Research projects in Health, Wellbeing and Education

Below is a selection of projects taking place under the theme of Health, Wellbeing and Education.

Lead by researchers primarily from the School of Life Sciences and Education and the School of Health and Social Care, these projects will give you an insight into the wide range of research that takes place, and the impact it has both in our local community and across the globe. 

An investigation into the aspirations and perceptions of future selves of young learners in Staffordshire

This study investigated the aspirations of pupils in primary and secondary schools located in low-socioeconomic areas in Staffordshire.

Ankle Foot Orthoses: Design, Clinical Effectiveness and Standardisation of terminology

Our research shows that the appropriate design and tailoring of splints can reduce the energy used by children with CP while increasing their speed and distance, compared with a splint which is not fine-tuned.

Contracts – on Science, Politics and Nature

The research examines the proposal in the work of Michel Serres that society has been based on the exclusion of nature and that it needs to be re-established on the basis of a new ‘contract’ that includes the natural world. 

Development of an ultrasound-based diagnostic tool to identify diabetic foot ulceration risk in Peruvian population

The aim of this project was to develop an ultrasound-based diagnostic tool to identify diabetic foot ulceration risk in Peruvian population.

DIGI-S.PA.C.E - The DIGItal innovative Strategies for PArental and Civic Engagement

The DIGItal innovative Strategies for PArental and Civic Engagement - DIGI-S.PA.C.E. project is a three-year (2019-2022) Erasmus+ project with the Create Partnership Trust, UK, and partners in Italy, Lithuania and Portugal.

Enhancing nurses’ and midwives’ competence in providing spiritual care through innovative education and compassionate care (EPICC)

The provision of spiritual care for the health and wellbeing of patients has been the focus of a major project involving a group of nursing and midwifery educators, along with key stakeholders, across Europe. The EPICC project was launched in November 2016 to review good practice in spiritual care and develop new resources that can be applied to nursing and midwifery in higher education.

Environmental Health Inequalities in Europe

This report documents the magnitudes of inequalities within and between countries in Europe for 19 indicators. It also updates the changes that have occurred within countries since the first assessment report in 2012. Addressing inequalities in environmental risk will help to mitigate health inequalities and contribute to fairer and more socially cohesive societies.

Jon Fairburn chaired the Expert group on behalf of WHO that produced this report and other outputs.

Environmental health inequalities resource package: A tool for understanding and reducing inequalities in environmental risk

The resource package aims to generate awareness of the concept of environmental health inequalities and to support actions to tackle environmental risks at the local and national level. 

European Women in Sport: For adaptative governance of women’s sports practices - E-WinS

This project aims to promote and accelerate the feminisation of sport in European culture through developing awareness and understanding on the specific problematics women encounter in their sport careers. It aims to bring more visibility to women athletes in Europe and to raise awareness of the importance of women in sport practices and governance, helping in turn to improve their role and impact in these areas.

Heart Age Test (HAT) Evaluation

Researchers at the Centre for Health and Development (CHAD) are working with Public Health England to evaluate users’ experiences of the online Heart Age Test. The evaluation involves an online survey and/or an interview to help understand if the tool meets the outcomes set by Public Health England.

Homeschooling in the Covid-19 shutdown; changes to parental commitment. A comparative study in the UK and Vietnam.

This is a comparative study between parents and teachers in the UK and Vietnam. The research is exploring parents’ experiences and perceptions of homeschooling their child/children and teachers’ experiences and perceptions of remote working and online teaching during the Covid-19 school shutdown.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected orthotic services in the UK?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all out-patient services in the NHS. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of COVID-19 on orthotic services in the UK.

Improving access to Assistive Devices and Technology in Low Resource Settings: Are there trade barriers?

The overall aim of the wider work is to explore the trade and other economic barriers in restricting access to Assistive Devices and Technology in low resource settings. As a first step, the main objective of this research is to investigate the business environment for mobility assistive products in Africa. The data from this study will help inform wider international health and trade policies.

Mapping user needs for a functional prosthetic knee joint: A sociocultural perspective

The aim of this project is to improve the lives of lower limb amputees, and their families and communities. The specific objective will be to understand the specific needs of amputees in relation to lower limb prostheses.

Positive health effects on the natural outdoor environment in typical populations of different regions in Europe (PHENOTYPE)

There is evidence that contact with natural environments is beneficial to human health and wellbeing, but the mechanisms are not well understood. PHENOTYPE was a four-year European-funded, multi-country project intended to provide a better understanding of the potential mechanisms, and better integration of human health needs into land use planning and green space management.

Preventing secondary diabetic foot ulceration

In the UK 3.7m people have diabetes and over 60,000 people have an ulcer at any time, costing the NHS circa £ 1 billion annually. Prof Naemi is the lead inventor of the ViscoTurf concept, which is a new 3D-printed orthotic device that emulates the function of natural turf. It consists of dense, flexible fibres that deform under load to provide cushioning, optimised offloading and better microcirculation on the plantar surface of the foot.

Promoting best practice in diabetic foot care in India

The purpose of this project is to support the development of a new diabetic foot clinic that offers care to a substantial section of the population in South India. This will be achieved: a) through the translation of best practice from world leading institutions in the UK and b) by validating a low-cost method for neuropathy screening for use in India.

Relationship between the curve type, magnitude, type of surgery and the locomotor function in adolescent females with scoliosis: A pre and post-operative assessment

Scoliosis or curvature of the spine is one of the major skeletal diseases in growing children where in the majority of patients the cause is unknown (idiopathic scoliosis). In some cases, there is a gradual worsening of the condition and the appearance of the trunk. Commonly the first indicators of the presence of the condition can include changes in the surface shape of the back, clothing not fitting properly, and hems hanging unevenly.

STANDUP: Smartphone Thermal ANalysis for Diabetic foot Ulcer Prevention and treatment

STANDUP is the research project #777661 funded by the European Community. It is a 4 years project that started the first of January 2018. The research group is composed of 5 universities all over the world, two European high-tech companies and a hospital. STANDUP aims at reducing diabetic foot ulcers incidence by providing accessible foot temperature analyses to the patients.


Technology Expectations at Higher Education Institutions in the UK

Advanced information and communication technologies have changed the way teaching and learning are conceptualized and conducted in higher education. 

The role of Pastoral da Pessoa Idosa (PPI) in reducing the impact of Covid-19 on isolated older people

Pastoral da Pessoa Idosa (PPI) is a lay movement within the Catholic Church of Brazil that provides home visits to isolated elderly people across 185 dioceses and 2800 communities. The arrival of coronavirus led to a temporary halt in visits but alternative support continued with a campaign to telephone vulnerable older people instead. Timely intervention to spread information and provide practical support to self-isolating older people had the potential to make a significant difference to the spread and impact of Covid-19.

Ultrasound based assessment of tissue biomechanics to enhance the clinical management of foot related pathologies

This project facilitates the knowledge exchange between clinicians, engineers and computer vision scientists to explore novel ways to utilise ultrasound imaging in the diagnosis and management of foot related pathologies.

Understanding the complexity of human movement through novel developments in vector coding

Vector coding (VC) is a non-linear data analysis technique that quantifies coordination and movement variability of human movement.

Understanding the demographics of diabetes related ulcers and amputations (UNDERSTOOD)

Although publicly available datasets provide an overall picture of diabetes, it has little or no information relating to the complications and particularly no data on amputations or mobility related assistive devices.

There is a clear need for collecting structured and patient focused data during screening at a primary care level. This, in addition to helping to reduce the complications of the disease, will help to understand the assistive technology needs of these patients. This Project aims to gather this data which will help us formulate effective health policy and practice tailored to country specific demographics. The areas that we will explore as a part of this project relates to the type and duration of diabetes and the characteristics of its complications.

Understanding the World – Area of Learning

This study explored effective practice and provision in early years settings to support children’s learning. 

Use of textured footwear as an intervention for falls in healthy older adults.

There is strong evidence supporting the use of exercise as an intervention to improve balance and reduce falls, however there are noted issues with compliance of exercises. The longevity of continuing with exercises is poor without constant coaching on performance, leading to initial improvements that then slowly fade away. 

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