Even more on literature searching

“Which database should I use for my topic ? “ is an all too familiar question. Luckily, help is at hand – http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/resources/databases/index.html – is a useful list of databases by subject, and for big topics such as “Public Health”, it lists the most useful databases first. There also handy hints under the “About this database” section regarding subject coverage and search techniques.
Depending on your search topic you are likely to start your search using one of the public health “heavyweights” such as PubMed or Medline database. You may ask, and it is a good question, what is the difference between the two ? In short, PubMed contains Medline references, so is often a good starting point, and the interface is similar to another big public health database “Embase”, so you can easily switch databases using the same keyword searches. Other databases are more general such as Scopus and Web of Science, which focus on the wider Social Sciences, and others more specialist such as PsycInfo, and Africa-Wide Information.

“Why can’t I just search Google” ? , you may ask. Well you can, via Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.co.uk/), which can complement database searching, and useful for comparing search results.
Here are some useful links :
http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/guidance/training/index.html

http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/guidance/lit_search/index.html

Help with Literature searching

Confused about AND, OR, NOT, and those pesky wildcards, then don’t be. The Library can help you understand the mysteries of these Boolean Operators and assist you with conducting Efficient and Effective literature searches and systematic reviews. These can be held on a one-to-one basis, or even over Skype ! Don’t leave it too late, start thinking about your literature and systematic reviews now ! Sessions can be booked from early summer . Here are some useful links :

http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/guidance/training/index.html
http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/guidance/lit_search/index.html

More help with literature searching

 

Do you know your Medline from your Pubmed or even your Cochrane from your Scopus ?  If you do, well done, but if not all can be revealed when you book an information skills session in the Library.  Library staff can show you how to search different databases relevant to your topic, and how you can switch databases using the same search strategy.  That will save a lot of time !  You will become expert at  “free text searching” and more precise searching using search building techniques.  Start thinking about booking a session for early summer.

Here are some useful links :

http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/guidance/training/index.html

http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/guidance/lit_search/index.html

New Seminar!: “Eye Care in Africa: Public Health collaborating and competing with Clinical Care to end avoidable blindnesss” 9 March 12.45pm – 2pm, John Snow B, K/LSHTM

Logos

Part of the ICED Seminar Series:

ICED and the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) jointly present:

Eye Care in Africa: Public Health collaborating and competing with Clinical Care to end avoidable blindness

Ciku Mathenge MD, PhD

2003 Alumna – MSc Public Health for Eye Care & 2010 PhD @ LSHTM

Ciku image

Date: Thursday 9th March 2017
Time: 12:45 – 14:00
Venue: John Snow B, LSHTM Keppel Street

This seminar will be audio recorded

About the seminar and speaker:

In celebration of the annual ICEH Alumni Workshop, held each year the week of the MSc Graduation Ceremony, Dr Ciku Mathenge will present her successes and achievements after graduation from LSHTM.

Dr Ciku Mathenge, a leader in Eye Care in Africa both in clinical care and in research, is a double alumni of the International Centre for Eye Health qualifying with an MSC in 2002 and a PhD in 2010. Ciku is a comprehensive ophthalmologist working in a large multispecialty eye hospital in Rwanda. She has subspecialty training in Medical Retina but the hospital sees all types of patients.

After relocating to Rwanda, Ciku became the Head of Ophthalmology Department at the Kigali Health Institute, University of Rwanda and while there, she carried out a total revamp of the curriculum in order to make it meet international standards. She has worked as an advisor on Eye Health to the WHO AFRO and helped develop tools for use in primary level implementation of eye health activities for the AFRO region. She also sits on both the International Council of Ophthalmology Board and the ICO Diabetic Retinopathy Task Force. She is one of the authors of the Diabetic Retinopathy guidelines.

Dr Ciku Mathenge is also the Medical Advisor for Africa for the Fred Hollows Foundation, a large prevention of blindness organisation.

If you have any access needs that we can assist with, please contact us on disabilitycentre@lshtm.ac.uk

Posted in News | Comments Off on New Seminar!: “Eye Care in Africa: Public Health collaborating and competing with Clinical Care to end avoidable blindnesss” 9 March 12.45pm – 2pm, John Snow B, K/LSHTM

New Seminar!: “Eye Care in Africa: Public Health collaborating and competing with Clinical Care to end avoidable blindnesss” 9 March 12.45pm – 2pm, John Snow B, K/LSHTM

Logos

Part of the ICED Seminar Series:

ICED and the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) jointly present:

Eye Care in Africa: Public Health collaborating and competing with Clinical Care to end avoidable blindness

Ciku Mathenge MD, PhD

2003 Alumna – MSc Public Health for Eye Care & 2010 PhD @ LSHTM

Ciku image

Date: Thursday 9th March 2017
Time: 12:45 – 14:00
Venue: John Snow B, LSHTM Keppel Street

This seminar will be audio recorded

About the seminar and speaker:

In celebration of the annual ICEH Alumni Workshop, held each year the week of the MSc Graduation Ceremony, Dr Ciku Mathenge will present her successes and achievements after graduation from LSHTM.

Dr Ciku Mathenge, a leader in Eye Care in Africa both in clinical care and in research, is a double alumni of the International Centre for Eye Health qualifying with an MSC in 2002 and a PhD in 2010. Ciku is a comprehensive ophthalmologist working in a large multispecialty eye hospital in Rwanda. She has subspecialty training in Medical Retina but the hospital sees all types of patients.

After relocating to Rwanda, Ciku became the Head of Ophthalmology Department at the Kigali Health Institute, University of Rwanda and while there, she carried out a total revamp of the curriculum in order to make it meet international standards. She has worked as an advisor on Eye Health to the WHO AFRO and helped develop tools for use in primary level implementation of eye health activities for the AFRO region. She also sits on both the International Council of Ophthalmology Board and the ICO Diabetic Retinopathy Task Force. She is one of the authors of the Diabetic Retinopathy guidelines.

Dr Ciku Mathenge is also the Medical Advisor for Africa for the Fred Hollows Foundation, a large prevention of blindness organisation.

If you have any access needs that we can assist with, please contact us on disabilitycentre@lshtm.ac.uk

Posted in News | Comments Off on New Seminar!: “Eye Care in Africa: Public Health collaborating and competing with Clinical Care to end avoidable blindnesss” 9 March 12.45pm – 2pm, John Snow B, K/LSHTM

Making sense of childhood work and education

PhD student Sophie Hedges (Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health) has been shortlisted for the ESRC wrtiting competition “Making sense of society”. Here is Sophie’s entry, 800 words on how her research is making sense of society, and why it matters. 

In a Tanzanian rice field, families take a break from the harvest to chat and share a joke. The joke today is the mzungu researcher who stands awkwardly, gently sweating under the midday sun, asking if she can interview their children. Their father is bemused but welcoming. He’s curious about the tablet we’re using for the interviews. They don’t teach us about that here, he says, computers are for rich people. Life here is hard, a lot of hard work in the fields or herding cattle. What’s farming like in the UK? I bet a lot of people have tractors or horses, but here we plough by hand. We have horses, I tell him, but people mainly ride them for fun rather than using them for farming. This tickles him. Why on earth would you ride a horse when you could drive in a car?

Family during the rice harvest

Family during the rice harvest

 

There were countless moments like this during my fieldwork, me trying to make sense of Tanzanian society, and people trying to make sense of me and my research. My project collected data on how children and young people aged 7 to 19 divide their time between school, work, and leisure. International policies aim to promote schooling and abolish formal work for children, and generally assume a trade-off between the two activities. However, this dichotomous approach has been criticised on two grounds and my research aims to address some of these problems.

Firstly, policies are based on an ethnocentric understanding of childhood, in which children’s place is assumed to be in school, and their work has little importance. This makes sense in contemporary Western societies, where formal education is necessary for economic and social success, and children’s work is of limited value. However, it ignores the realities of life in developing societies such as Tanzania, where school is risky. Long journeys between home and school, harsh discipline, and a lack of secure jobs make education a high stakes game, with many families unable or unwilling to play. For families still reliant on subsistence agriculture, children’s work is valuable and even vital to household economic security. Additionally, children themselves value working as a way to help their families and gain important skills, as demonstrated by the African Movement of Working Children and Youth’s request that the ‘right to work’ be recognised by UNICEF in their Convention on the Rights of the Child. This more positive view of children’s work receives little attention in policy or the media however.

The second criticism is that a discourse focusing on the negatives of children’s work leads to unhelpful definitions and data. The majority of working children do household chores and work on family farms, yet there is little data on how these activities interact with school attendance. According to International Labour Organisation definitions, over a quarter of the children I interviewed are child labourers. However, this statistic would make little sense to those who participated in my study. Most of these children are also attending school, and it is seen as children’s responsibility to help their families. Working on the farm or doing chores is an important part of growing up and gaining respect within the community, and gives children complementary skills to those they gain in school.

My research derives from studies within evolutionary anthropology and demography, which have highlighted the benefits of children’s work. By collecting data on children’s time allocation to all activities, I aim to present a more nuanced consideration of the relationship between work, school and leisure. This more critical approach matters because making sense of developing societies according to our own standards is unfair, and stigmatises families who must make difficult decisions. It is also important to challenge assumptions, which can prove to be incorrect. I found that girls actually spend more time in school than boys, yet also contribute more productive work to their households. Girls seem to manage this by sacrificing leisure time. This echoes the ‘double shift’ faced by many women in Western societies, who face expectations that they will both work and shoulder the burden of household chores. Achieving equality in education and the workplace is important, but a shift in focus towards challenging gender stereotypes may be needed to achieve gender equality at home as well.

Re-evaluating what constitutes a ‘good’ childhood could also be useful in making sense of issues in our own societies. We are facing a crisis of childhood obesity and children’s mental health, yet continue to require developing countries to aim for Western-style childhoods. A childhood with more responsibility and worth beyond academic achievement, as well as more physical activity, could help to bolster children’s self-esteem and health. Recognising that we can learn from other societies, rather than seeking to impose our own ideals of childhood, could be beneficial for everyone.

Follow Sophie’s blog at https://nobutyesbutequally.wordpress.com 

Introduction to the Whitehall Study cataloguing project

This is the first blog in a series relating to the cataloguing of the health survey of male civil servants aged 40 and over, more commonly known as the Whitehall Study. For this initial post, I will outline the project goals, what the Whitehall study was all about and what documents are held within the archive.

 

Cataloguing Project

The project is a Wellcome Research Resources funded project to catalogue the papers relating to the Whitehall Study. The processes involved in cataloguing a collection can be broadly broken down into three components: preservation, cataloguing and public engagement.

Preservation of the collection includes all the treatments, repackaging and storage requirements needed to preserve the collection in the long term. For Whitehall, this will include small amount of mold removal, paper conservation on some torn papers and a lot of removal of rusty metal staples as well as the re-filing and boxing of the collection into acid free enclosures.

Cataloguing of the collection essentially boils down to listing an archive contents in a way to easily accessible for researchers through our online catalogue. The process involves listing the entirety of the contents, identifying an overarching arrangement within the collection, sorting and then providing a hierarchical description of the collection in line with international standards.

Public engagement work is about reaching audiences who would be potential interested in using collection for research. This work can include reporting and meeting various stakeholders in the School and wider community to developing exhibitions or using social media to raise awareness of the resource.

 

The project began in early January 2017 and will run until early August 2017, when the collections will be searchable on our online catalogue and accessible in the Reading Room via appointment.

 

Whitehall Study

The Whitehall Study, led by Professor Donald Reid (1914-1977) and Dr Geoffrey Rose (1926-1993), was designed to detect early risk factors in cardiovascular and respiratory health in its sample group of male civil servants, aged 45-60. The initially survey running from 1967-1970, involved the physical examination of 18403 male civil servants from across the service. This involved a completion of a self-questionnaire covering questions relating to cardo-vascular health, respiratory health, smoking habit and history and previous medical history, followed by a physical examination that included physical measurements, blood pressure reading, blood test for glucose and lipid levels and electro-cardiogram and X-ray examinations. Participants were then monitored over a five-year period for any sickness absence along with registers and causes of participant’s deaths. Death certifications continued to be collected until the early 2000s, with analysis of the mortality rates continuing to this day. Along with the main survey, participants were selected for controlled trials examining the effects of prevention treatments for smokers and dietary changes for participants at risk of diabetes.

 

Blank_Whitehall_Survey_026 Blank_Whitehall_Survey_028

Whitehall Study questionnaire [page 1 and 3 of 4 pages] . The survey form had slight variations depending on department [diplomatic service did not include grade information or job title]

 

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Department of Medical Statistics was an established centre of excellence for medical statistics and since the Second World War had developed methods and had the collective expertise to conduct larger longitudinal health surveys. This was partially down to development of more valid measurement methods such as an early prototype for the random zero sphygmomanometer for measurement of blood pressure, the Rose Cardiovascular questionnaire and the Minnesota Code for the classification of electrocardiographic abnormalities (which is still an international standard)[i].

The interest in coronary heart disease (CHD) was due to the high rise of mortality from the disease in the UK, and the industrialised world as a whole post 1945. CHD was the major killer of post-war population and epidemiological work was needed to find the causes of CHD in the working population. Epidemiological studies such as the US based Framingham Heart Study had identified risk factors, such as hypertension, cholesterol levels, smoking and obesity as factors increasing likelihood of the disease. The main conclusions from the Whitehall study showed that CHD risk factors were more common within lower grade civil servants and that they had a  relative risk of 2.1 risk of dying from CHD than with those with a higher employment grade. The second Whitehall Study launched in 1985, was set up to find the underlying cause of this difference and the study is going to this day[ii].

Blank_Whitehall_Survey_006

Layout of Whitehall Study survey centre

 

What is within the collection?

The collection primarily contains collected data from the study mainly in the form of completed questionnaires but also including rolls of electrocardiogram readings, sickness absence tables, x-ray examination records and copies of participant’s death certificates. Papers also include initial meeting and project documentation setting up the study with senior civil servants at the related departments, along with examination workflows and survey literature.

The second largest section is the data analysis and continued monitoring of the study group, namely tabulated data, calculations, computer printouts of statistical analysis and histograms. Also related to this material are the papers relating to the control group studies carried out after the initial survey period. This includes working papers for the smoking cessation study run by Geoffrey Rose and Dr P Hamilton and also other studies using Whitehall data including comparison of death rate of participants depending on UK regional location.

Blank_Whitehall_Survey_008

Blank dietary questionnaire for the General Postal Office dietary clinical trial

 

The collection also includes papers relating to other work carried out in the Department of Medical Statistics, including notably the General Postal Office survey, a precursor cardiovascular survey to Whitehall study. These papers date from early 1950s, contain multiple studies looking at mortality data, sickness absence and incidence of chronic bronchitis, and would appear to include the working papers of Professor Reid (1914-1977) along with later work relating to WHO rates of mortality from late 1980s to 1990s.

 

 

[i] Rose, G., Khaw, K.-T. & Marmot, M., Rose’s Strategy of Preventive Medicine (Revised edition ed.

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008), Preface, vi

[ii] Reynolds L A, Tansey E M. (eds) (2006) Cholesterol, Atherosclerosis and Coronary Disease in

the UK, 1950 –2000. Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine, vol. 27. London: Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL, p46

Analysing patient mobility, migration and health – workshop March 20th & 21st 2017

This workshop aims to bring together a group of early to mid career and established researchers from the UK and Southern Africa to explore cutting- edge research on patient mobility, migration and health. An explicit focus of the event will be on methods for analysis of the connection between mobility and health and on Southern Africa as an exemplar region. It seeks to:

– Analyse available evidence and methods on patient mobility, migration and health systems (with a specific but not exclusive focus on Southern Africa

– Produce a series of papers covering the issue of patient mobility, migration and health systems, to be offered to a journal as a special collection.

– Develop collaboration and capacity for such collaboration between partners.

In addition, the workshop will be attended by policymakers including from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to ensure research is policy relevant.

Papers presented at the workshop will also form a special edition of a Journal.

For more information about the workshop please contact Johanna Hanefeld.

Workshop post

 

 

 

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ICEH Short Course on International Eye Health: 3-7 July, 2017 at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Peek

International Eye Health

Course Organisers: Professor Allen Foster & Dr Andrew Bastawrous

Dates: 3 – 7 July, 2017

This five-day course is aimed to familiarise participants with the Principles of Planning and Universal Eye Care to address Visual Impairment; the strategies to control the main causes of visual loss; and the utilisation of PEEK technology in eye care.

The main purposes of the workshop will be to familiarise participants with:

  • the aims, objectives and strategies of the VISION 2020: The Right to Sight programme
  • the principles of planning involved in implementing district and national level eye care programmes
  • how the PEEK technology (portable eye examination kit) can be used in eye care programmes

The course programme will look at survey methodologies and strategies for control of the major blinding diseases. Time will be allocated to group work to plan eye care programmes for specific target populations.

The short course has been awarded with 35 CPD points from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Cost: £1,100, payable date, 2 June 2017
More Info and To Apply: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/cpd/spv.html

International Eye Health 2017 – PDF Advertisement

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