Health Research

Health research news, events and info for the South West

Posts By: Samantha Warren

Dr Ed Keogh, from the University of Bath, on C4's Embarrassing Bodies

📥  HealthResSW

BlTJxFKCYAAyXhEDr Ed Keogh, a University of Bath researcher, was on the popular Channel 4 programme discussing his research into the gender differences around pain and coping strategies.

Dr Keogh demonstrated how men and women cope differently with pain through a series of tests, ending with the presenters, Dr Christian Jessen and Dr Dawn Harper, battling it out in an ice bath to see who could withstand the pain for the longest (pictured).

Dr Keogh said: “We know that the impact of pain can be widespread. The more we understand about how people experience pain, the better mechanisms we can put in place to help people cope.”

You can catch this episode of Embarrassing Bodies, which aired on Tuesday 15th April at 8pm, here.


The effects of period pain on cognitive performance

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Period pain (dysmenorrhea) is a very common painful condition that affects more than 40 per cent of women on a regular basis. Symptoms can include pain, nausea, and cramping, and is reported as severe in up to 15 per cent of sufferers.

A new study, published in the journal ‘Pain’, looks at the effects of pain during the menstrual cycle on cognitive performance. Lead author, Dr Ed Keogh from the Department of Psychology, explained: “Pain is an extremely common experience and can have a disruptive effect on all our daily lives. Our research looked at how common everyday pain, experienced by many women each month, affects their ability to perform a range of complex tasks. This shows that the effects of pain go beyond the sensory experience, affecting what we think and feel.”

Researchers asked 52 adult participants to complete computer-based tasks that examined different aspects of attention, while they were experiencing period pain. The tasks measured selective attention (being able to choose between competing targets), attention span (monitoring and updating information), and dividing and switching attention between two tasks. The findings showed that period pain has a negative effect on overall performance.

The research highlights the need to develop better ways of measuring the effects of pain on everyday lives. This research suggests we should focus on developing strategies to help people remove barriers to performance, and even consider ways of repairing attention when exposed to frequent pain.



Help the WEAHSN create its first challenge to industry on using mHealth for self management in diabetes

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The West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN) is launching its mHealth self-management challenge with the first focus being diabetes.

We need your help to describe challenges you'd like solved to help people with diabetes better manage their condition and we invite you to attend a workshop at the Engine Shed, Temple Meads, Bristol on the afternoon of Monday 12th May.

mHealth covers medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring systems, personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablet computers and other wireless devices.

The theme for this call was agreed at WEAHSN’s last Board meeting which is attended by the Chief Executives of our member organisations. I’ve had discussions with some of you on the challenges you face around diabetes and how solutions may fit in with wider pieces of work. I’d like to invite you to join us to discuss and capture the key themes you’d like to address in this challenge.

These will then be incorporated into a national call to industry for solutions to these challenges. We will be looking for solutions that are already on the market rather than in development and our publicity will focus on local Small & Medium Sized Enterprises. Funding will be available to our members for evaluating a number of short-listed solutions.

To register visit:


The End of the NHS? How the government is privatising health care in England.

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IPR Public Lecture

Date: Thursday 01 May

Time: 17.15-19.00

Venue: 5 West 2.3 (for directions please see campus maps)

Speaker: Professor Allyson Pollock, professor of public health research and policy at Queen Mary, University of London

Audience: Open to all with registration in advance.


This lecture will show how the government has abolished the NHS; explain how the new structures will operate and what this means for patient access and what needs to be done about it.


Professor Allyson Pollock is professor of public health research and policy at Queen Mary, University of London. She set up and directed the Centre for International Public Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh from 2005 to 2011, and prior to that she was Head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and Director of Research & Development at UCL Hospitals NHS Trust.

She trained in medicine in Scotland and became a consultant in public health medicine in 1991. Her research interests include globalisation; privatisation, marketisation and PFI / PPPs; health services; regulation and trade; pharmaceuticals and clinical trials; and childhood injuries.


WEAHSN is looking for members of the public to contribute to health research

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Do you have an interest in research improving health services?

The West of England Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) Strategy group is an exciting new initiative bringing together four major partners to ensure a strong and integrated public voice in health research and service improvement. We are looking for people with an understanding and experience of public involvement to join us.

Who are we looking for?

Members of the public (including patients and potential patients, carers, people who use health and social care services, disabled people) who live in the West of England, and have substantial experience contributing as a member of the public to health research or service improvement. Since much of our communication is done electronically, it will be vital to have access to the internet and basic IT skills.

We value diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

What is involved?

  • Participation in six meetings a year in central locations in the West of England (e.g. Bristol, Bath).
  • The opportunity to sit on the appropriate governance group of one of the core partners to ensure a strong and integrated public voice across the partnerships and good links between the individual partners and the collaborative PPI strategy.
  • Opportunities for undertaking other activities for West of England PPI Strategy Group as agreed.
  • Payment will be made for your time and your expenses for the West of England PPI Strategy Group activities will be covered.

Find out more


Explore funding and partnership opportunities for research in Stratified Medicine in Non-Cancerous Conditions on 1st April, 10am to 4:30pm

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This event provides a unique opportunity to understand more about the new EME funding call in Stratified Medicine in Non-Cancerous Conditions and for clinical researchers, academics and the life-sciences industry to meet and form collaborative partnerships to apply for EME funding.

Who should attend?

  • Academic researchers and clinicians working in the field of stratified medicine in non-cancerous conditions
  • Directors and senior members of SMEs and R&D Directors or Business Development Directors in medium/large organisations in the field.

Why Attend?

  • To find out more about this new EME funding call for stratified medicine in non-cancerous conditions
  • To develop collaborations with new partners in order to apply for EME funding

Call Eligibility:

  • Lead applicants must be based in the UK
  • Co-applicants may be based outside the UK, and if necessary, research can be conducted overseas
  • If the company is leading the application, a UK based is required (UK HQ not required)
  • More information on eligibility can be found here


Research Writing Workshop for NIHR Long-term Conditions in Children and Young People Research Call

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Long-term Conditions in Children and Young People Research Writing Workshop, Friday 7 March 2014,  Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, London

A writing workshop has been developed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service (RDS) and is directed at researchers who are considering applying to the NIHR Long-term Conditions in Children and Young People Research Call.

Topics covered in the workshop will include:

• The application as a marketing document: selling the topic, selling the method, and selling the team;
• The balanced team;
• Clarity of description and explanation;
• Feasibility issues;
• Identifying and avoiding potential pitfalls.

The full day workshop will comprise short talks, group discussions and the opportunity to discuss specific aspects of your own project.

The workshop does not provide detailed training in research methodology; it more generally covers the full range of issues inherent in developing a successful research proposal.

Who is it for?
This writing workshop is open to health professionals, academic partners and industry partners who are preparing research proposals for submission to one of the programmes as part of the NIHR Long-term Conditions in Children and Young People Research Call. Delegates will be expected to be familiar with basic research skills (for example, searching and critically appraising the literature).

Eligibility to attend the workshop
Delegates are encouraged to attend as a pair: the Principal Investigator and a Methodology collaborator (where appropriate) working on the project. If you are unable to attend as a pair, then consideration will be given to applicants who make a case for attending alone. Please note that this workshop is aimed at individuals who have not previously received substantial NIHR funding.

N.B. Places are limited and therefore an early response is recommended. Due to limited spaces applicants will be prioritised. Please note that priority will be given to applications from pairs.

Completion of the workshop attendance application form does not guarantee a place on the workshop. There is no guarantee of funding by attending this workshop; this course is to offer assistance and advice only.

How do I apply?
Request an application form from: The deadline for receipt of completed workshop attendance application forms is Monday 17 February 2014, by 4pm.

Workshop attendance applications will be reviewed and places awarded to successful applicants.

You will learn the outcome of your workshop attendance application by the end of Friday 21 February 2014.

Where and when?
The workshop will be held on Friday 7 March 2014 at:

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
5-11 Theobalds Road

Registration will start at 10:00am and the course will close at 16:30pm.


Psychological Treatments for Chronic Pain: Evidence, Challenges and Opportunities a presentation by Professor Chris Eccleston

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Psychological Treatments for Chronic Pain: Evidence, Challenges and Opportunities.

A Presentation by: Professor Chris Eccleston, at the Bath Pain Forum, Winter 2013.

What was presented?

Psychological treatments for chronic pain are recommended as part of the gold standard for a multidisciplinary pain treatment centre by the International Association for the Study of Pain. However, in the last five years a number of systematic reviews have questioned the evidence for this standard. In this presentation the current evidence for the efficacy of psychological treatments in reducing pain, improving mood disorder, and improving function is reviewed, for both adult and adolescent chronic pain. The challenges to establishing a reliable evidence base are discussed, and the opportunities for novel interventions and improved science are explored, with a focus on what works today.

Professor Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston is Professor of Psychology at the University of Bath, Director of the Centre for Pain Research, and Coordinating Editor of the Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care (PaPaS) Cochrane Review Group. Chris is interested in evidence based pain, therapy development, telemedicine solutions for pain management, child and family factors, and basic science of attention and pain.

Listen to the full presentation:


Do you suffer from headaches? Researchers from the University of Bath want to hear from you.

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Researchers at the University of Bath are looking for volunteers who suffer from headaches to help them understand how pain affects their attention, memory, and ability to think clearly.

shutterstock_142559818Scientists from the Centre for Pain Research have already studied how adults reacted in laboratory conditions to pain while they were carrying out particular tasks.

The research, which was published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, showed that the sensation of pain can reduce your memory capacity and make it more difficult for people to turn their attention from one thing to another, or to pay attention to two things at once.

The researchers now want to run further research to explore whether attention is impaired in the same way for people experiencing naturally occurring pain in the course of their every-day lives, for example when they have a headache.

Anyone wanting to find out more or to volunteer for the study should ring 01225 384225, email or visit