Recent Submissions

  • Associations between treatment adherence-competence-integrity (ACI) and adult psychotherapy outcomes : a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Power, Niall; Firth, Nick
    Objective: To provide a comprehensive assessment of the association between psychological treatment adherence/competence/integrity (ACI) and clinical outcomes. Method: The review protocol was pre registered (CRD42020193889). Studies that assessed ACI-outcome relationships for adult psychotherapy were searched across three databases (Scopus, PsycINFO, MEDLINE). Random effects meta-analyses were conducted on adherence-outcome, competence-outcome and integrity-outcome relationships. Separate analyses were performed for studies with hierarchical (i.e. patients nested within therapist) versus non-hierarchical study designs. Moderator analyses were performed according to pre defined clinical and methodological features. GRADE assessments rated the quality of each meta analytic comparison. Results: The review identified 62 studies suitable for inclusion (45 adherence outcome, 39 competence-outcome and 7 integrity-outcome effect sizes; N=8,210 across all analyses). No significant adherence-outcome association was found. A small significant positive association was found only in non-hierarchical studies between competence and outcome (r = 0.17, 95% CI [0.07- 0.26], p < 0.001, ~d = .34, GRADE = moderate). Small-to-moderate significant positive associations between integrity and outcome were found for both non-hierarchical (r = 0.15, 95% CI [0.06 – 0.23], p < 0.001, ~d = .30, GRADE = high) and hierarchical study designs (r = 0.23, 95% CI [0.01,0.43], p < 0.044, ~d = .47, GRADE = low). Diagnosis, treatment modality and year of publication significantly moderated the strength of ACI-outcome correlations. Conclusions: Competence and integrity are significantly associated with clinical outcome, with a magnitude comparable to wider common factors. Further research is required to study these process-outcome associations with greater precision in routine-care settings and to understand the role of moderating variables.
  • The effect of different degrees of lockdown and self-identified gender on anxiety, depression and suicidality during the COVID-19 pandemic: Data from the international COMET-G study.

    Mahalingappa, Sridevi
    INTRODUCTION: During the COVID-19 pandemic various degrees of lockdown were applied by countries around the world. It is considered that such measures have an adverse effect on mental health but the relationship of measure intensity with the mental health effect has not been thoroughly studied. Here we report data from the larger COMET-G study pertaining to this question. MATERIAL AND METHODS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, data were gathered with an online questionnaire from 55,589 participants from 40 countries (64.85% females aged 35.80 ± 13.61; 34.05% males aged 34.90±13.29 and 1.10% other aged 31.64±13.15). Anxiety was measured with the STAI, depression with the CES-D and suicidality with the RASS. Distress and probable depression were identified with the use of a previously developed cut-off and algorithm respectively. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: It included the calculation of Relative Risk (RR), Factorial ANOVA and Multiple backwards stepwise linear regression analysis RESULTS: Approximately two-thirds were currently living under significant restrictions due to lockdown. For both males and females the risk to develop clinical depression correlated significantly with each and every level of increasing lockdown degree (RR 1.72 and 1.90 respectively). The combined lockdown and psychiatric history increased RR to 6.88 The overall relationship of lockdown with severity of depression, though significant was small. CONCLUSIONS: The current study is the first which reports an almost linear relationship between lockdown degree and effect in mental health. Our findings, support previous suggestions concerning the need for a proactive targeted intervention to protect mental health more specifically in vulnerable groups.
  • Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

    Firth, Nick
    Dropout during psychological intervention is a signifcant problem. Previous evidence for associations with socioeconomic deprivation is mixed. This study aimed to review the evidence for associations between deprivation and dropout from contemporary adult psychological interventions for common mental disorders (CMDs). Systematic review, narrative synthesis and random efects meta-analysis of peer-reviewed English language journal articles published June 2010–June 2020 was conducted. Data sources included medline, PsycInfo, databases indexed by web of science, ProQuest social science database and sociology collection, and the Cochrane Library, supplemented by forward and backward citation searching. Five studies were eligible for inclusion (mean N=170, 68% female, 60% White Caucasian, 32% dropout rate, predominantly cognitive behaviour therapy/cognitive processing therapy). Narrative synthesis indicated an overall non-signifcant efect of deprivation on dropout. Meta-analytic signifcance of controlled (k=3) and uncontrolled (k=4) efects depended on the measure of deprivation included for those studies using more than one measure (controlled OR 1.21–1.32, p=0.019–0.172, uncontrolled OR 1.28–1.76, p=0.024–0.423). The low number of included studies meant sub-group comparisons were limited, despite some tentative indications of potential diferential effects. A comparator set of excluded studies showed similar uncertainty. There was limited evidence that did not overall suggest a clear signifcant effect of deprivation on dropout from contemporary individual CMD interventions. However, more contemporary research is needed, as effects may vary according to clinical and methodological factors, and for dropout versus non-initiation.
  • Evaluating the Use of Oral Trials for Inpatient Dysphagia Management: An Initial Cross-Sectional Database Study.

    Julier, Rebecca; Benfield, Jacqueline
    Purpose Oral trials, otherwise known as swallow trials or tasters, are widely used in dysphagia management. However, to date, no studies have investigated the effectiveness of oral trials or outlined how the approach is utilized in everyday practice. This article aims to start a dialogue regarding this much-used but little-evidenced dysphagia intervention by exploring three main aspects to (a) identify the patient demographics and environments in which oral trials are used in hospital, (b) explore clinical decision making around the approach, and (c) consider clinical implications around current findings and future areas for research. Method A cross-sectional examination of 118 patients on the dysphagia caseload of a United Kingdom-based inpatient speech and language therapy team was conducted. Statistical analysis explored demographic differences between oral trials groups and the rest of the dysphagia caseload. Results Twenty-three of 118 (19.5%) individuals on the caseload were or had been on oral trials during admission. Individuals in the oral trials group were significantly more likely to have a neurological diagnosis than the full oral intake group (78.3% vs. 30.5%, p < .001). There was a lack of uniformity in oral trials recommendations, and the rationale behind quantity and types of diet or fluids offered was unclear. Conclusions This study begins to evidence the use of a dysphagia therapy not previously explored within existing literature. It highlights the wide use of oral trials within the hospital trust observed. Based on current evidence, it would be difficult for clinicians to know how to implement oral trials as an intervention. Further research is required both to explore the effectiveness of this approach and also to develop a consensus within practice around how, why, and when oral trials are offered. This would ensure an equitable and effective service is offered and would ensure a high standard of evidence-based practice within dysphagia management.
  • Velcro compression wraps as an alternative form of compression therapy for venous leg ulcers: a review

    Cox, Amy
    The first-line treatment for venous leg ulcers (VLUs) is compression therapy, most commonly, with compression bandages. A similar treatment measure is used for lymphoedema in the form of Velcro compression wraps (VCWs). However, the use of VCWs for VLUs is less evident, and a direct comparison to compression bandaging is not evident. This review explores the evidence to support the use of VCWs for the treatment of VLUs in order to raise awareness of alternative forms of compression therapy. Nine primary research studies were analysed, from which four key themes emerged: quality of life, cost of treatment, ulcer healing time and pressure maintenance. The findings suggest that VCWs decrease material costs by at least 50%, and further savings may be realised by reducing the costs associated with nursing time. The benefits of promoting self-care, maintaining compression, and eliciting greater healing rates are clearly evident, and the impact on quality of life is substantiated.
  • Health psychology attendance: A multilevel analysis of patient-level predictors and therapist effects

    Firth, Nick; Holt, Rachel (2020-11)
    The study investigated adult outpatient Health Psychology Services appointment attendance, cancellation, and missed appointments (A/C/M). The first objective was to determine which demographic and process factors predicted the probability of A/C/M. The second objective was to determine whether there remained residual significant differences in A/C/M between therapists (i.e., a "therapist effect"), after controlling for explanatory variables. We conducted a practice-based retrospective 2-year cohort study. Three-level multilevel models were constructed and tested to analyze the probability of A/C/M at (1) assessment appointments (N = 1,175) and (2) follow-up appointments (N = 5,441). After controlling for predictor variables, significant therapist effects were found for attendance (10.0% to 13.0%) and cancellation (4.4%) at follow-up appointments (but not assessments), indicating significantly different attendance rates at follow-up between therapists. Predictors of attendance at follow-up included patient age, pretherapy symptom severity scores (including risk and symptom scores), and completion of intake questionnaires. Early morning follow-up appointments were least likely to be canceled, followed by late afternoon and finally midday appointments. Treatment intensity predicted attendance, but among qualified therapists, qualification type and pay level were nonsignificant. No significant predictors of attendance at assessment were detected. Attendance at Health Psychology Services outpatient appointments varies significantly according to patient, therapist, and appointment factors. Key routinely collected variables are predictive of attendance at follow-up. Clinical implications include the potential to identify patients at risk of nonattendance and target engagement interventions to these patients. Research directions include closer examination of variability in follow-up attendance between therapists. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
  • Deprivation, access, and outcomes in health psychology treatment

    Firth, Nick; Oates, Lloyd L (2020-06)
    Abstract Purpose Individuals living in areas of higher deprivation are more likely to have requested mental health treatment but are less likely to have received treatment or benefitted from it. Less is known about the extent of access equality and treatment outcomes for individuals with a long-term health condition who experience mental health difficulties. The study aimed to evaluate the extent to which the neighbourhood Index of Multiple Deprivation predicted access to treatment, appointment attendance, treatment completion, and clinical outcomes in a British health psychology clinic. Design Retrospective data were used from 479 individuals referred to a health psychology clinic over 12-months. Clinical outcomes were measured using the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation – Outcome Measure (CORE-OM). Patient data were linked with their neighbourhood Index of Multiple Deprivation decile. Data were analysed using correlation, linear regression, and Fisher’s exact test. Findings There were no significant associations between deprivation and whether an individual attended assessment, attended treatment, or completed treatment, or between deprivation and patients’ clinical outcomes. Exploratory evidence indicated that individuals from higher deprivation neighbourhoods may be over-represented in clinic referrals, and individuals from lower deprivation neighbourhoods may be under-represented, compared with local population distribution estimates. Originality This evaluation provides insights into treatment outcomes and deprivation in those with physical health difficulties. Further evaluation using a larger sample and comparing referrals with local prevalence estimates of comorbid mental and physical health problems would enable greater confidence in the conclusion that no evidence of inequality on the basis of neighbourhood deprivation was found.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy for adults with dissociative seizures (CODES): a pragmatic, multicentre, randomised controlled trial

    Firth, Nick; Scholes, Karen; Bennett, Masha (2020-06)
    Abstract Background: Dissociative seizures are paroxysmal events resembling epilepsy or syncope with characteristic features that allow them to be distinguished from other medical conditions. We aimed to compare the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) plus standardised medical care with standardised medical care alone for the reduction of dissociative seizure frequency.Methods: In this pragmatic, parallel-arm, multicentre randomised controlled trial, we initially recruited participants at 27 neurology or epilepsy services in England, Scotland, and Wales. Adults (≥18 years) who had dissociative seizures in the previous 8 weeks and no epileptic seizures in the previous 12 months were subsequently randomly assigned (1:1) from 17 liaison or neuropsychiatry services following psychiatric assessment, to receive standardised medical care or CBT plus standardised medical care, using a web-based system. Randomisation was stratified by neuropsychiatry or liaison psychiatry recruitment site. The trial manager, chief investigator, all treating clinicians, and patients were aware of treatment allocation, but outcome data collectors and trial statisticians were unaware of treatment allocation. Patients were followed up 6 months and 12 months after randomisation. The primary outcome was monthly dissociative seizure frequency (ie, frequency in the previous 4 weeks) assessed at 12 months. Secondary outcomes assessed at 12 months were: seizure severity (intensity) and bothersomeness; longest period of seizure freedom in the previous 6 months; complete seizure freedom in the previous 3 months; a greater than 50% reduction in seizure frequency relative to baseline; changes in dissociative seizures (rated by others); health-related quality of life; psychosocial functioning; psychiatric symptoms, psychological distress, and somatic symptom burden; and clinical impression of improvement and satisfaction. p values and statistical significance for outcomes were reported without correction for multiple comparisons as per our protocol. Primary and secondary outcomes were assessed in the intention-to-treat population with multiple imputation for missing observations. This trial is registered with the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial registry, ISRCTN05681227, and, NCT02325544. Findings: Between Jan 16, 2015, and May 31, 2017, we randomly assigned 368 patients to receive CBT plus standardised medical care (n=186) or standardised medical care alone (n=182); of whom 313 had primary outcome data at 12 months (156 [84%] of 186 patients in the CBT plus standardised medical care group and 157 [86%] of 182 patients in the standardised medical care group). At 12 months, no significant difference in monthly dissociative seizure frequency was identified between the groups (median 4 seizures [IQR 0-20] in the CBT plus standardised medical care group vs 7 seizures [1-35] in the standardised medical care group; estimated incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0•78 [95% CI 0•56-1•09]; p=0•144). Dissociative seizures were rated as less bothersome in the CBT plus standardised medical care group than the standardised medical care group (estimated mean difference -0•53 [95% CI -0•97 to -0•08]; p=0•020). The CBT plus standardised medical care group had a longer period of dissociative seizure freedom in the previous 6 months (estimated IRR 1•64 [95% CI 1•22 to 2•20]; p=0•001), reported better health-related quality of life on the EuroQoL-5 Dimensions-5 Level Health Today visual analogue scale (estimated mean difference 6•16 [95% CI 1•48 to 10•84]; p=0•010), less impairment in psychosocial functioning on the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (estimated mean difference -4•12 [95% CI -6•35 to -1•89]; p<0•001), less overall psychological distress than the standardised medical care group on the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-10 scale (estimated mean difference -1•65 [95% CI -2•96 to -0•35]; p=0•013), and fewer somatic symptoms on the modified Patient Health Questionnaire-15 scale (estimated mean difference -1•67 [95% CI -2•90 to -0•44]; p=0•008). Clinical improvement at 12 months was greater in the CBT plus standardised medical care group than the standardised medical care alone group as reported by patients (estimated mean difference 0•66 [95% CI 0•26 to 1•04]; p=0•001) and by clinicians (estimated mean difference 0•47 [95% CI 0•21 to 0•73]; p<0•001), and the CBT plus standardised medical care group had greater satisfaction with treatment than did the standardised medical care group (estimated mean difference 0•90 [95% CI 0•48 to 1•31]; p<0•001). No significant differences in patient-reported seizure severity (estimated mean difference -0•11 [95% CI -0•50 to 0•29]; p=0•593) or seizure freedom in the last 3 months of the study (estimated odds ratio [OR] 1•77 [95% CI 0•93 to 3•37]; p=0•083) were identified between the groups. Furthermore, no significant differences were identified in the proportion of patients who had a more than 50% reduction in dissociative seizure frequency compared with baseline (OR 1•27 [95% CI 0•80 to 2•02]; p=0•313). Additionally, the 12-item Short Form survey-version 2 scores (estimated mean difference for the Physical Component Summary score 1•78 [95% CI -0•37 to 3•92]; p=0•105; estimated mean difference for the Mental Component Summary score 2•22 [95% CI -0•30 to 4•75]; p=0•084), the Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 scale score (estimated mean difference -1•09 [95% CI -2•27 to 0•09]; p=0•069), and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scale depression score (estimated mean difference -1•10 [95% CI -2•41 to 0•21]; p=0•099) did not differ significantly between groups. Changes in dissociative seizures (rated by others) could not be assessed due to insufficient data. During the 12-month period, the number of adverse events was similar between the groups: 57 (31%) of 186 participants in the CBT plus standardised medical care group reported 97 adverse events and 53 (29%) of 182 participants in the standardised medical care group reported 79 adverse events. Interpretation: CBT plus standardised medical care had no statistically significant advantage compared with standardised medical care alone for the reduction of monthly seizures. However, improvements were observed in a number of clinically relevant secondary outcomes following CBT plus standardised medical care when compared with standardised medical care alone. Thus, adults with dissociative seizures might benefit from the addition of dissociative seizure-specific CBT to specialist care from neurologists and psychiatrists. Future work is needed to identify patients who would benefit most from a dissociative seizure-specific CBT approach
  • Self-managed, computerised speech and language therapy for patients with chronic aphasia post-stroke compared with usual care or attention control (Big CACTUS): a multicentre, single-blinded, randomised controlled trial.

    Witts, Helen (2019-09)
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Post-stroke aphasia might improve over many years with speech and language therapy; however speech and language therapy is often less readily available beyond a few months after stroke. We assessed self-managed computerised speech and language therapy (CSLT) as a means of providing more therapy than patients can access through usual care alone. METHODS: In this pragmatic, superiority, three-arm, individually randomised, single-blind, parallel group trial, patients were recruited from 21 speech and language therapy departments in the UK. Participants were aged 18 years or older and had been diagnosed with aphasia post-stroke at least 4 months before randomisation; they were excluded if they had another premorbid speech and language disorder caused by a neurological deficit other than stroke, required treatment in a language other than English, or if they were currently using computer-based word-finding speech therapy. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to either 6 months of usual care (usual care group), daily self-managed CSLT plus usual care (CSLT group), or attention control plus usual care (attention control group) with the use of computer-generated stratified blocked randomisation (randomly ordered blocks of sizes three and six, stratified by site and severity of word finding at baseline based on CAT Naming Objects test scores). Only the outcome assessors and trial statistician were masked to the treatment allocation. The speech and language therapists who were doing the outcome assessments were different from those informing participants about which group they were assigned to and from those delivering all interventions. The statistician responsible for generating the randomisation schedule was separate from those doing the analysis. Co-primary outcomes were the change in ability to retrieve personally relevant words in a picture naming test (with 10% mean difference in change considered a priori as clinically meaningful) and the change in functional communication ability measured by masked ratings of video-recorded conversations, with the use of Therapy Outcome Measures (TOMs), between baseline and 6 months after randomisation (with a standardised mean difference in change of 0·45 considered a priori as clinically meaningful). Primary analysis was based on the modified intention-to-treat (mITT) population, which included randomly assigned patients who gave informed consent and excluded those without 6-month outcome measures. Safety analysis included all participants. This trial has been completed and was registered with the ISRCTN, number ISRCTN68798818. FINDINGS: From Oct 20, 2014, to Aug 18, 2016, 818 patients were assessed for eligibility, of which 278 (34%) participants were randomly assigned (101 [36%] to the usual care group; 97 [35%] to the CSLT group; 80 [29%] to the attention control group). 86 patients in the usual care group, 83 in the CSLT group, and 71 in the attention control group contributed to the mITT. Mean word finding improvements were 1·1% (SD 11·2) in the usual care group, 16·4% (15·3) in the CSLT group, and 2·4% (8·8) in the attention control group. Word finding improvement was 16·2% (95% CI 12·7 to 19·6; p<0·0001) higher in the CSLT group than in the usual care group and was 14·4% (10·8 to 18·1) higher than in the attention control group. Mean changes in TOMs were 0·05 (SD 0·59) in the usual care group (n=84), 0·04 (0·58) in the CSLT group (n=81), and 0·10 (0·61) in the attention control group (n=68); the mean difference in change between the CSLT and usual care groups was -0·03 (-0·21 to 0·14; p=0·709) and between the CSLT and attention control groups was -0·01 (-0·20 to 0·18). The incidence of serious adverse events per year were rare with 0·23 events in the usual care group, 0·11 in the CSLT group, and 0·16 in the attention control group. 40 (89%) of 45 serious adverse events were unrelated to trial activity and the remaining five (11%) of 45 serious adverse events were classified as unlikely to be related to trial activity. INTERPRETATION: CSLT plus usual care resulted in a clinically significant improvement in personally relevant word finding but did not result in an improvement in conversation. Future studies should explore ways to generalise new vocabulary to conversation for patients with chronic aphasia post-stroke. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research, Tavistock Trust for Aphasia.
  • Development of a Pathway for Returning To Driving After A Stroke in Derby

    Bates, Laura; Bartram, Anna; Richardson, Andy; Bullock, Suzie; Clements, Karen; Whiteman, Elizabeth; Fletcher, Kim (2019)
  • The intrauterine device and the intrauterine system

    Searle, Stephen (2014-08)
    Intrauterine contraception is used by about 100 million women worldwide, making it the most popular form of fertility regulation. In UK community contraception clinics, however, long-acting reversible contraception has increased to 28% of users, and intrauterine contraception accounts for only 8% of methods used by women accessing these services. Potential exists to increase uptake of these more effective methods. In this chapter, we review the clinical advantages, disadvantages and cost-effectiveness of intrauterine contraception. We discuss the management of complications along with advice for trainers, and briefly consider issues in developing countries.
  • Protocol for a feasibility study of a self-help cognitive behavioural therapy resource for the reduction of dental anxiety in young people.

    Prasad, Suneeta (2016-03)
    BACKGROUND: Childhood dental anxiety is very common, with 10-20 % of children and young people reporting high levels of dental anxiety. It is distressing and has a negative impact on the quality of life of young people and their parents as well as being associated with poor oral health. Affected individuals may develop a lifelong reliance on general anaesthetic or sedation for necessary dental treatment thus requiring the support of specialist dental services. Children and young people with dental anxiety therefore require additional clinical time and can be costly to treat in the long term. The reduction of dental anxiety through the use of effective psychological techniques is, therefore, of high importance. However, there is a lack of high-quality research investigating the impact of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approaches when applied to young people's dental anxiety. METHODS/DESIGN: The first part of the study will develop a profile of dentally anxious young people using a prospective questionnaire sent to a consecutive sample of 100 young people referred to the Paediatric Dentistry Department, Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, in Sheffield. The second part will involve interviewing a purposive sample of 15-20 dental team members on their perceptions of a CBT self-help resource for dental anxiety, their opinions on whether they might use such a resource with patients, and their willingness to recruit bparticipants to a future randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the resource. The third part of the study will investigate the most appropriate outcome measures to include in a trial, the acceptability of the resource, and retention and completion rates of treatment with a sample of 60 dentally anxious young people using the CBT resource. DISCUSSION: This study will provide information on the profile of dentally anxious young people who could potentially be helped by a guided self-help CBT resource. It will gain the perceptions of dental care team members of guided self-help CBT for dental anxiety in young people and their willingness to recruit participants to a trial. Acceptability of the resource to participants and retention and completion rates will also be investigated to inform a future RCT.
  • Evaluation of the 'Live Life Better Service', a community-based weight management service, for morbidly obese patients.

    Holt, R (2016-06)
    BACKGROUND: There is a limited evidence on the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions in achieving and maintaining a significant level of weight loss in morbidly obese patients. This study evaluated the impact on weight loss and psychological well-being of a community-based weight management service for morbidly obese patients [body mass index (BMI) ≥35 with related co-morbidities or BMI >40] in Derbyshire county. METHODS: Five hundred and fifty-one participants entered the service since 2010, and 238 participants were still active within the service or had completed the 2-year intervention in April 2013. A one-group pre-post design was used todetermine average weight loss (kg) and impact on mental health and well-being [using the validated clinical outcomes of routine evaluation-outcome measure (CORE-OM) questionnaire] among participants. Measurements were recorded at baseline, 12 weeks, 24 weeks, 1 year, 18 months and 2 years, and significance (P ≤ 0.05) was determined using the paired sample t-test. RESULTS: Statistically significant weight loss was recorded at each measurement point for those participants who remained engaged with the service (4.9 kg weight loss at 12 weeks to 18.2 kg at 2 years). There was a significant positive impact on psychological well-being demonstrated by CORE-OM score. CONCLUSIONS: Findings show clinically and statistically significant weight loss among participants with improvements in physical and mental health.
  • Development and Testing of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Resource for Children's Dental Anxiety.

    Prasad, Suneeta (2017-01)
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for dental anxiety; however, access to therapy is limited. The current study aimed to develop a self-help CBT resource for reducing dental anxiety in children, and to assess the feasibility of conducting a trial to evaluate the treatment efficacy and cost-effectiveness of such an intervention. A mixed methods design was employed. Within phase 1, a qualitative "person-based" approach informed the development of the self-help CBT resource. This also employed guidelines for the development and evaluation of complex interventions. Within phase 2, children, aged between 9 and 16 y, who had elevated self-reported dental anxiety and were attending a community dental service or dental hospital, were invited to use the CBT resource. Children completed questionnaires, which assessed their dental anxiety and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) prior to and following their use of the resource. Recruitment and completion rates were recorded. Acceptability of the CBT resource was explored using interviews and focus groups with children, parents/carers and dental professionals. For this analysis, the authors adhered to the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool criteria. There were 24 families and 25 dental professionals participating in the development and qualitative evaluation of the CBT resource for children with dental anxiety. A total of 56 children agreed to trial the CBT resource (66% response rate) and 48 of these children completed the study (86% completion rate). There was a significant reduction in dental anxiety (mean score difference = 7.7, t = 7.9, df = 45, P < 0.001, Cohen's d ES = 1.2) and an increase in HRQoL following the use of the CBT resource (mean score difference = -0.03, t = 2.14, df = 46, P < 0.05, Cohen's d ES = 0.3). The self-help approach had high levels of acceptability to stakeholders. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the effectiveness and acceptability of the resource in reducing dental anxiety in children and support the further evaluation of this approach in a randomized control trial. Knowledge Transfer Statement: This study details the development of a guided self-help Cognitive Behavioral Therapy resource for the management of dental anxiety in children and provides preliminary evidence for the feasibility and acceptability of this approach with children aged between 9 and 16 y. The results of this study will inform the design of a definitive trial to examine the treatment- and cost-effectiveness of the resource for reducing dental anxiety in children.
  • A low cost virtual reality system for home based rehabilitation of the arm following stroke: a randomised controlled feasibility trial.

    Richardson, Andy (2017-03)
    OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility of conducting a randomised controlled trial of a home-based virtual reality system for rehabilitation of the arm following stroke. DESIGN: Two group feasibility randomised controlled trial of intervention versus usual care. SETTING: Patients' homes. PARTICIPANTS: Patients aged 18 or over, with residual arm dysfunction following stroke and no longer receiving any other intensive rehabilitation. INTERVENTIONS: Eight weeks' use of a low cost home-based virtual reality system employing infra-red capture to translate the position of the hand into game play or usual care. MAIN MEASURES: The primary objective was to collect information on the feasibility of a trial, including recruitment, collection of outcome measures and staff support required. Patients were assessed at three time points using the Wolf Motor Function Test, Nine-Hole Peg Test, Motor Activity Log and Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living. RESULTS: Over 15 months only 47 people were referred to the team. Twenty seven were randomised and 18 (67%) of those completed final outcome measures. Sample size calculation based on data from the Wolf Motor Function Test indicated a requirement for 38 per group. There was a significantly greater change from baseline in the intervention group on midpoint Wolf Grip strength and two subscales of the final Motor Activity Log. Training in the use of the equipment took a median of 230 minutes per patient. CONCLUSIONS: To achieve the required sample size, a definitive home-based trial would require additional strategies to boost recruitment rates and adequate resources for patient support.
  • Designing and implementing a trust-wide quality assurance programme.

    Coope, Sally-Ann (2018-04)
    Derbyshire Community Health Services (DCHS) NHS Foundation Trust provides a wide range of community-based health services. After the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found gaps in the trust's assurance process, its board decided to develop a method of continuous quality improvements that could be used as a basis for the trust's quality assurance system. The trust adapted and built on an acute model so it was suitable for community services. The final assurance system, Quality Always, has four elements: the clinical assessment and accreditation scheme; leadership development; 'champions' within clinical teams to support and promote the scheme; and dashboards to record and monitor progress. A system to recognise and reward achievement was essential for success. Quality Always has resulted in better care quality, an improved CQC rating, a sense of achievement among staff, the development of support networks, learning (especially among support staff) and good practice being shared.
  • Challenges associated with implementation of a school-based tooth-brushing and fluoride varnish programme in a diverse and transient urban population.

    Braithwaite, M (2018-05)
    Public health competencies being illustrated; Planning, delivery and evaluation of health improvement programmes, addressing health inequalities, awareness of cultural impacts on health and wellbeing. Smile4Life, a schools-based, evidence informed oral health promotion programme, was designed to address high levels of oral health need and inequality within a UK City. The aims of the pilot described were to test the feasibility of delivering the programme (supervised tooth-brushing, take home kits, educational resources and application of fluoride varnish) in six culturally diverse schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and evaluate its impact on caries prevalence. High levels of participation were achieved (98% positive consent) however only 44% received more than one application of fluoride varnish. A reduction in decay prevalence and improved oral hygiene was observed. This paper examines the challenges faced in working with transient and culturally diverse population groups, working effectively with schools to deliver an effective intervention for this population, and in responding effectively across agencies to address safeguarding concerns.
  • What speech and language therapy do community dwelling stroke survivors with aphasia receive in the UK?

    Witts, Helen (2018-07)
    BACKGROUND: Speech and language therapy provision for aphasia (a language disorder) post stroke has been studied over time through surveys completed by speech and language therapists. This paper revisits provision based on what was received by 278 patients in 21 UK speech and language therapy departments in 2014-2016. AIMS: To explore the speech and language therapy received by community dwelling people with post stroke aphasia in the UK. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: A quantitative content analysis was conducted by two speech and language therapist researchers. Therapy goals recorded were coded into categories and subcategories. Descriptive statistics were used to identify the frequency with which goal categories were targeted, average therapy time received, length and frequency of therapy sessions, personnel involved and mode of delivery. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Forty-five percent of participants were in receipt of therapy in the three month window observed. Six goal categories were identified. Rehabilitation was the most frequent (60%) followed by enabling (17.2%), review (4.3%), assessment (3.6%), supportive (3.5%) and activity to support therapy (2.8%). The median amount of therapy received in three months was 6.3 hours at an average of one 60-minute session every two weeks. Seventy-seven percent of therapy sessions were delivered by qualified speech and language therapists and 23% by assistants. Ninety percent of sessions were one to one, face to face sessions whilst 9.5% were group sessions. DISCUSSION: In line with previous reports, speech and language therapy for community dwelling stroke survivors with aphasia is restricted. Rehabilitation is a large focus of therapy but the intensity and dose with which it is provided is substantially lower than that required for an effective outcome. Despite this, one to one face to face therapy is favoured. More efficient methods to support more therapeutic doses of therapy are not commonly used in routine clinical services.

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