Double win for Keele at the RCGP ‘Research Paper of the Year’ awards

Posted on 30 September 2016

Research undertaken by Keele University’s Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham has been recognised in the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) ‘Research Paper of the Year (2015)’ awards.

Carolyn Chew-Graham, Professor of General Practice Research in Keele University’s Research Institute, Primary Care & Health Sciences, is an author on two papers which have won in this year’s awards, winning two individual categories and also the overall ‘Research Paper of the Year (2015).’

The awards give recognition to an individual or group of researchers who have undertaken and published an exceptional piece of research relating to general practice or primary care.

Professor Chew-Graham was the senior author of the paper which won the CVD, Renal, Respiratory, Oral, ENT and Ophthalmology category, and was the overall winner of the entire competition.

The paper, which was published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, examined the tensions involved in self-management in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The research involved interviews with patients in a trial about their understanding of a diagnosis of CKD.

Current health policy recommends that patients with early stage CKD are identified and monitored so that they can change their diet and lifestyle in order to reduce progression of kidney disease.

Lead author Gavin Daker-White explained that when some of the patients were interviewed, surprisingly (as they were in a trial), they denied that they had CKD, and many were not aware of the potential seriousness of the condition:

“Many reported that their GP or practice nurse had told them that CKD was nothing for them to worry about. The example of early stage CKD highlights a conundrum for patients as well as their doctors and nurses.”

Gavin Daker-White added:

“There is a clash between the guidelines around CKD and the differing care needs of individual patients. For example, it is important to give information about a diagnosis of ‘early CKD’ in a way that makes sense to the patient and in the context of their other illnesses.

Currently, the contract GPs work to means that the practice receives financial reimbursement for identifying patients with CKD and placing them on a disease register. Our results suggest that patients may not always be told about this, which seems to run counter to current models of shared decision-making, patient centred care and self-management of health problems.”

The second paper, winner of the Neurology, Mental Health and Dementia category, examined the management of depression in people with multimorbidity from the perspectives of patients and practitioners.

The paper, which was published in the journal BMC Family Practice, explores whether collaborative care can potentially achieve ‘joined up’ care in the NHS by supporting health professionals to treat people’s mental and physical health problems in a more integrated way.

The paper, entitled ‘Managing depression in people with multimorbidity: a qualitative evaluation of an integrated collaborative care model’, was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) Greater Manchester.

Dr Knowles, now Research Fellow at the Alliance Manchester Business School commented: “People with depression and long-term conditions have poorer health and do worse than people with single conditions, but their needs are not well met. In this study participants received treatment from ‘psychological wellbeing practitioners’ who had been trained to understand the impact of physical health on mental health; they also worked collaboratively with practice nurses.”

Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham, along with Dr Peter Coventry of the University of York, accepted the prize for winning the award at a ceremony at Stationers’ Hall in London on Wednesday night (28th September 2016).

As part of the awards, Professor Chew-Graham will also be presenting her papers at the RCGP Annual Conference in Harrogate in October 2016.

Professor Chew-Graham commented:

I feel ecstatic about two publications winning two category awards, and then being named as the overall winner with my colleagues, Anne Rogers, Anne Kennedy, Christian Blickem, Tom Blakeman and Gavin Daker-White.

This is the second time that a paper I’ve worked on with Peter Coventry has won in the mental health category. We make a great team, and are continuing to work together, even though I am at Keele and he is in now in York.

Both the winning manuscripts for the 2015 awards use qualitative research methods, so this achievement is recognition of the value of these methods in Health Services Research.