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South West Peninsula
PenCLAHRC Matters - April 2015

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the April edition of PenCLAHRC Matters. I hope that everyone has had a good Easter and has been able to enjoy the unexpectedly sunny weather! Time seems to have flown by since our last newsletter and changes are afoot at PenCLAHRC. Our team continues to expand and I am pleased to have welcomed a number of new staff and PhD students in recent months.

We are also changing premises. Our Plymouth team recently moved to new office in the ITTC Building at Plymouth Science Park. Our Exeter team will soon be leaving the Veysey Building for new offices at the St Luke's Campus. Please see our website for updated contact details. 

This month I'm also pleased to update you on the Check-Up study, investigating cardiovascular health check in Primary Care, and some interesting events in which our teams have been involved. I hope you enjoy reading about them.

With best wishes, 

Stuart Logan
Director of PenCLAHRC

Engaging Games Morning

We recently held and Engaging Games morning at PenCLAHRC to showcase the work that Dr Kath Maguire from the PPI team has been doing to develop activities that translate the concepts of evidence-based medicine into fun and practical games.

As part of the games morning people were encouraged to write stories for the PenCLAHRC Book of Fairy Tales. These are fairy tales that you might be familiar with, but with an evidence-based twist. Titles for the story book included The Three Little Statistical Pigs, The Princess and The Frog Test, The Emperor’s New Scare, The Princesses and The Peanut Surrogate and Winnie the Pooh and his woodland friends explore General Linear Modelling.

Click here to find out more and to read stories from the Fairy Tale book.


PenCLAHRC Project Focus: The Check-up Study

The NHS Cardiovascular Health Check programme was introduced in England in 2009 to reduce cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity for all patients aged 40 to 74 years old with no known history of such disease. The Check-up Study aimed to identify factors influencing peoples' willingness to attend a health check. Working with four general practices in Torbay, a range of people were interviewed. These were people who had either attended or not attended their health check.

Attendees viewed the check as worthwhile, viewing it as a timely 'MOT' that allowed them to prevent serious illnesses before developing symptoms. Reasons for not attending were more varied, including people not viewing the check-up as a priority in their busy lives, some actively avoided their general practices when feeling well, and others  did not want to 'waste' health professionals’ time. Misunderstandings of what the health check involved and negative views of what they might be told to do were common.

The findings suggest that tackling misconceptions through improving the clarity and brevity of invitations, better advertising, and simple administrative strategies such as sending reminder letters, have a considerable potential to improve health check attendance. Visit the project webpage for further information or read their recently published paper.

PenCHORD Cornwall Showcase - June

PenCHORD - the operational research team of the CLAHRC - are hosting a special showcase event in Cornwall on 2nd June, in order to build collaboration and awareness of our work in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.  We are also combining this with the delivery of the first two Modules of our training programme on 2nd June (PM) and 3rd June (all day).  We are very keen for as many people to attend as possible who work in the NHS in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. Those registering for the event should complete their details at this link.

Fourth Plymouth Dementia Conference

Jo Thompson Coon and Alison Bethel from the Evidence Synthesis Team were recently invited to be part of the Fourth Plymouth Dementia Conference. The theme of the conference was “Dementia: the challenges and inspirational solutions”. Angela Rippon, Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and chairperson for the Conference, opened the conference by welcoming everyone, and added many personal reflections and anecdotes throughout the inspiring and motivating day. The overall aim of the day was to showcase both local and national dementia friendly initiatives and share ideas.

Jo and Alison used the occasion to trial out dissemination ideas for the team’s recently published systematic reviews around dementia care (mealtimes and gardens). Using the dementia gardens review as a focus, conference attendees were given the option to vote for their favourite form of dissemination: from on online video, the full systematic review, an A4 sized poster and a smaller folding leaflet.  The leaflet scored the most votes, and the team are currently looking at all comments received and working out what this might mean for future dissemination plans!

Changes to the PenCLAHRC website

The PenCLAHRC website is about to undergo a facelift which we hope will improve the accessibility of content on the site, as well as its look and feel. As a result, there may be some disruption to the site over the coming weeks. We appreciate your patience during this time and look forward to introducing the new site to everyone soon! Please get in touch with any comments or queries. 


Current opportunities with PenCLAHRC

Associate Research Fellow in Patient and Public Involvement. Closing date: 23rd April
PenCLAHRC people

We are pleased to welcome new colleagues:

Anthony Shepherd - Associate Research Fellow, ReTrain

Raff Calitri - Trial Manager, ReTrain

Matt Allwood - Associate Research Fellow, STARS

Meet current PenCLAHRC staff and students online via our Staff Database.

Events Diary

Making Sense of Evidence: Using Research to Inform Clinical Decision Making
These workshops are aimed at health care professionals across the South West who wish to gain knowledge of finding and appraising evidence in everyday practice.

2015 Dates:
12th May, Truro (1 day)
17th June, Plymouth (1 day)
8th July, Exeter (1/2 day)
22nd October, Somerset (1 day) (location TBC)
5th November, Exeter (1 day)
6th November, Exeter (1 day, focusing on diagnostics)

Click here for booking details.

PenCLAHRC Searching and Review Clinics
Whether you are an academic or an NHS professional who needs to know where to start on the systematic review process or how to go about designing a search strategy, you can book an appointment with one of our reviewers or information specialists. For further information and future dates click here.

Inaugral Lecture, Institute of Health Research
22nd April 2015
Location: NC12, St Luke's Campus, University of Exeter Medical School
Professors Tamsin Ford and Chris Dickens will be talking about Mental Health from Cradle to Grave as part of the Institute for Health Research's Inaugral Lecture series. For more information and RSVP details, click here.

Allied Health Professions Research Network conference
Date:  June 24th 2015
Location: Sandy Park, Exeter
Click here or contact UEMS_CPD@exeter.ac.uk for further details.

Researching Complex Interventions in Health: The State of the Art
Date: 13th – 15th October 2015
Location: University of Exeter
Click here for further information and to book.

For more information about our events see the PenCLAHRC events webpage.

Recent Publications

Janssens A, Thompson Coon J, Rogers M, Allen K, Green C, Jenkinson C, Tennant A, Logan S, Morris C. A Systematic Review of Generic Multidimensional Patient-Reported Outcome Measures for Children, Part I: Descriptive Characteristics. Value in Health 2015; 18: 315-33.

Janssens A, Rogers M, Thompson Coon J, Allen K, Green C, Jenkinson C, Tennant A, Logan S, Morris C. A Systematic Review of Generic Multidimensional Patient-Reported Outcome Measures for Children, Part II: Evaluation of Psychometric Performance of English-Language Versions in a General Population. Value in Health 2015; 18: 334-45.

Wyatt KM, Brand S, Ashby-Pepper J, Abraham J, Fleming LE. Understanding how healthy workplaces are created: implications for developing an National Health Service healthy workplace programme. International Journal of Health Services 2015, 45 (1): 161–185

Gwernan-Jones R, Moore D, Garside R, Richardson M, Thompson-Coon J, Rogers M, Cooper P, Stein K, Ford T. ADHD, parent perspectives and parent-teacher relationships: Grounds for conflict. British Journal of Special Education (online in early view)

Moore, D., Gwernan-Jones, R., Wooding, E. & Richardson, M. (2014). School-based approaches to supporting young people with ADHD: a summary of two systematic reviewsADHD In Practice, 6 (4), 4-7.
To find more PenCLAHRC publications visit our Publications Database.
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