My Signals - Patient Collection
In My Signals, health and social care staff and service users tell us what research is important to them and why they feel others need to know about it.
In this collection, we asked four members of the public who have experience of health research to tell us which NIHR Signals have most interested them, or even prompted them to rethink their care, and explain why they feel the findings are worth sharing.
Join the conversation on Twitter and tell us which Signals have interested, excited or su...
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition where everyday life is disrupted by intrusive thoughts and often repetitive rituals to cope with them, such as excessive hand washing or checking whether doors are locked. This makes it difficult to lead a normal life and is costly to the sufferer and wider society, in terms of lost employment and life opportunities, impact on family, and support and welfare costs.
Medication and psychological treatments can work for reliev...
Patient experience of primary care
Every year since 2007 the NHS in England asked patients what they think about their GP practice in a large national survey. The survey findings are intended to inform patients, healthcare professionals and planners about patients’ experience of the care provided by individual practices in England.
This Highlight shares insights obtained from research using this general practice survey data. We share findings on what patients really think about their care, how this varies for different patient g...
Options in the care of people with depression
Depression may affect more than one in ten of the UK population at any one time, and cost the NHS in excess of £500m per year, with high additional costs in informal care and lost working time. Depression is typically a recurring condition, and more than half of people who experience depression once will go on to have at least one more episode.
Up to 90% of patients with depression are treated in primary care, but care can be complex, involving a number of different specialists and requiring ac...
Every winter, many of us will get the flu. Most people will get better after a few days, but for certain vulnerable people, it can have serious consequences, including pneumonia.
The prevailing strain of virus changes a little every year and an annual programme of immunisation, with a fresh vaccine, is conducted during the autumn in the UK. Some immunity carries over from year to year for this ‘seasonal’ flu, but every few years a quite different flu virus emerges in the world causing a pandemi...
Alternatives to open surgery
Over 10 million people in the UK are living with musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis and the effects of fractures and other injuries. They are the reason for at least 20% of all visits to the GP.
These conditions become more common in an ageing population, due to wear and tear on the joints, obesity, thinning of the bones, falls and fractures. Older people are more likely to have additional health conditions, more likely to suffer complications of surgery and less likely to heal quick...
Managing obesity in men
In the UK, it’s estimated that around one in every four adults is obese, with research suggesting that ratio is likely to increase over time. Obesity is associated with a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions including stroke, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and some types of cancer.
Although men are more likely to be overweight or obese than women, they are less likely to join weight-loss programmes, and have a lower chance of attaining a healthy body weight tha...
Supporting carers of people with dementia
Dementia is becoming more common as we live longer. Caring for people with dementia is demanding, with increased dependency as the disease progresses and behaviour which is often challenging. Around two thirds of people with dementia live at home and there may be as many as 670,000 people in the UK who are the main carers for people with dementia.
The new Care Act, which came into force in England from April 2015, now requires local authorities to assess the needs of carers for support and serv...
Cognitive therapies for depression
Depression is common, affecting up to one person in five at some point during their lifetime. More than half of those affected will experience at least two episodes. It is often a long term condition, and as such the cost to health services is high – around £3 billion a year in the UK, with a large additional cost to the economy as a result of lost working time. Depression is also one of the most common reasons for visiting a GP.
While depression is often treated with anti-depressant medication...