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Current Projects

If you can't find the project you are looking for, it is possible that it is no longer active and is now part of the list of completed projects.


I Know Food: Integrating Knowledge for Food Systems Resilience

Systems of food production, trade and consumption are increasingly vulnerable to interconnected political, economic and ecological shocks and stresses associated with climate and environmental changes, shifts in farming practices, uneven power dynamics and consumer lifestyle changes. IKnowFood will take an interdisciplinary multi-stakeholder approach to developing a unifying understanding of ‘food system resilience’ using tools and methods to integrate the knowledge and perspectives of hitherto disparate food system actors.

This BBSRC funded project involves multiple departments at York; within Health Sciences, the leads are Kate Pickett and Maddy Power who are working on theme 3 - 'Consumer'. In this theme the research focuses on reslilience to consumerism and over-consumption. Emerging theory suggests that consumerism and associated poor food-related behaviour is substantially intensified by greater social and economic inequality. The serious public health and environmental risks of apparently unstoppable over-consumption, and its concomitant waste, which brings with it little evidence of improvement in wellbeing, will be examined in the context of global food security.

Link to project

Link to iknowfood website

Promoting health and protecting the environment: a systematic review of qualitative research of behaviours with health and environmental benefits

This project will consist of two systematic reviews of qualitative research on behaviours with health and environmental impacts. The reviews will be focused respectively on travel behaviour and diet-related behaviour. Qualitative studies of individual’s perceptions and experiences of these behaviours will be included, paying particular attention to the influence of social inequalities on the facilitators of and barriers to healthy and pro-environmental behaviours.

Link to project.

Public perceptions of the health risks of climate change and priorities for action

An NIHR Public  Health Policy Research Unit funded project to understand people's perceptions of the health risks of climate change and their priorities for action.

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Long Term Conditions or Life Limiting Illnesses

The Martin House Research Centre

The Martin House Research Centre is a partnership between Martin House Children’s Hospice, the University of York (Department of Health Sciences and the Social Policy Research Unit) and the University of Leeds. 

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Children and Young People with Life-Limiting Conditions and Hospital Admissions to Paediatric Intensive Care Units in England: the Development of a Clinical Scoring System

Lorna Fraser has been awarded a three-year postdoctoral fellowship from the NIHR, for a project entitled “Children and Young People with Life-Limiting Conditions and Hospital Admissions to Paediatric Intensive Care Units in England: the Development of a Clinical Scoring System”.

Link to project page.

Crisis prevention rather than crisis management: the health of mothers of children with a life-limiting condition

Lorna Fraser has been awarded a five-year career development fellowship from the NIHR, for a project entitled 'Crisis prevention rather than crisis management: the health of mothers of children with a life-limiting condition'

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This project aims to identify the risks, benefits and resource implications for using home-blended food for children with gastrostomy tubes compared to currently recommended formula feeds.

Link to project.

Primary Care Usage in Parents of Children with a Life-Limiting Condition

There are growing numbers of children with medical conditions that will shorten their lives (Life-Limiting Conditions (LLC)). These children have very high health care needs but little is known about the impact of having a child with a LLC on a parent’s own health particularly their mental health.

Link to project.

Estimating Current and Future Prevalence of Life-Limiting Conditions in Children and Young People in the UK utilising multiple data sources

This study aims to update and improve national estimates of prevalence of children and young people with a life limiting condition (LLC) in the UK and predict their future prevalence (2017-2030)

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Changing how people think and feel about Cancer Prevention Behaviours: Translating Neuroscience into Population Health

Unhealthy behaviours, such as overeating are associated with increased risk for developing cancer. The aim for this project is to examine the effect of positive affect, episodic future thinking, and their interaction on temporal discounting (TD), food demand, and food choice. A greater understanding of how positive affect and future rewards influence food decisions will help improve other types of healthy decision-making to prevent cancer.

Link to project.

The palliative care needs of people with motor neurone disease (MND) and their informal caregivers

The aim of this research is to explore the palliative care needs of adult patients and their informal carers living with MND, or bereaved carers of people with MND through a systematic review of qualitative research.

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Pain Management

Improving the Management of Advanced Cancer Pain in the Community

The aim of this program of research is to benefit NHS patients suffering with pain from advanced cancer by earlier identification of patients and their carers that need support, promoting self-management, assessing and monitoring their pain and communicating this data between primary and secondary care, and ensuring good management of analgesic drugs.

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Parenting, children and young people

New Wave: Born in Bradford follow up

This study is an extension of the Born in Bradford (BiB) Study which was set up in 2007 to track the lives of 13,500 babies and their families, with the aim of finding out more about childhood illnesses by studying children from all cultures and backgrounds as their lives unfold.

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Early Words Together

This study aims to explore the Home Learning Environment (HLE) in disadvantaged homes and the extent to which it can be subject to change, using an early years parent and child engagement programme (Early Words Together (EWT)) as a catalyst for change. 

Link to project

Link to Early Words Together programme 

Enhancing Social Emotional Wellbeing in the Early Years (E-SEE)

The E-SEE trial is a multi-disciplinary evaluation of the effectiveness and acceptability of Incredible Years (IY) Parent Programmes for 0-2 year-olds. This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research (NIHR PHR) Programme (project number 13/93/10).

Link to project page.

A Better Start (Big Lottery)

There is strong evidence that the first few years of life build the foundations for future health and wellbeing. Taking a preventative approach together with systems changes in local agencies can improve the life chances of babies and children. However, these interventions have yet to be tested at scale. The Better Start Bradford Innovation Hub will evaluate how 22 interventions aimed at pregnant women and children in three areas of Bradford impact on children's health and development. 

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Cohorts as Platforms for Mental Health research (CaP:MH)

This project aims to enhance two of the UK's premier population based birth cohorts to create an intergenerational, integrated resource for mental health research with an unparalleled capacity to consider the importance of the early life course.

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Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of adolescents experiencing multiple displacements

This project investigates the family planning needs of multiply displaced adolescents in the context of humantiarian crisis in Zimbabwe and how these needs can be addressed

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HIV Prevention Innovation project for refugees and asylum seekers

Yorkshire MESMAC's 'Welcome Hear Project' is a HIV prevention project aimed at new arrivals (refugees and asylum seekers) in Wakefield

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The Co-Production of Young People's Health and Social Services (CYPHER)

Cypher is a participatory research project designed to enable children and young people to have an impact upon their local health and social care policy formulation and service provision. 

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Using Islamic religious settings to prevent childhood obesity among South Asian children in the UK

This research project aims to explore the possibilities and modalities of obesity prevention intervention though Islamic Religious Settings (IRS) like mosques, madrassas, women's circles to study Islam, Muslim charity organisations, and mosque-based or mosque-originated sports or physical activity groups.

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This project will support a partnership with Chance UK (CUK), a charity helping children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, to re-design two existing intervention programmes they currently offer to disadvantaged children and families.

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Smoking and Other Addictions

Improving the effectiveness and reach of NHS support for smoking cessation in pregnancy.

This programme aims to increase the uptake and effectiveness of NHS Stop Smoking Services for pregnant women (SSSP) by determining when and how NHS cessation support is best offered in pregnancy.

Link to project.

The efficacy of varenicline in achieving abstinence among hookah smokers: A two-arm, double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial

The objective of this trial is to assess the efficacy of varenicline when added to behavioural support for smoking cessation, by measuring biochemically validated continuous abstinence in hookah smokers.

Link to project.

Tobacco cessation within TB programmes: A ‘real world’ solution for countries with dual burden of disease

The aim of the TB and Tobacco project is to reduce the burden of tobacco-related lung diseases. The approach proposed in this project is to integrate inexpensive tobacco cessation strategies of proven efficacy into TB control programmes. 

Link to project.

Smokeless Tobacco Control in the UK: A supply chain analysis to inform policy

The aim of this project is to understand how existing tobacco control policies are currently applied to the smokeless tobacco supply chain in the UK. By identifying any gaps in implementation of the policies, we hope to recommend policy changes that will help to reduce the harm caused by smokeless tobacco.

Link to project.

Muslim Communities Learning About Second-hand Smoke in Bangladesh (MCLASS II): An effectiveness-implementation hybrid study

The aim of the MCLASS II project is to develop and test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a community-based intervention called 'Muslims for better Health', with our without Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) feedback, in reducing exposure to second-hand smoke in homes in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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Tobacco farming: Exploring novel approaches to offer and evaluate viable alternative livelihoods

Tobacco farming has many negative consequences for the health and wellbeing of farmers, as well as for the environment and the long-term wellbeing of the country concerned. This project explores novel approaches to offer and evaluate viable alternative livelihoods for tobacco farmers.

Link to project.

Improving TB outcomes by modifying life-style behaviours through a brief motivational intervention (PROLIFE)

South Africa has the third highest TB burden, however, TB treatment success rates are low due to high treatment interruption, drug resistance and death. There are a multitude of social, behavioural, structural and clinical factors that impact individual's chances of successful TB treatment. This is an international study working with collaborators in South Africa to enhance TB treatment adherence and outcomes through a motivational intervention programme (PROLIFE).

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Building capacity for applied research to reduce tobacco-related harm in low and middle income countries.

This project is an international collaboration involving a team of UK academics, researchers in low and middle income countries (LMICs) and charities working to reduce harm from tobacco. The overall aim is to improve research capacity in LMICs to conduct high quality studies that will generate evidence on how to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by tobacco use and to advance key development priorities.

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The relative feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of community asset-based approaches versus community non-asset based approaches to smoking prevention and cessation: a systematic review

The aim of this project is to conduct a comparative systematic review of process and outcomes in community based smoking cessation and prevention studies, and tobacco control.

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ASTRA – Addressing Smokeless Tobacco and Building Research Capacity in South Asia

ASTRA is a world-class, international and interdisciplinary group, aiming to reduce the substantial burden of disease caused by smokeless tobacco. Smokeless tobacco is responsible for thousands of deaths per year, but has so far been neglected in policy and research.

Link to project page.

Other Studies and Trials

Understanding the relationship between mental health interventions, the social determinants of health and health inequalities

One third of the UK’s population will experience a common mental disorder (CMD) such as anxiety or depression in their lifetime. People who are socio-economically disadvantaged are more likely to have a CMD, less likely to have their disorder recognised by the health service and less likely to benefit from treatment. Currently, we know little about how to reduce this mental health inequality.

This fellowship project proposes to address this research gap by investigating the impact of interventions on mental health inequalities.

Health behaviours and health behaviour change among adults in England

This project aims to enrich the evidence base for public health policies by providing up-to-date information for adults in England on: cigarette smoking; alcohol intake; fruit and vegetable consumption; and physical activity. It will investigate the prevalence and social patterning of these four health behaviours and explore whether they are associated with early-adulthood life transitions.

Health e-Research Centre (HeRC) for the North of England

HeRC develops and applies advanced methods to unlock and harness real-world evidence from health data across Northern England. This will create a world- leading multidisciplinary e-research environment for health discovery and innovation across the universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Lancaster and York.

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Connected Yorkshire

Connected Yorkshire is part of the wider Connected Health Cities programme which aims to improve health services for patients in North England. The objective of the programme is to make better use of under-used information and apply the latest technologies to enhance local health needs and to work with patients to ensure  research is relevant, effective and has a real impact on public health.

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A feasibility study into producing a national housing profile of people with severe mental illness

This CFH funded project aims to produce a map of the standards of housing that people with severe mental illness or personality disorders live with

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Understanding ethnic variations in the prevalence and experience of food insecurity, and its interaction with mental health: A mixed-methods longitudinal research programme

Dr Maddy Power has been awarded a three-year Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science to investigate ethnic variations in the prevalence and experience of food insecurity and its interaction with mental health.

Link to the project page