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Research Comes to the Library brings Liverpool's research into our libraries. The current highlighted research comes from Radiotherapy, School of Health Sciences, Institute of Population Health and will be featured in the Harold Cohen & Sydney Jones libraries throughout May, June and July. You can view the research in detail on the Research comes to the Library online display. Here, Mike Kirby and Lauren Oliver explain the background to their research.
Our research and development within Radiotherapy focuses on a wide range of investigations to help patients within their cancer journey and healthcare professionals in their own education and development. Much of the research is conducted by our students – as UGs in their final year for their dissertations, or as MSc students who are working clinically fulltime in the NHS and elsewhere and conduct their research over 12 months with us…. both are challenging! In this way, our work is very much applied to real clinical situations through research, evaluation and audit of clinical services so as to make them more effective during treatment.
Our Radiotherapy staff also conduct research with a clinical focus themselves. This work focuses on the consequences of cancer treatment, including the long-term side effects of radiotherapy for cancers in the pelvis. Research in this area includes development of eLearning tools to increase professional awareness of such conditions, and a national evaluation of the use of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) to identify physical and psychological effects of treatment.
Our PROMs work provides recommendations for clinical implementation within UK radiotherapy centres, maximising the benefits of PROMs for patients. These include improved health-related quality of life, survival, and symptom control. Projects currently underway involve use of PROMs for patients receiving radiotherapy for prostate cancer, and development of digital tools to support patients living with long-term side effects, with the aim to improve patient quality of life.
Staff are also heavily involved with pedagogic research – improving learning and teaching methods for greater effect. Especially in the School of Health Sciences, who engage in award-winning interprofessional practices and pioneering research into, for example, how simulation and virtual reality can be used alongside and even instead of some aspects of clinical placements. Doing so helps alleviate the pressures of clinical training in very busy NHS and other clinical services, whilst still providing first-class and clinically effective teaching and training for our pre-registration students.
Here we have mentioned just a small sample of our work from within our group and within the School of Health Sciences. Please feel free to get in touch as we’d love to hear your thoughts and perhaps collaborate with you! All academic disciplines are of interest to us in researching and speaking more about Radiotherapy, how it has developed, how it can be improved, how we can communicate it better to patients and public alike, how our students and staff can develop, the opinions and experiences of our patients and professionals. But above all, how we can help our patients through diagnosis, treatment and living well beyond.
We're looking for exciting and engaging examples of Liverpool research to showcase in the libraries and share with the University community. Research can come to the Library as physical or digital posters, online displays, models or interactive exhibits. If you would like to see your research featured by the library next academic year then please let us know.
Follow Lauren and Mike on Twitter: @PRDResearch & @RevDrMike.