Wakey! Evaluating the feasibility of a mental wellbeing app

Dr Sophie Turnbull

 

 

By Sophie Turnbull, Senior Research Associate, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

I have an ongoing interest in how industry and academia can work together to produce really good evidence-led products that can be accessible for the target users, and have more longevity than those produced in purely academic settings.

From experience, when we produce digital interventions in our academic bubble, they are brilliantly researched, but often not maintained in the long-term, meaning they disappear soon after the research funding stops. Or we do not have enough budget to develop something that people are going to want to use.

While exploring how academia and industry can come together to reduce inequalities in access to good quality healthcare, I discovered ZINC. ZINC runs mission-led programmes with people from across disciplines to build commercial solutions to solve some of the most pressing societal issues. I … Read more

Opening opportunities for GP trainees and allied health professionals to get into research: the PACT ‘Why test?’ study

 

 

by Dr Jessica Watson, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in General Practice, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

Have you ever found yourself looking at blood test results and wondered why the test was done in the first place?

Why Test? – It seems like a simple question. Yet despite increasing access to research databases such as Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), which contain millions of test results, there is no easy way to find out why these tests are being performed in the first place. How many are for monitoring, screening or diagnosis? Which symptoms trigger testing? To explore this, we are launching the Why Test study using the Primary Care Academic CollaboraTive (PACT).

Currently, only a tiny proportion of primary care clinicians have a formal academic contract with a University. PACT aims to open up opportunities for non-academic primary care clinicians to get … Read more

Twists, turns and persistence: my path from nursing to research

by Dr Cindy Mann, Research Fellow, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

Cindy Mann, a former nurse and now Research Fellow at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol, shares the twists and turns in her career, and encourages nurse colleagues to consider research as a future path and not be put off by setbacks.

A long and varied career

I have had a long career, starting in 1975, when I did my nurse training at Leeds General Infirmary. In 1977 I got married and after completing training followed my husband to Oxford where I took a job as a staff nurse at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. I then decided to do a Philosophy degree in Oxford, and really enjoyed the peace and quiet of working in a library, in contrast to ongoing shifts for the nurse bank. In the following years, up … Read more

Curiosity and imagination: building blocks on my path to research

 

 

by Alastair Hay, Professor of Primary Care, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

I became a GP in 1997 and was appointed professor of primary care at the University of Bristol in 2013.

As a child, I was an avid Lego® player and reader of ‘how things work’ books. I was state-educated and did not enjoy school until my ‘A’ levels. I enjoyed the conceptual challenge of mathematics and, in 1985, was offered a place at Birmingham University to study maths and psychology. My results were better than I expected, so I withdrew and applied for medicine, securing a place at Sheffield.

I was initially disappointed by the course because of the lack of conceptual challenges. I was expected just to absorb lots of knowledge. Later, as I took responsibility for patient care, the application of knowledge became the interest. I did not intercalate … Read more

Point-of-care tests to inform antibiotic prescribing

 

 

by Alastair Hay, Professor of Primary Care, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

This article was first published in the BMJ.

The tests have potential but more evidence is needed. 

Given the global concerns(1) about antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial stewardship is essential to preserve the future effectiveness(2) of antibiotics. Healthcare practitioners must balance public and patient health, ensuring that only patients who need antibiotics receive them, and that they receive an antibiotic to which their infection is susceptible, at the optimum time, dose, and duration. Whether to prescribe an antibiotic is a key issue for clinicians treating respiratory infections in the community.

Point-of-care tests provide results in time to inform treatment. For respiratory infections, the tests can identify the presence of a microbe(3-5) or measure markers of a host’s response to a microbe, such as C reactive protein or procalcitonin, in finger prick quantities … Read more

Is there value in GPs diagnosing an anxiety disorder?

 

 

 

by Charlotte Archer, Senior Research Associate in Primary Care Mental Health, and Katrina Turner, Professor of Primary Care Research, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

Research has shown that fewer people in primary care are now being diagnosed with anxiety than in the past, despite reports that rates of anxiety have increased in the general population. Individuals with anxiety may be reluctant to seek help for their symptoms. They may also find it difficult to talk to their GP about their mental health or may normalise their symptoms.

Although most anxiety is managed in primary care by GPs, we know very little about whether GPs and patients think it is important to diagnose and manage anxiety disorders. Knowing this might help us identify possible reasons for the decline in their recording, and the potential impact of this on patient care and … Read more

How UK newspapers made sense of COVID-19 related death and bereavement

Headshot photos of Dr Ryann Sowden and Dr Lucy Selman

 

 

 

 

by Dr Ryann Sowden, Research Assistant, Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School and Dr Lucy Selman Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

In a paper published recently in PLOS One, we explore the coverage of COVID-19 in British newspapers with a focus on key media narratives about the virus.

COVID-19 and media narratives

COVID-19 has caused over 120,000 deaths in the UK, leaving over a million people bereaved. Although death is often described as a societal taboo in British culture, it remains ever-present in the public realm of news and media which COVID-19 has dominated for the past 12 months.

In the spring of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to claim a large number of lives in the UK, newspapers reported on the threat, damage and bereavement caused by the virus, as well as providing a … Read more

International Women’s Day 2021 – Q&A with Dr Alison Gregory

As a research centre, we are proud to host a fantastic team specialising in sexual and domestic violence and abuse and their impacts on health. What better way to mark this year’s International Women’s Day than to focus on the work of an outstanding member of the team, Dr Alison Gregory, whose recent investigations have focused on the role of friends, family, neighbours and colleagues (informal supporters) in the lives of domestic abuse survivors.

In this Q&A, Alison reflects on the challenges of working on a sensitive topic with a vulnerable population group, made all the more critical during this time of pandemic and the ‘shadow’ pandemic, which has seen rates of domestic abuse soar globally.

Your research activities have focused on Covid-19 recently. Could you tell us a little more? 
I’ve been researching the role of friends, family members, neighbours, and colleagues (informal supporters) in the lives of … Read more