Sep 25

The Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on Quality Of Life in Maxillofacial Patients with Type III Osteoradionecrosis

I strongly believe that if you ask people to take part in research you are subsequently obliged to disseminate the findings of that research.  The effort and time that this can take is substantial, and all to often researchers stop at conference posters or oral presentations.  These reach a limited audience and have very little if any impact on practice. 

So I am delighted that a piece of research I have been associated with for more than ten years has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.   The data was collected at the Hyperbaric Medical Centre (Diving Disease Research Centre), in Plymouth and is entitled: The Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on Quality Of Life in Maxillofacial Patients with Type III Osteoradionecrosis, it is for a specialised audience, but hopefully it is written in such a way that it is accessible to one and all.  The PMID of my article is -PMID: 22705224. Depending on your institutional or personal access you maybe able to access the whole article from this link.

Abstract – Purpose: Over a four year period, 18 patients with Type III osteoradionecrosis that were an average of 55 months post radiotherapy treatment for head and neck cancers, were referred for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO2)

Methods: Participants complete a questionnaire battery pre & post HBO2 including the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Core 30, EORTC Head & Neck 35 (HN35) and Medical Outcomes Short Form 36 (SF-36)

Results: The EORTC Core 30 questionnaire found significant improvements in ‘Emotional Functioning’ and ‘Insomnia’ (P≤0.01 and P≤0.01).  An improvement was also found in the ‘Social Eating’ (P≤0.01) and ‘Teeth’ (P≤0.01) domains of the EORTC HN35 questionnaire.  These beneficial outcomes might in part be explained by the social environment of being in a specific treatment group with similar patients.  However, SF-36 found significant decline in ‘Social Functioning’ (P≤0.01).  The patient group in this study did not undergo any surgical intervention between the two time points and no other interventions could be connected with the improvements, particularly in relation to ‘teeth’.  In addition, clinical follow up confirmed stabilisation of the patient clinical conditions.

Conclusion: The findings of this study support the hypothesis that HBO2 has positive physiological and psychological impact on a number of factors for this patient group.

May 26

Social Cemetery anyone?

A couple of years ago (whilst at Science City Bristol) I was fortunate enough to have a tangential involvement in BioBlitz 2009 out at Ashton Court and to be able to consolidate that support the following year, focusing on their innovative social media activities. Since then Bristol BioBlitz has gone from strength to strength; and from Ashton Court, to Blaise Castle (2010), to Tyntesfield (2011) and this year Arnos Vale Cemetery.

That success has been amplified by the national explosion of BioBlitz’s, most of which have implicitly or explicitly linked back to Bristol’s success and approach. Just to be clear, the first BioBlitz was in 1996 and was part of the US National Parks Service, but isn’t ‘owned’ by anyone. In the same ethos, the UK national BioBlitz network might be hosted by Bristol Natural History Consortium (BNHC), but it’s an open and inclusive network. The real success of the BNHC is in being able to innovate faster and ‘better’ than anyone else.

The BNHC are constantly on the lookout for new ideas and excel at absorbing and transforming those ideas into their own innovations. They’re also extremely good at executing on those innovations so that everyone has a fantastic day out. All of which means they can be open about those ideas and share their experiences widely, knowing that they’re already working on the next one. That open sharing is a key strength; search for bioblitz (I just did using Firefox & Bing – a combination I almost never use) and Bristol’s BioBlitz features 3 times in the top 10, in positions 2,3 and 6; second only to the Wikipedia entry! The US National Parks (the originators of the idea remember) are in 4th place. Sharing your innovations works!

What else have we learned? Well, hedgehogs have footprints that look a lot like little tiny hands (see above). And that doormice can hollow out an acorn forming a ‘cup’ with an almost perfectly smooth rim. And that there at at least 454 different species of animal living in Arnos Vale Cemetery!

That’s the great thing about Bristol BioBlitz, a social day out and you can learn lots (not just about natural history). What’s not to like?

Until next year

May 03

Psychology in the Pub – Bristol

At the start of the year (2012) the SouthWest Branch of the British Psychology Society created the first of several local hubs conceptualised to facilitate meeting and improved communication between the regions psychologists.  The initial hub was in Bristol, with others to follow in Exeter, Plymouth, Truro and the Channel Isles. The meetings at each of the hubs follows the popular ‘Psychology in the Pub’ format consisting of a short talk from a guest speaker/s, followed by an opportunity to network with other local Psychologists.

The introductory session was in January– and saw Jo Maddocks, Founder and Product Director of JCA Occupational Psychologists, speak on the topic of ‘Emotional Intelligence in the workplace – a heavily requested topic and one that is relevant to a range of Psychological disciplines’.  This was given to an audience of more than 75 local psychologists and interested individuals and was a well received start to the societies initiative.

March was the first meeting to be held at the now established ‘first Wednesday’ of the month.  Dave Alcock took the reins for this talk. He explored a range of experiences/issues encountered whilst working with elite athletes across a range of settings but primarily working in rugby union and rugby league. Whilst the contexts were fairly specialised, the issues addressed cut across applied sport psychology, and as such were of interest to all those involved in elite sport, those wanting to begin work in the elite domain, or those who are simply interested in working in challenging environments. Issues such as the applied sport psychologist as moral arbiter, Pavlov’s bell, water boy, therapist, “ideal” parent, discriminative stimulus, and work with clinical & sub-clinical issues were all addressed. Dave went on to explore the challenges and rewards of applied sport psychology work and brought to life using a range of Dave’s experiences in the field (sometimes literally “in the field”!).

In April – Rob Briner talked on ‘The psychological contract at work: Understanding the real deal between employer and employee.’  What do people want to give at work and what do they want to get back? What are the implicit promises employees feel their employer has made to them? What happens when promises are broken and when promises are fulfilled? How can each party renegotiate the deal? The idea of an implicit or psychological contract has emerged as one key way of answering such questions and also a way of thinking about a whole range of employee feelings and behaviours including motivation, ‘engagement’, withdrawal of effort, justice, commitment, absence and quitting. This presentation will review the history of the psychological contract idea, its main features, how it has been used to explain employee behaviour, the evidence for its effects and what organisations and employees can do, if anything, to manage it.

May bought a presentation from – Patrick Jordan ‘How to be happy: What is happiness, who is happy and why and what we can all do to bring more happiness into our lives’.  Looking at the area of happiness, this talk was based on the findings of positive psychology – an area of psychology which uses rigorous scientific methodology and analysis in order to investigate success, happiness and fulfillment. Findings about happiness were summarised and techniques described which can be used to increase levels of happiness.

The Bristol hub seems to have found its feet with at least 50 people attending each meeting and talk at Toto’s wine bar and it sounds like another good turn out is likely in June.  But before then there is the inaugural meeting in Exeter.

The Exeter hub is on the 30th May at the Mill on the Exe.  Dr Craig Knight from the Peninsula Medical School will talk on ‘The modern office: Cleverly designed space or a psychological bear trap?’.  Asking, how does your office affect your well-being? How does the freedom you have over your working environment impact your productivity? And does working in a clean, sparsely decorated, flexible office improve your effectiveness or compromise the business as a whole?

I hope that everyone who has attend an event to date has enjoyed it and that many more of your will come and try the events out for size.  Additioanlly if anyone wants to give a presentation, has a topic they would like to hear about, or want to let the committee know about anything else why not drop one of them a line http://southwest.bps.org.uk/southwest/meet-the-committee/meet-the-committee_home.cfm

 

Mar 25

Southwest Undergraduate Psychology Conference 2012

It was a glorious sunny day in Plymouth for the 2012 South West Undergraduate Psychology Conference.  The day took place in the Portland Square Building split between the three lecture theatres and the large open plan atrium called the Peninsula Arts Cube3 Gallery.  The conference is an opportunity for the regional universities, students and their lecturers to share experiences, research, discuss ideas, feedback and network with each other and particularly with practising psychologists.

Registration (programme_2012 and abstracts_2012) was in the Cube3 Gallery where the attendees could view Peter Fitzpatrick’s exhibit ‘Latitude 79 Degrees 5 Minutes South 11 Miles’ , and visit me on the BPS stand to find out about the Society.  All five universities from the region were represented, with people travelling up to 3 hours by train, coach, car and foot.  With the hundred or so delegates signed in, and with programmes in hand, the three streams of lectures commenced.

Forty-Two undergraduates delivered talks on topics ranging from the effect of biodiversity in exhibits effecting viewing time, to self perception of appearance in weight trainers.  The format was a standard academic style with the presenters briefed to talk for ten minuets and then the audience were given 5 minuets to ask questions.  The full range of presentation styles was demonstrated including slick delivery of the ‘by the book’ academic talk, through interactive group presentations, to a more free-form approach.  All included professional audio visuals, representing the thousands of hours of work undertaken by the presenters for their final year projects.

In addition to the talks, twenty-nine posters were on display throughout the day, with their authors ready, willing and able to answer questions from the other delegate over the lunch hour.  As with the presentations, the posters showed the spread of potential approaches with institutional templates following standard academic formats to individualistic representations with drawings and photographs from study participants.

The day was drawn to an end with the Keynote lecture, introduced by conference organiser Dr Bill Simpson, Prof Chris Mitchell gave a stimulating and amusing lecture entitles ‘Why Cognitive Psychology?’  I personally particularly enjoyed his dance representing the movement of E.coli from low to high glucose states.

The last formal aspect of the day was the presentation of the prizes.  Sponsored by the British Psychological Society South West Branch, Dr Simpson announced prizes of book tokens for winners and runners-up in categories of Best Presentation and Best Poster. The winners were;

–        Best Presentation; Katherine Wood (University of Bath, Theory of Mind and Anxiety: Their relationship in children and adolescents with autism)

–        Second Prize went to Thomas Davis (University of Bristol, Aggregation of Protean Prey Escape: Countershading confuses a predator’s visual tracking during attack)

–        Best Poster; James Nagata (University of Bristol, Strategies to overcome the neural and attentional demands of multiple object tracking)

–        Second Prize went to Jodie Nicholls (University of Plymouth, Dectection of abnormalities in synthetic mammogram backgrounds)

The day was rounded off with a final opportunity to congratulate all the attendees and do more networking.  This time with a glass of wine and the happy laid back feeling that comes with the final release of pressure felt after completing a good day’s work.  The day was a great demonstration of the vibrancy in psychology and the talent of the up and coming practitioners.  As a member of that community I hope that all the presenters got as much from the day as I did.

Jan 21

Pitching for Management

This is a great series of UK events offering fast-growth companies the chance to find senior executives and non-executives to help their company proceed to its next stage of growth. It’s a testament to the local entrepreneurship community that the first “Pitching for Management” event outside London, was in Bristol!

At each event, 6 companies present their businesses and the roles available to a room of highly talented individuals ranging from sales, marketing and finance board positions to mentorships, chair, CEO and non-executive director positions.

Join the hundreds of businesses have already presented at these events and have employed talented individuals as a result. Click here to read a great case study from a recent pitching company.

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