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Cardiff research projects attract prestigious RCBC Wales Postdoc Fellowships

8 April 2015

RCBC Fellowship recipients
Dr Jessica Baillie, Dr Lucie Warren and Dr Liba Sheeran have all been awarded RCBC Postdoctoral Fellowships

It has been announced that Cardiff research projects were awarded all three of the Postdoctoral Fellowships available as part of the current round of RCBC Wales funding.

These research projects will focus on new technology to reduce back pain, the promotion of healthy behaviours in pregnant women and patients' experiences of peritoneal dialysis-associated peritonitis, all with the ultimate aim of benefitting patients, their families and the NHS.

These awards are a real measure of success forthe School of Healthcare Sciences. The RCBC Postdoctoral funding scheme is important in allowing colleagues from the professions of physiotherapy, nursing and midwifery to build on their Doctoral research. I am especially pleased about the range of topics that will be addressed as they will provide evidence that will have impact on healthcare practice.

Professor Daniel Kelly, Director of Research

RCBC Wales

Funded by the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR) the Research Capacity Building Collaboration (RCBC) Wales was developed to increase the quality and quantity of research in health and social care in Wales.

It aims to increase research capacity in nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions in Wales by providing funding for PhD Studentships, Postdoctoral Fellowships and First into Research projects.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

As part of the latest round of funding, three postdoctoral fellowships were awarded. These were successfully bid for by Dr Liba Sheeran, Dr Jessica Baillie and Dr Lucie Warren, all from the School of Healthcare Sciences.

Liba Sheeran

Physio in the Pocket (PiP)

Dr Liba Sheeran completed both an MSc in Sports Physiotherapy and her PhD at Cardiff, where she has since been employed as a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer in the Research Centre for Clinical Kinaesiology.

Dr Sheeran was awarded her RCBC Fellowship for the development of the 'Physio in the Pocket TM' (PiP) device. This innovative health technology device aims to revolutionise rehabilitation for back pain sufferers by utilising inexpensive smart phone technology. Sensors attached to the spine will sense movement and feed information back to a smart phone.

Key to the project will be the development of software that can recognise subgroups of back pain and provide subgroup-specific posture and movement feedback to aid bespoke personalized rehabilitation. This will build on Dr Sheeran's work during her PhD on the classification of back pain and her subsequent postdoctoral research on the development of targeted back pain interventions.

Dr Sheeran's application for the RCBC Fellowship was ranked first among all the applications received. She says "as part of RCBC Wales, I will have access to the Community of Scholars from across six universities in Wales to ensure the successful completion of this project, build collaborations and plan for the future development of the Physio in the Pocket for the benefit of the patients and the NHS."

Jessica Baillie

Understandings and experiences of peritonitis amongst patients undertaking peritoneal dialysis and their families

Dr Jessica Baillie completed both her undergraduate degree and PhD at Cardiff University, the latter a RCBC funded project on patients' and families' experiences of using peritoneal dialysis.

Her Postdoctoral research will build on this study and look at the experiences of patients who develop peritonitis as a result of peritoneal dialysis.

Dr Baillie says: "peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a daily treatment for end-stage renal disease, performed by patients or their relatives in the home. Infection of the peritoneal membrane (peritonitis) is a considerable problem in this population, leading to antibiotic use, hospital admission and decreased quality of life. Peritonitis requires some individuals to stop using PD and can be fatal.

However, there is a lack of evidence about patients' (and families') understanding and experiences of PD–associated peritonitis. This research will examine patients' and families' knowledge, understanding and experiences of PD-associated peritonitis and seek to identify their information and support needs. The aim ultimately is to inform the subsequent development of an intervention designed to ensure patients and families are able to prevent, monitor and report peritonitis.

I am delighted to have been awarded this Postdoctoral Fellowship from RCBC Wales and grateful to the School of Healthcare Sciences for their support to undertake this study."

Lucie Warren

Eat Well Keep Active

Dr Lucie Warren is a Research Associate and Lecturer within the School of Healthcare Sciences. Her RCBC Fellowship will draw on her PhD research, an RCBC funded study into maternal dietary behaviours and activity during pregnancy.

Dr Warren's project will assess the feasibility of her midwife-led 'Eat Well Keep Active' programme, developed as a midwife-led intervention delivered early in pregnancy to improve the diet and physical activity of pregnant women living in some of the poorest communities. It utilises Motivational Interviewing techniques and goal setting in a woman-centred approach to improve health behaviours of pregnant women.

Dr Warren explains; "pregnancy is considered to be an ideal time for women to improve their health behaviours due to an increased motivation provided by concerns regarding the health of their unborn baby. However, despite this many pregnant women continue to eat a poor diet and do minimal amount of physical activity and this is associated with a number of complications and has been shown to contribute to the development of long term obesity in mothers and their offspring. This is most notable in areas of high deprivation.

This RCBC funded project will identify if women and clinicians find the Eat Well Keep Active intervention to be an acceptable and a useful tool to facilitate healthy behaviours in pregnancy."

To find out more about research being undertaken in the School of Healthcare Sciences, visit our research pages.

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