Join the Centre for Primary Care & Health Services Research for a “realist” themed seminar exploring the use of scientific realism in healthcare research. We are delighted to welcome Rebecca Hunter, Dr Nicky Harris, and Norina Gasteiger who will discuss their use of scientific realism in research on digital self-management for chronic low back pain; an ehealth intervention for children with life-limiting conditions; and augmented and virtual reality to upskill care home workers.
After the main seminar (1.00-2.00) there will be the option to stay on the call to discuss the methods in more details (2.00-2.30).
Full details of the speakers and their talks are below. For Zoom details, please email CPCHSR.firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Hunter is a Pain Specialist Physiotherapist with NHS Highland and a PhD student at the University of Highlands and Islands. She has particular interest in digital health technology and the potential it has in providing equitable access to healthcare in remote and rural locations. Rebecca’s thesis is on digital self-management of chronic low back pain, and she is using realist methodology in the form of a realist review and realist evaluation in her research design. Rebecca has recently published a paper on realist reviews as an introduction to the method for those who are new to realist research. Access the paper
Realist research – are you for real?
It has arguably never been more important for research to demonstrate its social impact and usefulness to public policy makers. Pawson and Tilley’s Realist Evaluation and Review has much to give to the field of implementation science. However, rumours abound in academic corridors that this method is overly complicated and time-consuming. This is hardly surprising when warnings have been issued that realist research is ‘not for the novice’. This short presentation will provide a brief overview of Pawson and Tilley’s Scientific Realism and present an argument for its use in primary care and health services research. In so doing, I hope to demonstrate that the methods are not so inaccessible as they may appear to be and the impact realist research can make is worth the undertaking.
Dr Nicky Harris: Nicky is a paediatrician by background and a latecomer to academia. She is about to submit her PhD at UWE in Bristol and recently gave a talk about the use of theory in a realist project, which you can watch online.
Realist research – the method (and the madness!)
As a newcomer to research, I embarked on a realist evaluation of ehealth for children with life-limiting conditions, wanting to understand for whom and how it affected communication with healthcare professionals and why that could have an impact on the delivery of person-centred care – a baptism of fire given the complexity of the intervention. This short presentation will describe my findings, and illustrate how the use of a realist approach enabled me to understand what was really going on below the surface.
Norina Gasteiger: Norina is a second year PhD fellow in the NIHR ARC GM digital health theme at the University of Manchester.
How, for Whom, and in Which Contexts or Conditions Augmented and Virtual Reality Training Works in Upskilling Health Care Workers: Realist Synthesis
This review forms the background of my realist evaluation on how augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can help to upskill care home workers in hand hygiene practices. The aim was to develop, test, and refine an evidence-informed program theory that explains how, for whom, and to what extent training using AR or VR works for upskilling health care workers in general. In this short presentation I will outline the methods and findings of the review, which can help to exemplify how a realist review might be conducted.
Access the protocol for the review and the full review.