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									                      School of Nursing and Midwifery

         The Nursing and Midwifery Research Unit

                     Queens University Belfast

Contact details:
Nursing and Midwifery Research Unit
21 Stranmillis Road

The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queens

The School of Nursing and Midwifery is the foremost provider of nursing and midwifery education in Northern
Ireland with approximately 3,500 part-time and full-time students. The School was established in 1991 and in
1997 the five Colleges of Nursing and the College of Midwifery in Northern Ireland were integrated into the

The School provides undergraduate nursing and midwifery education, offering a degree or diploma in the four
branches of nursing: adult, children’s, mental health and learning disability. The School also offers an
undergraduate BSc(Hons) in Midwifery Studies and a direct-entry three year degree programme.

The Nursing and Midwifery Research Unit

The School of Nursing and Midwifery Research Unit (NMRU) was recently established to be a focus of quality
research activity in the School. The role of this Unit is to develop research leadership, interdisciplinarity,
national and international collaboration with an emphaisis on applied health and care research.

In terms of infrastructure the Unit’s main base is 21 Stranmillis Road. This new dedicated research
accommodation acts as a focus for the expanding research activity within the School. The School’s monthly
research seminars are held here and facilities and workshops for postgraduate research students are also
based here.

Research staff come from a range of disciplines including nursing, midwifery, psychology, social science and
methodological expertise spans both quantitative and qualitative research designs and analyses. The Unit is
currently made up of nine academic staff with four new senior appointments due to be appointed in the next
year. A full listing of academic, academic related and administrative staff can be found in Appendix 1.

The Unit aims to provide a research culture that promotes both formal and informal contact with a full range of
interdisciplinary researchers thus encouraging scientific debate, collaboration and research leadership. Staff
and students alike are expected and funded to present papers at a minimum of one international conference a

The unit provides research seminars, student workshops, mentoring and a team environment in which to train
young researchers in the School. In addition to the immediate research environment staff are encouraged to
link into wider research networks, for example, the QUB HSR network co-chaired by Dr Alderdice, which aims
to promote cross faculty working in HSR.

Quality assurance and support mechanisms within the Unit

   1       a mentoring system
   2       monthly peer review of publication achievements and intentions
   3       internal peer review of papers prior to submission to peer reviewed journals and
   4       monthly research seminars and workshops drawing on both internal and external speakers
   5       a programme of visiting Professors
   6       advice on new directions for research from the unit’s scientific advisory committee
   7       within the wider university and faculty staff participate in the health services research network and
           have invited cross school/faculty representation on to unit committees
   8       member of the Health Services Research Network (UK)
Relationship between the School and the Unit

Research and scholarship continues to inform the School’s teaching provision especially at all levels. A
School/unit research seminar series and occasional specialist lectures by visiting scholars together with a
summary research section in bimonthly News and Muses help to maintain links and knowledge transfer
between those staff focused on teaching & professional development and those focused on research.
Research staff in the Unit are responsible for developing and delivering specialist research for nurses and
midwives for example clinical trials, systematic reviewing and realistic evaluation.

Unit Themes

As highlighted earlier the Unit has adopted a health services research approach to research in Nursing and
Midwifery. HSR is concerned with questions related to the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of care given to
populations or groups of patients in receipt of or in need of services related to their health and social well-
being. HSR is not a discipline per se but an area of applied research (Monteith & McLaughlin 2001, personal
communication). Over the past two years we have been exploring the role of nurses and midwives in HSR
and we have identified a gap in expertise. While nurses are participating in HSR there is a clear lack of
research leadership, research agenda, research funding and coherent HSR teaching evident in nursing’s
contribution to HSR. Our strategy aims to develop a niche for HSR in Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s within
the wider national and international nursing and midwifery agenda.

Within our current strategy, under the theme of HSR in Nursing and Midwifery, NMRU supports two funded,
inter-linking strands - Vulnerable Groups in Health and Social Care and The Use of Knowledge in Health and
Social Care. Examples of specific publications can be found in Appendix 3. Examples of successful grants
which work underpinning these strands can be found in Appendix 4.

                                 Vulnerable Groups in Health and Social Care

Women and Children

The focus in maternity care in the late 20th century was on informed choice for women and on the reduction of
both perinatal and maternal mortality. While mortality rates are consistently low, inequalities in both morbidity
and mortality can still be identified by, for example, social class and ethnic grouping.

In recent years there has been a growing concern about the variations in access, information and experience
of health care in mothers from different backgrounds. This is a recurring theme in the Unit. Fiona Alderdice is
an established Principal Investigator (PI) with a track record in this area having received an MRC training in
HSR. Dr Alderdice’s current work includes research on access, offer and uptake of prenatal screening
(£170,000 R&D TSN programme, 3 papers in progress 2005); decision making on planned Caesarean Section
(Regional Audit Grant £30,000) and a planned programme on the midwifery management of high risk
pregnancy (with Dale Spence and Jenny McNeill).

Our research profile in this area also includes ongoing work on long term morbidities including vulnerable
infants (e.g. those born growth restricted or with brain damage or requiring life support after birth) and women.
Dale Spence has just successfully completed a PhD on a 50 year follow up of those born growth restricted
(R&D Nursing Fellow £110,000, supervised by Fiona Alderdice). Jackie Parkes runs a funded programme of
research into children and young people with cerebral palsy (CP) underpinned by a confidential case register
(the Northern Ireland CP Register; DHSSPS £220,000 2002/06) and includes surveillance of the condition of
time (see Appendix 3 for published papers including European collaboration); funded clinical research in
collaboration with the NHS (Jackie Parkes is a PI in RRG Trauma and Rehabilitation £220,000, see Appendix
3 for paper); and health services research (Jackie Parkes is part of two funded EC projects e.g. Framework V,
Quality of Life £86,499; 10 papers have been identified for publication). Fiona Alderdice is also a PI on the
Northern Ireland Intensive Care Research and Evaluation database (DHSSPS £142,580; 2 papers Appendix
3 and 4) and has been involved in data linkage with the CP Register. Joanne Jordan has undertaken work in
prenatal screening in pregnancy and female incontinence and has published in these areas (see Appendix 3
for papers). Anne Lazenbatt also has an ongoing programme including work on domestic violence in
pregnancy and child abuse in collaboration with Ruth Freeman from Dentistry, QUB and Julie Taylor from the
School of Nursing at Dundee University (see Appendix 3 for papers).
                               The use of Knowledge in Health and Social Care

The Unit is committed to doing and using high quality research on interventions where possible (Fiona
Alderdice has completed 2 Cochrane reviews; £16,748) and Jenny McGaughey Cochrane fellow supported by
Fiona Alderdice and Marianne Moutray (Cochrane Fellowship £36,809) and the teaching and conducting of
evidence based policy and practice. A number of other studies evaluating complex nursing interventions have
also been undertaken. Peter O’Halloran (Cluster randomised controlled trial on the use of hip protectors in
nursing homes, R&D Fellowship £63,877 and PPP Foundation £26,416, see Appendix 3 papers) and Bronagh
Blackwood (Nurse led protocolised weaning in ICU see Appendix 3 papers) have both explored the
introduction of complex policy based nurse led interventions which explore some of the problems around the
use of knowledge in health and social care.

There is also a need to explore the use of both expert opinion and lay opinions in health care and how this fits
with the social view of the body and health. Maria Lohan (see Appendix 3 papers) and Sam Porter have all
significantly contributed to the body of knowledge in this area and this a key area in their forward programme
of work in collaboration with Eithne McLaughlin in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.
Joanne Jordan’s qualitative work with Frank Kee on training lay people to use defibrillators in the community
also fits well with this theme (R&D £170,000 to nursing) and she is also publishing papers on lay and
professional experience of the health service. Such collaborations form a part of the overall University
academic strategy

Sam Porter has also contributed to methodological developments in the field of qualitative health research.
Specifically, he has applied and promoted the use of critical realist ethnography in health care settings. He is
therefore one of the few health care researchers with experience of ‘Realistic Research’ advocated in a report
for the SDO on the diffusion, dissemination and sustainability of innovations.

For further information please contact: www.qub.ac.uk/nur/
Appendix 1
                        Staff attached to the Nursing and Midwifery Research Unit

Academic staff
Dr Fiona Alderdice (Unit director)
Dr Bronagh Blackwood
Dr Joanne Jordan
Dr Peter O’Halloran
Dr Anne Lazenbatt
Dr Jackie Parkes
Dr Maria Lohen
Dr Dale Spence
Prof Sam Porter

Yet to recruit
New Chair
Three New Senior Lecturers

Research assistants and funded postgraduates attached to the Unit

Christine Connolly registered for PhD with Prof Orr and Peter O’Halloran
Jackie Gamble registered for MPhil with Anne Lazenbatt
Joanne Fox Research Midwife with Fiona Alderdice and Dale Spence
Fiona Lynn Research Assistant with Fiona Alderdice and Jackie Parkes registered for PhD
Jenny McNeill Research Assistant with Fiona Alderdice registered for PhD
Anne Madden Research Assistant with Jackie Parkes registered for MPhil
Jenny McGaughey R&D Cochrane Fellow

Support staff
Lyn Crawford Unit administrative support
Margaret Chambers Unit secretary
Appendix 2

                             Current Postgraduate Students and Projects

Name                           Supervisor/Adviser   Title of Project
Dawn Christine Connolly        Prof. J Orr          From strategy to reality: evaluating a framework for
                               Dr O O’Halloran      implementing a nursing strategy to achieve patient-
                                                    centred care through leadership development
Naomi Elliott                  Dr A Lazenbatt       The process of making judgements by nurses
                               Dr J Jordan          responsible for initiating and providing therapeutic
                                                    interventions in the community care setting: a
                                                    grounded theory approach
Margaret Jacqueline Gamble     Dr L G Heaney        Evaluation of the benefits of an individualised menu
                               Dr A Lazenbatt       driven nurse led programme to improve adherence in
                                                    difficult asthma – a pilot study.
Carole Jean Greer              Dr A Lazenbatt       A comparative evaluation of ‘Caseload Midwifery’
                               Dr F McMurray        with conventional ‘Shared Care’ to assess the effect
                                                    of continuity of carer and midwifery philosophy of
                                                    care on perinatal outcomes.
Susanna Madden                 Dr J Parkes          Participation and quality of life of 8-12 year old
                               Dr M Donnelly        children with cerebral palsy in Northern Ireland.
Nahla Al Ali Mansour           Dr A Lazenbatt       Cross cultural comparisons of physical abuse of
                               Dr F McMurray        women before, during and after pregnancy:
                                                    identifying psychosocial risks and stress factors.
Jennifer Anne McNeill          Dr F Alderdice       Women’s expectations and experiences of antenatal
                               Dr J C Dornan        care.
Sandra Peake                   Dr A Lazenbatt       A research study to explore the implications for
                               Prof J Orr           women’s health of violent bereavement as a result of
                                                    the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland.
Maura Agnes Pidgeon            Dr A Lazenbatt       What factors contribute to the death of effective
                               Prof J Orr           leaders in the nursing profession?
John James Power               Dr M Traynor         How does the perception and understanding of the
                               Dr K Milton (SA)     practice of healing by those engaged in healing
                                                    practice differ from professional nurses?
Francis Edmund Shields         Dr K Rowe            An investigation into the attitudes and knowledge of
                               Dr A Lazenbatt       nurses relative to the possible health promotion
                                                    needs of young drivers who have suffered a road
                                                    traffic collision; can a brief teaching intervention,
                                                    delivered to these nurses, modify their knowledge
                                                    and attitudes to this patient group.
Siyang Yuan                    Prof R E Freeman     Promoting breastfeeding to prevent obesity and early
                               Dr A Lazenbatt       childhood caries in Chinese infants.
Appendix 3

                                     Sample of Publications from 2001 -

Alderdice F, Bailie C, Dornan J and McClure G. In utero transfers; some obstetric considerations. Prenatal
and Neonatal Medicine, 2004, 6 p1-3.

McCall, Alderdice F, Halliday H and Jenkins J. Plastic Barriers for the reduction in heat loss in preterm infants
immediately after birth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2003, 1.

Alderdice F, McKenna D and Dornan J. Techniques and materials for skin closure in caesarean section.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2003, 1.

Fox, A, Alderdice F, and Atherton D. Are Children with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa of Low
Birth Weight? Paediatric Dermatology 20(4):303-306, July/August 2003.

McCormick J and Blackwood B. Nursing and ARDS patient in the prone position; the experience of qualified
ICU nurses. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing Journal, 2001, 17, p331-340.

Blackwood, B. Can protocolised weaning developed in the US transfer to the UK context: a discussion.
Intensive and Critical Care Nursing Journal, 2003, 19, p215-225.

Blackwood B, Wilson-Barnett J and Trinder J. ICU Consultants’ perceptions of protocolised weaning from
mechanical ventilation. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2004, 48(1), p26-34.

Jordan J E, Weight J and Ayres P et al. Health needs assessment and needs-led health service change: a
survey of projects involving public health doctors. Journal of Health Service Research and Policy, 2002, 7,

Thistlethwaite J and Jordan J E. Antenatal screening in the community: the views and experience of women in
one general practice. Primary Health Care Research and Development, 2001, 1, p29-38.

Lazenbatt A. The Evaluation Handbook for Health Professionals: Routledge, London. Book, 2002, 288p.

Lazenbatt A, Sinclair M, Salmon S and Calvert. Telemedicine as a Support System to Encourage
Breastfeeding in NI: a case study design. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 2001, 7, 54-77.

Lazenbatt A, Lynch U and O’Neill E. Revealing the hidden troubles in Northern Ireland: the role of
Participatory Rapid Appraisal. Health Education Research, 2002, 16, p567-578.

Lazenbatt A, Russell M, Freeman R and Marcenus W. Recognising and reporting child physical abuse: a
cross sectional survey of primary health care professionals. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2005.

McAnaney D, Webster B, Lohan M and Wynne R. Disability Management: A system of response or a
response to a system?’ Australian Journal of Rehabilitation, 2001, 7(1). p1-12.

Lohan M and Faulkner W. Masculinities and Technologies: Some introductory Remarks. Men and
Masculinities Special Edition on Masculinities and Technologies, 2004, 6(1), p319-329.

Hyde, Abbey, Lohan M and McDonnell O. Sociology of Health and Healthcare for Health Professionals in
Ireland. Dublin: IPA Press, 2004.

O’Halloran P D, Cran G W, Beringer T R O, Kernoghan G, O’Neill C, Orr J, Dunlop L and Murray L J. A
cluster-randomised controlled trial to evaluate a policy of making hip protectors available to residents of
nursing homes. Age and Ageing, 2004, 33, p582-588.

O’Halloran P D, Murray L J, Cran G, Kernoghan G, Dunlop L, Beringer T R O. The effect of type of hip
protector and resident characteristics on adherence to use of hip protectors in nursing and residential homes –
an exploratory study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 2005.
Parkes J, Hill N, Dolk H and Donnelly M. What influences physiotherapy use in children with cerebral palsy?
Child: care, health and development, 2004, 30, p151-160.

Parkes J. Prevalence and characteristics of children with cerebral palsy in Europe. Developmental Medicine
and Child Neurology, 2002, 44, p633-640.

Parkes J, Dolk H, Hill N and Pattenden S. Cerebral palsy in Northern Ireland: 2981-1993. Paediatric and
Perinatal Epidemiology, 2001, 15, p 278-286.

McDowell B C, Kerr C, Parkes J and Cosgrove A. Validity of a one-minute walk test for children with Cerebral
Palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 2004/2005.

Porter S. Critical realist ethnography, in T.May (ed). Qualitative Research in Action, London: Sage, 2001.

Porter S. Nightingale’s realist philosophy of science. Nursing Philosophy, 2001, 2(1), p14-25.

Porter S. Women in a women’s job: the gendered experience of nurses, in W C Cockerham (ed). Medical
Sociology 8th Ed., Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 20001.

McKenna D, Spence D, Haggan S E, McCrum E, Dornan J C and Lappin T R. A randomised trial investigating
an iron rich natural mineral water as a prophylaxis against iron deficiency in pregnancy. Clinical and
Laboratory Haematology, 2003, 25, p99-103.

Curley A, McClure B G, Spence D and Craig S. What New NHS? Health Service Journal, 2003, 113, p26-

Curley A, McClure B G, Spence D and Craig S. The New NHS: Modern, Definable? A questionnaire to
assess knowledge of, and attitudes to, the New NHS. Clinician in Management, 2002, 11, p15-23.

Mayes C, Yarr J, Spence D, Tubman R and Halliday H l. Neonatal seizures – management and outcomes in a
regional unit. Irish Medical Journal, 2002, 95, p122-123.
Appendix 4

                School of Nursing and Midwifery – Sample of Research Income since 2001

Department of Health and Social Services Northern Ireland (2003)
North/South Neo-natal Project
F Alderdice & J Jenkins                                                           £88579

Department of Health and Social Services Northern Ireland (2002 – 2005)
Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register
J Parkes                                                                         £154242

R& D Office (2003)
Social inequalities in access, offer and uptake of antenatal screening in Northern Ireland
F Alderdice                                                                    £117337

R& D Office (2004)
Study of Effectiveness of public access defibrillation in urban and rural populations in Northern Ireland

J Jordan                                                                        £121082

EU Government Framework Projects (5) (2002)
The Influence of environmental factors on participation and quality of life of 8-12 year old children with cerebral
palsy in 6 EU countries
J Parkes                                                                         £86449

Medical Research Council (2001)
NI Health Region: a Study of In Utero Transfer of High Risk Babies in Northern Ireland
F Alderdice                                                                  £13709

Health and Safety Executive (2003)
Occupational health on farms in the Armagh and Dungannon Region of Northern Ireland
S Porter                                                                £11211

PPP Foundation (2001)
Do Hip Protectors really prevent hip fractures?
J Orr, P O’Halloran                                                             £26416

Regional Multiprofessional Audit Group(2005)
F Alderdice                                                                     £29987

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