Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Centre for Health and Clinical Research Conference

On the 5th of November the University of the West of England Centre for Health and Clinical Research (CHCR) hosted a half day conference titled Health research for impact. The conference covered a wide range of talks on topics including patient public involvement, emergency and critical care, long term conditions, child health, health technology and ethics, and evaluation. It was fantastic to see people from diverse health related disciplines come together to discuss the impact of research.
Conference opening!

The Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit (BSLTRU) was fortunate to have a strong presence of the conference with 5 members of staff from BSLTRU giving oral presentations, in addition to PhD student Anna Blackwell having a poster at the conference.

Three presentations from BLSTRU were on findings from the NIHR funded programme ‘Child Talk’ which focused on the development of interventions for primary school children with primary speech and language impairment (PSLI). Lydia Morgan gave a brief overview of the 3 year programme, describing a typology of practice that has emerged from the research. The typology aims to represent the aims of therapy for preschool with PSLI children, and will be hosted on a website, with associated evidence. Part of the evidence for the typology includes a systematic review which our senior researcher on the Child Talk programme, Sam Harding, presented on.  Sam provided a really valuable talk regarding the lessons that can be taken from the review, including advice to all researchers on enhancing the quality and usefulness of research.

Lydia Morgan presenting at the conference
The project manager for Child Talk, Rebecca Coad spoke about the involvement of parents as partners in the Child Talk project. This talk was particularly praised by a champion of patient involvement in research who were encouraged to see a real success story in terms of patient involvement, with useful ideas about engaging and supporting patients to be involved.

Yvonne Wren gave a really engaging talk on her exploration of data from the Avon Longitudinal study. Patterns of speech production of children with persistent speech disorder and children who were typically developing, at 8 years old, were compared and discussed and the clinical implication considered.

The director of the unit, Karen Sage, gave a talk on the use of research outcome measures for participants with aphasia. This work highlighted the value in including and consulting those with health conditions in the development of outcomes. She discussed findings from participants with aphasia in  terms of where they would most like to see change in their communication,  as well as and how aphasia affects their lives.

The conference provided an excellent forum to engage with others in related disciplines, to disseminate our research and to learn lessons about how health research can have impact. It was great to see the BSLTRU’s research so well represented, indicating the important role we have for health research in the region.