• Can physical activity support young people after the death of a parent? the BABYSTEPs project

      Chater, Angel M.; Williams, Jane; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Howlett, Neil; Shorter, Gillian; University of Bedfordshire; University of Hertfordshire; Ulster University (2019-09-10)
      Background: Annually, 41,000 UK children and young people are parentally bereaved. Grief is an individual process and must be supported properly.  Many mental health aspects that cross over with grief outcomes (i.e. anxiety and depression) can be improved through physical activity. Yet there is limited research investigating whether physical activity can support bereaved individuals with their grief and what services are currently available. Methods: A systematic review of the literature (10 databases) and service provision (5 search engines) was performed.  Empirical studies (qualitative and quantitative) had to explore physical activity (of any type) to help individuals (of any age) who had experienced a bereavement (of any human, other than national loss).  Organisations which provide bereavement support to young people were contacted (via questionnaire and telephone) to record details about their service and if they offer physical activity support. Results: From 564 studies screened, 20 met the inclusion criteria, with 5 reporting using physical activity to support parental bereavement.  Running and martial arts were noted as types of beneficial activity.  Of the 373 organisations identified, 26 provided physical activity support (i.e. residential retreats, football) for bereaved young people.  Conclusion: There is evidence that physical activity can support the wellbeing of young people who have been parentally bereaved.  However, this evidence is limited, with just a small number of organisations offering physical activity.  There is a clear need for more research and services to understand and increase the use of physical activity to support young people following the death of their parent.
    • Exploring factors contributing to low uptake of the NHS Breast Cancer Screening Programme among Black African women in the UK

      Bamidele, Olufikayo; Ali, Nasreen; Papadopoulos, Chris; Randhawa, Gurch; Ulster University; University of Bedfordshire (Insight Medical Publishing Group, 2017-08-14)
      Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United Kingdom (UK) accounting for about 15% of cancer deaths. The National Breast Cancer Screening Programme in the UK was introduced in 1988 to assist with early detection and better management of breast cancer. Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women however have a low uptake of the National Breast Screening programme when compared to their White counterparts. Within the BME group, Black African women have the lowest uptake of screening services and are more likely to have an advanced stage of the disease at diagnosis, leading to poorer survival rates than White women. This study aimed to explore the factors that lead to low uptake of the National Breast Cancer Screening Programme  among Black African women living in Luton and present action points to local breast cancer services. Using a qualitative research design, six focus groups were conducted with a total of twenty-five Black African women residing in Luton between May and June in 2013. Data was analysed thematically using the framework approach. Four main themes emerged across the focus group discussions: knowledge and beliefs about breast cancer and risk factors, prevention of breast cancer and awareness of the NHS breast screening service, delays in attending the NHS breast screening service and suggestions for improving information on breast cancer and the NHS breast cancer screening service. The findings from this study suggest the need for more targeted information on breast cancer and screening services for Black African women. This could help improve the uptake of the NHS breast screening service, promote early help-seeking behaviour and improve breast cancer outcomes for this ethnic group. 
    • “Hard to reach, but not out of reach”: barriers and facilitators to recruiting Black African and Black Caribbean men with prostate cancer and their partners into qualitative research

      Bamidele, Olufikayo; McGarvey, Helen E.; Lagan, Briege M.; Chinegwundoh, Frank; Ali, Nasreen; McCaughan, Ellis; Ulster University; Barts Health NHS Trust; City University of London; University of Bedfordshire (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2018-12-12)
      Access and recruitment barriers may have contributed to the underrepresentation of Black African/Caribbean men and their partners in current psychosocial research related to prostate cancer survivors. Whilst some studies have explored recruitment barriers and facilitators from participants’ perspectives, little is known from researchers' point of view. This paper aimed to address this gap in the literature. Recruitment strategies included the following: cancer support groups, researchers’ networks, media advertisement, religious organisations, National Health Service hospitals and snowball sampling. Thirty-six eligible participants (men = 25, partners = 11) were recruited into the study. Recruitment barriers comprised of gate-keeping and advertisement issues and the stigma associated with prostate cancer disclosure. Facilitators which aided recruitment included collaborating with National Health Service hospitals, snowball sampling, flexible data collection, building rapport with participants to gain their trust and researcher's attributes. Findings highlight that “hard to reach” Black African/Caribbean populations may be more accessible if researchers adopt flexible but strategic and culturally sensitive recruitment approaches. Such approaches should consider perceptions of stigma associated with prostate cancer within these communities and the influence gatekeepers can have in controlling access to potential participants. Increased engagement with healthcare professionals and gatekeepers could facilitate better access to Black African/Caribbean populations so that their voices can be heard and their specific needs addressed within the healthcare agenda.
    • Muscle reaction time during a simulated lateral ankle sprain after wet-ice application or cold-water immersion

      Thain, Peter K.; Bleakley, Christopher M.; Mitchell, Andrew C.S.; University of Hertfordshire; Ulster University; University of Bedfordshire (NATL ATHLETIC TRAINERS ASSOC INC, 2015-07-01)
      Context: Cryotherapy is used widely in sport and exercise medicine to manage acute injuries and facilitate rehabilitation. The analgesic effects of cryotherapy are well established; however, a potential caveat is that cooling tissue negatively affects neuromuscular control through delayed muscle reaction time. This topic is important to investigate because athletes often return to exercise, rehabilitation, or competitive activity immediately or shortly after cryotherapy.Objective: To compare the effects of wet-ice application, cold-water immersion, and an untreated control condition on peroneus longus and tibialis anterior muscle reaction time during a simulated lateral ankle sprain.Design: Randomized controlled clinical trial.Setting: University of Hertfordshire human performance laboratory.Patients or Other Participants: A total of 54 physically active individuals (age = 20.1 +/- 1.5 years, height = 1.7 +/- 0.07 m, mass = 66.7 +/- 5.4 kg) who had no injury or history of ankle sprain.Intervention(s): Wet-ice application, cold-water immersion, or an untreated control condition applied to the ankle for 10 minutes.Main Outcome Measure(s): Muscle reaction time and muscle amplitude of the peroneus longus and tibialis anterior in response to a simulated lateral ankle sprain were calculated. The ankle-sprain simulation incorporated a combined inversion and plantar-flexion movement.Results: We observed no change in muscle reaction time or muscle amplitude after cryotherapy for either the peroneus longus or tibialis anterior (P < .05).Conclusions: Ten minutes of joint cooling did not adversely affect muscle reaction time or muscle amplitude in response to a simulated lateral ankle sprain. These findings suggested that athletes can safely return to sporting activity immediately after icing. Further evidence showed that ice can be applied before ankle rehabilitation without adversely affecting dynamic neuromuscular control. Investigation in patients with acute ankle sprains is warranted to assess the clinical applicability of these interventions.
    • Supporting young people who have been parentally bereaved: can physical activity help and what services are available?

      Williams, Jane; Shorter, Gillian; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Howlett, Neil; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire; University of Hertfordshire; Ulster University (2019-07-17)
      Background: Annually, 41,000 UK children and young people are parentally bereaved. Grief is an individual process and must be supported properly. Many mental health aspects that cross over with grief outcomes (i.e. anxiety and depression) can be improved through physical activity. Yet there is limited research investigating whether physical activity can support bereaved individuals with their grief and what services are currently available. Methods: A systematic review of the literature (10 databases) and service provision (five search engines) was performed. Empirical studies (qualitative and quantitative) had used physical activity (of any type) to help individuals (of any age) who had experienced a bereavement (of any human, other than national loss). Organisations which provide bereavement support to young people were contacted (via questionnaire and telephone) to record details about their service and if they offer physical activity support. Results: From 564 studies screened, 20 met the inclusion criteria, with five reporting using physical activity to support parental bereavement. Running and martial arts were noted as types of beneficial activity. Of the 373 organisations identified, 26 provided physical activity (i.e. residential retreats, football) support for bereaved young people. Conclusion: From this review, there is evidence that physical activity can support young people who have been parentally bereaved. However, this evidence is limited, with just a small number of organisations offering physical activity. There is a clear need for more work in this area, to understand and increase the use of physical activity to support young people following the death of their parent.