Beyond searching- supporting NHS colleagues to contribute to systematic reviews

We recently collaborated with colleagues at Peninsula CLAHRC to deliver a successful ‘Beyond Searching’ course.

Members of the PenCLAHRC Evidence Synthesis Team (EST) travelled to London to work with CLAHRC North Thames’ Dr Antonio Rojas–Garcia in delivering the workshop to 19 librarians from the NHS and various universities.

Beyond Searching was devised 5 years ago by members of the EST who have been running annual workshops ever since. The course is designed to show health information professionals that they already have the skills to effectively contribute to systematic reviews –  reviews aiming to find as much as possible of the research relevant to the particular research question, and to identify what can reliably be said on the basis of these studies. The training gives them the confidence to get involved in the process and to advise others.

Librarians and other information professionals are highly skilled and motivated individuals with a drive to learn about new technologies and ways of working. They already have the skills needed to contribute to systematic reviews so our course is more about how they apply those skills. ‘It is always a joy to teach this workshop – often we learn a lot ourselves in the process – and it was particularly good this time to get the chance to collaborate with colleagues from CLAHRC North Thames.’

Morwenna Rogers (EST member)

This was the second year that the course followed a flipped classroom model, which EST members learned about during their visit to the University of Michigan two years ago. The model frees up classroom time for discussions and active learning, by making some of the foundation lectures and reading material available to participants in advance.

Attendees were asked to complete a series of online tasks prior to the course, which introduced them to key concepts of systematic reviewing and comprehensive searching. This enabled attendees to focus on more detailed aspects of search techniques during the workshop.

Guest speaker Claire Stansfield from the EPPI-Centre was also invited to discuss the use of automation (employing machines, computers, or robots to help researchers identify relevant papers), and its implication for reviews in the future.

The beyond searching team were delighted with the positive feedback they received. One attendee said that it was:

The best training [they] have ever attended

Another attendee planned to use the knowledge she had gained to change practice in her own place of work, and another thought that the flipped classroom model was excellent preparation for the face to face teaching day.

Dr Rojas – Garcia (below) praised the cross CLAHRC co-operation behind the delivery of this workshop, remarking:

It was great to spend the day collaborating with colleagues from PenCLAHRC. I considered it a very positive experience, it has been really encouraging to see how other colleagues teach about systematic reviews.’

To read more about the Beyond Searching workshop  collaboration, visit the EST blog.

Engaging school programme to reduce high levels of poorly managed asthma in young people

CLAHRC researchers based at Queen Mary University of London launched the My Asthma in School programme this week – an initiative that aims to improve the self-management of the respiratory condition by school children.

Developed by researchers at the University’s Blizard Institute, the programme will use films and apps in educational workshops and theatre performance to improve asthma control and peer support for asthma in London secondary schools.

The programme has been approved and supported by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, who himself lives with the condition.

He said: “The Greater London Authority and I believe that the ‘My Asthma in School’ programme is likely to promote the necessary education young people require to effectively self-manage their asthma.”

He added: “I encourage all London secondary schools to take part in this programme.”

Asthma affects approximately 1 in 11 children and young people in the UK; and young people with asthma have higher rates of school absences and visits to their doctor or the hospital. According to the data collected for the study, nearly half of young people (aged 11-18 years) with asthma did not have good control over their condition [Harris K et al,J Asthma 2017,54(10):1033-1040].

Dr Gioia Mosler, Outreach and Learning Manager for the ‘My asthma in school project’ (below, left) was at the launch event and said:

The number of deaths from asthma in the UK rank among the highest in the EU. Many of these deaths could be prevented with better self-management.

She added: “We want to improve the ability and motivation of young people to self-manage their asthma so they can take control of their condition.”

The research team’s results showed that young people with asthma often faced many barriers to addressing their condition, including lack of knowledge, or embarrassment to use their asthma inhaler in front of others. Based on these findings, as well as behavioural change theories, the researchers involved young people to develop a series of engaging teaching elements for an intervention, including several games, apps and videos: www.myhealthinschool.org.

The intervention will also deliver an interactive theatre performance, lasting approximately two hours, to help raise awareness of asthma among peers. The performance has been developed with partners at Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre [Mosler G et al,Lancet 2017,391(10118):303–304].

 

Dr Mosler added: “The theatre intervention addresses asthma from a new angle, focusing on peer awareness and support around young people with asthma. The theatre addresses barriers related to a perceived stigma around asthma in peers, young people with asthma reported during our initial data collection.”

My asthma in School is one of the first school-based interventions for asthma self-management in the UK. Similar trials have been undertaken outside the UK, however, given that the health and education systems differ, results from these interventions may not be transferable to a UK setting.

The intervention will be trialled in London during the next few months. Given a positive result of this intervention it could be adopted as a wider programme to improve asthma in young people.

The programme is run as part of the My Health in School initiative based at the Blizard Institute within Queen Mary University of London which aims to improve life and health of young people at school. The team works with Professor Jonathan Grigg, who leads several studies about asthma and lung health in children and young people.

Schools are encouraged to get in touch to join our research –  email: info@myhealthinschool.org.

Website: www.myhealthinschool.org

Twitter: @SchoolsAsthma

References

Harris, K.; Mosler, G.; Williams S. A.; et al. (2017): Asthma control in London secondary school children. Journal of Asthma; 23: 1–8.

Harris KM, Kneale D, Lasserson TJ, McDonald VM, Grigg J, Thomas J. School-based self-management interventions for asthma in children and adolescents: a mixed methods systematic review. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(4)

Mosler G. & Euba T.  (2017): Taking control through drama. Lancet; 391: 10118, p303–304.

Does the NHS have a future? Join the debate at a London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine event on July 3rd

After 70 years, does the NHS have a future?

 

 

 

Never a week goes by without claims of another ‘crisis’ engulfing the NHS: insufficient resources, dispirited staff, poor safety, waiting times, inadequate social care and more.

To mark the 70th birthday of the NHS, our colleagues at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) are hosting a Question Time event with an expert panel from nursing, medicine, health policy and research to focus on the challenges and prospects for the future.

If you register to attend this free debate you can submit questions for the panel and contribute to the discussion on the day if you wish to.

Panellists for this event are –

  • Dame Donna Kinnair, Director of Nursing Policy & Practice, Royal College of Nursing
  • Nigel Edwards, Chief Executive, Nuffield Trust
  • Jane Dacre, President, Royal College of Physicians, London
  • Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health, LSHTM

It will be chaired by Sir Nick Black, Professor of Health Services Research, LSHTM

It is free to attend but registration is required, please follow the link below.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/does-the-nhs-have-a-future-registration-45200336423

Venue

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
John Snow Lecture Theatre
Keppel Street
London
WC1E 7HT

Date and time

Tuesday 3 July 2018
17:30 – 18:30

Find out more:
https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/events/does-nhs-have-future