The latest Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (FHSS) publication on the last day of March is an editorial in the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology. This editorial ‘The Promising Future for Complex Innovative Trial Design in Clinical Research’ has as its lead author, FHSS’s Visiting Faculty Dr. Brijesh Sathian.
- Sathian, B., van Teijlingen, E., Banerjee, I., Asim, M., Kabir, R. (2023) The Promising Future for Complex Innovative Trial Design in Clinical Research. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, 13(1):1256-1257.
Congratulations to Dr. Orlanda Harvey and Dr. Margarete Parrish in the Department of Social Sciences & Social Work on the publication of our article “Using a Range of Communication Tools to Interview a Hard-to-Reach Population” in Sociological Research Online . The paper highlights that online communication tools are increasingly being used by researchers; hence it is timely to reflect on the differences when using a broad range of data collection methods. Using a case study with a potentially hard-to-reach substance-using population who are often distrustful of researchers, this article explores the use of a variety of different platforms for interviews. It highlights both the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Face-to-face interviews and online videos offer more opportunity to build rapport, but lack anonymity. Live Webchat and audio-only interviews offer a high level of anonymity, but both may incur a loss of non-verbal communication, and in the Webchat a potential loss of personal narrative. This article is intended for sociologists who wish to broaden their methods for conducting research interviews.
This methods article was developed based on the recruitment issues faced during Orlanda’s PhD research from which she has published several previous papers [2-6].
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, E., Parrish, M. (2023) Using a Range of Communication Tools to Interview a Hard-to-Reach Population. Sociological Research Online [online first]
- Harvey, O., Keen, S., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E. (2019) Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Literature Review into what they want and what they access. BMC Public Health 19: 1024
- Harvey, O., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E., Trenoweth, S. (2020) Support for non-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroids users: A qualitative exploration of their needs Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 27:5, 377-386. doi 10.1080/09687637.2019.1705763
- Harvey, O., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E, Trenoweth, S. (2022) Libido as a reason to use non-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 29(3):276-288.
- Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, E., Parrish, M. (2022) Mixed-methods research on androgen abuse – a review, Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes 29(6):586-593.
- Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, E. (2022) The case for ‘anabolics’ coaches: selflessness versus self-interest? Performance Enhancement & Health 10(3) August, 100230
This week we published a paper on the experience of conducting fieldwork in the public health field in the Journal of Health Promotion.  Fieldwork is usually a crucial part of PhD research, not only in the health field. However, few researchers write about this, often challenging, process. This paper highlights various occasions where fieldwork in the area of public health, health promotion or community health was more difficult than expected or did not go as planned. Our reflections on working in the field are aimed at less experienced researchers to support them in their research development. Moreover, this paper is also calling upon health researchers to share more details about the process of doing fieldwork and its trials and tribulations. Our key advice is to be inquisitive and open-minded around fieldwork, followed by: be prepared for your fieldwork, conduct a risk assessment of what might go wrong, and consider your resources and options to overcome such trials and tribulations. Fieldwork can be unpredictable. We believe it is important to share practical lessons from the field which helps other to better understand these tribulations, and learn from them. Finally, sharing such information may guide new researchers and help them identify strategies that can address those issues and challenges in their future studies.
Dr. Preeti Mahato (at Royal Holloway, University of London), Dr Bibha Simkhada and Prof. Padam Simkhada (both based at the University of Huddersfield) are all BU Visiting Faculty. Moreover, I have had the pleasure of acting as PhD supervisor for five of my co-authors. I have included in this blog what is probably my favourite fieldwork photo taken a decade ago by former BU PhD student Dr. Sheetal Sharma.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)
- Mahato, P., Tamang, P., Simkhada, B., Wasti, S. P., Devkota, B., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E.R. (2022) Reflections on health promotion fieldwork in Nepal: Trials and tribulations. Journal of Health Promotion 10(1): 5–12. https://doi.org/10.3126/jhp.v10i1.50978
Congratulations to FHSS PhD students Aniebiet Ekong and Nurudeen Adesina on the acceptance of their paper by MIDIRS Midwifery Digest . This methodological paper reflects on their data collection approaches as part of their PhD involving African pregnant women in the UK.
This paper provides a snapshot of some of the challenges encountered during the recruitment of pregnant Black African women living in the UK for their research. Though there are several strategies documented to access/invite/recruit these ‘hard-to-reach population’ these recruitment strategies however were found to be unsuitable to properly engage members of this community. Furthermore, ethical guidelines around informed consent and gatekeeping seem to impede the successful engagement of the members of this community. It is believed that an insight into the experience and perceptions of ethnic minorities researchers will enhance pragmatic strategies that will increase future participation and retention of Black African women across different areas of health and social care research. This paper is co-authored with their BU PhD supervisors: Dr Jaqui-Hewitt Taylor, Dr Juliet Wood, Dr Pramod Regmi and Dr Fotini Tsofliou.
Well done !
- Ekong, A., Adesina, N., Regmi, P., Tsofliou, F., Wood, J. and Taylor, J., 2022. Barriers and Facilitators to the recruitment of Black African women for research in the UK: Hard to engage and not hard to reach. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest (accepted).
Today ResearchGate informed Prof. Vanora Hundley and I that our paper in the Nursing Standard of 2002 had reached 90,000 reads. This short methods paper called ‘The Importance of Pilot Studies’  was one of our earlier attempts, nearly two decades ago, to publish more of our work in practitioners journals. This approach has been highly successful in terms of reaching a wider audience. We have written longer, more sophisticated research methods papers on pilot studies over the years, including in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, Social Research Update, and the SAGE encyclopedia on research methods [2-6], but none of these has been read or cited as often as our short paper in the Nursing Standard.
The term ‘pilot studies’ refers to mini versions of a full-scale study (also called ‘feasibility’ studies), as well as the specific pre-testing of a particular research instrument such as a questionnaire or interview schedule. Pilot studies are a crucial element of good study design. Conducting a pilot study does not guarantee success in the main study, but it does increase the likelihood of success. Pilot studies fulfill a range of important functions and can provide valuable insights for other researchers. There is a need for more discussion among researchers of both the process and outcomes of pilot studies.
- van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2002) ‘The importance of pilot studies’ Nursing Standard 16(40): 33-36. Web: nursing-standard.co.uk/archives/vol16-40/pdfs/vol16w40p3336.pdf
- van Teijlingen E, Rennie, AM., Hundley, V, Graham, W. (2001) The importance of conducting & reporting pilot studies: example of Scottish Births Survey, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 34: 289-95.
- van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2001) The importance of pilot studies, Social Research Update Issue 35, (Editor N. Gilbert), Guildford: University of Surrey. Web: http://www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/sru/SRU35.html
- Hundley, V., van Teijlingen E. (2002) The role of pilot studies in midwifery research RCM Midwives Journal 5(11): 372-74
- van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2005) Pilot studies in family planning & reproductive health care, Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care 31(3): 219-21.
- van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2003) Pilot study, In: Encyclopaedia of Social Science Research Methods, Vol. 2, Lewis-Beck, M., Bryman, A. & Liao, T. (eds.), Oregon, Sage: 823-24.
BU PGR Adedoyin Festus Fatai was one of three PhD students accepted to present at a 3-days intensive workshop on “Tourism: Economics and Management. Tourists as Consumers, Visitors and Travelers” in honour of Lionello F. Punzo which held at the Department of Economics, University of Siena, Siena, Italy (Italia), between 30 May – 1 June 2019.
It was an invaluable experience to serve as a discussant alongside other researchers in the field and to receive feedback on one of the empirical chapters from my PhD research. Additionally, there were comments from well-experienced journal editors with opportunities for collaboration.
An important lesson from the 15 papers discussed is that knowledge of research methods is not enough! instead, having a ‘story’ is more important. A good story will always sell as long as it identifies a clear gap to fill; is significant and has a strong motivation for it to be published in a journal with high impact factor.
Congratulations to PhD student Mrs Preeti Mahato who has a research methods paper published based on her PhD study in Nepal . In the areas of health promotion and health education, mixed-methods research approach has become widely used. In mixed-methods research, also referred to as multi-methods research, researchers combine quantitative and qualitative research designs in a single study. This paper introduces the mixed-methods approach for use in research in health education. To illustrate this pragmatic research approach the paper includes Preeti’s thesis as an example of mixed-methods research as applied in Nepal.
The paper, in the Journal of Health Promotion, is co-authored by Preeti’s PhD supervisors Dr. Catherine Angell and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen (both in the Centre for midwifery, Maternal &Perinatal Health) and BU Visiting Faculty Prof. Padam Simkhada.
- Mahato, P., Angell, C., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P.P. (2018) Using Mixed-methods Research in Health & Education in Nepal, Journal of Health Promotion Official Publication of Health Education Association of Nepal (HEAN), 6: 45-48.