Listening to the child’s voice in research on domestic violence and abuse

LisaArai071015By Lisa Arai
Senior Research Associate
Centre for Academic Primary Care

Anybody who has worked on a systematic review will know you spend a lot of time thinking about the type of research papers to include in your review and those you will exclude. Tightly defined inclusion criteria, as well as critical appraisal, an explicit synthesis stage and measures to reduce reviewer bias (such as inter-rater checks), are what distinguish systematic from traditional reviews (a point usefully made by Mark Petticrew more than a decade ago, when he sought – among other things – to debunk the notion that systematic reviews are simply larger versions of traditional reviews).

Over many years teaching research methods, I’ve noticed students often regard this early stage of the review process as troublesome. It’s often approached with an uncertainty that, if not properly resolved, can render the review unwieldy. Or its significance might be underestimated; … Read more

Guidelines for children’s activity levels need to be presented more sensitively and positively

Georgina BentleyBy Georgina Bentley
PhD Student
Centre for Academic Primary Care

For many parents with young children (myself included), it may seem as if they never sit still, but surprisingly, research indicates that preschool children are not achieving the Government targets* for physical activity and are spending too much time in sedentary behaviours, such as watching TV.

As part of my PhD research on preschoolers’ physical activity and sedentary behaviour, I wanted to understand mothers’ reactions to these guidelines. Mothers are considered the gatekeepers of young children’s activity behaviours and so understanding how they perceive these guidelines seemed an obvious first step in determining how preschool children can be helped to meet the targets.

After interviewing mothers, the findings reveals that mothers don’t feel that the guidelines are relevant to their children, and some indicated that they wouldn’t take any notice of them. Their explanation for this is because they … Read more

Why are so many children given antibiotics for a cough?

Christie CabralBy Dr Christie Cabral
Research Associate
Centre for Academic Primary Care

When I first started researching infectious cough in children, lots of clinicians told me they couldn’t understand why so many parents brought in children who were well enough to turn the consulting room upside down before they even started the examination. As a parent of two young children myself, I had some idea, but as a qualitative researcher, I was keen to get a balanced view.

In the TARGET Programme* we wanted to answer two questions. Given that most coughs will get better on their own:

1) Why do so many parents consult when their child has a cough?
2) Why do so many clinicians prescribe antibiotics for children with coughs?

We conducted five qualitative studies and began to notice common themes, not just across the studies but also shared by parents and clinicians. We found normative beliefs Read more