Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-13 (13)

Clipboard (0)
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Exploring the value of qualitative research films in clinical education 
BMC Medical Education  2015;15:214.
Many healthcare professionals use both quantitative and qualitative research to inform their practice. The usual way to access research findings is through peer-reviewed publications. This study aimed to understand the impact on healthcare professionals of watching and discussing a short research based film. The film, ‘Struggling to be me’ portrays findings from a qualitative synthesis exploring people’s experiences of chronic pain, and was delivered as part of an inter-professional postgraduate e-learning module. The innovation of our study is to be the first to explore the impact of qualitative research portrayed through the medium of film in clinical education.
All nineteen healthcare professionals enrolled on the course in December 2013 took part in on-line interviews or focus groups. We recorded and transcribed the interviews verbatim and used the methods of Grounded Theory to analyse the interview transcripts.
Watching and discussing the film became a stimulus for learning : (a) A glimpse beneath the surface explored a pro-active way of seeing the person behind the pain (b) Pitfalls of the Medical Model recognised the challenge, for both patient and clinician, of ‘sitting with’ rather than ‘fixing’ an ill person; (c) Feeling bombarded by despair acknowledged the intense emotions that the clinicians brings to the clinical encounter; (d) Reconstructing the clinical encounter as a shared journey reconstructed the time-constrained clinical encounter as a single step on a shared journey towards healing, rather than fixing.
Films portraying qualitative research findings can stimulate a pro-active and dialectic form of knowing. Research-based qualitative films can make qualitative findings accessible and can be a useful resource in clinical training. Our research presents, for the first time, specific learning themes for clinical education.
PMCID: PMC4662824  PMID: 26614365
Qualitative research; Education; Chronic pain; Professional-patient relations; Personal narratives
2.  Qualitative systematic reviews: their importance for our understanding of research relevant to pain 
British Journal of Pain  2015;9(1):36-40.
This article outlines what a qualitative systematic review is and explores what it can contribute to our understanding of pain. Many of us use evidence of effectiveness for various interventions when working with people in pain. A good systematic review can be invaluable in bringing together research evidence to help inform our practice and help us understand what works. In addition to evidence of effectiveness, understanding how people with pain experience both their pain and their care can help us when we are working with them to provide care that meets their needs. A rigorous qualitative systematic review can also uncover new understandings, often helping illuminate ‘why’ and can help build theory. Such a review can answer the question ‘What is it like to have chronic pain?’ This article presents the different stages of meta-ethnography, which is the most common methodology used for qualitative systematic reviews. It presents evidence from four meta-ethnographies relevant to pain to illustrate the types of findings that can emerge from this approach. It shows how new understandings may emerge and gives an example of chronic musculoskeletal pain being experienced as ‘an adversarial struggle’ across many aspects of the person’s life. This article concludes that evidence from qualitative systematic reviews has its place alongside or integrated with evidence from more quantitative approaches.
PMCID: PMC4616987  PMID: 26516555
Qualitative systematic review; meta-ethnography; qualitative synthesis
3.  Patients’ experiences of chronic non-malignant musculoskeletal pain: a qualitative systematic review 
The British Journal of General Practice  2013;63(617):e829-e841.
Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain is one of the most predominant types of pain and accounts for a large portion of the primary care workload.
To systematically review and integrate the findings of qualitative research to increase understanding of patients’ experiences of chronic non-malignant MSK pain.
Design and setting
Synthesis of qualitative research using meta-ethnography using six electronic databases up until February 2012 (Medline, Embase, Cinahl, Psychinfo, Amed and HMIC).
Databases were searched from their inception until February 2012, supplemented by hand-searching contents lists of specific journals for 2001–2011 and citation tracking. Full published reports of qualitative studies exploring adults’ own experience of chronic non-malignant MSK pain were eligible for inclusion.
Out of 24 992 titles, 676 abstracts, and 321 full texts were screened, 77 papers reporting 60 individual studies were included. A new concept of pain as an adversarial struggle emerged. This adversarial struggle was to: 1) affirm self; 2) reconstruct self in time; 3) construct an explanation for suffering; 4) negotiate the healthcare system; and 5) prove legitimacy. However, despite this struggle there is also a sense for some patients of 6) moving forward alongside pain.
This review provides a theoretical underpinning for improving patient experience and facilitating a therapeutic collaborative partnership. A conceptual model is presented, which offers opportunities for improvement by involving patients, showing them their pain is understood, and forming the basis to help patients move forward alongside their pain.
PMCID: PMC3839392  PMID: 24351499
chronic pain; meta-ethnography; patient experience; qualitative research; qualitative synthesis
4.  Meta-ethnography 25 years on: challenges and insights for synthesising a large number of qualitative studies 
Studies that systematically search for and synthesise qualitative research are becoming more evident in health care, and they can make an important contribution to patient care. Our team was funded to complete a meta-ethnography of patients’ experience of chronic musculoskeletal pain. It has been 25 years since Noblit and Hare published their core text on meta-ethnography, and the current health research environment brings additional challenges to researchers aiming to synthesise qualitative research. Noblit and Hare propose seven stages of meta-ethnography which take the researcher from formulating a research idea to expressing the findings. These stages are not discrete but form part of an iterative research process. We aimed to build on the methods of Noblit and Hare and explore the challenges of including a large number of qualitative studies into a qualitative systematic review. These challenges hinge upon epistemological and practical issues to be considered alongside expectations about what determines high quality research. This paper describes our method and explores these challenges. Central to our method was the process of collaborative interpretation of concepts and the decision to exclude original material where we could not decipher a concept. We use excerpts from our research team’s reflexive statements to illustrate the development of our methods.
PMCID: PMC4127190  PMID: 24951054
5.  ‘Trying to pin down jelly’ - exploring intuitive processes in quality assessment for meta-ethnography 
Studies that systematically search for and synthesise qualitative research are becoming more evident in health care, and they can make an important contribution to patient care. However, there is still no agreement as to whether, or how we should appraise studies for inclusion. We aimed to explore the intuitive processes that determined the ‘quality’ of qualitative research for inclusion in qualitative research syntheses. We were particularly interested to explore the way that knowledge was constructed.
We used qualitative methods to explore the process of quality appraisal within a team of seven qualitative researchers funded to undertake a meta-ethnography of chronic non-malignant musculoskeletal pain. Team discussions took place monthly between October 2010 and June 2012 and were recorded and transcribed. Data was coded and organised using constant comparative method. The development of our conceptual analysis was both iterative and collaborative. The strength of this team approach to quality came from open and honest discussion, where team members felt free to agree, disagree, or change their position within the safety of the group.
We suggest two core facets of quality for inclusion in meta-ethnography - (1) Conceptual clarity; how clearly has the author articulated a concept that facilitates theoretical insight. (2) Interpretive rigour; fundamentally, can the interpretation ‘be trusted?’ Our findings showed that three important categories help the reader to judge interpretive rigour: (ii) What is the context of the interpretation? (ii) How inductive is the interpretation? (iii) Has the researcher challenged their interpretation?
We highlight that methods alone do not determine the quality of research for inclusion into a meta-ethnography. The strength of a concept and its capacity to facilitate theoretical insight is integral to meta-ethnography, and arguably to the quality of research. However, we suggest that to be judged ‘good enough’ there also needs to be some assurance that qualitative findings are more than simply anecdotal. Although our conceptual model was developed specifically for meta-ethnography, it may be transferable to other research methodologies.
PMCID: PMC3639821  PMID: 23517438
Quality appraisal; Qualitative; Qualitative synthesis; Meta-ethnography
6.  The role of evidence, context, and facilitation in an implementation trial: implications for the development of the PARIHS framework 
The case has been made for more and better theory-informed process evaluations within trials in an effort to facilitate insightful understandings of how interventions work. In this paper, we provide an explanation of implementation processes from one of the first national implementation research randomized controlled trials with embedded process evaluation conducted within acute care, and a proposed extension to the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework.
The PARIHS framework was prospectively applied to guide decisions about intervention design, data collection, and analysis processes in a trial focussed on reducing peri-operative fasting times. In order to capture a holistic picture of implementation processes, the same data were collected across 19 participating hospitals irrespective of allocation to intervention. This paper reports on findings from data collected from a purposive sample of 151 staff and patients pre- and post-intervention. Data were analysed using content analysis within, and then across data sets.
A robust and uncontested evidence base was a necessary, but not sufficient condition for practice change, in that individual staff and patient responses such as caution influenced decision making. The implementation context was challenging, in which individuals and teams were bounded by professional issues, communication challenges, power and a lack of clarity for the authority and responsibility for practice change. Progress was made in sites where processes were aligned with existing initiatives. Additionally, facilitators reported engaging in many intervention implementation activities, some of which result in practice changes, but not significant improvements to outcomes.
This study provided an opportunity for reflection on the comprehensiveness of the PARIHS framework. Consistent with the underlying tenant of PARIHS, a multi-faceted and dynamic story of implementation was evident. However, the prominent role that individuals played as part of the interaction between evidence and context is not currently explicit within the framework. We propose that successful implementation of evidence into practice is a planned facilitated process involving an interplay between individuals, evidence, and context to promote evidence-informed practice. This proposal will enhance the potential of the PARIHS framework for explanation, and ensure theoretical development both informs and responds to the evidence base for implementation.
Trial registration
ISRCTN18046709 - Peri-operative Implementation Study Evaluation (PoISE).
PMCID: PMC3636004  PMID: 23497438
7.  A pragmatic cluster randomised trial evaluating three implementation interventions 
Implementation research is concerned with bridging the gap between evidence and practice through the study of methods to promote the uptake of research into routine practice. Good quality evidence has been summarised into guideline recommendations to show that peri-operative fasting times could be considerably shorter than patients currently experience. The objective of this trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of three strategies for the implementation of recommendations about peri-operative fasting.
A pragmatic cluster randomised trial underpinned by the PARIHS framework was conducted during 2006 to 2009 with a national sample of UK hospitals using time series with mixed methods process evaluation and cost analysis. Hospitals were randomised to one of three interventions: standard dissemination (SD) of a guideline package, SD plus a web-based resource championed by an opinion leader, and SD plus plan-do-study-act (PDSA). The primary outcome was duration of fluid fast prior to induction of anaesthesia. Secondary outcomes included duration of food fast, patients’ experiences, and stakeholders’ experiences of implementation, including influences. ANOVA was used to test differences over time and interventions.
Nineteen acute NHS hospitals participated. Across timepoints, 3,505 duration of fasting observations were recorded. No significant effect of the interventions was observed for either fluid or food fasting times. The effect size was 0.33 for the web-based intervention compared to SD alone for the change in fluid fasting and was 0.12 for PDSA compared to SD alone. The process evaluation showed different types of impact, including changes to practices, policies, and attitudes. A rich picture of the implementation challenges emerged, including inter-professional tensions and a lack of clarity for decision-making authority and responsibility.
This was a large, complex study and one of the first national randomised controlled trials conducted within acute care in implementation research. The evidence base for fasting practice was accepted by those participating in this study and the messages from it simple; however, implementation and practical challenges influenced the interventions’ impact. A set of conditions for implementation emerges from the findings of this study, which are presented as theoretically transferable propositions that have international relevance.
Trial registration
ISRCTN18046709 - Peri-operative Implementation Study Evaluation (POISE).
PMCID: PMC3457838  PMID: 22935241
8.  FIRE (facilitating implementation of research evidence): a study protocol 
Research evidence underpins best practice, but is not always used in healthcare. The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework suggests that the nature of evidence, the context in which it is used, and whether those trying to use evidence are helped (or facilitated) affect the use of evidence. Urinary incontinence has a major effect on quality of life of older people, has a high prevalence, and is a key priority within European health and social care policy. Improving continence care has the potential to improve the quality of life for older people and reduce the costs associated with providing incontinence aids.
This study aims to advance understanding about the contribution facilitation can make to implementing research findings into practice via: extending current knowledge of facilitation as a process for translating research evidence into practice; evaluating the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of two different models of facilitation in promoting the uptake of research evidence on continence management; assessing the impact of contextual factors on the processes and outcomes of implementation; and implementing a pro-active knowledge transfer and dissemination strategy to diffuse study findings to a wide policy and practice community.
Setting and sample
Four European countries, each with six long-term nursing care sites (total 24 sites) for people aged 60 years and over with documented urinary incontinence
Methods and design
Pragmatic randomised controlled trial with three arms (standard dissemination and two different programmes of facilitation), with embedded process and economic evaluation. The primary outcome is compliance with the continence recommendations. Secondary outcomes include proportion of residents with incontinence, incidence of incontinence-related dermatitis, urinary tract infections, and quality of life. Outcomes are assessed at baseline, then at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after the start of the facilitation interventions. Detailed contextual and process data are collected throughout, using interviews with staff, residents and next of kin, observations, assessment of context using the Alberta Context Tool, and documentary evidence. A realistic evaluation framework is used to develop explanatory theory about what works for whom in what circumstances.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN11598502.
PMCID: PMC3356232  PMID: 22453077
9.  Process evaluation of appreciative inquiry to translate pain management evidence into pediatric nursing practice 
Appreciative inquiry (AI) is an innovative knowledge translation (KT) intervention that is compatible with the Promoting Action on Research in Health Services (PARiHS) framework. This study explored the innovative use of AI as a theoretically based KT intervention applied to a clinical issue in an inpatient pediatric care setting. The implementation of AI was explored in terms of its acceptability, fidelity, and feasibility as a KT intervention in pain management.
A mixed-methods case study design was used. The case was a surgical unit in a pediatric academic-affiliated hospital. The sample consisted of nurses in leadership positions and staff nurses interested in the study. Data on the AI intervention implementation were collected by digitally recording the AI sessions, maintaining logs, and conducting individual semistructured interviews. Data were analysed using qualitative and quantitative content analyses and descriptive statistics. Findings were triangulated in the discussion.
Three nurse leaders and nine staff members participated in the study. Participants were generally satisfied with the intervention, which consisted of four 3-hour, interactive AI sessions delivered over two weeks to promote change based on positive examples of pain management in the unit and staff implementation of an action plan. The AI sessions were delivered with high fidelity and 11 of 12 participants attended all four sessions, where they developed an action plan to enhance evidence-based pain assessment documentation. Participants labeled AI a 'refreshing approach to change' because it was positive, democratic, and built on existing practices. Several barriers affected their implementation of the action plan, including a context of change overload, logistics, busyness, and a lack of organised follow-up.
Results of this case study supported the acceptability, fidelity, and feasibility of AI as a KT intervention in pain management. The AI intervention requires minor refinements (e.g., incorporating continued follow-up meetings) to enhance its clinical utility and sustainability. The implementation process and effectiveness of the modified AI intervention require evaluation in a larger multisite study.
PMCID: PMC3000375  PMID: 21092118
10.  A realistic evaluation: the case of protocol-based care 
'Protocol based care' was envisioned by policy makers as a mechanism for delivering on the service improvement agenda in England. Realistic evaluation is an increasingly popular approach, but few published examples exist, particularly in implementation research. To fill this gap, within this paper we describe the application of a realistic evaluation approach to the study of protocol-based care, whilst sharing findings of relevance about standardising care through the use of protocols, guidelines, and pathways.
Situated between positivism and relativism, realistic evaluation is concerned with the identification of underlying causal mechanisms, how they work, and under what conditions. Fundamentally it focuses attention on finding out what works, for whom, how, and in what circumstances.
In this research, we were interested in understanding the relationships between the type and nature of particular approaches to protocol-based care (mechanisms), within different clinical settings (context), and what impacts this resulted in (outcomes). An evidence review using the principles of realist synthesis resulted in a number of propositions, i.e., context, mechanism, and outcome threads (CMOs). These propositions were then 'tested' through multiple case studies, using multiple methods including non-participant observation, interviews, and document analysis through an iterative analysis process. The initial propositions (conjectured CMOs) only partially corresponded to the findings that emerged during analysis. From the iterative analysis process of scrutinising mechanisms, context, and outcomes we were able to draw out some theoretically generalisable features about what works, for whom, how, and what circumstances in relation to the use of standardised care approaches (refined CMOs).
As one of the first studies to apply realistic evaluation in implementation research, it was a good fit, particularly given the growing emphasis on understanding how context influences evidence-based practice. The strengths and limitations of the approach are considered, including how to operationalise it and some of the challenges. This approach provided a useful interpretive framework with which to make sense of the multiple factors that were simultaneously at play and being observed through various data sources, and for developing explanatory theory about using standardised care approaches in practice.
PMCID: PMC2889857  PMID: 20504293
11.  A randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a single session of nurse administered massage for short term relief of chronic non-malignant pain 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:10.
Massage is increasingly used to manage chronic pain but its benefit has not been clearly established. The aim of the study is to determine the effectiveness of a single session of nurse-administered massage for the short term relief of chronic non-malignant pain and anxiety.
A randomised controlled trial design was used, in which the patients were assigned to a massage or control group. The massage group received a 15 minute manual massage and the control group a 15 minute visit to talk about their pain. Adult patients attending a pain relief unit with a diagnosis of chronic pain whose pain was described as moderate or severe were eligible for the study. An observer blind to the patients' treatment group carried out assessments immediately before (baseline), after treatment and 1, 2, 3 and 4 hours later. Pain was assessed using 100 mm visual analogue scale and the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Pain Relief was assessed using a five point verbal rating scale. Anxiety was assessed with the Spielberger short form State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.
101 patients were randomised and evaluated, 50 in the massage and 51 in the control group. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups at baseline interview. Patients in the massage but not the control group had significantly less pain compared to baseline immediately after and one hour post treatment. 95% confidence interval for the difference in mean pain reduction at one hour post treatment between the massage and control groups is 5.47 mm to 24.70 mm. Patients in the massage but not the control group had a statistically significant reduction in anxiety compared to baseline immediately after and at 1 hour post treatment.
Massage is effective in the short term for chronic pain of moderate to severe intensity.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC2533334  PMID: 18601729
12.  Evaluating the successful implementation of evidence into practice using the PARiHS framework: theoretical and practical challenges 
The PARiHS framework (Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services) has proved to be a useful practical and conceptual heuristic for many researchers and practitioners in framing their research or knowledge translation endeavours. However, as a conceptual framework it still remains untested and therefore its contribution to the overall development and testing of theory in the field of implementation science is largely unquantified.
This being the case, the paper provides an integrated summary of our conceptual and theoretical thinking so far and introduces a typology (derived from social policy analysis) used to distinguish between the terms conceptual framework, theory and model – important definitional and conceptual issues in trying to refine theoretical and methodological approaches to knowledge translation.
Secondly, the paper describes the next phase of our work, in particular concentrating on the conceptual thinking and mapping that has led to the generation of the hypothesis that the PARiHS framework is best utilised as a two-stage process: as a preliminary (diagnostic and evaluative) measure of the elements and sub-elements of evidence (E) and context (C), and then using the aggregated data from these measures to determine the most appropriate facilitation method. The exact nature of the intervention is thus determined by the specific actors in the specific context at a specific time and place.
In the process of refining this next phase of our work, we have had to consider the wider issues around the use of theories to inform and shape our research activity; the ongoing challenges of developing robust and sensitive measures; facilitation as an intervention for getting research into practice; and finally to note how the current debates around evidence into practice are adopting wider notions that fit innovations more generally.
The paper concludes by suggesting that the future direction of the work on the PARiHS framework is to develop a two-stage diagnostic and evaluative approach, where the intervention is shaped and moulded by the information gathered about the specific situation and from participating stakeholders. In order to expedite the generation of new evidence and testing of emerging theories, we suggest the formation of an international research implementation science collaborative that can systematically collect and analyse experiences of using and testing the PARiHS framework and similar conceptual and theoretical approaches.
We also recommend further refinement of the definitions around conceptual framework, theory, and model, suggesting a wider discussion that embraces multiple epistemological and ontological perspectives.
PMCID: PMC2235887  PMID: 18179688
13.  Systematic review of the use of honey as a wound dressing 
To investigate topical honey in superficial burns and wounds though a systematic review of randomised controlled trials.
Data sources
Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, reference lists and databases were used to seek randomised controlled trials. Seven randomised trials involved superficial burns, partial thickness burns, moderate to severe burns that included full thickness injury, and infected postoperative wounds.
Review methods
Studies were randomised trials using honey, published papers, with a comparator. Main outcomes were relative benefit and number-needed-to-treat to prevent an outcome relating to wound healing time or infection rate.
One study in infected postoperative wounds compared honey with antiseptics plus systemic antibiotics. The number needed to treat with honey for good wound healing compared with antiseptic was 2.9 (95% confidence interval 1.7 to 9.7). Five studies in patients with partial thickness or superficial burns involved less than 40% of the body surface. Comparators were polyurethane film, amniotic membrane, potato peel and silver sulphadiazine. The number needed to treat for seven days with honey to produce one patient with a healed burn was 2.6 (2.1 to 3.4) compared with any other treatment and 2.7 (2.0 to 4.1) compared with potato and amniotic membrane. For some or all outcomes honey was superior to all these treatments. Time for healing was significantly shorter for honey than all these treatments. The quality of studies was low.
Confidence in a conclusion that honey is a useful treatment for superficial wounds or burns is low. There is biological plausibility.
PMCID: PMC32305  PMID: 11405898

Results 1-13 (13)