Current Research

There are seven main research programmes which underpin the research work of the psychometric laboratory. 

  • Quality of Life across the rheumatic diseases.
  • Extending Working Life (EWL)
  • Psychosocial influences upon chronic disease outcomes (PICDO)
  • Self Harm Academic Research Programme (SHARP)
  • Undergraduate Assessment
  • Cultural Adaptation of Health Outcome Measures (CAHOM)
  • Trajectories of Outcome in Neurological Conditions (TONiC™)

Quality of Life (QoL) across the Rheumatic Diseases

This programme is based upon the development of an item bank for a range of disease specific scales based upon the needs-based model of QoL developed by Stephen McKenna and Sonya Hunt. Currently the item bank incorporates the following conditions:- Psoriatic arthritis; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus ; Beçhets Disease;   Ankylosing Spondylitis; Scleroderma and Osteoarthritis.

Extending Working Life (EWL) 

Extending Working Life
This is a broad ranging international and national collaborative programme of work concerned with job retention, often but not exclusively in the presence of various health conditions. The themes of the programme are concerned with the development, testing and calibration of instruments to assess different aspects of work-related stress which may threaten job retention, or lead to prolonged periods of sickness absence.

Work Instability Theme

Currently there are screening instruments for: - Rheumatoid arthritis; Ankylosing Spondylitis; Traumatic Brain Injury; Epilepsy;  Musculoskeletal-related in nurses and Multiple Sclerosis

Stress and Burnout Theme

This is a new area of work with colleagues at other universities in the UK, Australia and Sweden, and is concerned with identifying and measuring stressors in the workplace, in the calibration of existing scales of burnout, and in the development of models to examine the contextual and other influences for job retention

Work Screen Theme

Work Screens are short, simple to use screening tolls that show how well people are coping at work. The results provide an early insight into an employee's likely sickness absence so a company can take early preventative action to reduce costs and better care for their workforce.

Psychosocial Influence upon Chronic Disease Outcomes (PICDO)

This is an international and national collaborative programme to operationalize the bio-psychosocial model of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and health (ICF) with particular emphasis upon the psychological constructs associated with chronic disease. As such it is concerned with assessing and calibrating measures of depression, anxiety and stress, as well as other concepts such as self efficacy and self-esteem.

Self Harm Academic Research Programme (SHARP)

SharpThis is a new international collaborative programme to examine the content and validity of Self Harm scales, and to build predictive models for self harm to facilitate appropriate interventions.

Undergraduate Assessment

This programme is concerned with the application of Rasch models to undergraduate assessment across a range of different academic subjects. It main focus is on equity in assessment, ensuring tests are equivalent from year-to-year, and that the tests themselves satisfy Rasch standards of measurement.  

Cultural Adaptation of Health Outcome Measures (CAHOM)

World in HandsThis programme of work is associated with the cross-cultural adaptation of new and existing health assessments and outcome measures. Using internationally recognised protocols for adaptations, it supplements these methods by formal tests of invariance through the absence of Differential Item Functioning within the Rasch model framework. The programme is currently involved with various projects in different European and Scandinavian countries, Turkey, Arabia, and North America.

Trajectories of Outcome in Neurological Conditions (TONiC™)

This programme of work seeks to examine phenotype-based pathways of outcome for a broad range of neurological conditions.  Using analytical techniques such as latent growth curve analysis on longitudinal data, a number of hypotheses are to be explored with respect to a range of outcomes such as fatigue, activity limitation, participation and quality of life.  The work is currently a UK collaboration between various Neurological and Rehabilitation Medicine centres, but will be expanded into other parts of Europe in the near future.