Children, young people & families programme, Health inequalities theme, Places & Communities Programme
University of Sheffield
My research interests are broadly focussed on the health and wellbeing of children, young people and families, and reducing health inequalities.
What has been your career journey so far?
My research career began when I joined the Injury Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group at the University of Nottingham. I worked on a number of projects to help prevent unintentional injuries in preschool children, and to prevent falls in older adults. I have gained valuable experience of all aspects of the research process. Prior to starting my PhD, I completed a Master of Public Health at the University of Nottingham.
Why did you choose to do a PhD in public health research?
Considering the contribution I have made to public health research so far, I am keen to develop and lead on a major research project. My PhD project aligns with my passion for improving the lives and opportunities for children and young people, and I believe it will provide me with the experience and training necessary to move forward with my research career.
What is your research focused on?
The aim of this research is to further our understanding of how we can encourage adolescents living in disadvantaged communities to be more physically active. This will be achieved by conducting a case study of junior parkrun events and their local communities, in two areas of Nottingham and Sheffield. The research aims to gain an understanding of the influences on physical activity among adolescents participating in junior parkrun, with a view to gaining further insight about which factors help or prevent adolescents to engage in physical activity more generally, including those that do not participate in junior parkrun.
Why is it important?
Research shows that physical activity levels decline as children age, and some literature suggests levels are lower among adolescents living in disadvantaged communities. It is widely accepted that physical activity has the potential to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases, therefore there is a strong rationale for including physical activity as a strategy to reduce health inequalities. Current evidence suggests that physical activity interventions targeted at this group are ineffective, hence there is a basis for trying to gain a deeper understanding of what influences physical activity. My research aims to contribute to the development of more effective physical activity policies and interventions to improve health for adolescents, and to reduce inequalities in health.
What do you like about being a part of the NIHR School for Public Health Research?
The NIHR School for Public Health Research has been a valuable facilitator of meeting other early career researchers. The school offers many opportunities for networking and training.
What skills have you learnt and/or are hoping to learn as part of your PhD?
I have gained many new skills during my PhD journey so far. These include designing a research project, preparing applications for ethical approval, project management and data management. I am currently recruiting participants for the qualitative element of the case study, therefore gaining valuable experience of recruitment, interview techniques and obtaining informed consent. As my PhD progresses, I will gain further experience of conducting interviews and thematic analysis of interview data, writing for peer reviewed publications (and my thesis!) and presenting my findings at conferences and key stakeholder events. I will also be developing my skills in quantitative analysis in my final year.
What do you hope to do after completing your PhD?
After completing my PhD I hope to continue working in public health by undertaking post-doctoral research. I also aim to work with local government to identify how the findings from my PhD can be used to improve health for children and young people.
Orton E, Lafond N, Skelton DA, Coupland C, Gladman JRF, Iliffe S, Logan PA, Masud T, Timblin C, Timmons S, Kendrick D. Implementation fidelity of the Falls Management Exercise Programme: a mixed methods analysis using a conceptual framework for implementation fidelity. Public Health. 2021;197:11-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2021.05.038
Orton E, Audsley S, Coupland C, Gladman JRF, Iliffe S, Lafond N, Logan P, Masud T, Skelton D, Timblin C, Timmons T, Ward D, Kendrick D. ‘Real world’ effectiveness of the Falls Management Exercise (FaME) programme: an implementation study. Age and Ageing. 2021;50(4):1290-7. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afaa288
Orton E, Watson MC, Hayes M, Patel T, Jones M, Coupland C, Timblin C, Carpenter H, Kendrick D. Evaluation of the effectiveness, implementation and cost-effectiveness of the Stay One Step Ahead home safety promotion intervention for pre-school children: a study protocol. Injury Prevention. 2020;26(6):573. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2020-043877
Carpenter H, Audsley S, Coupland C, Gladman J, Kendrick D, Lafond N, Logan P, Skelton D, Timblin C, Timmons S, Ward D, Orton E. PHysical activity Implementation Study In Community-dwelling AduLts (PHISICAL): study protocol. Injury Prevention. 2019;25(5):453. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2017-042627
Kendrick D, Ablewhite J, Achana F, Benford P, Clacy R, Coffey F, et al. Programme Grants for Applied Research. Keeping Children Safe: a multicentre programme of research to increase the evidence base for preventing unintentional injuries in the home in the under-fives. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library. 2017. DOI: 10.3310/pgfar05140
Cooper NJ, Kendrick D, Timblin C, Hayes M, Majsak-Newman G, Meteyard K, et al. The short-term cost of falls, poisonings and scalds occurring at home in children under 5 years old in England: multicentre longitudinal study. Injury Prevention. 2016;22(5):334-41. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2015-041808