• Critical analysis of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust Aged Veterans Fund

      Di Lemma, Lisa C G; orcid: 0000-0001-9161-1779; Finnegan, A; orcid: 0000-0002-2189-4926; Howe, S (BMJ Publishing Group, 2021-03-30)
      Background: Relatively little research is available regarding the specific needs of older military veterans and the services introduced to support them. In 2016, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust launched the Aged Veterans Fund (AVF), to understand the impact that military service may have on ageing, and to support initiatives targeting their health and well-being. This fund was financed for 5 years and included 19 UK portfolio projects. Method: The paper presents a retrospective evaluation on the processes and impact of the AVF, with the intent of informing policy, educational services, service providers and stakeholders of the lessons learnt. The inclusion criteria was veterans and their families aged 65 years of age or over. In 2019, data were drawn from documentary evidence related to the programmes. Qualitative analysis were performed on 78 eligible sources and 10 themes were identified. Results: Programmes were rolled out via collaborative partnerships referrals, focusing on person-centred or skill-exchange approaches. Challenges were encountered, such as capacity and timelines issues. A limited amount of associated cost-savings was observed, even if examples of sustainability and high satisfaction were reported. Evidence was found of programmes boosting health and well-being outcomes, in raising awareness, and in positively impacting on clinical practice, such as re-admission rates. Conclusion: The AVF programmes were successful in their intent to provide support to older veterans and their families. The findings provide indicators of the next steps required for the support of ageing veterans. Further investigation of the cost-effectiveness of age-friendly veterans’ services is needed.
    • An evaulation study of a pilot group education programme for inflammatory bowel disease

      Sephton, Mark; Kemp, Karen; Ridgway, Victoria; University of Chester; University of Manchester (BMJ Publishing Group, 2015-10-23)
      Background and aims The emphasis for healthcare clinicians to provide adequate diseaserelated education is increasing. Yet little is known about the effect of providing diseaserelated education within inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Previous studies have demonstrated increased levels of knowledge and satisfaction, but failed to capture any positive effects on the psychosocial elements of living with IBD. The aim of this qualitative study was to evaluate the impact of providing a group patient education programme on the psychosocial elements of living with IBD. Methods The data were obtained through eight semistructured qualitative interviews. Participants were recruited at the education programme using purposive sampling. All the interviews were digital recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was used by two independent researchers to analyse the transcripts and agreed emerging themes. Results A global theme of ‘mastery’ was evident within the transcripts. This was underpinned with two core themes of enablement and cooperative learning. The education programme ‘enabled’ the participants in a variety of ways: increased confidence, control, courage and power over their disease. An unexpected core theme of cooperative learning was also identified, with participants describing the overwhelming benefit of interaction with other people who also had IBD. Conclusions This is the first qualitative study to report on the effects of providing a group patient education within IBD. The results identify new and interesting psychosocial elements that existing quantitative studies have failed to identify.
    • Pregnancy counselling clinic: A questionnaire survey of intimate partner abuse

      Keeling, June J.; Birch, Linda; Green, Pauline; University of Chester ; University of Chester ; Arrowe Park Hospital (BMJ Publishing Group, 2004-07-01)
      This article discusses a study of the prevalence and nature of physical and sexual partner abuse experienced by women who request a termination of pregnancy (TOP). 312 questionnaires were completed by women attending a pregnancy counselling clinic located within a large district general hospital in the north west of England.
    • Prevalence of common mental health disorders in military veterans: using primary healthcare data

      Finnegan, Alan; Randles, Rebecca; University of Chester (BMJ Publishing Group, 2022-01-18)
      Introduction Serving military personnel and military veterans have been identified as having a high prevalence of mental disorders. Since 1985, UK patients’ primary healthcare (PHC) medical records contain Read Codes (now being replaced by Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine - Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) codes) that mark characteristics such as diagnosis, ethnicity and therapeutic interventions. This English study accesses a cohort profile of British Armed Forces veterans to examine the diagnosed common mental disorders by using PHC records. Methods This analysis has been drawn from initiatives with PHC practices in the Northwest of England to increase veteran registration in general practice. Demographic data were collected including gender, age and marital status. Data were also collected on common mental health disorders associated with the Armed Forces. Result 2449 veteran PHC records were analysed. 38% (N=938) of veterans in this cohort had a code on their medical record for common mental health disorders. The highest disorder prevalence was depression (17.8%, N=437), followed by alcohol misuse (17.3%, N=423) and anxiety (15.0%, N=367). Lower disorder prevalence was seen across post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (3.4%, N=83), dementia (1.8%, N=45) and substance misuse (0.8%, N=19). Female veterans had a higher prevalence of mental disorders than their male counterparts, while men a higher prevalence of PTSD; however, the gender difference in the latter was not significant (p>0.05). Conclusion The SNOMED searches do not detail why certain groups had higher recordings of certain disorders. A future study that accesses the PHC written medical notes would prove enlightening to specifically identify what situational factors are having the most impact on the veteran population. The results from a sizeable English veteran population provide information that should be considered in developing veteran-specific clinical provision, educational syllabus and policy.