• Evaluating ‘Enhancing Pragmatic Language skills for Young children with Social communication impairments’ (E-PLAYS): a feasibility cluster-randomised controlled trial

      Murphy, Suzanne; Joffe, Victoria; Donald, Louisa; Radley, Jessica; Sunthararajah, Sailaa; Welch, Charlie; Bell, Kerry; Messer, David J.; Crafter, Sarah; Fairhurst, Caroline; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-01-04)
      Background This article reports the results from a feasibility study of an intervention (‘E-PLAYS’) aimed at supporting children who experience difficulties with social communication. E-PLAYS is based around a dyadic computer game, which aims to develop collaborative and communication skills. A pilot study found that when E-PLAYS was delivered by researchers, improvements on communication test scores and on collaborative behaviours were observed. The aim of this study was to ascertain the feasibility of running a full-scale trial to test the effectiveness of E-PLAYS in a National Health Service (NHS) setting with delivery by speech and language therapists and teaching assistants. Methods The study was a two-arm feasibility cluster-randomised controlled trial of the E-PLAYS intervention with a treatment as usual control arm. Data relating to recruitment and retention, treatment fidelity, acceptability to participants, suitability of outcomes and feasibility of collecting health economic measures and of determining cost-effectiveness were collected. Speech and language therapists selected suitable children (ages 4–7 years old) from their caseload. E-PLAYS intervention (experimental group) was then delivered by teaching assistants overseen by speech and language therapists. The control group received usual care. Assessments included blinded language measures and observations, non-blinded teacher-reported measures of peer relations and classroom behaviour and non-blinded parent-reported use of health and education resources and quality of life. Results Planned recruitment was for 70 children, in the event, 50 children were recruited which was sufficient for feasibility purposes. E-PLAYS was very highly rated by children, teaching assistants and speech and language therapists and treatment fidelity did not pose any issues. We were able to collect health economic data which suggests that E-PLAYS would be a low-cost intervention. Conclusion Based on recruitment, retention and adherence rates and our outcome measures, a full-scale randomised controlled trial estimated appears feasible and warranted to assess the effectiveness of E-PLAYS for use by the NHS and schools. Trial registration ISRCTN 14818949 (retrospectively registered)
    • Exploring how newly qualified dentists perceive certain legal and ethical issues in view of the GDC standards

      Thakrar, Bindiya; Wassif, Hoda; Denchic Dental Spa; University of Bedfordshire (Springer Nature, 2021-03-11)
      Introduction This study focuses on how the legal and ethical requirements presented by the General Dental Council (GDC) in their Standards for the dental team (2013) document are perceived by newly qualified dentists; that is, those who have been qualified for less than five years.Aim The aim of the study was to investigate how the GDC guidance and the set standards for the dental team are perceived and understood by newly qualified dental practitioners, and how the guidance and the standards influence clinicians' decision-making. The study explored the newly qualified dentists' exposure to law and ethics, the GDC and their regulatory document, together with the clinical and non-clinical influence of this regulation on daily practice.Methods Empirical qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews of nine newly qualified dentists, with an average of 80 minutes for each interview. The data were analysed using thematic analysis.Results Three main themes were identified through the newly qualified dentists' perceptions of the GDC selected standards. These included sense of fear, morale and the business of dental practice, with further subthemes identified.Conclusion Results from this study present an opportunity and a challenge, as there is some fear and uncertainty among newly qualified dentists about the application of some of the GDC standards in practice. Further training in law and ethics as well as additional support for newly qualified dental practitioners is needed.
    • Understanding the consumption of folic acid during preconception, among Pakistani, Bangladeshi and white British mothers in Luton, UK: a qualitative study

      Garcia, Rebecca; Ali, Nasreen; Griffiths, Malcolm; Randhawa, Gurch; University of Bedfordshire; Luton and Dunstable Hospital (Springer Nature, 2018-06-15)
      To review the similarities and differences in Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers health beliefs (attitudes, knowledge and perceptions) and health behaviour regarding their consumption of folic acid pre-conception, to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Our study used a descriptive qualitative research approach, implementing face-to-face focus group discussions with Pakistani, Bangladeshi or White British mothers (normal birth outcomes and mothers with poor birth outcomes) and semi-structured interviews or focus groups with service providers using semi-structured topic guides. This method is well suited for under-researched areas where in-depth information is sought. There were three sample groups: 1. Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers with normal birth outcomes (delivery after 37 weeks of gestation, in the preceding 6 to 24 months, weighing 2500 g and living within a specified postcode area in Luton, UK). 2. Pakistani Bangladeshi and white British bereaved mothers who had suffered a perinatal mortality (preceding 6 to 24 months, residing within a specificied postcode area). 3 Healthcare professionals working on the local maternity care pathway (i.e. services providing preconception, antenatal, antepartum and postpartum care). Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers with normal birth outcomes (delivery after 37 weeks of gestation, in the preceding 6 to 24 months, weighing 2500 g and living within a specified postcode area in Luton, UK). Pakistani Bangladeshi and white British bereaved mothers who had suffered a perinatal mortality (preceding 6 to 24 months, residing within a specificied postcode area). Healthcare professionals working on the local maternity care pathway (i.e. services providing preconception, antenatal, antepartum and postpartum care). Transcribed discussions were analysed using the Framework Analysis approach. The majority of mothers in this sample did not understand the benefits or optimal time to take folic acid pre-conception. Conversely, healthcare professionals believed the majority of women did consume folic acid, prior to conception. There is a need to increase public health awareness of the optimal time and subsequent benefits for taking folic acid, to prevent neural tube defects.