Research Fund Awards - 2021

Photo of Dr James Dodd


Dr. James Dodd


Award £19,914: Remote teaching of home spirometry in patients with respiratory symptoms

Spirometry is a breathing test performed by blowing at maximum force into a tube. This is deemed to be high risk for COVID-19 transmission. Safety measures have led to the number of patients having spirometry tests halving and a long waiting list.

Spirometry can be performed at home, and the results can be sent via email to hospital staff using an app. However, we do not know how patients can be effectively taught how to perform spirometry.

This study is to determine the most effective way of performing spirometry in patients own homes.

James and his team will find out how accurate the home spirometry is by comparing the results to spirometry performed in the hospital.

If this study shows that patients can be effectively taught to perform spirometry at home remotely, this will reduce the number of hospital visits patients have to make in a place where respiratory patients are vulnerable and at risk of contracting Covid-19, decrease the hospital waiting list and reduce the costs associated with face-to-face visits.

Photo of Dr Jo Daniels

Mental Health

Jo Daniels


Award £19,757 : COVID-19 clinicians cohort (CoCCo) study:  trauma needs and preferences

Many frontline doctors are experiencing mental health problems due to the impact of coronavirus, particularly traumatic stress.

Doctors who struggle with their mental health are known to take time off sick, perform poorly at work and experience high levels of psychological distress. This can then have a knock-on effect in terms of their patient care.

Studies completed during COVID-19 have outlined how important it is to hear from doctors from their own individual point of view, so services are shaped around what these doctors want and need. 

Jo’s study aims to explore the key issues faced by doctors to understand the experience of working in a pandemic. Jo wants to know what treatment doctors want and how doctors want it.

The team will interview around 40 doctors from three groups (those working in emergency medicine, intensive care, anaesthetics). They will identify common themes from the interviews and note any differences between them.

The team will use their knowledge to develop treatment recommendations to professional groups, so that care for doctors is improved.

Photo of Nikki Cotterill

Renal and Urogenital

Nikki Cotterill


Award £18,574 : Lower urinary tract dysfunction with SARS-CoV-2 infection

Nikki is interested if symptoms associated with bladder disorders start or worsen with the development of COVID-19 symptoms. There are very few studies that have addressed this question, and the preliminary results from these studies demonstrate a link between COVID-19 infection and bladder problems.

Nikki’s study aims to follow two groups of volunteers: those who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and display COVID-19 symptoms, and a comparable group who haven’t had Covid. Participants will be asked to fill out three questionnaires to document their symptoms to answer these questions:

  • Has COVID-19 contributed to the development of these symptoms?
  • Does COVID-19 infection alter the severity of existing symptoms?
  • Do symptoms change over time: do they rise and fall with time; do they get progressively worse; do they lessen with time?

Whether COVID-19 increases the prevalence of these bladder symptoms in the population, especially in the older group, is yet unknown but could have an impact on everyday life, need for services, and how nursing homes might respond.

Early detection and any proactive easing of symptoms can have an impact. If we know that bladder symptoms are associated with COVID-19 infection we can inform healthcare staff so that they can manage these symptoms more effectively.