Mental Health Survey of Community Pharmacists

Researching the Move to Independent Living

Research with Older Homeless People

Some Examples of Our Work

City of Vancouver Shape Your City

We have provided research support to a number of public consultation surveys conducted by the City of Vancouver. This has included quantitative analysis as well as analyzing data from open-ended survey questions. These surveys have covered a spectrum of topics and varied in length, with the number of written responses ranging from 400 to 10,000. In addition to data analysis, we also prepare summary reports to visually present the qualitative findings. This involves synthesizing key insights to provide a clear understanding of the survey results.

public engagement

A Needs Assessment for A Healthy Relationships Program

We conducted a comprehensive needs assessment for METRAC: Action on Violence. METRAC sought to explore the viability of establishing a Healthy Relationships education prevention program tailored for young women (aged 16-29) who are D/deaf or hard-of-hearing, or have physical disabilities. Prior to program development, METRAC aimed to glean insights from young individuals to optimize accessibility and ensure program excellence. METRAC engaged Qualitas Research to conduct in-depth analysis and compile a comprehensive report based on gathered feedback. In close collaboration with the METRAC team, we collected data through online focus groups involving youth, caregivers, and service providers, as well as one-on-one interviews with women with lived experiences. Additionally, we conducted interviews with senior staff from organizations with expertise in running healthy relationship programs. Through thematic analysis, we uncovered valuable insights encapsulated within four primary themes: Principles of best practice, Workshop design and planning, Youth engagement strategies, and Overcoming barriers to healthy relationships.

Stanley Park Survey

Data Analysis for the Stanley Park Response to COVID-19 Survey

In April 2020, amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Vancouver Park Board took decisive action by temporarily closing Stanley Park's roads to vehicles and redirecting cyclists away from the seawall onto Stanley Park Drive. By late June, the roads were reopened to vehicles with a temporary traffic management plan, allocating one lane for vehicles and one for cyclists on Stanley Park Drive. To gauge public sentiment regarding these temporary measures, the Park Board conducted an online survey in August and September 2020. Qualitas Research was entrusted with the task of cleaning and analyzing the data collected from this extensive web survey, which garnered responses from 10,859 participants. The survey analysis examined visitor experiences during the temporary changes, comparing them with pre-COVID-19 norms. Furthermore, we dissected responses from various demographic groups, including vehicle users, non-visitors during the temporary changes, individuals with disabilities, and seniors.

pharmacy research

A Survey of the Mental Health Literacy of Community Pharmacists

Mental health literacy refers to knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about mental health conditions. Not many studies have examined the mental health literacy of community pharmacists. In this cross-sectional survey we examined the mental health literacy of a random sample of community pharmacists in Great Britain. We examined pharmacists’ recognition of the symptoms of three mental health conditions (depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia), and the perceived helpfulness of a range of interventions. The survey assessed mental health stigma and the degree of comfort providing pharmaceutical care to people with mental health problems. The study findings indicated the need for enhanced mental health content in the undergraduate pharmacy curriculum. This was the first study to investigate the mental health literacy of British community pharmacists. A peer reviewed article of the research was published in “The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice”.

A survey of community pharmacists' attitudes towards mental health

A Survey of Community Pharmacists' Attitudes Towards Mental Health

Although pharmacists’ attitudes towards mental health are important because they could affect the delivery of pharmaceutical care, relatively little research has been conducted in this area. We conducted a survey to investigate the mental health attitudes of a random sample of community pharmacists in England and Wales. This cross-sectional survey examined whether provision of pharmaceutical care was associated with pharmacists’ attitudes towards mental health. The study also considered pharmacists’ opinions on the pharmaceutical care needs of people with mental health problems in terms of medicine information, adherence and physical health. The study findings indicate the need for enhanced mental health education for pharmacy students to improve attitudes, knowledge and confidence in mental health and the inclusion of mental health in pharmacy advanced services. This was the first study to investigate British pharmacists’ attitudes towards mental health. A peer reviewed article of the survey results was published in the “Journal of Public Mental Health”.

Evaluation of bike mechanic program

Evaluation of a Bicycle Mechanic Training Program for Indigenous Adults

Responding to the evident need for skilled bicycle mechanics in Vancouver, the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society initiated a bicycle mechanic training program aimed at enhancing participants' employment prospects. This comprehensive program offered specialized training to Aboriginal individuals, facilitated industry practicums in established bicycle shops, and provided support in securing employment as bicycle mechanics. Qualitas Research conducted an outcome evaluation of the pilot project. The evaluation encompassed both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, including online surveys administered to students pre- and post-program, as well as post-program assessments with practicum hosts (bike shop staff), instructors, and project staff. This outcome evaluation scrutinized various facets of the program, including its effectiveness, appropriateness, impact, and sustainability. By analyzing the collected data, we aimed to discern the program's overall effectiveness in achieving its objectives and pinpoint opportunities for refinement and future success.

Evaluation of Pathways to Digital Access and Education

The Pathways to Digital Access and Education initiative is the culmination of a fruitful collaboration between the Burnaby Neighbourhood House (BNH), the Pacific Immigrant and Resource Society (PIRS), and the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Building upon the success of BNH's digital cafes, which offer vital volunteer tutoring support to adults grappling with everyday digital tasks, this project endeavors to enhance digital learning opportunities and improve internet access for underserved groups. We worked closely with the partners to gain insights into the impact of their collective efforts and identify strategies for amplifying their reach and effectiveness. By shedding light on the outcomes and challenges faced, this evaluation has empowered the partners to make informed decisions and refine their approaches to maximize their impact.

Data Analysis to Inform a Regional Social Media Strategy for the Canadian Cancer Society

We had the privilege of conducting qualitative data analysis for two impactful research projects undertaken by the Canadian Cancer Society, British Columbia and Yukon. The first project involved a thematic analysis of written notes from a Staff Summit Discussion involving 100 staff members. The resulting report synthesized the key themes emerging from the discussion, focusing on topics such as visibility, responsiveness, collaboration, and performance. This analysis played a crucial role in supporting the organization's branding efforts, elevating its profile, and enhancing community engagement. In the second project, we supported the development of a regional social media strategy by analyzing data collected from a staff survey and interviews with senior managers. Based on the research findings, we prepared a comprehensive report that provided valuable insights and recommendations for increasing external engagement through social media channels. These research endeavors not only provided actionable insights for the Canadian Cancer Society but also contributed to its ongoing efforts to make a positive impact in the community.

A Global Survey of Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action

A global practitioner consultation was undertaken by The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action in collaboration with the International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP). This online consultation sought feedback from humanitarian workers based in 202 countries for the second revision of the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (CPMS). The survey design was based on the principle that all data collected should directly inform concrete decisions for revising the standards. Working with the two organizations, we developed each section of the survey in collaboration with the relevant revision group to meet their specific information needs. The survey was designed in English and was translated into Arabic, French, and Spanish. I completed the data analysis which entailed cross-tabulations to examine relationships between survey questions and participant characteristics. Statistical tests were applied to test for any statistically significant differences. Qualitative data from open-ended questions were analyzed thematically. The survey results informed the CPMS revision process, to help ensure the revision is based in practice, evidence, and practitioner experience.

Well into Words: An Evaluation of the Kirklees Bibliotherapy Project

‘Well into Words’ was a project based within the Kirklees Library service in Kirklees, UK. Working with a variety of people in a range of different settings, the bibliotherapy service aimed to support and increase positive outcomes for people with mental health issues using fiction and poetry. Following competitive tender, we were commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the project. The evaluation examined the therapeutic effects of bibliotherapy in relation to mental health, physical health, and social inclusion, for people with severe mental health problems. The study also identified the aspects of the project that influence positive outcomes. In this multi-site study, data was collected from observation of bibliotherapy sessions and semi-structured interviews and small group discussions with bibliotherapy participants, the bibliotherapists and the healthcare staff involved in the observed sessions. The eleven groups included in the study were based at three public libraries, one public park, two-day services, an inpatient rehabilitation unit, two inpatient wards for working age adults and an inpatient ward for adults over the age of 65 years.

Community Pharmacists' Experiences of Supporting People with Severe Mental Health Problems

Relatively little is known about the mental health work undertaken by community pharmacists. Surveys of community pharmacists in several countries have suggested that pharmacy service provision to this patient group may be hindered by limited knowledge of severe mental health problems and therapeutics, a lack of confidence in counselling people with mental health problems, and a lack of specific training. Supported by an award from the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP Research Award 2015), this qualitative study sought to understand the work undertaken by community pharmacists with people with severe mental health problems, and to identify the barriers to effective community pharmacy service provision to these patients. The study involved in-depth telephone interviews with community pharmacists from across Yorkshire and the Humber. Participants worked in a range of pharmacies, including independents, chains and supermarket chains. Interview data were coded and analysed thematically. The research was presented at the CMHP 2016 annual conference.

independent living research

Include Me In: Evaluation of the Leeds Independent Living Project

Between 2009 and 2011 more than 300 people with learning disabilities and mental health needs moved from nine learning disability hostels and four mental health hostels in to small-scale supported independent living accommodation in 39 neighbourhoods in Leeds. This initiative was provided under the UK Government’s PFI, managed by Progress Care Housing Association, with care and support continuing to be provided by staff employed by Leeds City Council. Through a partnership between Progress Care Housing Association, Leeds City Council and Leeds Metropolitan University, supported by the National Lottery’s Big Lottery Fund, we carried out a 3-year multi-site evaluation of the Leeds Independent Living Project. The research was completed by Kim Morral and Caroline Paley and the Include Me In research team (2009-2012). The research aimed to assess the impact of the move on people’s lives and the extent to which the move affects levels of social inclusion. A participatory approach was taken with a particular focus on the participation of those directly affected by the changes brought about by the ILP. With training and support, eight ‘co-researchers’ worked alongside two professional researchers, and were involved in all aspects of the research design and implementation. A quantitative measure for assessing social inclusion was designed and administered before and after the moves, in combination with qualitative data collected from semi-structured interviews with service users, interviews and focus groups with staff and family carers. Additional methods include use of photography to guide interviews, reflective diaries and art. The research team produced regular newsletters and two DVDs, one documenting the participatory research process and one about social inclusion. There were three peer reviewed journal articles from this work, and conference presentations at the University of Nottingham and the University of Oxford. This research received two awards – the Northern Region TPAS ‘Excellence in Working Together’ award (2013) and the LaingBuisson Independent Specialist Care Award in the Supported Living Category (2014).

Journeys out of loneliness

Journeys out of Loneliness

Isolation and loneliness are common among older people who are homeless. Social isolation often precedes homelessness and homelessness may exacerbate and intensify isolation. Isolation and loneliness are also commonly experienced after people have been rehoused into permanent housing, and are sometimes linked to tenancy breakdown and repeated episodes of homelessness. This qualitative study for Age UK, supported by Bridge House Estates, explored older people’s experiences of social isolation and pathways into loneliness. The research involved semi-structured interviews and small group discussions with 160 homeless and ex-homeless older people in London. This study was a major contribution to an under-researched field at the time. The report of the research the initiated the development of three new projects aimed at reducing social isolation and improving the mental health and well-being of older homeless people, and secured funding to set up and develop these projects.

Moving On

Moving On: The Meaning of Activity for Older Homeless People

Many older homeless people encounter difficulties coping with the demands of day-to-day life when they move into an independent tenancy. They may have lost the necessary skills and confidence to build links with the community, access mainstream facilities and develop social networks. They often remain isolated after they move into permanent accommodation. Engagement in meaningful activities can help build the necessary skills and confidence to support people to resettle into independent or supported accommodation. Regular engagement in activity is believed to be vital for maintaining health and well-being in later life. I conducted a qualitative study to examine the impact of a range of activities for older homeless people. Activities were delivered by two homeless organizations in East London – St Botolph’s Project and Spires Connect. Outcomes for homeless people were examined from a range of structured group activities including physical activity, social, leisure and educational activities. The fieldwork for the study took place over four years. A multi-method approach was taken to data collection, including structured questionnaires, semi-structured interviews with older people, interviews and group discussions with project workers, participant observation, and documentary sources. In total, 100 older people took part in the research. The report of the research findings initiated a small grants program by Age UK, in collaboration with Homeless Link, to support work in this area. The report was peer-reviewed in The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) public health guidance 16 (2008).

Live Choices

Evaluation of Live Choices: Helping Older Homeless People Engage in Meaningful Occupation in the Community

It is widely acknowledged that meaningful occupation is crucial to the successful resettlement of homeless people, both to build skills and confidence and to combat the isolation and boredom that can cause people to return to the street. However, there have been few initiatives of this kind targeting older homeless people, or those not entering employment. Live Choices was an innovative ‘meaningful occupation’ service in East London for people aged 50 and over who had experienced homelessness or who were isolated. The project, delivered by St Botolph’s Project and ThamesReach Bondway, supported people who wished to engage in meaningful occupation and get involved in the local community. The project aimed to provide opportunities for social contact within the wider community and help older people to build confidence and skills. I carried out an evaluation of the project for Age UK. The evaluation identified the effects of meaningful activity for homeless, former homeless and isolated older people. as well as the barriers to engaging in activities, and how these can be overcome. The Evaluation employed a range of methods, including semi-structured interviews and small-group discussions with older people, a structured questionnaire, informal discussions with project staff, and documentary sources. The report of the evaluation was peer-reviewed in The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) public health guidance 16 (2008).

Participatory evaluation of pilot projects for older homeless people

I carried out a number of participatory action research projects in collaboration with five voluntary sector organisations working with older homeless people in London. The action research projects evaluated a number of pilot projects including an advice service, a life skill training project, a resettlement project, and a floating support service. The participating organizations were the Community Hack Centre, St Botolph’s Project, Bondway ThamesReach, and Providence Row Housing Association. In this work, I developed a user-focused approach to action research. A paper of the research methodology was reproduced by the Royal College of Nursing, in the Research Methodologies chapter of their “Research for Gerontological Nursing Study Guide”. There was an article about the innovative action research approach we designed in “The Guardian” newspaper, as well as a paper published in the journal “Housing, Care and Support”.

Evaluation of a Volunteering and Community Involvement Program

Better Leeds Communities (BLC) runs leisure and learning activities and community events. The organization ran a five-year program aimed at providing opportunities for local people to come together via three interlinked and potentially progressive routes to greater community involvement. The three strands of work were Activities and Participation, Volunteering, and Community Leadership. We were commissioned to undertake a mid-project evaluation of all three strands of the program. We collected and analyzed data from a survey of program participants and volunteers, focus groups with participants/volunteers and telephone interviews with staff/managers.

Linking a Pharmaceutical Chemistry Workshop to Pharmacy Practice

We worked with the University of Huddersfield on an educational research project to evaluate a workshop for undergraduate pharmacy students. The workshop was designed to form part of the practical work of two modules taught in the second year of the MPharm degree. The lecturers involved in the workshop showed examples of the application of chemistry in the day-to-day work of the pharmacy dispensary. Feedback from participating students was collected via two survey instruments to examine the impact of the intervention. The survey results showed a clear shift towards a more positive perception by students of the chemistry taught in the MPharm curriculum. We conducted the statistical analysis and contributed to writing up the results. A peer reviewed article of the research was published in the journal “Scientia Pharmaeutica”.

Assessing the Learning Outcomes from a Laboratory Experiment to Teach Pharmacy Students

This educational research study examined the learning outcomes for undergraduate pharmacy students participating in a versatile laboratory experiment developed by academics at the University of Huddersfield. A questionnaire was administered to students at three points in time: at the beginning of the module, after an instructional class, and after the laboratory experiment. From an analysis of the questionnaire data, we found that the practical helped Pharmacy students to understand the concepts covered by the laboratory experiment. Working with researchers at the University of Huddersfield, we conducted the statistical analysis and contributed to writing. A peer reviewed article of the research was published in “The British Journal of Pharmacy”.

Exploring Patient Stories Through Discovery Interviews

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest trusts in London offering a wide range of health and social care services across ten boroughs. The Trust has over 4,000 employees serving more than 100 sites. The Trust wanted to use Discovery Interviews to improve the way that they meet the needs of their patients and carers, through listening to patient stories about the impact of their illness or condition on their everyday lives. The idea was that by listening to stories, and using their own clinical and professional knowledge and experience to interpret what they hear from patients and carers, service teams are able to create better or new ways of meeting patients’ and carers’ needs. The research involved in-depth interviews with 55 patients from three services – from Wheelchair Services, Podiatry services and Integrated Primary Care. In collaboration with the three services, an action plan based on the results of the analysis was prepared, including feedback from other data sources including complaints and relevant surveys.

Evaluating the Introduction of Virtual Conferencing Technology within a Health Authority

An independent evaluation of the implementation of a virtual conferencing technology implemented in two London Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). The evaluation drew on both qualitative and quantitative methods at two points in time, pre- and post-implementation. Data were collected from a before/after online survey with staff from practices and providers where the virtual conferencing technology was installed, and semi-structured telephone interviews with practitioners. The evaluation included interviews with participants from various disciplines, including consultants, family physicians, nurses, pharmacists and social workers.

Evaluation of an Alcohol Counselling Project for Older Homeless People

This study evaluated outcomes from an Alcohol Project for Older Homeless People, based at City and Hackney Alcohol Service. The study examined the effects of counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a support group, a relaxation group and complementary therapies, for seniors with mental health needs and alcohol issues. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews with service users, small group discussions, observation and informal discussions with project staff.

Impact Assessment of an Adoption Marketing Campaign

The Yorkshire and Humber Adoption Consortium was formed in the early 1990s to help local authorities find families for children. Members include all 15 local authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber area and the two biggest voluntary adoption agencies working in the area. The Consortium embarked on a joint marketing recruitment campaign for the entire region. The goal was to make the recruitment process more straightforward for potential adopters and bring adoption in the area under one umbrella organisation. The research assessed the impact of the second phase of the marketing campaign, in terms of the number of adoption enquiries received, enquirers’ awareness and recognition of the campaign, and routes of enquiries. An online survey of enquirers examined awareness and recognition of the campaign, and routes of enquiries. A secondary analysis of systems data examined the impact of the campaign on the number of adoption enquiries received.

Community pharmacist with patient

The Tip of the Iceberg: A Survey about the Hospital Care of Older People

This national survey examined complaints made to Community Health Councils in relation to the NHS hospital care of older people in England. The report of the survey gained national press coverage in the Observer in 1997, and various other national newspapers, for ‘uncovering major flaws with the NHS complaints procedure’. The study played a key role in the decision by the UK Department of Health to launch an independent inquiry into the care of older people on acute wards in general hospitals in the UK. The research was instrumental in initiating a two-year campaign by Help the Aged in collaboration with numerous other national organisations.

The Engagement and Participation of Older People

For a number of years Age UK Lancashire had a growing awareness that many older people are not able to lead lives that are as fulfilling as they would want. There are numerous reasons for this including lack of money, poor health, inadequate transport, depression and uninteresting activities. Working with other researchers, I contributed to the writing of this report. The research which aimed to investigate whether the involvement of older people resulted in a better match between the sorts of facilities and services available and what older people wanted and needed. The thinking behind this was that if older people were involved in designing the services, then not only would the service provision and the sustainability of these services be improved but also their well-being would be enhanced and their risk of loneliness and social isolation reduced.

An Equitable Service? Exploring the Experience of Probation Practice for Disabled People

This qualitative study investigated the experience of probation practice for disabled people serving community sentences. This was explored within the context of the legal and moral requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 to promote disability equality. The study was commissioned with the purpose of increasing knowledge and understanding about disabled people and their experiences as service users, to identify barriers to equitable service, and the steps required to remove barriers to equality in service delivery. The research also examined the extent to which disability impacts on offenders’ ability to participate fully in their sentence. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with disabled offenders to gather qualitative feedback to explore their experiences of probation practice.

Evaluation of an Adopter Access Pilot

With the desire to reduce delays for children awaiting placement for adoption in England, there have been increased efforts to give approved adopters a greater role in the matching process, by giving them access to the Adoption Register for England. The Department for Education laid out plans to test this approach to matching. Data were collected from the 28 participating agencies. An outcome analysis compared performance in the pilot period against a ‘control’ benchmark (the traditional ‘portal system’ approach to matching). Through in-depth interviews and an online survey of stakeholder groups, the evaluation explored the experience of using the new system for the adopters, practitioners and managers taking part in the pilot.

sampling in qualitative research

The New Directions Activity Requirement: An Evaluation of Implementation and Process

The New Directions Activity Requirement (NDAR) was a new Specified Activity Requirement for offenders serving community sentences. NDAR offered a new sentencing option for Courts in the Greater Manchester area. It aimed to engage offenders in a programme of specified activity designed to target areas of likely/potential re-offending, and to develop the offender’s awareness and skills in these areas in a way that may prevent further offending. The process evaluation of NDAR evaluated the project’s implementation within the City District, and considered its initial impact from the perspectives of probation staff and service users. A multi-methods approach was taken, which involved the collection and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data. I analyzed quantitative data from probation databases, and the data collected from exit questionnaires completed by service users at the end of each group activity. Feedback was collected from a range of probation staff involved in, or affected by, the implementation of NDAR, to incorporate a breadth of perspectives within the evaluation.

Survey of Black Minority Ethnic Communities on The Work of the Probation Service

The Black Workers Forum (BWF), based in Manchester, collected feedback from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities on the work of the Probation Service. In addition to wanting to increase community engagement, the BWF had a number of concerns. These were in relation to the under representation of BME communities in the probation workforce (nationally as well as regionally). The BWF was keen to explore the views of people from BME communities to find out if they are interested in employment with the Probation Service and if so, how the Probation Service can better engage with them. Feedback was collected from a sample of people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities to examine their views on the Probation Service. The questionnaire was interviewer-administered by members of the BWF. I coded and analyzed the data collected from the survey and prepared a report of survey findings.

A Community Survey of Barriers to Sport Participation

Research has shown that sport participation amongst Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in England is below the national average, and particularly so among Asian communities and women. People from BME communities can face a range of barriers to sport participation. These include concerns about racial discrimination, a lack of cultural understanding and awareness of the needs of BME communities, a lack of role models, and material constraints (including low income). This community survey in East London assessed participants’ level of sport participation, their aspirations for engagement in sport, and identified barriers to sport participation. The survey resulted in the production of an information booklet to provide information on free or low-cost local sport opportunities, and other initiatives to engage more people in sports.