Seminars

Members of the general public are welcome to attend our seminars. However space is limited so if you would like to attend, please ring Sandra Smith at least 24 hours prior to the seminar on 0115 823 2634 to reserve a place. If Sandra Smith is unavailable contact Jan Kelly on 0115 823 2617 or contact reception on 0115 823 2600.

15 September 2014

Distinctions between Predictive Psychosocial Barriers to Hearing Aid Use and Subsequent Reasons Give

Presenter(s): Dr Sarah Bent
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Despite hearing aids being provided by the NHS, 20-25% of people identified as needing them do not use them regularly, with negative impact on the individual, carers and families and inefficient use of resources.  There are thought to be many barriers that contribute to adults not using hearing aids, but these have not been explored fully. This study is the first stage in a planned body of research aiming to qualitatively explore barriers that prevent adults from using hearing aids, leading to greater understanding of needs and outcomes for clinical application, and tailored assessment and rehabilitation for those with hearing difficulties.

The study asked: what are the potential psychosocial barriers to successful hearing aid use in the adult population? Qualitative and quantitative literature were searched systematically and reviewed using a narrative approach, allowing a diverse range of characteristics to be explored and drawn together, further explored through thematic synthesis. Evidence for psychosocial barriers identified in the literature are detailed, drawn together with emphasis on predicting hearing aid use. By building on the current evidence for barriers to successful rehabilitation, developed through continuing research, the aim is for Audiology services to successfully provide the right intervention tailored to the individual.

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14 July 2014

Language use in preschool children: A role for a domain-general contextual facilitation process?

Presenter(s): Dr Karen Banai
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Abstract
Cognitive development in the first years of life involves increased specialization of brain function as well as an increase in the use of domain specific knowledge. Nevertheless, the role of domain-general processes in preschool language remains poorly understood (and little studied). We hypothesize that anchoring -- a domain general process that allows individuals to implicitly benefit from contextual information embedded in sequences of stimuli – contributes to a range of language functions in children. To test this hypothesis, a series of studies was conducted in preschool children (overall n > 250). In those studies, anchoring in a range of language and non-language tasks was estimated by comparing performance across task conditions differing in the degree of contextual consistency across stimuli. For each task a higher-context and a lower-context condition were compared, and performance differences favoring the higher-context condition were taken as evidence for anchoring. We report four major findings. (1) Anchoring was found to facilitate performance across non-verbal visual and auditory tasks as well as phonological awareness, rapid naming and phonological working memory. (2) Anchoring in those experimental tasks accounted for unique variance in independent assessments of vocabulary, definitions, phonological awareness and letter knowledge.  (3) Morphological similarity across words was found to induce anchoring, but interfere with word learning (4) Children with developmental language impairments had anchoring deficits in word learning and verbal memory tasks. Together, these data suggest that anchoring directly contributes to performance in a range of language tasks and relates to individual differences in language skills. Consistent with our anchoring hypothesis, these findings support the claim that a domain-general contextual facilitation process contributes to a range of language functions in the preschool years. We therefore propose that domain-general contextual facilitation contributes to language development in the preschool period, although further longitudinal studies are needed to support this proposal.

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30 June 2014

Voice and language processing in the infant brain

Presenter(s): Dr Evelyne Mercure
Time: 13.00 - 14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

The human voice is the most socially important stimulus in our auditory environment and areas of the adult brain are specialised for processing language and non-speech vocalisations. Are we born with these patterns of functional specialisation or do they develop with years of experience of listening to human voices? New advances in neuroimaging methods now allow studying the early stages of this brain development. I will present the results of a study using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate brain activation to non-speech vocalisations in 4 to 7 month old infants. I will also present data linking these infants’ brain activation to human voices at 4 to 7 months with their language development at 14 months. Finally I will present the design of an on-going study investigating how early language experience shapes brain representation for language in babies. This study compares 3 groups of 4 to 7 month old infants with different language experience: 30 infants from a monolingual environment, 30 infants from a bilingual environment in which 2 spoken languages are frequently used and 30 infants with a Deaf mother who are growing up in a bilingual environment where British Sign Language (BSL) and English are frequently used.

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28 April 2014

The Professionalisation of Audiology in the UK – Preliminary Findings

Presenter(s):
Time: 13.00 - 14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

The Professionalisation of Audiology in the UK – Preliminary Findings Tendai Ngwerume (Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

Audiology is a health profession that specialises in the non-medical aspects of hearing and balance disorders in the UK. Audiology constitutes one of several healthcare sciences, predominantly found practicing in the National Health Service, that have gone through significant changes over the last decade. These changes, often driven by the State, include the widespread change in pay, training and introduction of market reforms for routine services. The introduction of market reforms are an attempt at reducing the overall healthcare budget in the wake of an expected rise in demand for national health services.
This study aims to reveal how the profession, as represented by its leaders, reconciles State led changes in education, practice and market forces with its professionalisation strategy. Qualitative methodology is used to explore the views of professional leaders in Audiology. Interviews with leaders and secondary texts form the corpus of data being analysed. Some preliminary findings will be discussed.

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07 April 2014

Using internet interventions to support self-management

Presenter(s): Dr Adam Geraghty
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Abstract: Research on the use of the internet to self-manage a broad array of symptoms is increasing rapidly. In this talk I will discuss what internet interventions are and are not, when and where they might be helpful, and issues to consider when planning development. I will then explore two example internet interventions currently being developed by our team at the University of Southampton. The first, ‘Balance Retraining’ is a structured internet-based Vestibular Rehabilitation (VR) intervention designed for adults over 50 experiencing chronic dizziness. This project extends a successful programme of work examining VR booklets in primary care. The second, ‘Healthy Paths’ is an intervention designed specifically for primary care patients experiencing emotional distress. It combines mindfulness-based approaches with behavioural activation and is being co-built with patients. I will conclude by discussing the future of internet interventions and outlining some areas of caution.

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24 March 2014

Studying attention and cognitive training in childhood using MEG and behavioural methods

Presenter(s): Dr Duncan Astle
Time: 13.00 - 14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Functional connectivity within the brain is fundamental to its healthy functioning, with complex cognitive processes depending upon interactions between different brain regions. As children develop these connections mature and become more efficient. Over the past year, at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, we have been exploring these connections with magnetoencephalography, and exploring how differences in connectivity can help us understand why cognitive abilities differ so markedly across children. We are also exploring interventions, in this case intensive cognitive training, that may boost the strength of these connections. This talk will outline our recent progress in this programme of research.

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17 March 2014

Tinnitus support groups - how do they help & what do they need to work

Presenter(s): Claire Arthur
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

No Abstract Available 

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10 March 2014

TBA

Presenter(s): Jennifer Bizley
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

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03 February 2014

Title: Comparing sensitivity to change of two patient-reported outcome measures in a randomised trial of patients referred for physiotherapy services

Presenter(s):
Time: 13.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

The SF-36 Physical Component Summary (PCS) and the Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP) are respectively generic and individualised self-report tools to assess health. The aim of this study was to compare responsiveness to change in these outcomes among patients with musculoskeletal problems referred for physiotherapy.
In this study, data were collected at baseline, 6 weeks and 6 months from 3714 participants recruited to the PhysioDirect randomised trial. Utilising change from baseline scores among participants responding as ‘slightly better’ on a global item, three different response statistics – standardised response mean, effect size, Guyatt’s response index – were calculated for MYMOP and PCS. These were formally compared using a modified jacknife procedure.
MYMOP response statistics were 0.88, 1.08 and 1.11 at 6 weeks and 0.83, 1.16 and 1.16 at 6 months for SRM, ES and GRI respectively. Values for PCS were 0.57, 0.50 and 0.70 at 6 weeks and 0.63, 0.62 and 0.86 at 6 months. There was strong evidence that MYMOP was more sensitive to change than PCS at both time points (p<0.001 for all comparisons). There was evidence that MYMOP was more responsive among women than men at 6 weeks but not at 6 months, and that both MYMOP and PCS were more sensitive among younger than older participants at both times points.
MYMOP was more responsive to change than PCS, and responsiveness remained more stable over time. Allowing trial participants to define and measure symptoms that cause them greatest problems may allow detection of smaller but clinically important effects than generic outcomes.

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