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Supporting Care

Work in this theme responds to current national and international agendas and includes supporting care practices for all people and their families who have a health condition.

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This broad spectrum of research spans the life cycle, including pre hospital care and acute surgery. It also includes the care of people with long term conditions such as diabetes, Motor Neurone Disease, persistent frozen shoulder and a range of chronic respiratory diseases.

Respiratory research encompasses a spectrum of lung conditions including bronchiectasis, where the team is leading the field in developing and extending the evidence base through a series of Cochrane Collaboration systematic reviews and exploring new ways of supporting care.

Palliative and end of life care is the most established stream of work, which includes symptom control, effective models of care such as Hospice at Home and the transition of young people with life limiting conditions into adult services.

A particular achievement in this theme centres on the development of an intervention to support family carers of people in the last year of life, which is being adapted for carers of stroke survivors and young carers who providing care to family members.

Carers’ Alert Thermometer (CAT)

Supporting Care research


Researchers from Edge Hill University have been funded by the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme (HS&DR) to investigate respite care and short breaks for young adults with complex healthcare needs due to a life-limiting condition and/or physical disability.

Researchers from Edge Hill University have been funded by the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme (HS&DR) to investigate respite care and short breaks for young adults with complex healthcare needs due to a life-limiting condition and/or physical disability.

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Carers’ Alert Thermometer (CAT)

The CAT is an evidence-based alert tool designed to identify and triage the needs of people who are providing support to a family member or friend at home as an unpaid carer. Originally developed for use with unpaid carers providing end of life care at home it is now being used with carers who are providing support to patients with a range of long-term and progressive conditions, as well as those receiving palliative and end of life care.

Find out more about CAT

The Patient Concerns Inventory

The Patients Concerns Inventory (PCI) is a simple tool to help patients highlight their concerns and needs for discussion in their clinical interactions / consultations. The premise is based on the literature around question prompt lists. Initially designed for head and neck cancer survivors in an outpatient setting it is now being developed for use in a wide range of clinical settings.  Developed by Professor Simon Rogers (Edge Hill University and Aintree University Hospitals NHS Trust), and in close collaboration with patients, the PCI improves consultations, targets symptoms, facilitates referrals and improves patient care.

Find our more about PCI
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Respiratory Research

Professor Sally Spencer and Dr Carol Kelly coordinate research predominantly in long-term chronic respiratory conditions.

Asthma is a condition characterised by inflammation of the airways and affects 300 million people worldwide, in up to 16% of the population (GINA 2017). Its prevalence and management in the prison system are unknown and we are supporting research exploring this question.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a degenerative airways disease largely associated with smoking, which affects 384 million people globally, around 11% of the population, and attributable to 1 in 3 deaths in the US alone (GOLD 2018). We are supporting research investigating the causes of poor adherence to pulmonary rehabilitation and the role of behavioural change techniques in exercise rehabilitation.

Bronchiectasis is characterised by chronic infection and permanent dilation of the airways. It is a relatively under-researched condition but recent reports estimate a prevalence of 53 to 566 cases per 100 000 people (Polverino 2017), giving a global estimate of up to 2 billion people affected worldwide. Antibiotics are the main treatment for this life-threatening condition and we are reviewing the evidence base for these treatments in a series of Cochrane reviews. In addition, following completion of a Cochrane review of self-management for bronchiectasis, we are developing an intervention to help people manage their condition at home.

Acute Respiratory Infections are common, especially in winter months and many people are prescribed antibiotics to eradicate the infection. However, these are only effective for bacterial infections and it is important that prescribing practices are well managed in the face of rising antibiotic resistance (O’Neill 2016). In collaboration with an out-of-hours urgent care service we are evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of a point-of-care test for bacterial infection that has the potential to inform antibiotic seeking and prescribing behaviour.

Collaborative Research

We work with a broad range of respiratory clinicians and other academics, both nationally and internationally. Dr Kelly is Chair of the RNRC (Respiratory Nurse Research Consortium), a collaborative venture between ARNS (Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists) & the Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI) at EHU. This organisation champions and supports respiratory nurses to lead research and has just published the findings from a Delphi survey which identified consensus research priorities for respiratory nurses.

Supporting Care team

Professor Barbara Jack
Professor Mary O’Brien
Professor Sally Spencer
Professor Simon Rogers
Dr Carol Kelly
Dr Katherine Knighting
Dr Elizabeth Okeya
Dr Bhuvaneswari Bibleraaj

Phd students

Claire Blennerhassett
Emmie Malewezi