The Faculty of Health and Social Care is one of the major providers of Health and Social Care education in the North West and offers a wide range of programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Programmes are delivered at four main locations: Riverside Campus (Chester), Leighton (Crewe), Warrington Campus and Wirral (Clatterbridge).

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  • Editorial: COVID-19-Social Science Research During a Pandemic

    Ward, Paul R.; Bissell, Paul; Meyer, Samantha B.; Gesesew, Hailay A.; Januraga, Pande Putu; Chang, Dukjin; Lombi, Linda; Torrens University; University of Chester; University of Waterloo; Mekelle University; Udayana University Denpasar; Seoul National University; Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Frontiers Media, 2022-05-09)
  • Reassessing the health impacts of trade and investment agreements: a systematic review of quantitative studies, 2016–20

    Barlow, Pepita; Sanap, Rujuta; Garde, Amandine; Winters, L. Alan; Mabhala, Mwandile A.; Thow, Anne-Marie; London School of Economics and Political Science; Univeristy of Liverpool; University of Sussex Business School; University of Chester; University of Sydney
    To ensure a high level of health protection, governments must ensure that health and trade policy objectives are aligned. We conducted a systematic review of the health impacts of trade policies, including trade and investment agreements (TIAs), to provide a timely overview of this field. We systematically reviewed studies evaluating the health impacts of trade policies published between Jan 19, 2016, and July 10, 2020. Included studies were quantitative studies evaluating the impact of TIAs and trade policies on health determinants or outcomes. We evaluated methodological quality and performed a narrative synthesis. 21 of 28 067 articles identified via searches met our criteria. Methodologically strong studies found reduced child mortality, deteriorating worker health, rising supplies of sugar, ultra-processed food, tobacco, and alcohol supplies, and increased drug overdoses following trade reforms, compared with the time periods before trade reform. However, associations varied substantially across contexts and socioeconomic characteristics. Our findings show that trade policies, including TIAs, have diverse effects on health and health determinants. These effects vary substantially across contexts and socioeconomic groups. Governments seeking to adopt healthy trade policies should consider these updated findings to ensure that opportunities for health improvement are leveraged and widely shared, while harms are avoided, especially among vulnerable groups.
  • Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): The Mental Health, Resilience, and Communication Resources for the Short- and Long-term Challenges Faced by Healthcare Workers

    Mitchell, Andrew E P; Keyworth, Chris; Salas, Eduardo; Galli, Federica; Vegni, Elena; University of Chester; University of Leeds; Rice University; Sapienza University; University of Milan
    The coronavirus disease pandemic has been an exceptional time for healthcare workers who have had to adapt to new ways of communicating with each other and delivering care to their patients. Maintaining healthcare workers’ well-being and mental health during increased COVID-19 workload pressure and change in practices is needed. It is essential to have a resilient workforce that can respond to the challenges presented by the pandemic. Healthcare workers at the frontline may be more susceptible to psychological stressors such as the availability of resources to protect themselves and their patients whilst balancing this with maintaining the health and well-being of family and friends. This research topic addresses the problems and issues researchers, policymakers, and educators face when formulating the best evidence and recommendations to support healthcare workers. There is a need to collate the best available practice and share knowledge from diverse contexts so healthcare workers can deliver the best care whilst they stay physically and mentally healthy.
  • Ageing, Sexual Orientation and Mental Health: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Older People

    Broadway-Horner, Matthew; University of Chester (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017-02-21)
    Introduction Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex (LGBTi)i people can often mean they are denied the basic human right to live the life they are born to lead (Kimmel et al. 2006). Traditionally, LGBTi people have often had to live in secret, hidden from the dominant heterosexual society, and many older people are still worried about disclosing their sexual identity (Kimmel et al. 2006). In this chapter I will explore some of the many issues facing older LGBTi people. The chapter starts with a brief overview of the history of the LGBTi communities and how they have been treated as ‘invisible citizens’ through mechanisms of the law and the medicalisation of the ‘homosexual’ (Jennings 2007). Then I examine some of the fears and concerns held by members of LGBTi communities when accessing services, and this is discussed in relation to issues of sexuality, mental health and ageing. It is my hope that in reading this chapter you will gain a deeper understanding of the issues raised and then think of areas of application for your own development as a non-discriminatory practitioner, as well as identifying needs for further service development
  • The Application of CBT for Adults with Learning Disabilities

    Serfaty, Marc; Broadway-Horner, Matthew; Hassiotis, Angela; University of Chester; University College London (Cambridge University Press, 2022-01-13)
    The chapter provides an evidence-based overview of predominantly cognitive behavioural interventions for common mental disorders, e.g. anxiety and depression, undertaken in the field of intellectual disabilities (ID). The evidence was generated by reviewing international publications between 1980 - 2020 which identified the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), including third wave CBT therapies and also informed from our extensive clinical practice in the field of ID. The first section provides an outline of the historical and sociological context of psychological therapies and the possible barriers to CBT in an ID population. The chapter includes a summary of how intellectual disabilities, depression and anxiety disorders are defined. It considers key issues, problems and solutions, associated with applying CBT and its associated approaches in an ID population. Finally, two case vignettes introduce the reader to CBT techniques to illustrate ideas that will help clients using CBT to bring about a reduction in self-defeating behaviours. With the aid of a support worker and electronic sources, there is a much broader range of resources to help client and therapist journey and support the therapeutic alliance.
  • Editorial: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): The Mental Health, Resilience, and Communication Resources for the Short- and Long-term Challenges Faced by Healthcare Workers

    Galli, Federica; Keyworth, Chris; Vegni, Elena; Salas, Eduardo; Mitchell, Andrew E.P.; University of Chester; Sapienza University of Rome; University of Leeds; University of Milan; Rice University (Frontiers Media, 2022-04-18)
    During the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world initially focused on measures to suppress COVID-19 transmission and protect their populations by developing vaccines and drug treatments for the most vulnerable and a host of social actions, including implementing social distancing, working from home, travel restrictions, lockdowns, and face coverings. Nearly 2 years after the initial outbreak, at the time of writing this editorial, and through research conducted as part of this Research Topic, it is clear that the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on healthcare workers (HCW) are significant. There is an urgent need to understand and address these impacts (Greenberg et al., 2020). This is particularly true given the World Health Organisation has outlined a series of mental health and psychosocial considerations aimed explicitly at HCWs (World Health Organisation, 2020). The present Research Topic on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and HCWs has added to the scientific knowledge in several main areas, including barriers and enablers to healthcare delivery, understanding HCWs' mental health and well-being, resilience, coordination and communication within the workforce, and specific interventions to promote mental health and well-being.
  • Veteran help-seeking behaviour for mental health issues: a systematic review

    Randles, Rebecca; Finnegan, Alan; University of Chester (BMJ Military Health, 2021-07-12)
    Introduction Serving military personnel and veterans have been identified to have a high prevalence of mental health disorders. Despite this, only a significantly small number seek mental healthcare. With the UK beginning to invest further support to the armed forces community, identification of barriers and facilitators of help-seeking behaviour is needed. Methods Corresponding literature search was conducted in PsycINFO, PsycArticles, Medline, Web of Science and EBSCO. Articles which discussed barriers and facilitators of seeking help for mental health concerns in the veteran population were included. Those which discussed serving personnel or physical problems were not included within this review. A total of 26 papers were analysed. Results A number of barriers and facilitators of help-seeking for a mental health issue within the veteran population were identified. Barriers included stigma, military culture of stoicism and self-reliance, as well as deployment characteristics of combat exposure and different warzone deployments. Health service difficulties such as access and lack of understanding by civilian staff were also identified. Facilitators to help combat these barriers included a campaign to dispel the stigma, including involvement of veterans and training of military personnel, as well as more accessibility and understanding from healthcare staff. Conclusions While some barriers and facilitators have been identified, much of this research has been conducted within the USA and on male veterans and lacks longitudinal evidence. Further research is needed within the context of other nations and female veterans and to further indicate the facilitators of help-seeking among veterans.
  • Looking into the LGB affirmative therapies over the last fifty years – a mixed method review synthesis

    Broadway-Horner, Matthew; Kar, Anindya; University of Chester; Advanced Neuropsychiatry Institute, Kolkata (Taylor and Francis, 2022-04-04)
    In the past few decades, affirmative therapies for sexual minorities have burgeoned. These are appropriate therapies but often there is a lack of adequate research. We set out to study the research evidence available. For this mixed-methods review, we identified 15 studies looking into the experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in psychological therapies. These included nine qualitative, five quantitative and one mixed-method study. The minority stress hypothesis may explain some of the major difficulties LGB individuals face. Studies showed computer-based therapies may reduce or even eliminate unhelpful responses on part of the therapist. Challenges related to confidentiality and privacy in this context remain. Therapists may focus on minority stress but other stressors and not just discrimination may contribute to various mental health problems and their clinical presence. And finally, divergent findings found internalized homophobia may best explain discrimination-based minority stress and that therapist self-disclosure of own sexuality produced better results than the therapists who did not self-disclose. These findings are discussed and future directions for research are identified.
  • Interaction between Dietary Fat Intake and Metabolic Genetic Risk Score on 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations in a Turkish Adult Population

    Isgin-Atici, Kubra; Alathari, Buthaina E.; Turan-Demirci, Busra; Sendur, Suleyman Nahit; Incilay, Lay; Ellahi, Basma; Alikasifoglu, Mehmet; Erbas, Tomris; Buyuktuncer, Zehra; Santhanakrishnan, Vimaleswaran Karani; et al. (MDPI, 2022-01-17)
    Previous studies have pointed out a link between vitamin D status and metabolic traits, however, consistent evidence has not been provided yet. This cross-sectional study has used a nutrigenetic approach to investigate the interaction between metabolic-genetic risk score (GRS) and dietary intake on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations in 396 unrelated Turkish adults, aged 24-50 years. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was significantly lower in those with a metabolic-GRS ≥ 1 risk allele than those with a metabolic-GRS < 1 risk allele (p = 0.020). A significant interaction between metabolic-GRS and dietary fat intake (energy%) on serum 25(OH)D levels was identified (Pinteraction = 0.040). Participants carrying a metabolic-GRS ≥ 1 risk allele and consuming a high fat diet (≥38% of energy = 122.3 ± 52.51 g/day) had significantly lower serum 25(OH)D concentration (p = 0.006) in comparison to those consuming a low-fat diet (<38% of energy = 82.5 ± 37.36 g/d). In conclusion, our study suggests a novel interaction between metabolic-GRS and dietary fat intake on serum 25(OH)D level, which emphasises that following the current dietary fat intake recommendation (<35% total fat) could be important in reducing the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in this Turkish population. Nevertheless, further larger studies are needed to verify this interaction, before implementing personalized dietary recommendations for the maintenance of optimal vitamin D status.
  • “Our feelings are valid”- reviewing the lesbian, gay, and bisexual affirmative approaches in a mental health setting.

    Broadway-Horner, Matthew; Kar, Anindya; University of Chester; Advanced Neuropsychiatry Institute, Kolkata (Taylor and Francis, 2022-02-07)
    In recent years, although research into support mechanisms for managing distress experienced by Lesbian Gay and Bisexual (LGB) communities has increased. Stigma-related discrimination related to sexual minority status remains. This is further compounded by stigma against mental illnesses thus creating double jeopardy. This review will outline recent discoveries by exploring existing theories highlighting factors that explain health disparities for cisgender LGB people. It appears that the experience of the LGB population and the use of psychological therapies is varied across the spectrum. Some focus upon symptom reduction as part of the experience, but others talk about not being validated. Some mention minority stress constructs, alongside the psychological mediation framework, which offers a potential theoretical understanding of the experiences of the LGB population who receive psychological therapies.
  • New challenges for an expanding generation of older persons with haemophilia

    O’Hara, Jamie; orcid: 0000-0001-8262-034X; Noone, Declan; orcid: 0000-0003-2183-4277; Kritikou, Persefoni; Myren, Karl-Johan; orcid: 0000-0003-2065-2930; Chaplin, Steve; orcid: 0000-0001-7508-5609; Hart, Daniel P; orcid: 0000-0001-9084-8598 (Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2022-03-09)
    Abstract Background Increasing survival among people with haemophilia means that more individuals are at risk of developing age-related morbidity. Little is known about morbidity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in different age groups within a single large population of people with haemophilia. Aim This study aimed to explore the association between increasing age and comorbidity among people with haemophilia and to compare their HRQoL with that of a sample of the general population in England. Methods The prevalence of comorbidity recorded in medical records and HRQoL assessed by EQ-5D were compared by age group in participants in the Cost of Haemophilia in Europe: A Socioeconomic Survey study (CHESS) in Europe. HRQoL was compared with that of a sample of the general population taken from the 2012 Health Survey for England (HSE). Results Younger adults in CHESS were more likely to have received prophylaxis from an early age. The mean number of affected joints in younger adults was 1.0; participants aged 41–50 (1.25) and 51–60 years (1.41) had the highest mean number of affected joints. The prevalence of comorbidity was 36% in patients aged 18–30, 61% in 31–60-year-olds and 68% in those aged 61+. HRQoL impairment in young adults with haemophilia was comparable with that in the HSE population aged over 60. Conclusions Older people with haemophilia have impaired quality of life compared with younger adults and an increasing prevalence of several age-related disorders affecting mental health and cardiovascular and bone health. Young adults with haemophilia report impaired HRQoL comparable with that in a general population aged 61+.
  • How Well Are Hand Hygiene Practices and Promotion Implemented in Sierra Leone? A Cross-Sectional Study in 13 Public Hospitals

    Lakoh, Sulaiman; Maruta, Anna; Kallon, Christiana; Deen, Gibrilla F.; Russell, James B. W.; Fofanah, Bobson D.; Kamara, Ibrahim F.; Kanu, Joseph S.; Kamara, Dauda; Molleh, Bailah; et al. (MDPI, 2022-03-23)
    Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) result in millions of avoidable deaths or prolonged lengths of stay in hospitals and cause huge economic loss to health systems and communities. Primarily, HAIs spread through the hands of healthcare workers, so improving hand hygiene can reduce their spread. We evaluated hand hygiene practices and promotion across 13 public health hospitals (six secondary and seven tertiary hospitals) in the Western Area of Sierra Leone in a cross-sectional study using the WHO hand hygiene self-Assessment framework in May 2021. The mean score for all hospitals was 273 ± 46, indicating an intermediate level of hand hygiene. Nine hospitals achieved an intermediate level and four a basic level. More secondary hospitals 5 (83%) were at the intermediate level, compared to tertiary hospitals 4 (57%). Tertiary hospitals were poorly rated in the reminders in workplace and institutional safety climate domains but excelled in training and education. Lack of budgets to support hand hygiene implementation is a priority gap underlying this poor performance. These gaps hinder hand hygiene practice and promotion, contributing to the continued spread of HAIs. Enhancing the distribution of hand hygiene resources and encouraging an embedded culture of hand hygiene practice in hospitals will reduce HAIs.
  • Association of factor expression levels with health-related quality of life and direct medical costs for people with haemophilia B

    Burke, Tom; orcid: 0000-0001-6768-1670; Shaikh, Anum; Ali, Talaha M.; Li, Nanxin; Curtis, Randall; orcid: 0000-0002-6859-6432; Garcia Diego, Daniel-Anibal; Recht, Michael; Sannie, Thomas; Skinner, Mark; orcid: 0000-0002-0934-0680; O’Hara, Jamie; orcid: 0000-0001-8262-034X (Informa UK Limited, 2022-03-15)
  • The Long-Arm Approach to Placement Supervision and Assessment

    Knight, Kate H; Whaley, Viki; Bailey-McHale, Rebecca; Simpson, Angela; Hay, Jonathon; University of Chester (British Journal of Nursing, 2022-02-26)
    In response, to the regulatory changes that require health and/or social care registrants to supervise and assess students on practice placements (NMC, 2018), the University of Chester’s (UoC) Faculty of Health and Social Care (H&SC) has developed an innovative long-arm practice supervision model, which supports the development of these types of practice placements as HUBs and also funds the registrants to deliver it, ensuring optimum support for students and the practice area.
  • Prisoners regulating prisons: voice, action, participation and riot

    Buck, Gillian; Tomczak, Philippa; University of Chester; University of Nottingham
    Prisoners are a critical source of prison regulation around the world, but regulation by (rather than of) prisoners remains little analysed. In this article, we utilise the 1990 riots at HMP Strangeways (England), as a case study of prisoners (re)shaping imprisonment. We examine prisoners’ roles in these riots and subsequent cross-sectoral regulatory activities. We innovatively use the four-phase process of translation from actor-network theory to guide document analysis of i) Lord Woolf’s (1991) official inquiry into the riots and ii) the voluntary organisation Prison Reform Trust’s (2015) follow up report. We explore how participatory approaches could inform prison regulation through (former) prisoners partnering with external regulators throughout the processes of identifying problems and solutions to establish broader alliances seeking social change.
  • Impact of progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis on caregivers: caregiver-reported outcomes from the multinational PICTURE study.

    Mighiu, Claudia; orcid: 0000-0002-2938-4939; O'Hara, Sonia; Ferri Grazzi, Enrico; Murray, Karen F; Schattenberg, Jörn M; Ventura, Emily; Karakaidos, Melanie; Taylor, Alison; Brrang, Harpreet; Dhawan, Anil; et al. (2022-02-02)
    <h4>Background</h4>Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) is a spectrum of rare genetic diseases characterized by inadequate bile secretion that requires substantial ongoing care, though little research is published in this area. We report health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and work productivity outcomes from the retrospective, cross-sectional PICTURE study investigating the burden of PFIC on caregivers. Information from caregivers of patients with PFIC 1 or 2 in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States from September 2020 to March 2021 was included.<h4>Results</h4>The PICTURE study sample comprised HRQoL responses from 22 PFIC caregivers. Patients were on average 8.2 years old; most caregivers were 30-49 years old (68%) and mothers (77%). Median CarerQoL-7D score was 67.7/100; mean CarerQoL-VAS score for general happiness was 5.7/10 (SD 2.1). Most caregivers reported fulfilment in their caregiving responsibilities, but problems with mental and physical health, finances, and relationships. When stratified by patient's PFIC type, mean CarerQoL-7D and CarerQoL-VAS scores suggested worse HRQoL outcomes with PFIC2 versus PFIC1 (59.4 vs. 71.2, and 5.3 vs. 6.5, respectively). Additionally, more caregivers reported impact on sleep in the PFIC2 versus PFIC1 subgroup (93% vs. 75%). When stratified by history of PFIC-related surgeries, mean CarerQoL-7D and VAS scores were higher among those whose children had no specified surgeries (67.7 vs. 59.0/100 and 6.2 vs. 5.2/10, respectively). Nearly all caregivers reported an impact of caregiving responsibilities on sleeping (86%) and on personal relationships (82%). No caregivers reported having formal care support. Most caregivers were employed (73%); a third reported mean productivity loss of 12.9 days (SD 19.3) over the last 3 months, and a mean of 2.8 (SD 9.5) missed years of employment during their career. A higher number of workdays were missed by PFIC 2 caregivers compared to PFIC1 over last 3 months (16 days vs. 3 days).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The PICTURE study has demonstrated the prevalent, comprehensive, and meaningful burden that caring for an individual with PFIC has on caregivers. Despite fulfilment from caregiving, the breadth and depth of these responsibilities reduced caregiver reported HRQoL including mental and physical health, productivity, career prospects, sleep, relationships and finances.
  • Quality of life and social support in rare genetic skin conditions: A mixed methods study

    Mitchell, Andrew; Mason-Whitehead, Elizabeth; Butterworth, Sondra (University of Chester, 2021-02)
    Aim The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between quality of life (QOL) and social support in adults living with rare genetic skin conditions, specifically Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and related conditions. Background Measuring QOL has become an increasingly important method of evaluating the effectiveness of health and social care interventions. Living with the effects of a rare genetic condition has a profound impact on QOL for the individual and families. Design Methodological triangulation was adopted, in a sequential mixed methods exploratory design. Three stages were included: a literature review, online survey (n=31), and semi structured interviews (n=8). Outcomes The literature review concluded that professionals should adopt a biopsychosocial approach to the management of rare diseases. The online survey found a positive correlation between QOL and social support. The role of the family was a prominent theme. Most participants indicated that emotional support was provided by family carers, and tangible (practical) support was the highest rated support need. Conclusion This study demonstrated was that health and social care practitioners, policy makers and commissioners have to make room for QOL perspectives that come from the patient. These are wounded storytellers whose narratives are subjective but are spoken through illness. Their collective experiences can influence the direction of their diagnostic journey and must be front and center of any rare disease implementation plans in a post COVID era.
  • Five years of national policies: progress towards tackling obesity in England.

    Tedstone, A E; Sabry-Grant, C; Hung, E; Levy, L B (2022-02-14)
  • Understanding Marketing Responses to a Tax on Sugary Drinks: A Qualitative Interview Study in the United Kingdom, 2019

    Forde, Hannah; Penney, Tarra; White, Martin; Levy, Louis; Greaves, Felix; Adams, Jean (Maad Rayan Publishing Company, 2022-01-29)
    Background: The World Health Organization recommends that countries implement fiscal policies to reduce the health impacts of sugary drinks. Few studies have fully examined the responses of industry to these policies, and whether they support or undermine health benefits of sugary drinks taxes. We aimed to explore the changes that sugary drinks companies may make to their marketing, and underlying decision-making processes, in response to such a tax. Methods: Following introduction of the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) in 2018, we undertook one-to-one semi-structured interviews with UK stakeholders with experience of the strategic decision-making or marketing of soft drink companies. We purposively recruited interviewees using seed and snowball sampling. We conducted telephone interviews with 6 representatives from each of industry, academia and civil society (total n=18), which were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Four transcripts were double-coded, three were excluded from initial coding to allow comparison; and findings were checked by interviewees. Results: Themes were organised into a theoretical framework that reveals a cyclical, iterative and ongoing process of soft drink company marketing decision-making, which was accelerated by the SDIL. Decisions about marketing affect a product’s position, or niche, in the market and were primarily intended to maintain profits. A product’s position is enacted through various marketing activities including reformulation and price variation, and non-marketing activities like lobbying. A soft drink company’s selection of marketing activities appeared to be influenced by their internal context, such as brand strength, and external context, such as consumer trends and policy. For example, a company with low brand strength and an awareness of trends for reducing sugar consumption may be more likely to reformulate to lower-sugar alternatives. Conclusion: The theoretical framework suggests that marketing responses following the SDIL were coordinated and context-dependent, potentially explaining observed heterogeneity in responses across the industry.

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