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  • Journal article
    Day S, Viney W, Bruton J, Ward Het al., 2021,

    Past-futures in experimental care: breast cancer and HIV medicine

    , New Genetics and Society, Vol: 40, Pages: 449-472, ISSN: 1463-6778

    Cambrosio et al. (2018. “Extending Experimentation: Oncology’s Fading Boundary Between Research and Care.” New Genetics and Society 37 (3): 207–226) argue that “experimental care” in contemporary oncology involves the rapid merging of patient research and care, and invite further study into developments across other health conditions. We present a 2018–2019 study of experimental breast cancer care in an urban clinical setting in the light of two other studies in the same hospital group: in the same cancer service (2013–14) and, prompted by these earlier findings, an interview study in HIV services (2014–15). We found that patients and staff anticipated better outcomes by treating sub-types of breast cancer but they also hoped for a better one-size-fits-all approach, akin to the antiretroviral treatments introduced for HIV and explored in our interview study. We conclude that the promise of targeted treatment for sub-types of disease – variously described as experimental care, personalised, precision, stratified and sub-group medicine – is accompanied by hopes for a single, standard, effective approach.

  • Journal article
    Atchison C, Bowman LR, Vrinten C, Redd R, Pristerà P, Eaton J, Ward Het al., 2021,

    Early perceptions and behavioural responses during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey of UK adults.

    , BMJ Open, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2044-6055

    OBJECTIVE: To examine risk perceptions and behavioural responses of the UK adult population during the early phase of the COVID-19 epidemic in the UK. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Conducted with a nationally representative sample of UK adults within 48 hours of the UK Government advising the public to stop non-essential contact with others and all unnecessary travel. PARTICIPANTS: 2108 adults living in the UK aged 18 years and over. Response rate was 84.3% (2108/2500). Data collected between 17 March and 18 March 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Descriptive statistics for all survey questions, including number of respondents and weighted percentages. Robust Poisson regression used to identify sociodemographic variation in: (1) adoption of social distancing measures, (2) ability to work from home, and (3) ability and (4) willingness to self-isolate. RESULTS: Overall, 1992 (94.2%) respondents reported at least one preventive measure: 85.8% washed their hands with soap more frequently; 56.5% avoided crowded areas and 54.5% avoided social events. Adoption of social distancing measures was higher in those aged over 70 years compared with younger adults aged 18-34 years (adjusted relative risk/aRR: 1.2; 95% CI: 1.1 to 1.5). Those with lowest household income were three times less likely to be able to work from home (aRR: 0.33; 95% CI: 0.24 to 0.45) and less likely to be able to self-isolate (aRR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.88 to 0.96). Ability to self-isolate was also lower in black and minority ethnic groups (aRR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.79 to 1.0). Willingness to self-isolate was high across all respondents. CONCLUSIONS: Ability to adopt and comply with certain non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) is lower in the most economically disadvantaged in society. Governments must implement appropriate social and economic policies to mitigate this. By incorporating these differences in NPIs among socioeconomic subpopulations into mathematical models of COV

  • Report
    Riley S, Walters C, Wang H, Eales O, Ainslie K, Atchison C, Fronterre C, Diggle PJ, Ashby D, Donnelly C, Cooke G, Barclay W, Ward H, Darzi A, Elliott Pet al., 2020,

    REACT-1 round 7 updated report: regional heterogeneity in changes in prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the second national COVID-19 lockdown in England

    , REACT-1 round 7 updated report: regional heterogeneity in changes in prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the second national COVID-19 lockdown in England, London, Publisher: Imperial College London

    BackgroundEngland exited a four-week second national lockdown on 2nd December 2020 initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior results showed that prevalence dropped during the first half of lockdown, with greater reductions in higher-prevalence northern regions.MethodsREACT-1 is a series of community surveys of SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR swab-positivity in England, designed to monitor the spread of the epidemic and thus increase situational awareness. Round 7 of REACT-1 commenced swab-collection on 13th November 2020. A prior interim report included data from 13th to 24th November 2020 for 105,122 participants. Here, we report data for the entire round with swab results obtained up to 3rd December 2020.ResultsBetween 13th November and 3rd December (round 7) there were 1,299 positive swabs out of 168,181 giving a weighted prevalence of 0.94% (95% CI 0.87%, 1.01%) or 94 per 10,000 people infected in the community in England. This compares with a prevalence of 1.30% (1.21%, 1.39%) from 16th October to 2nd November 2020 (round 6), a decline of 28%. Prevalence during the latter half of round 7 was 0.91% (95% CI, 0.81%, 1.03%) compared with 0.96% (0.87%, 1.05%) in the first half. The national R number in round 7 was estimated at 0.96 (0.88, 1.03) with a decline in prevalence observed during the first half of this period no longer apparent during the second half at the end of lockdown. During round 7 there was a marked fall in prevalence in West Midlands, a levelling off in some regions and a rise in London. R numbers at regional level ranged from 0.60 (0.41, 0.80) in West Midlands up to 1.27 (1.04, 1.54) in London, where prevalence was highest in the east and south-east of the city. Nationally, between 13th November and 3rd December, the highest prevalence was in school-aged children especially at ages 13-17 years at 2.04% (1.69%, 2.46%), or approximately 1 in 50.ConclusionBetween the previous round and round 7 (during lockdown), there was a fall in prevalence of SARS-C

  • Journal article
    Matthews NR, Davies B, Ward H, 2020,

    Global health education in UK medical schools: a review of undergraduate university curricula

    , BMJ Global Health, Vol: 5, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2059-7908

    IntroductionIn recognition of our increasingly globalised world, global health is now arequired component of the medical school curriculum in the UK. We reviewthe current provision of global health education (GHE) in UK medical schoolsto identify gaps in compulsory teaching.MethodsWe conducted a review of the literature to inform a two-part electronic surveyof global health compulsory teaching, optional teaching and pre-electivetraining. Surveys were sent to all 33 UK medical schools for completion by thefaculty lead on global health and the nominated final year studentrepresentative.ResultsSurveys were returned by 29 (88%) medical school faculty and 15 (45%)medical student representatives; 24 (83%) faculty and 10 (67%) studentsreported including GHE in the core curriculum, however, there was widevariation in learning outcomes covered. On average 75% of faculty and 82%of students reported covering recommended global health themes ‘Globalburden of disease’, ‘Socioeconomic and environmental determinants ofhealth’, Human rights and ethics’, and ‘Cultural diversity and health’, whilstonly 48% of faculty and 33% of students reported teaching on ‘Healthsystems’ and ‘Global health governance’. Almost all institutions offeredoptional global health programmes and most offered some form of preelective training, although content and delivery were variable.ConclusionOver the last decade, the inclusion of global health in the core curriculum ofUK medical schools has increased dramatically. Yet, despite interest amongststudents, significant gaps are apparent in current GHE. Governing bodies inmedical education should establish a comprehensive national strategy to helpimprove access to fundamental GHE for all medical students.

  • Journal article
    Wilson JD, Wallace HE, Loftus-Keeling M, Ward H, Davies B, Vargas-Palacios A, Hulme C, Wilcox MHet al., 2020,

    Swab-yourself trial with economic monitoring and testing for infections collectively (SYSTEMATIC): Part 2. A diagnostic accuracy, and cost-effectiveness, study comparing rectal, pharyngeal and urogenital samples analysed individually, versus as a pooled specimen, for the diagnosis of gonorrhoea and chlamydia.

    , Clin Infect Dis

    BACKGROUND: Sexual history does not accurately identify those with extragenital Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) so universal extragenital sampling is recommended. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are expensive. If urogenital, plus rectal and pharyngeal, samples are analysed the diagnostic cost is trebled. Pooling samples into one NAAT container would cost the same as urogenital samples alone. We compared clinician triple samples analysed individually with self-taken pooled samples for diagnostic accuracy, and cost, in MSM and females. METHODS: Prospective, convenience, sample in UK sexual health clinic. Randomised order of clinician and self-samples from pharynx, rectum, plus first catch urine (FCU) in MSM and vulvovaginal swabs (VVS) in females, for NG and CT detection. RESULTS: Of 1793 participants (1284 females, 509 MSM), 116 had NG detected (75 urogenital, 83 rectum, 72 pharynx). 276 had CT detected (217 urogenital, 249 rectum, 63 pharynx).There was no difference in sensitivities between clinician triple samples and self-pooled specimens for NG (99.1%, 98.3%) but clinician samples analysed individually identified 3% more chlamydia infections than pooled (99.3%, 96.0%; p=0.027). However, pooled specimens identified more infections than VVS/FCU alone. Pooled specimens missed 2 NG and 11 CT infections, whereas VVS/FCU missed 41 NG and 58 CT infections. Self-taken pooled specimens were the most cost-effective. CONCLUSIONS: Just FCU/VVS testing missed many infections. Self-taken pooled samples were as sensitive as clinician triple samples for identifying NG, but clinician samples analysed individually identified 3% more CT infections than pooled. The extragenital sampling was achievable at no additional diagnostic cost to the FCU/VVS. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02371109.

  • Journal article
    Bruton J, Jones K, Jenkins R, Davies B, Ward H, Toledano Met al., 2020,

    Enabling participation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and seldom-heard communities in health research: A case study from the SCAMP adolescent cohort study

    , Research for All, Vol: 4, Pages: 207-219, ISSN: 2399-8121

    Aim: To investigate barriers and facilitators to BME parental consent for children’s involvement in data-sharing aspects of study on mobile phone and wireless device use (SCAMP). To co-produce solutions to increase participation. Methods: Focus groups, telephone interviews, community event, PPI Café; symposium with public, participants and researchers. Results: Barriers were concerns about the research, practical constraints, poor communication. Facilitators were value of research, benefits to others. Solutions to increase participation were community support and clear, simple communication. Overall, trust in the research and the researchers was a key focus of enabling participation.Sharing recommendations: Symposium generated ideas about improving participation including tailoring participant information, engaging with local advocates, involving people in research design and delivery.Key words: Seldom heard, BME, research participation, co-production, PPI, parental consent

  • Journal article
    Robb C, Loots C, Ahmadi-Abhari S, Giannakopoulou P, Udeh-Momoh C, McKeand J, Price G, Car J, Majeed A, Ward H, Middleton Let al., 2020,

    Associations of social isolation with anxiety and depression during the early COVID-19 Pandemic: a survey of older adults in London, UK

    , Frontiers in Psychiatry, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 1664-0640

    The COVID-19 pandemic is imposing a profound negative impact on the health and wellbeing of societies and individuals, worldwide. One concern is the effect of social isolation as a result of social distancing on the mental health of vulnerable populations, including older people.Within six weeks of lockdown, we initiated the CHARIOT COVID-19 Rapid Response Study, a bespoke survey of cognitively healthy older people living in London,to investigate the impact of COVID-19 and associated social isolation on mental and physical wellbeing. The sample was drawn from CHARIOT, a register of people over 50 who have consented to be contacted for ageing related research. A total of 327,127 men and women (mean age=70.7 [SD=7.4]) participated in the baseline survey, May-July 2020. Participants were asked about changes to the 14 components of the Hospital Anxiety Depression scale (HADS) after lockdown was introduced in the UK,on 23rd March. A total of 12.8% of participants reported feeling worse on the depression components of HADS (7.8% men and 17.3% women) and 3612.3% reported feeling worse on the anxiety components (7.8% men and 16.5% women). Fewer participants reported feeling improved (1.5% for depression and 4.9% for anxiety). Women, younger participants, those single/widowed/divorced, reporting poor sleep, feelings of loneliness and who reported living alone were more likely to indicate feeling worse on both the depression and/or anxiety components of the HADS. There was a significant negative association between subjective loneliness and worsened components of both depression (OR 17.24, 95% CI 13.20, 22.50) and anxiety (OR 10.85, 95% CI 8.39, 14.03). Results may inform targeted interventions and help guide policy recommendations in reducing the effects of social isolation related to the pandemic, and beyond, on the mental health of older people.

  • Journal article
    Atchison C, Pristerà P, Cooper E, Papageorgiou V, Redd R, Piggin M, Flower B, Fontana G, Satkunarajah S, Ashrafian H, Lawrence-Jones A, Naar L, Chigwende J, Gibbard S, Riley S, Darzi A, Elliott P, Ashby D, Barclay W, Cooke GS, Ward Het al., 2020,

    Usability and acceptability of home-based self-testing for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies for population surveillance

    , Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol: 2020, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 1058-4838

    BACKGROUND: This study assesses acceptability and usability of home-based self-testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using lateral flow immunoassays (LFIA). METHODS: We carried out public involvement and pilot testing in 315 volunteers to improve usability. Feedback was obtained through online discussions, questionnaires, observations and interviews of people who tried the test at home. This informed the design of a nationally representative survey of adults in England using two LFIAs (LFIA1 and LFIA2) which were sent to 10,600 and 3,800 participants, respectively, who provided further feedback. RESULTS: Public involvement and pilot testing showed high levels of acceptability, but limitations with the usability of kits. Most people reported completing the test; however, they identified difficulties with practical aspects of the kit, particularly the lancet and pipette, a need for clearer instructions and more guidance on interpretation of results. In the national study, 99.3% (8,693/8,754) of LFIA1 and 98.4% (2,911/2,957) of LFIA2 respondents attempted the test and 97.5% and 97.8% of respondents completed it, respectively. Most found the instructions easy to understand, but some reported difficulties using the pipette (LFIA1: 17.7%) and applying the blood drop to the cassette (LFIA2: 31.3%). Most respondents obtained a valid result (LFIA1: 91.5%; LFIA2: 94.4%). Overall there was substantial concordance between participant and clinician interpreted results (kappa: LFIA1 0.72; LFIA2 0.89). CONCLUSION: Impactful public involvement is feasible in a rapid response setting. Home self-testing with LFIAs can be used with a high degree of acceptability and usability by adults, making them a good option for use in seroprevalence surveys.

  • Journal article
    Buitendijk S, Ward H, Shimshon G, Sam AH, Sharma D, Harris Met al., 2020,

    COVID-19: an opportunity to rethink global cooperation in higher education and research

    , BMJ Global Health, Vol: 5, Pages: e002790-e002790, ISSN: 2059-7908
  • Journal article
    Rhodes RE, Guerrero MD, Vanderloo LM, Barbeau K, Birken CS, Chaput J-P, Faulkner G, Janssen I, Madigan S, Masse LC, Mchugh T-L, Perdew M, Stone K, Shelley J, Spinks N, Tamminen KA, Tomasone JR, Ward H, Welsh F, Tremblay MSet al., 2020,

    Development of a consensus statement on the role of the family in the physical activity, sedentary, and sleep behaviours of children and youth


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