Research Theme

Research for public and patient benefit

The activities within this research theme include staff from the School of Health and Social Care as well as staff from other departments including Mathematics and Life Sciences.

Our activities are broad ranging but have as a focus work that has a clear benefit for patients and the public. Wherever possible these activities will involve patients and health and social care partners in the development, design and implementation of these projects.

Ageing and assisted living research

Researchers from the School are actively involved in the Ageing and Assisted Living cross-disciplinary research area. This was set up to promote innovative, multi-disciplinary research in ageing and assisted living with the aim of improving the health and quality of life of older people and people with disabilities.

Previous projects

Impact of Schwartz Rounds in health professional education

Integrating compassion into the training of health care professionals is prominent in current debate about the resilience and wellbeing of professionals of the future.

Schwartz Rounds® are an innovative approach, developed by the Point of Care Foundation which have been shown to reduce stress, and build engagement and cohesion in multi-disciplinary teams. They provide an evidence-based forum where staff come together to talk about the emotional and social aspects of working in healthcare.

Evidence suggests that attending Rounds can be experienced as both supportive and transformative and not only supports staff to be more compassionate, but also helps model more open, transparent methods of communication and fosters better team work. Building on the emerging evidence for the impact of Rounds in higher education, a pilot study was run in the School of Health and Social Care.


Kennedy M, Barratt C, Richardson K (2018) Schwartz Rounds in Health Professional Education.

Pilot study of Modified Pilates as an adjunct to physiotherapy for urinary incontinence

This study aimed to provide preliminary findings about the effectiveness of a 6-week course of Modified Pilates classes as an adjunct to standard physiotherapy care for urinary incontinence, and to test the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) design.


Lausen A, Marsland L, Head S, Jackson J and Lausen KB (2018) 'Modified Pilates as an adjunct to standard physiotherapy care for urinary incontinence: a mixed methods pilot for a randomised controlled trial.' BMC Women's Health, 18 (16). ISSN 1472-6874

Longitudinal study of balance and gait of fallers and the effectiveness of falls prevention training

The variability of the centre of pressure (COP) during walking can provide information in relation to stability when walking.

The aim of this study was to investigate if age and sex were associated with COP variability, COP excursions, and COP velocities during walking.


van Kooten D, Hettinga FJ, Duffy K, Jackson J and Taylor MJD (2018) 'Are there associations with age and sex in walking stability in healthy older adults?'  Gait and Posture, 60. 65 - 70. ISSN 0966-6362

Evaluating the Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT)

This project evaluated the impact of VDT ® training on the understanding and knowledge of staff in the Princess Alexandra Hospital that provide care or come into contact with people with dementia in the acute hospital setting.

The design of the study was primarily qualitative, collecting delegate’s views of the VDT ® via questionnaires, focus group or telephone interview.

Data collection concentrated on five key areas: the VDT ®training experience; impact of the training on staff working with people with dementia; strengths and limitations of the training; and impact of the training on staff members’ clinical practice.


Kennedy, M, Richardson, K (2017). A single centre service evaluation of the Virtual Dementia Tour ® (VDT ®) for Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust.

Ethnographic study of healthcare staff organising hospital discharges

Existing studies show that nurses often experience moral distress when the care they deliver to patients does not meet their professional values. This study drew on ethnographic data collected from one acute care trust in England and presents how frontline healthcare staff experience organising complex hospital discharges.


Georgiadis A., Corrigan O. and Speed E. (2016) Frontline Healthcare Staffs' Experience of Organising Complex Hospital Discharges: An Ethnographic Study, Ethics and Behavior, Online early, DOI: 10.1080/10508422.2016.1200977

Perceptions of anonymity when collecting NHS feedback online

Recent years have seen increasing use of internet-based methods of collecting feedback about patient experience and public and staff views about NHS services and priorities, with the opportunity for comment to be made anonymously.

The research analysed data from Patient Experience and Public Engagement Blogging evaluation interviews to examine the ways in which anonymity and its attendant risks and dangers are conceptualised from the perspectives of the professions and of patients and members of the public.


Speed E., Davison C., and Gunnell C. (2016) The anonymity paradox in patient engagement: reputation, risk and web-based public feedback, Medical Humanities, 42, 135-140, DOI:10.1136/medhum-2015-010823.

PEBL Project – Patient Engagement and Public Involvement Blogging

This research project was concerned with public and patient involvement in local health care commissioning using an innovative web based data collection strategy. It was funded by the National Institute of Health Research ‘Research for Patient Benefit’ (RfPB) programme.

The PEBL AI project was a development project in conjunction with colleagues from SHHS, West Essex CCG, and the Department of Computing Science and Electronic Engineering to develop data mining and data harvesting techniques on patient engagement qualitative materials for use by primary care commissioners.

Information as a Regulatory Device

This project was undertaken in conjunction with colleagues from the University of Essex, Warwick University and the University of Nottingham. It looked at ways in which information is being deployed as a regulatory device within the new NHS commissioning structures. It was funded by the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group Research Capacity Funding.