#CLAHRC E-Newsletter Child Health @CLAHRCP @BetterStartBfd

Welcome to the community e-newsletter for the CLAHRCs, bringing you news from across the thirteen collaborations and the health service research community. This newsletter looks at the work NIHR CLAHRCs are doing around Child Health and presents an overview of the Child Health Meeting, organised by PenCLAHRC and held in London on the 11th of November.Find out more about the CLAHRC Partnership Programme at:www.clahrcprojects.co.uk/

NIHR CLAHRC Community e-newsletter – Child Health Special Edition

Welcome to the CLAHRC Child Health/Vulnerable Children Newsletter. This special edition follows the November CLAHRC Child Health Research event, where researchers, clinicians, students and other colleagues from 11 CLAHRCs gathered in London to discuss challenges and opportunities in the field of Child and Adolescent Health Research.

Professor Stuart Logan, Director of PenCLAHRC, opened the day by highlighting the importance of child health in a changing research landscape. He celebrated the event as a great opportunity to share knowledge and expertise, meet new people, and plan future collaborations.

Each CLAHRC presented their research in the area of child health, noting key outcomes and impacts where applicable, and highlighting potential opportunities for collaborative working. A diverse range of research was presented which included projects on: allergies; gestational diabetes; transition; parenting; optimal nutrition, healthy behaviours and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Parallel interactive sessions were then held to identify potential opportunities for cross-CLAHRC collaborations, within special interest groups. These were facilitated by researchers in the field as follows:

First session

  • mental health: Emma Howarth (East of England) and Vashti Berry (PenCLAHRC)
  • unscheduled care: Mitch Blair (North West London) and Stuart Logan (PenCLAHRC)
  • healthy behaviours: Lauren Sherar (East Midlands) and Sally Barber (Yorkshire & Humber)
  • appropriate services for ethnic minority groups: Angela Harden (North Thames) and Esther Crawley (West).

Second session

  • childhood disability: Stuart Logan (PenCLAHRC) and Esther Crawley (West)
  • transitions: Matthew Peak (North West Coast) and Astrid Janssens (PenCLAHRC)
  • schools: led by Harry Rutter (North Thames) and Emma Howarth (East of England)
  • maternity: Carole Cummins (West Midlands) and Jane Sandall (South London).

Specifically, these group discussions explored: common themes; research barriers and possible solutions; and the areas where CLAHRC adds value. Possible opportunities for partnership working were identified and plans made where possible. Each group wanted to build on connections made and opportunities identified at the event; and agreed that meeting again in person, or maintaining communication by virtual networks within their special interest would be beneficial.  Overall agreement was also expressed for developing a shared resource area, as well as having future communications and events dedicated to CLAHRC child health research.

CLAHRC East Midlands: CLAHRC East Midlands improving ADHD diagnosis 

New ways to diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) faster in children are being investigated in by CLAHRC East Midlands.

Young people (6-18 years), who have been referred for an assessment of the condition, are being invited to help in East Midlands, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Liverpool, Manchester.
The study will investigate how effective the QbTest is, a computer-based assessment tool that examines whether an individual is showing.

The test takes 15-20 minutes to complete and the participant must respond as quickly and as accurately as possible to certain geometric shapes appearing on a computer screen by pressing a responder button.

Read more

CLAHRC East of England (EoE): Study finds more research to prevent negative consequences of domestic violence and abuse for children is needed

Despite strong evidence that exposure to domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is damaging to children, there is little evidence on interventions to prevent or limit the damage that it can cause to children’s health and well-being.

The IMPROVE study, looks at the evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness and acceptability of interventions for children exposed to DVA. It aims to make recommendations for further research.

Its recommendations to enhance the quantity and quality of evidence include:

  • prioritisation of pragmatic study designs focused on the complex contexts in which interventions are delivered
  • exploration of the acceptability and effectiveness of interventions for specific groups of children and young people
  • development of a core outcome data set, to facilitate future data synthesis and to ensure outcomes are aligned with priorities of stakeholders

The study also highlights three types of intervention that should be prioritised for further evaluation in the UK:

  • group based psycho-education
  • parenting programmes in combination with advocacy (practical support) for parents
  • programmes with whole family approaches, involving the perpetrators of DVA

The study is due for publication by the end of 2016. For more information, see: http://www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/projects/phr/11300701

CLAHRC North Thames: Child Health Summary

NIHR CLAHRC North Thames includes a Child Health research theme and current studies include work with young people and clinicians to develop an App to support Recovery In Early intervention Services for psychosis, and a project with young people with diabetes in East London to co-develop services more responsive to patients’ needs and to improve outcomes.

CLAHRC North West London: Care after presenting with seizures 

Northwest London’s interest in and collaboration with projects that care for vulnerable children, from quality of care for those with sickle cell to improved resources for new parents, continues in a round seven project committed to improved neo natal care for premature and other vulnerable infants. Read more here https://clahrcnwlblog.wordpress.com/

PenCLAHRC: Child Health Summary

NIHR PenCLAHRC supports a strong cohort of research around vulnerable children. These include: the role of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to prevent relapse in children; hospital communications for children with disability and their families; acute paediatric admissions; supporting teachers and children in schools, and; school-based methods to improve child health and lifestyle.

CLAHRC South London: Preventing young people from harmful and risky drinking

CLAHRC South London researchers looking at the early identification and what interventions would reduce risky drinking in young people. The study involves working with young people aged 14-15 who are drinking at risky levels.

SIPS JR-HIGH involves advice and education delivered on a one-to-one basis, and will include a personalised 30-minute interactive worksheet. Research will test whether these sessions encourage reduced levels of drinking and assess cost-effectiveness. Results will be compared with current alcohol education, usually delivered to groups in the classroom, regardless of whether young people are drinking or not. Read more

CLAHRC West Midlands: Advanced Care Planning (ACP) for Children and Young People

NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands leads a programme of applied health research in collaboration with Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the Universities and Birmingham and Aston to improve healthcare for the most vulnerable children. Projects include: work with families and NHS staff to understand the experience and impact of Advanced Care Planning for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions; evaluation of ‘Magnolia House’ – a new facility designed to support parents, families and staff who need to have difficult conversations or require bereavement care; a multicentre cohort study exploring the consequences of early discharge for mothers and babies; an mixed-methods evaluation of the implementation of paediatric ePrescribing system and; a suite of projects to understand how best to support the parents of children with medical complexities, including supporting those who experience healthcare transitions.

CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber: Evaluating the impact of early life interventions using the world’s first experimental birth cohort

The Big Lottery’s A Better Start programme is investing a total of £215 million between 2015-2025 across five areas in England with high levels of deprivation and vulnerable children.  These areas are: Bradford, Blackpool, Lambeth, Nottingham and Southend-on-Sea.  The funding aims to provide interventions to pregnant women and children aged 0-3 to improve socio-emotional development, language and communication and nutrition and obesity.  As part of the Big Lottery’s Better Start Bradford programme, researchers from the NIHR CLAHRC YH Healthy Children Healthy Families theme have established an Innovation Hub which will conduct monitoring and process evaluation for the Better Start Bradford interventions. The Innovation Hub also hosts the world’s first experimental birth cohort (Born in Bradford’s Better Start (BiBBS) cohort).  This new cohort will help to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions that are implemented.  The aim is to recruit 5,000 babies, their mothers and their mothers’ partners over the next 5 years, and so far over 600 women have joined the cohort. Questionnaires and measurements during pregnancy are conducted and linked with information on attendance to the Better Start Bradford interventions and routinely collected data (e.g. collected by health visitors, schools). The BiBBS cohort data will be used to understand the effects of participation in interventions on children’s health and development. To find out more, read the BiBBS cohort protocol paper, published in BMC Public health 

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