VAMHN'S ECR BURSARY WINNER Gabrielle beaudry DISCUSSES HER ATTENDANCE AT a training course on clinical Predictions Models
Have a read below to see what our ECR bursary winner Gabrielle Beaudry did with their award money. To find out how you can apply to our ECR Bursary Scheme click here.
I was fortunate to attend the course on Clinical Predictions Models from the Department of Epidemiology and Data Science at Amsterdam UMC delivered online by Dr Martijn Heymans on 6, 7 and 8 January 2021. The aim of the course was to provide insight into the development and validation of prognostic and diagnostic prediction models for various clinical outcomes. The course consisted of interactive lectures and computer-based practical work (using R). The main themes were: (1) the development and quality; (2) validation; (3) and updating of prediction models.
More specifically, we discussed various methods for selecting variables, and the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches. We also focused on assessing the quality of the prediction model — in terms of accuracy, discrimination and calibration — following its development. Another key component of the course was external validation, which involves validating the model amongst new patients. Finally, we learned about techniques for updating the prediction model if generalisability problems occur when it is transposed to a new clinical setting.
This course was invaluable for the completion of my DPhil, which focuses on violence risk assessment and prevention of future violence in people released from prison. It provided me with the necessary knowledge and skills to validate an existing model — the Oxford Risk of Recidivism tool (OxRec) — in two different countries (i.e. Tajikistan and the UK). These projects have since been submitted for publication as scientific articles. I am very grateful to the VAMHN for the support they provided me with the Early Career Researchers’ (ECR) Bursary, which enabled me to attend the course.
VAMHN'S ECR BURSARY WINNER Alex Fairnes DISCUSSES their ATTENDANCE AT THE MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow
Have a read below to see what our ECR bursary winner Alex Fairnes did with their award money. To find out how you can apply to our ECR Bursary Scheme click here.
I spent one week at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow. My aim was to use the facilities and the contacts to review recent U.K.- focusing literature concerning the impact of exposure to domestic violence on the health and developmental well-being of children and young people.
In my view, this seems to be particular relevant given the evidence of rising domestic violence during the lock-down and the severe impact on youth mental health.
During my stay, I undertook a comprehensive search of identified databases which were developed within an 11-year framework (1995-2006) in the U.K.. Impact was explored across four separate yet inter-related domains (domestic violence exposure and child abuse; impact on parental capacity; impact on child and adolescent development; and exposure to additional adversities), with potential outcomes and key messages concerning best practice responses to children's needs highlighted.
There is compelling evidence that children and adolescents living with domestic violence are at increased risk of experiencing emotional, physical and sexual abuse, of developing emotional and behavioral problems and of increased exposure to the presence of other adversities in their lives. This should inform action towards a range of protective factors that can mitigate against this impact, in particular a strong relationship with and attachment to a caring adult, usually the mother.
Moreover, children and young people may be significantly affected by living with domestic violence, and impact can endure even after measures have been taken to secure their safety. Based on findings of my literature review, there is rarely a direct causal pathway leading to a particular outcome and that children are active in constructing their own social world. Implications for interventions suggest that timely, appropriate and individually tailored responses need to build on the resilient blocks in the child's life.
Given the limited period of my research stay, I am keen to further explore the links between exposure to domestic violence, various forms of child abuse and other related adversities, investigating how such exposure may have a differential yet potentially deleterious impact for children and young people.
From a resilient perspective, I am also interested, in the future, to review the influence of each protective factor regarding the impact of exposure and the subsequent outcomes for the child.
The research stay comes to benefit of me as an independent researcher ad survivors’ community organiser. It definitely strengthened my abilities, skills and network of contacts finds and will hopefully help me contribute to discussions & action plans for a holistic and child-centered approach to service delivery, derived from an informed assessment, designed to capture a picture of the individual child's experience, and responsive to their individual needs.
VAMHN'S ECR BURSARY WINNER Claire cunnington DISCUSSES her ATTENDANCE AT the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect conference
Have a read below to see what our ECR bursary winner Claire Cunnington did with their award money. To find out how you can apply to our ECR Bursary Scheme click here.
I was really grateful to be awarded the Early Career Researcher grant from VAMHN to attend the 2021 International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect (ISPCAN) Milan Virtual Congress. I finished my PhD in May 2020 and afterwards is the perfect time to share your research but as an hourly paid academic that’s not always possible. That’s why the VAMHN grant was so helpful.
My Wellcome Trust funded doctoral research took a salutogenic, strengths-based approach to recovering from childhood sexual abuse (CSA) by asking adults what had helped and hindered their recovery. Salutogenics is about finding out what moves people towards better health, happiness and wellbeing, rather than what causes illness, sadness and lower wellbeing. Whilst the larger field is extensive there is very little about recovery from the perspective of adults who have experienced CSA. To very quickly sum up the research results - what helped recovering were good, safe relationships and activities that cause a flow state. What hindered was people who minimised the abuse, denied the victim and in general were not supportive. My paper at ISPCAN argued that responses to abuse disclosure can utilise the same neutralisation techniques adopted by perpetrators.
Presenting at the conference gave me an invaluable opportunity to share my research, increase my skills and keep up with research in the wider field. It also made me consider further how to challenge these neutralising responses and I am currently working on a short film to improve responses to disclosure in the NHS. I am so grateful to VAMHM for the funding.
In 2021 the VAMHN funded a project as part of its understanding stream which was led by Dr Rachel Latham at King's College London. The project was about "Understanding the impact of micro- and macro-level violence during adolescence on mental health at the transition to adulthood". The study examined how adolescents’ experiences of violence and neighbourhood disorder (e.g., vandalism and muggings) affects their mental health as they move into adulthood.
Saffron, Bianca and Alysha are the peer researchers who worked on the project and have written an insightful blog on what their experiences were like as experts by experience who were integral to the running of the project. This blog highlights the importance of centering the voices of people with lived experience in research.
To read the full blog click here.