• Vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC): exploring women's perceptions

      Meddings, Fiona S.; MacVane Phipps, Fiona E.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Haigh, Jacquelyn (2007)
      Aims and objectives.  This study was designed to complement local audit data by examining the lived experience of women who elected to attempt a vaginal birth following a previous caesarean delivery. The study sought to determine whether or not women were able to exercise informed choice and to explore how they made decisions about the method of delivery and how they interpreted their experiences following the birth. Background.  The rising operative birth rate in the UK concerns both obstetricians and midwives. Although the popular press has characterized birth by caesarean section as the socialites’ choice, in reality, maternal choice is only one factor in determining the method of birth. However, in considering the next delivery following a caesarean section, maternal choice may be a significant indicator. While accepted current UK practice favours vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) in line with the research evidence indicating reduced maternal morbidity, lower costs and satisfactory neonatal outcomes, Lavender et al. point out that partnership in choice has emerged as a key factor in the decision-making process over the past few decades. Chaung and Jenders explored the issue of choice in an earlier study and concluded that the best method of subsequent delivery, following a caesarean birth, is dependent on a woman's preference. Design and methodology.  Using a phenomenological approach enabled a holistic exploration of women's lived experiences of vaginal birth after the caesarean section. Results.  This was a qualitative study and, as such, the findings are not transferable to women in general. However, the results confirmed the importance of informed choice and raised some interesting issues meriting the further exploration. Conclusions.  Informed choice is the key to effective women-centred care. Women must have access to non-biased evidence-based information in order to engage in a collaborative partnership of equals with midwives and obstetricians. Relevance to clinical practice.  This study is relevant to clinical practice as it highlights the importance of informed choice and reminds practitioners that, for women, psycho-social implications may supersede their physical concerns about birth.
    • Validation of the Primary Care Patient Measure of Safety (PC PMOS) questionnaire

      Giles, S.J.; Parveen, Sahdia; Hernan, A.L. (2019-04)
      Background The Primary Care Patient Measure of Safety (PC PMOS) is designed to capture patient feedback about the contributing factors to patient safety incidents in primary care. It required further reliability and validity testing to produce a robust tool intended to improve safety in practice. Method 490 adult patients in nine primary care practices in Greater Manchester, UK, completed the PC PMOS. Practice staff (n = 81) completed a survey on patient safety culture to assess convergent validity. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) assessed the construct validity and internal reliability of the PC PMOS domains and items. A multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to assess discriminant validity, and Spearman correlation was conducted to establish test–retest reliability. Results Initial CFA results showed data did not fit the model well (a chi-square to df ratio (CMIN/DF) = 5.68; goodness-of-fit index (GFI) = 0.61, CFI = 0.57, SRMR = 0.13  and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.10). On the basis of large modification indices (>10), standardised residuals >± 2.58 and assessment of item content; 22 items were removed. This revised nine-factor model (28 items) was found to fit the data satisfactorily (CMIN/DF = 2.51; GFI = 0.87, CFI = 0.91, SRMR = 0.04  and RMSEA = 0.05). New factors demonstrated good internal reliability with average inter-item correlations ranging from 0.20 to 0.70. The PC PMOS demonstrated good discriminant validity between primary care practices (F = 2.64, df = 72, p < 0.001) and showed some association with practice staff safety score (convergent validity) but failed to reach statistical significance (r = −0.64, k = 9, p = 0.06). Conclusion This study led to a reliable and valid 28-item PC PMOS. It could enhance or complement current data collection methods used in primary care to identify and prevent error.
    • Validity of dementia care mapping on a neuro-rehabilitation ward: Q-methodology with staff and patients

      Westbrook, J.L.; McIntosh, C.J.; Sheldrick, R.; Surr, Claire A.; Hare, D.J. (2013)
      BACKGROUND: Measuring the quality of care for people using neuro-rehabilitation services is a complex area requiring reliable methods that account for variable communication abilities/cognitive functioning. Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) is an observational method widely used in dementia care to improve person-centred care, which may be usefully applied to neuro-rehabilitation settings. Evaluation is vital to determine the tool's acceptability in this setting. PURPOSE: To explore the views of staff/patients regarding whether the use of DCM is acceptable in a neuro-rehabilitation setting. METHOD: DCM was conducted on an acute neuro-rehabilitation ward. Q-methodology, a technique for extracting subjective opinions, was used with 23 staff and 10 patients on the ward to evaluate the acceptability of DCM. RESULTS: Factor analysis was performed separately for staff and patient Q-sorts. Each found a "consensus" factor where all participants indicated positive acceptability for the use of DCM. Further exploratory factors indicated that some staff/patients had additional views/concerns that were not captured by the first consensus factor. CONCLUSIONS: The results from this preliminary study are promising and indicate that DCM is potentially an acceptable tool to use in acute neuro-rehabilitation. Further research is needed to explore the acceptability of this tool more widely across neuro-rehabilitation settings. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION: Person-centred care is widely acknowledged as being important in all care settings, including neurorehabilitation. Dementia Care Mapping was deemed to be an acceptable approach for improving the quality of person-centred care on the basis of the views of staff and patients in a neurorehabilitation ward. Dementia Care Mapping, with adaptations for neurorehabilitation settings, successfully provides an acceptable framework for measuring and improving the quality of person-centred care in this setting.
    • The value of a Patient Access Portal in primary care: a cross-sectional survey of 62,486 registered users in the UK

      Mohammed, Mohammed A.; Montague, Jane; Faisal, Muhammad; Lamming, Laura (2020)
      In England, primary care patients have access to Patient Access Portals (PAPs), enabling them to book appointments, request repeat medication prescriptions, send/receive messages and review their medical records. Few studies have elicited user views and value of PAPs, especially in a publicly funded primary care setting. This study aimed to elicit the value users of PAPs place on online access to medical records and linked services. Secondary data analysis of the completed electronic survey (available 2 May 2015–27 June 2015) distributed via the EMIS PAP to all its registered users. EMIS designed the survey; responses were voluntary. There were 62,486 responders (95.7% self-completed). The PAP was mainly used for medication requests (86.3%) and online appointment bookings (78.4%), and, to a lesser extent, medical record viewing (18.3%) and messaging (9.5%). The majority (70%) reported a positive impact from using it. One in five rated it as their favourite online service second only to online banking. Almost three out of four responders stated that availability of online access would influence their move to another practice. Nonetheless, responders were reluctant to award a high monetary value to it. These findings correlated with the number of long-term conditions. The majority of users place a relatively high value, but not monetary value, on the PAP and report a positive impact from using it. The potential for PAPs to enhance patient experience, especially for those with long-term conditions, appears to be largely untapped. Research exploring the reasons for non-use is also required.
    • Variation and interactional non-standardization in neuropsychological tests: The case of the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination

      Jones, Danielle K.; Wilkinson, R.; Jackson, C.; Drew, P. (2020-02)
      The Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE-111) is a neuropsychological test used in clinical practice to inform a dementia diagnosis. The ACE-111 relies on standardized administration so that patients’ scores can be interpreted by comparison with normative scores. The test is delivered and responded to in interaction between clinicians and patients, which places talk-in-interaction at the heart of its administration. In this article, conversation analysis (CA) is used to investigate how the ACE-111 is delivered in clinical practice. Based on analysis of 40 video/audio-recorded memory clinic consultations in which the ACE-111 was used, we have found that administrative standardization is rarely achieved in practice. There was evidence of both (a) interactional variation in the way the clinicians introduce the test and (b) interactional non-standardization during its implementation. We show that variation and interactional non-standardization have implications for patients’ understanding and how they might respond to particular questions.
    • Variation in pelvic radiography practice: Why can we not standardise image acquisition techniques?

      Snaith, Beverly; Field, L.; Lewis, E.F.; Flintham, K. (2019-11)
      Introduction: Pelvic radiographs remain an essential investigation in orthopaedic practice. Although it is recognised that acquisition techniques can affect image appearances and measurement accuracy, it remains unclear what variation in practice exists and what impact this could have on decision making. Method: This was a cross sectional survey of UK radiology departments utilising an electronic tool. An introductory letter and link was distributed. Responses were received from 69 unique hospital sites within the specified timeframe, a response rate of 37.9%. Results: There was no consistent technique for the positioning of patients for pelvic radiographs. The distance varied between 90 and 115 cm and 10 different centering points were described. In relation to leg position, the feet are usually internally rotated (65 of 69 [94.2%]). Only 1 teaching hospital (1 of 69 [1.4%]) uses a weight-bearing position as standard. Orthopaedic calibration devices were not in routine use, with only 21 using on pelvic x-rays (30.4%). Further, the type of device and application criteria were inconsistent. Conclusions: To our knowledge this is the first study to directly compare radiographic positioning across hospital sites. Our data demonstrated marked variation in technique for pelvis radiographs with associated implications for clinical decision making. Research is required to determine the standard technique and quality outcome measures to provide confidence in diagnostic interpretation particularly for serial radiographs.
    • Video rasterstereography of the spine and pelvis in eight erect positions: A reliability study

      Alzyoud, K.; Hogg, P.; Snaith, Beverly; Preece, S.; England, A. (2020-02)
      Introduction: To investigate the reliability and variability of Video Rasterstereography (VR) measurements of the spine and pelvis, for eight proposed standing postures, in order to help define an optimal standing position for erect pelvis radiography. Methods: Surface topography data were collected using the formetic 4D dynamic modelling (Diers) system. 61 healthy participants were recruited; each participant performed eight different standing positions. Four positions were performed with the feet shoulder width apart and parallel, and four positions were performed with the feet shoulder width apart and internally rotated. For the upper extremity, each of the (two sets of) four positions were performed with different arm positions (arms by the sides, arms crossed over the chest, arms 30° flexed and touching the medial end of the clavicle, arms 30° flexed with the hands holding a support). Three sets of surface topography were collected in the eight positions (n = 24). The variability was assessed by calculating standard error of the measurement (SEm) and the coefficient of variation (CV). Reliability was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC ± 95% CI). Results: No significant differences in the SEm were found between the three paired measurements for all standing positions (P > 0.05). ICC values demonstrated excellent reliability for all measurements across the eight standing positions (range 0.879–1.00 [95% CI 0.813–1.00]). Conclusion: Evaluating eight standing positions radiographically would be unethical as it would involve repeat radiation exposures. Using the formetic 4D dynamic modelling (Diers) system, provides an alternative and has shown that there was only a minimal, non-statistically significant, differences between the eight different standing positions.
    • Visual guidance of landing behaviour when stepping down to a new level

      Buckley, John G.; MacLellan, M.J.; Tucker, M.W.; Scally, Andy J.; Bennett, S.J. (2008)
      When stepping down from one level to another, the leading limb has to arrest downward momentum of the body and subsequently receive and safely support bodyweight before level walking can begin. Such step downs are performed over a wide range of heights and predicting when and where contact between the landing limb and the lower level will be made is likely a critical factor. To determine if visual feedback obtained after movement initiation is habitually used in guiding landing behaviour, the present study determined whether pre-landing kinematics and the mechanics of landing would be modulated according to the type of visual feedback available during the stepping down phase. Ten healthy participants (32.3 ± 7.9 years) stepped, from a standing position, down from three different heights onto a forceplatform, either coming immediately to rest or proceeding directly to walking across the laboratory. Repeated trials were undertaken under habitual vision conditions or with vision blurred or occluded 2¿3 s prior to movement initiation. Pre-landing kinematics were assessed by determining, for the instant of landing, lead-limb knee and ankle angle, stepping distance, forwards positioning of the body CM within the base of support and the forwards and downwards body CM velocity. Landing mechanics for the initial contact period were characterized using lead limb vertical loading and stiffness, and trail limb un-weighting. When vision was occluded movement time, ankle plantarflexion and knee flexion were significantly increased compared to that determined for habitual vision, whereas forwards body CM positioning and velocity, vertical loading and stiffness, and trail limb un-weighting, were significantly reduced (p < 0.05). Similar adaptations were observed under blurred conditions, although to a lesser extent. Most variables were significantly affected by stepping task and step height. Subjects likely reduced forwards CM position and velocity at instant of landing, in order to keep the CM well away from the anterior border of the base of support, presumably to ensure boundary margins of safety were high should landing occur sooner or later than expected. The accompanying increase in ankle plantarflexion at instant of landing, and increase in single limb support time, suggests that subjects tended to probe for the ground with their lead limb under modified vision conditions. They also had more bodyweight on the trail limb at the end of the initial contact period and as a consequence had a prolonged weight transfer time. These findings indicate that under blurred or occluded vision conditions subjects adopted a cautious strategy where by they ¿sat back¿ on their trail limb and used their lead limb to probe for the ground. Hence, they did not fully commit to weight transfer until somatosensory feedback from the lead limb confirmed they had safely made contact. The effect of blurring vision was not identical to occluding vision, and led to several important differences between these conditions consistent with the use of impoverished visual information on depth. These findings indicate that online vision is customarily used to regulate landing behaviour when stepping down.
    • Vitiligo linked to stigmatization in British South Asian women: a qualitative study of the experiences of living with vitiligo.

      Thompson, A.R.; Clarke, S.A.; Newell, Robert J.; Gawkrodger, D.J.; Appearance Research Collaboration (2010)
      Background Vitiligo is a visible condition that is more noticeable in darker-skinned people. Beliefs about illness have been linked to psychosocial adjustment. There is some evidence that such beliefs may be influenced by cultural factors. Surprisingly little is known about beliefs in relation to vitiligo. Objectives The study sought to explore in depth the ways in which British Asian women manage and adjust psychosocially to vitiligo, and the potential role of ethnicity and culture in this process. Methods In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with seven British women of South Asian decent and analysed using the qualitative method of template analysis. Results Participants described feeling visibly different and all had experienced stigmatization to some extent. Avoidance and concealment were commonplace. Experiences of stigmatization were often perceived to be associated with cultural values related to appearance, status, and myths linked to the cause of the condition. Conclusions The findings of this study present a unique in-depth analysis of British South Asians living with vitiligo and suggest there is a need for further research to explore cultural associations of disfigurement and of adjustment to chronic skin conditions. Furthermore, they suggest that in addition to individual therapeutic interventions there may be a need for community interventions aimed at dispelling myths and raising awareness of sources of support and treatment.
    • Vulnerable migrant women and postnatal depression: A case of invisibility in maternity services?

      Firth, Amanda; Haith-Cooper, Melanie (2018)
      Vulnerable migrant women are at an increased risk of developing postnatal depression, compared with the general population. Although some symptoms are the same as in other pregnant women, there are specific reasons why vulnerable migrant women may present differently, or may not recognise symptoms themselves. Factors associated with migration may affect a woman’s mental health, particularly considering forced migration, where a woman may have faced violence or trauma, both in her home country and on the journey to the UK. Vulnerable migrant women engage less with maternity care than the average woman for reasons including a lack of knowledge of the UK healthcare system, fear of being charged for care, or fear that contact with clinicians will negatively affect their immigration status. This article explores the issues surrounding vulnerable migrant women that increase their risk of developing postnatal depression and presents reasons why this may go unrecognised by health professionals such as midwives.
    • Walking to improve cardiovascular health: a meta-analysis of randomised control trials

      Murtagh, E.M.; Nichols, L.; Mohammed, Mohammed A.; Holder, R.L.; Nevill, A.M.; Murphy, M.H.; Mary Immaculate College Research Directorate Seed Funding Scheme (2014)
      Physical inactivity causes approximately 17% of premature mortality in the UK. Walking offers a promising method for lowering risk of cardiovascular disease at population level, though a recent synthesis of evidence is lacking. This study aimed to conduct a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials that have assessed the effect of walking on risk factors for cardiovascular disease in previously inactive adults. We searched PubMed, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for studies published in English between Jan 1, 1970, and May 31, 2012, using the following search terms: "walking", "exercise", "health", and "cardiovascular risk". Two authors identified randomised controlled trials of interventions (>4 weeks' duration) that included at least one group with walking as the only treatment and a comparator no-exercise group. Participants were inactive but otherwise healthy at baseline. Pooled results were reported as weighted mean treatment effects and 95% CIs in a random effects model. 32 articles reported the effects of walking interventions on risk factors for cardiovascular disease in participants aged 30–83 years. Mean length of interventions was 18·7 weeks (range 8–52). Duration of walking was 20–60 min on 2–7 days per week. Walking interventions reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure (−3·6 mm Hg, 95% CI −5·19 to −1·97; −1·5 mm Hg, −2·83 to −0·26). Interventions also improved waist circumference (−1·5 cm, −2·34 to −0·68), weight (−1·4 kg, −1·75 to −1·00), body fat (−1·2%, −1·70 to −0·73), and body-mass index (BMI) (−0·5 kg/m2, −0·72 to −0·35). Walking improved aerobic fitness (3·2 mL/kg per min, 95% CI 2·57 to 3·80) but did not alter blood lipids. Significant heterogeneity (I2 statistic) was noted for aerobic fitness, BMI, weight, and percentage body fat. Many studies did not provide sufficient information to make firm judgments about risk of bias. These findings support the important role of walking in physical activity for health promotion. Health professionals involved in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease should prescribe walking confident of the benefits it can provide in fitness, blood pressure, and adiposity.
    • A way forward: Process mapping and the delivery of mental health services

      McIntosh, Bryan; Breen, Liz; West, Sue (2016-12)
      Introduction: This paper demonstrates the practical application of process mapping principles as a model for evaluating NHS improvement. The NHS improvement in question was the merger of three crisis resolution teams within an NHS trust in 2012. The aims were to improve overall operational efficiency and enhance multidisciplinary working to meet operational targets. This paper examined changes following the merger to capture the effects of service improvement and the reality of the patient journey. Methods: A pooled cross-sectional approach, using six years of aggregated hospital data, was taken. To achieve operational efficiency, a process map of referrals, readmissions, length of stay and waiting times for crisis resolution team assessments was examined. Prevalence of clinical referral rates and disease classification before and after the merger were compared. Conclusion: Between 1 April 2009 and 30 March 2015, length of stay and readmissions for patients to crisis resolution team rates reduced. Operational sustainability and capacity was enhanced through the redistribution of clinical human resources. Multidisciplinary skill mix (e.g. through improved team composition) also improved.
    • The “weanling’s dilemma” revisited: Evolving bodies of evidence and the problem of infant paleodietary interpretation

      Kendall, E.; Beaumont, Julia; Millard, A.M. (2021-08)
      Breastfeeding is known to be a powerful mediator of maternal and childhood health, with impacts throughout the lifecourse. Paleodietary studies of the past thirty years have accordingly taken an enduring interest in the health and diet of young children as a potential indicator of population fertility, subsistence, and mortality patterns. While progress has been made in recent decades towards acknowledging the agency of children, many paleodietary reconstructions have failed to incorporate developments in cognate disciplines revealing synergistic dynamics between maternal and offspring biology. Central to this understanding has been heavy reliance on the “weanling’s dilemma”, in which infants are thought to face a bleak choice between loss of immunity or malnutrition. Using a review of immunological and epidemiological evidence for the dynamic and supportive role that breastfeeding plays throughout the complementary feeding period, this paper offers context and nuance for understanding past feeding transitions. We suggest that future interpretative frameworks for infant paleodietary and bioarchaeological research should include a broad knowledge base that keeps pace with relevant developments outside of those disciplines.
    • Well-being and mental health in later life: The development and validation of the well-being evaluation scale.

      Kel A; Papadopoulos A; Oyebode, Jan R.; Backmark-Goodwill H; Halloran, L (2012)
    • What are meaningful psychosocial interventions for people with dementia and how can they be captured in research? Report of a pan-European consultation

      Øksnebjerg, L.; Diaz-Ponce, A.; Gove, A.; Moniz-Cook, E.; Mountain, Gail; Chattat, R.; Woods, B. (2018)
    • What are the barriers to care integration for those at the advanced stages of dementia living in care homes in the UK? Health care professional perspective

      Kupeli, N.; Leavey, G.; Harrington, J.; Lord, Kathryn; King, M.; Nazareth, I.; Moore, K.; Sampson, E.L.; Jones, L. (2016)
      People with advanced dementia are frequently bed-bound, doubly incontinent and able to speak only a few words. Many reside in care homes and may often have complex needs requiring efficient and timely response by knowledgeable and compassionate staff. The aim of this study is to improve our understanding of health care professionals’ attitudes and knowledge of the barriers to integrated care for people with advanced dementia. In-depth, interactive interviews conducted with 14 health care professionals including commissioners, care home managers, nurses and health care assistants in the UK. Barriers to care for people with advanced dementia are influenced by governmental and societal factors which contribute to challenging environments in care homes, poor morale amongst care staff and a fragmentation of health and social care at the end of life. Quality of care for people with dementia as they approach death may be improved by developing collaborative networks to foster improved relationships between health and social care services.
    • What can we bring to the therapeutic relationship? A qualitative study of the beliefs and experiences of physiotherapists working with people with chronic pain

      Carus, Catherine; Hunter, S.J. (2017)
      Objectives: To explore experienced physiotherapists’ attitudes, beliefs and experiences regarding their personal role in contributing to effective therapeutic relationships when working with people with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Design: Descriptive qualitative design using semi-structured interviews. Setting: Within physiotherapy departments in two National Health Service acute secondary care trusts in the North West of England. Participants: Six experienced physiotherapists working with people with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Data Analysis: Thematic coding analysis of transcribed interview recordings Main outcomes: Four overarching themes emerged from the data: Listening to the person; a caring understanding of the person’s situation; engaging the person and coming together; and moving forwards. Results: Participants emphasized the importance of building effective therapeutic relationships when working with people with chronic pain, seeking to create these by engaging with the person, to promote a strong collaborative partnership. Participants highlighted the themes of listening to the person’s story and showing a caring understanding of their situation through empathy and belief with validation. The final theme of moving forward emphasized how positive therapeutic relationships aid the rehabilitation process in enabling people to make positive changes in their lives. Conclusions: A clearer understanding of how physiotherapists engender positive therapeutic relationships has the potential to improve training and service development priorities for physiotherapists working in the area of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Future studies should seek to further define the core dimensions impacting therapeutic relationships, from the perspectives of both physiotherapists and people with chronic musculoskeletal pain.