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Institute of Health and Wellbeing Early Career Researchers' Blog

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  • Feb 05 / 2018
  • 0
Current Affairs, David Blane

Adult weight management – Time for action not words

Photo by Hush Naidoo. © 2017 Unsplash. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons. Via Unsplash Photos.

By David Blane

 

We hear repeatedly that obesity is one of the biggest public health problems in the UK today.  Yet there is a stark mis-match between the newspaper column inches devoted to the nation’s waistline and the resources spent on NHS adult weight management services.  

ON the 26th October 2017, the Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, launched the Scottish Government’s Consultation on a Diet and Obesity Strategy for Scotland. There is much to commend in the Strategy – prevention is better than cure, and targeting resources on more ‘upstream’ determinants of obesity (changing the so-called obesogenic environment) is rightly the focus of the new Strategy (and of Obesity Action Scotland’s advocacy).

However, for a country with one of the highest obesity rates in the world (where 1 in every 4 adults lives with obesity), there is a need for action at multiple levels.  As a recent Lancet commentary argued, the distinction between population-level and individual-level approaches is a false dichotomy. Yes, we should be restricting advertising and price promotions of junk food, but we also need high quality, accessible, multi-disciplinary treatment services for those with severe and complex obesity – and not just people with type 2 diabetes (the target of the Strategy). Continue Reading

  • May 30 / 2017
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Current Affairs

On 13 Reasons Why: Acknowledging those working in suicide prevention

Photo by Elisa Riva. © 2017 Pixabay. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons. Via Startup Stock Photos.

By Katerina Kavalidou 

No matter what you are going through, there is help out there; suicide is not the solution”

The above is an important message from Professor Rory O’Connor, an expert on suicide research and prevention, regarding the recent airing of 13 Reasons Why, a TV series about a teenage girl’s suicide. Reading this, I started thinking about one particular group of people working on suicide prevention: those who pick up the calls at suicide helplines. Continue Reading

  • Oct 19 / 2016
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Academia, Matt Jamieson

A Novice Perspective on Research Funding

Photo by Eric Bailey. © Jul 2014. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons. Via Startup Stock Photos.

Photo by Eric Bailey. © Jul 2014. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons. Via Startup Stock Photos.

By Matt Jamieson

I’m a post-doc who has recently completed a PhD. Part of my job is to apply for funding applications for future research. This has brought an uneasy revelation; I need funding to continue doing the work I love, but I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing… Fortunately there’s plenty of useful advice out there for researchers learning how to make successful funding applications. You may also have a grant writing team that you can join at your institution. I’ve summarised some of the tips I’ve been given that took me by surprise or seemed to be particularly important. Continue Reading

  • Oct 05 / 2016
  • 1
Current Affairs, Tiago Zortea

Suicide prevention at the individual level: The role of empathy in saving lives

Photo by Korney Violin. © Dec 2015. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons. Via Unsplash.

Photo by Korney Violin. © Dec 2015. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons. Via Unsplash.

By Tiago Zortea

 

Every year, the 10th of September marks world suicide prevention day, with thousands of people across the globe calling for action to reduce deaths by suicide and save lives [1]. Suicide prevention strategies can be implemented at several different levels with interventions including: (i) restricting individuals’ access to the means of suicide, (ii) promoting responsible media coverage of suicide, (iii) improving mental health care systems and training health professionals, and finally (iv) ensuring societal support for the implementation of these interventions. Continue Reading

  • Aug 24 / 2016
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Academia, Siobhán O’Connor

Summer Schools for Postgraduate Students – Yea or Nay?

Photo by Alexis Brown © April 13, 2016. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons.

Photo by Alexis Brown © April 13, 2016. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons.

By Siobhán O’Connor

I often wondered if research based summer schools run at universities and other organisations were worth investing in as a PhD student. When I heard the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS) run an annual summer school specifically for nursing researchers, I decided to see if the benefits of attending would outweigh the costs of participating. The 2016 EANS summer school was held at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg in Halle, Germany. It brings together nurses and midwives of many specialties from across Europe to develop and promote nursing science. The intensive programme focuses on complex interventions in health and runs numerous workshops and seminars by eminent nursing professors on different research methods used to evaluate nursing interventions. Continue Reading

  • Aug 04 / 2016
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PhD Experience

The Scottish Learning Disability Observatory’s experience of raising public awareness of the health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities at the Glasgow Science Festival

LDB Archive.

LDO Archive.

By Lisa O’Leary, Laura Hughes McCormack and Kirsty Dunn

We were delighted to have the opportunity to participate in a table top event at the Glasgow Science Sunday birthday bash. We attended this event in order to promote the work of the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory, and raise awareness of the health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities. We also wanted to exchange ideas and network with others who may be interested in our work. We used innovative methods to share what we do at the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory with the public. We developed three games:  Continue Reading

  • Jul 05 / 2016
  • 1
Current Affairs

The Social Distribution of Physical Activity: Can Bourdieu Help?

Photo by Josiah Mackenzie © April 5, 2009. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons.

Photo by Josiah Mackenzie © April 5, 2009. Used with permission under the license of Creative Commons.

By Dr Chris Bunn and Dr Victoria Palmer 

Chris and Victoria are at the University of Bristol this week, speaking at the annual conference of the British Sociological Association’s Bourdieu Study Group. In this blog post they reflect on the value that Bourdieu’s work on the social distribution of culture and taste could have for those working in applied health contexts, such physical activity promotion.

We are all familiar with the public health campaigns that tell us to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, to stop smoking and limit alcohol intake, watch our weight and do regular physical activity. These messages are the most visible manifestations of the public health agenda. They operate, through campaigns such as ‘Change 4 Life’, as a form of counter-ideology that attempts to contest the many incitements to consume health-damaging foods, drinks and sedentary activities that circulate in our media-saturated societies. However, these campaigns – sometimes dubbed ‘social marketing’ – tend to take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to their audiences. Continue Reading

  • Jun 29 / 2016
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Academia, David Blane

Academic Writing

© Pexels. 2014. Licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.

By David Blane

Good writing is arguably the most important skill for an aspiring academic to develop.  No matter how important your research question, how novel your methodology, how rigorous your approach to analysis, academics are ultimately judged on written work, be it an 80,000-word PhD thesis or a 8,000-word journal article contributing to REF. Continue Reading

  • Jun 16 / 2016
  • 0
Academia

British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG)

By Siobhán O’Connor

To all you ladies out there who might be looking for some additional support and networking opportunities during your postgraduate studies – check out the British Federation of Women Graduates. It was established in 1907 to help women in all countries fulfill their potential by supporting women’s opportunities in education and public life and fostering local, national and international friendship, thereby improving the lives of women and girls across the world. BFWG specifically supports female students at universities across the United Kingdom by: Continue Reading

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