The Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP RU) is a multidisciplinary national research unit, funded by the Scottish Government Health Directorate Chief Scientist Office (CSO). It has academic bases within Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Stirling.
An opportunity has arisen for nurses and midwives living in Scotland to re-ignite their active involvement in research while maintaining a clinical role. Developed and supported by the Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professions Research Unit, four fellowships, funded by the Chief Nursing Officer of Scotland, are currently available. One is dedicated to learning disabilities and is being offered in conjunction with the Learning Disabilities Observatory in Glasgow; the remaining three will address priority issues relating to nursing or midwifery practice, the NHS and the health of people in Scotland. Successful applicants will be expected to develop a programme of research on an important clinical problem, aiming to secure external grant funding beyond the duration of the fellowship.
The fellowships are expected to run over 3 years, and can be full-time or part-time funded with a minimum requirement of 3.5 days (2.5 days research and 1 day clinical) per week. Applications must be prepared in conjunction with a supporting Scottish Higher Educational Institution (HEI) and have the cooperation of the collaborating NHS sector. The designated HEI will provide supervision, mentorship and access to research training.
Only nurses or midwives with at least 3 years’ post-registration experience, currently registered with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council, who have significant research experience (PhD, Clinical Doctorate, OR similar substantial research experience), and are currently employed in the NHS or an HEI in Scotland, need apply. Successful applicants can retain their existing NHS or HEI contract. Interested registered nurses/midwives living in Scotland but not currently employed by the NHS or an HEI may be considered if the necessary HEI and NHS supporting framework is in place prior to application.
The closing date for applications is 8th August 2014.
A condition which leads to discomfort, pain and poor quality of life for thousands of women in Scotland every year can be improved using a simple set of pelvic floor muscle exercises, according to a GCU study published in the world’s leading medical journal The Lancet.
Pelvic organ prolapse – when the bladder, womb or bowel moves downward from its normal position – is common and is associated with childbirth and increasing age.
The symptoms of prolapse affect between 5 and 10 per cent of women, however 40 per cent of the over 50s in one study had prolapse on examination. Seven per cent of women will undergo surgery for prolapse.
Women are often advised to do pelvic floor muscle exercises, but evidence supporting the benefits of such exercises has been limited up to now.
In the largest trial of its kind to date, Professor Suzanne Hagen, Programme Director at the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit, and her team have shown that the approach is effective and should be recommended to women with prolapse.
Professor Hagen said: “Although pelvic floor muscle exercises have been used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and more commonly urinary incontinence for a number of years, there was a surprising lack of literature to back up the use of these exercises for prolapse.
“We have now shown that one-to-one pelvic floor muscle training for prolapse is effective for improvement of symptoms associated with prolapse such as the feeling of pelvic heaviness and a bulge in the vagina, discomfort when standing, and interference with bladder and bowel function”
The study – ‘Individualised pelvic floor muscle training in women with pelvic organ prolapse (POPPY): a multicentre randomised controlled trial’ – is published in the [Thursday, November 28] Lancet.
The pelvic floor muscles run from the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis to the base of the spine. They are shaped like a sling and help support the womb, bladder and bowel. The exercises, which should be decided for each woman individually after examination and teaching, involve regular and repeated squeezing of the muscles, with both short and long holds, to increase the muscle strength, stamina and bulk to offer better support for the organs above.
The team conducted a multicentre, randomised controlled trial at 23 centres in the UK, one in New Zealand, and one in Australia.
447 women took part in the study, with half being given a personalised programme of pelvic floor muscle training by women’s health physiotherapists during 5 visits over 16 weeks and the other half being assigned to a control group who did not receive the exercises or the training.
Women in the intervention group reported fewer symptoms 6 months and again twelve months after entering the study.
Professor Hagen said: “Although this is the largest robust trial of its kind to date with more than 400 women taking part, more work needs to be done in this area. We have so far followed women up for one year but this may not be long enough to assess whether the effects of the exercises are maintained, and whether in the longer term women are prevented from going on to have surgery. Also we do not yet know if there are specific groups of women who will get more benefit from the exercises than others. These are questions we would like to address in further research.”
The Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP RU) where the research was undertaken is funded by the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of the Scottish Government and hosted jointly by Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Stirling. The study was funded by the CSOs Health Services and Population Health Research Committee.
Professor Brian Williams, Director of the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit, said: “This is an excellent piece of work which is of great benefit to the large number of women across the world that live with this condition. It is a fabulous example of the sort of world class research that Scottish researchers are leading, in order to enhance health services provided by nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.”
For more information, please contact:
Suzanne Hagen: Suzanne.Hagen@gcu.ac.uk
The theme of this event is ‘Enriching Rehabilitation through Technology and the Arts’.
Call for abstracts is now open – closing date 7th April 2014
Submit online: click here www.srr.org.uk
This is preceded by a FREE Rehabilitation Research Methodology Seminar on 9th June 2014 from 6.00-7.30 pm, also at GCU
Theme: ‘Capturing & Reporting the Complexity of Rehabilitation Interventions’
Dr. Alex Pollock, Senior Research Fellow from the CSO funded Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP RU), gave a platform presentation of the results of a major update of a Cochrane systematic review of physiotherapy after stroke, entitled “Physical rehabilitation approaches for the recovery of function and mobility following stroke”, which demonstrated the effectiveness of physiotherapy after stroke. This talk was supported by a poster, also presented by Alex, which described how innovative user-involvement played a key role in ensuring the clinical relevance of this systematic review. Both of these presentations came from work completed as part of a CSO-funded project (Ref: CZG/2/544); the project was led by Alex, with Pauline Campbell from NMAHP RU and Pei Ling Choo from the Institute for Applied Health Research playing key roles. Other collaborating institutions included Queen Margaret University, University of Glasgow, University of Dundee, University of East Anglia and University of Leeds.
More information from Alex.Pollock@gcu.ac.uk
The effect of mammography pain on repeat participation in breast cancer screening: A systematic review. Breast (e-Pub ahead of print) doi:10.1016/j.breast.2013.03.003.
The frequency and reasons for vaginal examinations in labour. Women and Birth, 26(1), pp. 49-54.
The role of alcohol price in young adult drinking cultures in Scotland. Drugs, Education, Prevention and Policy (e-Pub ahead of print) (10.3109/09687637.2013.765386).
Applying the revenge system to the criminal justice system and jury decision-making [comment on McCullough, M. E., Kurzban, R., & Tabak, B. A.]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36(1), pp. 34-35.
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