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Research shows weight loss can be boosted fivefold thanks to novel mental imagery technique

Posted on September 24th 2018
in Project update

Research shows weight loss can be boosted fivefold thanks to novel mental imagery technique

Overweight people who used a new motivational intervention called Functional Imagery Training (FIT) lost an average of five times more weight than those using talking therapy alone, shows new research published today by PenCLAHRC, the University of Plymouth and Queensland University of Technology.

In addition, users of FIT lost 4.3cm more around their waist circumference in six months – and continued to lose weight after the intervention had finished.

PenCLAHRC's Dr Linda Solbrig led the research involved 141 participants, who were allocated either to FIT or Motivational Interviewing (MI) – a technique that sees a counsellor support someone to develop, highlight and verbalise their need...

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Stroke doubles dementia risk, concludes large-scale study

Posted on August 31st 2018
in Project update

Stroke doubles dementia risk, concludes large-scale study

People who have had a stroke are around twice as likely to develop dementia, according to the largest study of its kind ever conducted.

PenCLAHRC supported The University of Exeter Medical School’s study which analysed data on stroke and dementia risk from 3.2 million people across the world.

The study builds on previous research which had established the link between stroke and dementia, though had not quantified the degree to which stroke actually increased dementia risk. To better understand the link between the two, researchers analysed 36 studies where participants had a history of stroke, totalling data from 1.9 million people. In...

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Celebrating positives in the classroom may improve child behaviour and mental health

Posted on July 18th 2018
in Project update

Celebrating positives in the classroom may improve child behaviour and mental health

Training teachers to focus their attention on positive conduct, and to avoid jumping to correct minor disruption, may improve child behaviour, concentration and mental health.

Government figures indicate that 10% of children have a mental health condition. The commonest and most persistent mental health condition is severe behaviour problems, and children with “conduct disorder” are at risk of all adult mental health conditions as well as poor educational and social outcomes. Despite the research and guidelines available, there is no specific guidance on how social and emotional well-being should be promoted in primary schools.  

The Supporting Teachers and Children in Schools (STARS) study set...

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Addressing the problem of hospital bed blocking

Posted on July 17th 2018
in Project update

Addressing the problem of hospital bed blocking

A new study has questioned assumptions about the best way to stop unnecessary admissions and extended hospital stays for frail, elderly people.

Published in Health Services and Delivery Research, the study was led by the University of Plymouth’s Professor in Health Services Research Rod Sheaff.

The research, carried out for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and supported by PenCLAHRC, found that new multispecialty community providers (MCPs) could be effective in preventing such admissions under certain conditions. But evidence as to whether they reduced costs overall for the health service was ‘mixed’.

The key finding of the study, From programme theory to logic...

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Clinician-led research to inform new guidance for therapists

Posted on June 26th 2018
in Project update

Clinician-led research to inform new guidance for therapists

The results of a clinician-led study will inform a new evidence based guide for therapists prescribing sleep positioning systems for patients with neuro disabilities. It is hoped that this guide will help to outline the potential benefits and risks associated with the systems in practice as far as possible.

Sleep positioning systems (SPS) can be prescribed for adults and children with neuro disabilities to help reduce or prevent hip deformity, provide comfort, ease pain, and improve sleep.

Some clinicians have been recommending this type of equipment for many years, however, due to the lack of definitive evidence of the effectiveness of the...

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CRN, McPin and MQ award for service user and carer involvement in mental health research

Posted on May 25th 2018
in PenCLAHRC people, Project update

 CRN, McPin and MQ award for service user and carer involvement in mental health research

The PARTNERS2 study has been awarded a CRN, McPin and MQ award for service user and carer involvement in mental health research. The Engager study has also been recognised with a highly commended runner up award.

The CRN, McPin and MQ award for service user and carer involvement in mental health research is a joint collaboration between NIHR Clinical Research Network, McPin Foundation, and MQ: Transforming Mental Health. It recognises the achievements of research teams which actively seek to involve patients and the public at each stage of the research process, and of service users and carers who are making a difference to mental health research.

This year's winners were announced at a...

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EST dementia project covered on BBC Spotlight

Posted on May 16th 2018
in Project update

EST dementia project covered on BBC Spotlight

A project led by the Evidence Synthesis Team, which aims to improve our understanding of how best to help people with dementia and their loved ones in hospital, has been covered on BBC Spotlight.

The study, entitled “Caring about Care - Improving the Experience of Care for People with Dementia in Hospital”, is a partnership between The University of Exeter, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Devon Partnership Trust (DPT).

“Caring about Care” aims to improve experiences of care in hospitals for people with dementia, their carers, and hospital staff. The research comes following a poll by Alzheimer’s Society, which showed that...

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Which treatments work best for children and adolescents with recurrent abdominal pain?

Posted on May 2nd 2018
in Project update

Which treatments work best for children and adolescents  with recurrent abdominal pain?

Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) is common among children, with up to 25% of children with RAP experiencing pain that interferes with their daily life. It is a diagnosis which is given once all other serious conditions have been ruled out, and is classified as pain that has no other identifiable cause. RAP is also associated with other symptoms including headaches, limb pain, and vomiting, and can lead to school absences, hospital admissions, and a higher chance of appendix removal.

The cause of RAP is unclear, and parents have often tried everything they can think of before taking their child to the...

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Improving health care pathways for patients with chronic conditions

Posted on April 5th 2018
in Project update

Improving health care pathways for patients with chronic conditions

PenCLAHRC Senior Research Fellow, Dr Helen Lloyd, has spoken to the BBC about the impacts of a new health care system on GP services in south Somerset.

Rising patient numbers, and the number of patients with multiple chronic health needs, places significant pressure on existing healthcare resources.

The Taunton Deane Symphony Service aims to develop more efficient ways of providing care for people with multiple long-term conditions who frequently visit their GP. It considers what individuals would like to happen with regards to their future care, and works with patients to develop care packages to help health providers better meet those...

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Does brain function really decline after hip and knee surgery?

Posted on March 28th 2018
in Project update

Does brain function really decline after hip and knee surgery?

A new study due to launch in the South West aims to explore if brain function declines after hip and knee replacement surgery. The study, called CoMPASS, will begin in the summer and aims to recruit 300 patients from across Plymouth and Exeter.

About 3,000 hip and knee replacements are done every year in the South West. Post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) - a delirium-like complication of major surgery in older people - is common, whether patients have a general anaesthetic or spinal anaesthetic for their surgical procedure. However, it is not known what causes the change (such as the operation itself,...

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