Have full research funding – this has to have been awarded via open competition and by the NIHR, other areas of central Government, or an NIHR non-commercial partner (for which there is a list). If the study has received support from multiple funders, then it will be still considered automatically eligible, if one of the funding streams is the NIHR, an area of central Government or a non-commercial partner.

You can read more about study eligibility here, including research funded by overseas partners.

The Portfolio and BU

The source of research funding is the principal determinant of eligibility for NIHR CRN support and so it is encouraged that researchers seek external funding where possible and appropriate, from the NIHR, another area of central Government or one of their non-commercial partners. The amount of funding doesn’t need to substantial in order to be eligible.

For any queries to do with the portfolio or for guidance regarding implementing your research in a healthcare setting, take a look at the Clinical Governance blog. You can also get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team with any queries.

Setting up NHS / HSC research in the UK– changes from TODAY

The new ‘UK Local Information Pack‘  has been introduced today, 5th June to support the set-up of NHS / HSC research in the UK.

The ‘UK Local Information Pack’ is the set of documents that NHS / HSC organisations use to formally start preparing to deliver the study. You can find more information here, including what comprises the pack. All researchers wishing to set-up their study at an NHS/HSC site from today, 5th June, need to be aware of this change.

The Organisation Information Document

Researchers and research teams may be aware of a document called the ‘Statement of Activities’ – this is essentially a document that allows the sponsor to make clear to the research site, what activities will be undertaken locally. The document can also act as the agreement between the sponsor and site.

From today the Statement of Activities has been replaced by a document called the ‘Organisation Information Document‘. For non-commercially sponsored studies, that are not clinical trials or clinical investigations, the ‘Organisation Information Document’ should be used as the agreement between sponsor and participating NHS / HSC organisation.

A new delegation log template

Another feature of the new UK Local Information Pack is the inclusion of a delegation log template, which is intended to be used at participating NHS / HSC organisations. This will allow NHS/HSC organisations to locally record who will be working on the study and who is authorised to undertake study tasks. The delegation log can be found here and should be used for studies submitted for approvals from today.

Schedule of Events or Schedule and Events Cost Attribution Tool (SoECAT)

For non-commercially sponsored studies studies an IRAS Schedule of Events or a SoECAT will be a part of the IRAS Form submission and is used in the UK Local Information Pack as a way of providing clarity to participating NHS / HSC organisations on the cost attributions associated with a study.

Further help and guidance

Guidance on the use of the new UK Local Information Pack has now been published in the Site Specific page of IRAS Help to help applicants get ready for the change.

If you are making an IRAS Form submission or planning to set up research in an NHS / HSC organisation from today, 5th June 2019 please read the transition guidance so that you prepare the correct materials.

If you have any queries regarding any of the information provided above, or would like some guidance with regard to implementing your research in a healthcare setting – please get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team.

You can also take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for documents, links and training opportunities.

NIHR Research Participant Experience Survey 2018/19 – final report

You may have seen the blog post back in April regarding the results from a recent patient research experience survey, conducted by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex.

The survey results showed that across the 10 NHS organisations in Wessex, from the 400 responses received, 96% of participants had a good experience of taking part in research. It also showed that 98% of research participants surveyed had all the information that they needed in relation to the study.

The NIHR have released a recent report that shares the results of the Research Participant Experience Survey 2018-19, which was also conducted across the other 14 Clinical Research Network areas in England. You can take a look at the report here.