Fellowship success in the area of pressure ulcers

Clinical Trials Research Unit staff have been successful in their applications for NIHR Fellowships looking into the area of pressure ulcers.

Susanne Coleman has been awarded an NIHR Post-Doctoral Fellowship and Isabelle Smith has been awarded an NIHR Doctoral Fellowship.

Susanne’s NIHR Post-Doc Fellowship (Oct 2016-Sept 2020), titled The Use of Pressure Ulcer Risk Assessment Instruments in Clinical Practice: A Realist Evaluation, builds on her doctoral work which involved the development a new evidenced-based Pressure Ulcer Risk Assessment Instrument (RAI) – PURPOSE-T. The fellowship study aims to understand how hospital ward teams use PURPOSE-T and Standard RAIs in different contexts and how and to what extent they impact on care processes, interventions, communication and patient outcomes for PU prevention/management. A realist evaluation will be undertaken incorporating 4 steps: theory elicitation, theory prioritisation, theory testing and User guidance development. Methods include a scoping review, semi-structured interviews (staff and patients), structured consensus methods, record review and observation. The study will facilitate user guidance development to better target RAI use to different care contexts and inform ongoing evaluation methods. The Fellowship is being supported by a Methodological Advisory Board (Prof Jane Nixon, Deputy Director of LICTR UoL,  Ass Prof Joanne Greenhalgh department of Sociology and Social Policy UoL, Dr Maureen Twiddy NIHR Research Design Service Manager LIHS UoL and Prof Lisette Schoonhoven University of Southampton) and overseen by a Fellowship Oversight Committee chaired by Prof Julia Brown, Director of LICTR, Associate Dean for Applied Health Research (School Medicine) UoL.

The aim of Isabelle’s NIHR TCC funded doctoral research fellowship is to improve the design and analysis of pressure ulcer prevention trials. This will be achieved through re-analysing existing trial datasets using multi-state modelling methodology to develop a deeper understanding of the natural history of pressure ulcers. This fellowship will also explore how to handle missing data that arises in pressure ulcer research and whether pressure ulcer prevention trials could be more efficient in a variety of ways such as sample size requirements and assessment frequencies. This fellowship is being supervised by Prof Linda Sharples, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who has expertise in multi-state modelling methodology and Prof Jane Nixon, Deputy Director of LICTR, who is a leading researcher in pressure ulcer and skin research. The fellowship is due to be completed in September 2021.