Allied health professions public health research priorities: A modified e-delphi study in the United Kingdom

Objectives

This study identifies the United Kingdom (UK) Allied Health Professions (AHP) public health research priorities through a modified e-Delphi study conducted with an expert panel.

Study design

A modified e-Delphi study was utilised in this study.

Methods

This study used a modified e-Delphi approach to reach a consensus on research priorities. Expert panel members were invited to participate and complete three rounds of the e-Delphi. Ethical approval was obtained through the Public Health England Research and Evidence Governance Group.

Results

A total of 38 participants completed three rounds of the e-Delphi study between September and November 2020. Consensus was reached on nine AHP public health research priorities.

Conclusion

Several areas of AHP public health research were identified as priority, however, a number of priorities refer to the impact of AHP public health activities as opposed to empirical research. The identified priorities will be used to progress the AHP public health research agenda through a UK wide AHP public health strategy implementation group and through support and engagement from the AHP professional bodies and arm’s length bodies.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Laura Charlesworth, Public Health England

Linda Hindle, Public Health England


Lecture start time and sleep characteristics: Analysis of daily diaries of undergraduate students from the LoST-Sleep project

Emerging evidence shows that later high school start times are associated with increased sleep duration; however, little is known if this extends to the university setting. This study investigated associations of first lecture start times with sleep characteristics among university students.

Seventy-five percent of first lectures occurred before noon. Students reported short sleep (M = 7.0 hours, SD = 1.9) and fewer reported highest levels of sleep quality (42.8%) and restfulness (24.8%) when first lectures started at 09:00 or 09:30 compared to 10:00 or later. Every hour delay of first lecture start time was associated with 15.1 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.5; 20.7) minutes increase in sleep duration and higher odds of reporting the highest levels of sleep quality and restfulness. Focusing on attended lectures starting before noon, hourly delay of first lecture start time was associated with 37.4 (95% CI: 22.0; 52.8) minutes increased sleep duration. Bedtime, sleep time, and sleep onset latency were not significantly associated with first lecture start times.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Lucy Swinnerton MSc, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Andreea A. Moldovan MSc, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Carly M. Mann MSc, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Simon J. Durrant DPhil, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Michael O. Mireku phD, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology


 

Predictors of suicide attempts in male UK gamblers seeking residential treatment

Disordered gambling can have serious negative consequences for the individual and those around them. Previous research has indicated that disordered gamblers are at an increased risk of suicidal thoughts, ideation and attempts. The current study sought to utilise data from a clinical sample to identify factors that are associated with prior suicide attempts.

Methods

The sample included 621 patients entering a gambling-specific residential facility in the UK. A series of Chi-Square analyses and binary logistic regressions were run to identify clinical and sociodemographic variables associated with suicide attempts.

Results

Of the 20 variables analysed using Chi-square statistics, five were significantly associated with the outcome variable (lifetime attempted suicide): loss of family relationships, loss of home, prior depression, prior suicidal thoughts, and medication use. Regression analysis showed that individuals were more likely to have reported suicide attempts if they had experienced loss of family relationships (1.65 times), loss of a home (1.87 times), prior depression (3.2 times), prior suicidal thoughts (6.14 times), or were taking medication (1.95 times) compared to those not reporting such individual events.

Conclusions

Disordered gamblers are vulnerable to suicide; a number of factors have been identified in the current study that predict an increased likelihood of attempted suicide. The factors mainly revolve around loss: not financial loss, but rather disintegration of an individual’s support network and deterioration in the individual’s mental health. Findings indicate that isolation and negative affect associated with gambling are most influential in attempted suicide and should therefore be more strongly considered when creating and providing the legislative, educational and treatment environments for those experiencing gambling related harm.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Steve Sharman, University of East London, School of Psychology and Kings College London, National Addictions Centre

Raegan Murphy, University College Cork, School of Applied Psychology

John Turner, University of East London, School of Psychology

Amanda Roberts, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology


 

‘Oh sorry, I’ve muted you!’: Issues of connection and connectivity in qualitative (longitudinal) research with young fathers and family support professionals

The COVID-19 crisis has placed unique restrictions on social researchers in terms of how they conduct their research. It has also created opportunities for adaptation and critical reflection on methodological practice. This article considers how the unanticipated use of remote qualitative methods impacted processes of research connection and connectivity in qualitative (longitudinal) research. The reflections are based on fieldwork conducted for a qualitative longitudinal study about the parenting journeys and support needs of young fathers. We elaborate our key strategies and provide worked examples of how the research team modified their methods and responded in the crisis context. First, we consider questions of connection when seeking to (re)establish and retain connections with project stakeholders and marginalised participants through the pivot to remote methods. Second, we reflect on how processes of maintaining participation and interaction were impacted by practical and technological issues associated with the digitally mediated forms of connectivity available.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Anna Tarrant, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Laura Way, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Linzi Ladlow, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences


 

Academic freedom in contemporary Britain: A cause for concern?

Using comparable legal information, and empirical data from over 2000 members of the UK’s University and College Union and 2000 staff in universities of the European states, gathered by means of similar surveys, this paper is a comparative assessment of the de jure protection for, and the de facto levels of, academic freedom enjoyed by academic staff in the UK, when compared to their EU counterparts. The paper examines the legal and constitutional protection for academic freedom and the current levels of, and changes to, the two substantive elements (freedom to teach and freedom to research) and three supportive components (autonomy, governance and tenure) of academic freedom. The study reveals that UK academic staff believe that there is a low level of protection for academic freedom and that it has declined, both in general, and with respect to the two substantive elements and three supportive components of academic freedom. Similar trends are evident in the EU states, but statistical tests reveal that for every measure utilised, the decline in academic freedom is significantly greater in the UK than in the EU states


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Terence Karran, University of Lincoln, School of Education

Klaus D. Beiter, North-West University, Faculty of Law

Lucy Mallinson, Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute


 

Testing Mate Choice Hypotheses in a Transitional Small Scale Population

Tests of theories of mate choice often rely on data gathered in White, industrialised samples and this is especially the case for studies of facial attraction. Our understanding of preferences for sexual dimorphism is currently in flux and a number of hypotheses require testing in more diverse participant samples. The current study uses opportunistically gathered facial dimorphism preference data from 271 participants in rural Nicaragua, and 40 from the national capital Managua. We assess pre-registered hypotheses drawn from sexual selection theory, and from more recent approaches which consider the impacts of economic development and cultural ‘modernisation’ on mate preferences.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Lucy G. Boothroyd, Durham University, Department of Psychology

Jean-Luc Jucker, Durham University, Department of Psychology

Tracey Thornborrow, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Martin Tovee, Northumbria University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Carlota Batres, Franklin and Marshall College, Department of Psychology

Ian Penton-Voak, University of Bristol, School of Psychology Science


 

Internet memes related to the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential coping mechanism for anxiety

This study examined whether significantly anxious individuals differed from non-anxious individuals in their perceptual ratings of internet memes related to the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst considering the mediating role of emotion regulation. Eighty individuals presenting clinically significant anxiety symptoms (indicating ≥ 15 on the GAD-7) and 80 non-anxious controls (indicating ≤ 4) rated the emotional valance, humour, relatability, shareability, and offensiveness of 45 Covid-19 internet memes. A measure of emotion regulation difficulties was also completed. The perception of humour, relatability, and shareability were all greater amongst anxious individuals relative to non-anxious controls. These differences were not mediated by emotion regulation deficits. Internet memes related to the current Covid-19 pandemic may tentatively serve as coping mechanism for individuals experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Umair Akram, Sheffield Hallam University, Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

Kamila Irvine, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Sarah Allen, Teeside University, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law

Jodie Stevenson, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Jason Ellis, Nothumbria University, Department of Psychology,

Jennifer Drabble, Sheffield Hallam University, Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics


Barriers and facilitators to implementing a cancer risk assessment tool (QCancer) in primary care: a qualitative study

Aim:We aimed to explore service users’ and primary care practitioners’ perspectives on the barriers and facilitators to implementing a cancer risk assessment tool (RAT), QCancer, in general practice consultations.

Background:Cancer RATs, including QCancer, are designed to estimate the chances of previously undiagnosed cancer in symptomatic individuals. Little is known about the barriers and facilitators to implementing cancer RATs in primary care consultations.

Methods:We used a qualitative design, conducting semi-structured individual interviews and focus groups with a convenience sample of service users and primary care practitioners.

Findings:In all, 36 participants (19 service users, 17 practitioners) living in Lincolnshire, were included in the interviews and focus groups. Before asking for their views, participants were introduced to QCancer and shown an example of how it estimated cancer risk. Participants identified barriers to implementing the tool namely: additional consultation time; unnecessary worry; potential for over-referral; practitioner scepticism; need for training on use of the tool; need for evidence of effectiveness; and need to integrate the tool in general practice systems. Participants also identified facilitators to implementing the tool as: supporting decision-making; modifying health behaviours; improving speed of referral; and personalising care.

Conclusions:

The barriers and facilitators identified should be considered when seeking to implement QCancer in primary care. In addition, further evidence is needed that the use of this tool improves diagnosis rates without an unacceptable increase in harm from unnecessary investigation.


Univer sity of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Joseph N.A. Akanuwe, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care

Sharon Black, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care

Sara Owen, Nottingham Trent University

Niro Siriwardena, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care


Intergroup lethal gang attacks in wild crested macaques, Macaca nigra

Lethal gang attacks, in which multiple aggressors attack a single victim, are among the most widespread forms of violence between human groups. Gang attacks are also frequent in some other social mammals, such as chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, wolves, Canis lupus, spotted hyaenas, Crocuta crocuta, and meerkats, Suricata suricatta. So far, species in which gang attacks have been observed share one or more of these socioecological features: territoriality, fission–fusion, cooperative breeding or coalitionary bonds. However, the scarcity of data in other taxa makes it challenging to determine whether one/all of these socioecological features is necessary and sufficient to drive the evolution of gang attacks. Here we describe the first reports of intergroup gang attacks in the crested macaque, using data on three groups collected over 13 years, with the joint observation times for the three groups summing to 37 years. Crested macaque gangs attacked outgroup conspecifics when aggressors were numerically superior to victims. Adult females were the most frequent age/sex category to attack outgroup conspecifics. The victims were mostly adult females and infants. We propose that coalitionary bonds, hostility towards outgroup individuals and the ability to estimate numerical odds may suffice to trigger intergroup gang attacks when the conditions favour an imbalance of power between victims and attackers.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Laura Martínez-Íñigo, University of Lincoln, School of Life Sciences and Guinean Representation, Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, 

Antje Engelhardt,  Liverpool John Moores University, School of Biological and Environmental Science

Muhammad Agil, Bogor Agricultural University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Malgorzata Pilot, University of Lincoln, School of Life Sciences and Polish Academy of Sciences, Museum and Institute of Zoology

Bonaventura Majolo, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology