Author: Philippa Moss

What’s New and Promising in Neuropathic Pain Research? Involving Patients in Research Co-Design

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series PPI Awards: Round 4 Reports

In conversation with: Donna Kennedy, Clinical Specialist Hand Therapy (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust) and Postdoctoral Research Fellow (NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre). Working in collaboration with Prof. Andrew Rice, Dr Harriet Kemp and Dr Whitney Scott within the Pain Research Group led by Prof. Andrew Rice.

What did you do?

The Pain Research Group investigates neuropathic pain in the context of infectious diseases, diabetes and nerve trauma. We undertake patient profiling studies, which include cognitive, psychological and physical measures such as skin biopsies and quantitative sensory testing.

What we learnt developing MatImms – a maternal immunisation smartphone app

In conversation with: Dr. Beth Holder, Lecturer in Maternal and Fetal Health Working within the Institute of Reproductive Biology, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, Imperial College London.

What is the MatImms app?

The MatImms app is a free educational smartphone app, which is aimed primarily at pregnant women. The objective of the app is to provide reliable information about vaccinations in pregnancy. This includes background on the immune system and how vaccines work, as well as what vaccines are available and how women can get them. We also included a calendar function, where women can put a vaccine reminder into their phone.

The Young People in Psych Research Group: helping scientists iMAGine better research for self-harm

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series PPI Awards: Round 4 Reports

In conversation with: Dr Martina Di Simplicio, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, and Rachel Rodrigues, PhD Student. Working within the Mood Instability Research Group, Centre for Psychiatry, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London.

What did you do?

Our research project called iMAGine looks at the psychological processes contributing to maintenance of self-harm behaviour in young people, including whether aspects of ‘reward’ or positive reinforcement underlie self-harm. From the very start of the study, we’ve been collaborating with a group of six young people (17 to 25-year-olds) with and without experience of self-harm.

‘Health Research Matters’: Co-production in young people’s health research

To kick off the Autumn series of our ‘Health Research Matters’ lunchtime seminar series, we brought together two speakers to share their experience of co-production with young people:

  • Dr Christina Atchison, talked about ‘Adolescents 360‘, a project that used human-centred design to co-produce context-specific reproductive health programming initiatives with adolescents in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania; and
  • Matt Walsham, from Partnership for Young London, who shared insight into working with young people on research across the voluntary sector

In case you weren’t able to attend, and as a reminder for those who did, here are some of the key take home messages from the two presentations, followed by the main discussion points and links to further reading.

Public involvement in prematurity research at Imperial Women’s Health Research Centre

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series PPI Awards: Round 4 Reports

In conversation with: Lynne Sykes, Clinical Lecturer; Rachel Akers, Senior Research Midwife; and Malko Adan, Senior Research Midwife

Working within: Prematurity Research, Women’s Health Research Centre at Imperial Institute of Reproductive & Developmental Biology

What did you do?

We held face-to-face meetings with patients who took part in our preterm research project meetings to garner acceptability and opinions for new research techniques. We chose this method because it allowed our patients to share their experiences with others and catch up with the research team, who they saw for a large amount of time during their pregnancy.

Involving women in the design of maternal cardiovascular research

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series PPI Awards: Round 4 Reports

In conversation with: Olive Adams, Research Midwife

Working within: Centre for Fetal Care (NIHR Imperial BRC Theme: Maternity Cardiovascular)

What did you do?

Our research department, the Centre for Fetal Care, undertakes studies on maternal cardiovascular health and other conditions in pregnancy at Imperial and with European collaborators.

We formed a group of women who were either affected by conditions addressed in our research or who were in the pre-conception period (the weeks or months when a woman or couple decides to have a child).

Introducing our Patient & Public Involvement Resource Hub

Public involvement in health and biomedical research is increasingly seen as both desirable and necessary. Desirable because the public’s vast and varied experience can bring important perspectives to research. Necessary because many funders now require it.

That’s why we’ve developed the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Resource Hub – to guide researchers through the process of actively involving patients and members of the public in their research and projects.

Case study #7: Parents with experience of preterm birth help shape Imperial research

In conversation with: Dr Lynne Sykes, Academic Clinical Lecturer Working within: Institute of Reproductive & Developmental Biology

What did you do?

With the help of the NIHR Imperial BRC PPI award, we were able to set up a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group to help shape our preterm birth research at Imperial. The funding enabled us to invite 10–15 participants to three PPI meetings over a course of 12 months. We now have an established group with around seven core members and one nominated representative. The meetings have been a great way to present, and get feedback, on our current and future research plans.

PPI funding proposals: How to win over our judges

The hardest thing about submitting a grant application is often not knowing what the judges are looking for. So, with the call now open for this year’s NIHR Imperial BRC Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) grant scheme funding, but the deadline fast approaching, we thought we’d ask both past winners and members of the judging panel to share their thoughts and insights on what makes a winning patient and public involvement proposal…