August 2014 Update

Discussions between the Universities of York and Melbourne

Working together:  the Universities of York and Melbourne

It’s been a little while since I produced an update, mainly because I have been waiting for a few pieces of the jigsaw to fit into place. Lots of work has been going on behind the scenes, and we’re just about ready to roll out the survey to both staff and service users. If you want to know more about what’s been happening and where we’re at, keep reading…

Funding: First, it is great news that Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have provided funding to meet the costs associated with undertaking the research, so a big thank you to the Trust! This has enabled us to move forward with the planned activities.

Pre-testing: Before undertaking the research in the real world, we said we would pre-test the research tools (the survey) to make sure it is fit for purpose. The pre-testing went well (thanks to everyone who took part!), and the cognitive appraisal and the test-retest reliability exercises were completed (see the March 2014 Update if you want more information on what these exercises entailed).

6 people took part in the cognitive appraisals, and 28 people took part in the test-retest activity.   Some changes were made to the survey as a result of the cognitive appraisal (mainly to improve wording to some questions, often adding a small clarification to some parts).

The test-retest activity indicated that the survey questions were reliable. People answered the questions in much the same way when they completed the survey the first time and then again 1 to 2 weeks later (there were moderate to high correlations across most questions). This helps us to be reasonably confident that what we’re measuring is what people really think about the subject, rather than their random thoughts on a particular day. One question, however, proved unreliable (there was a low correlation between the first and second completions), so it was removed.

Ethics: We got ethical approval to undertake the research a good few months ago. However, we had to re-submit to the NHS Research Ethics Committee to approve the changes that were made as a result of the pre-testing. This, along with some delays when conducting the pre-testing, meant that beginning the research in the real situation was put back a little. We are now due to get the surveys out by the end of August 2014 (rather than the original goal of July).

Service user involvement: There are six service users who are interested in being involved as researchers and facilitators. Thank you to everyone who has come forward with such enthusiasm! This means we have enough involvement at the moment, though if anyone drops out there may be space for others to be involved later down the line (I’ll let you know on this blog if we need wider involvement).

International collaboration: We have had positive discussions with the University of Melbourne, where we hope to replicate aspects of the research to enable us to get a wider perspective on the subject, and to enable cultural comparisons between England and Australia. I’ll let you know how that develops. If you missed it, here is a link to an article that appeared in the Guardian on-line, about the collaboration between the two universities (you will have to scroll down the page a little way for our bit):

http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2014/jul/15/australian-and-uk-universities-research-collaborations-in-pictures

Further information: If you want to keep up to date with progress, click on the “follow” button on the bottom right hand corner of any page on this blog. Contact details for the Chief Investigator, Jonny Lovell, are available under the “About” tab on this blog.

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