How did you come to work with the EST?
I worked with the EST during my PhD. I was fortunate to have Dr Rebecca Abbott as a PhD Supervisor, so I benefited from her expertise throughout my studentship. During my first year, I attended clinics and workshops organised by the EST, which were focussed on undertaking evidence-based research. This included training on how to conduct a systematic review of literature, which was a huge help to me in carrying out my first piece of empirical research.
What project did you work on with them and for how long?
I worked with the EST on various occasions through the course of my three-year PhD, which was focussed on the role of mealtimes in structuring the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of older adults living in care.
In particular, I consulted with the EST on a systematic review of the qualitative literature exploring the attitudes, perceptions and experiences of mealtimes in care homes. The EST helped me to design my research protocol and to define my search criteria.
What was it like working with them?… dare we ask – any challenges?
Genuinely, it was a pleasure. Despite their busy workloads, the team were always very amenable, supportive, and happy to help.
Can you see yourself working with them again? Would you recommend them to anyone?
I have moved to another University now, which alas has nothing comparable to the EST. So, I would certainly consider collaborating with the EST if and when the opportunity arises. I would recommend them to anybody – they are experts at what they do and a very friendly bunch too.
If you had to sum up the EST in three words what would you say?
Smart, sympathetic, systematic.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Bath, where I am developing a digital intervention for young adults at risk of developing knee-related post-traumatic osteoarthritis (OA): a unique type of OA affecting young people with a history of joint injury. The project, funded by the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Research Versus Arthritis aims to better understand the experiences of young people with early OA symptoms and develop a digital support tool to help them manage their symptoms and provide guidance about when and how to seek appropriate medical care.
Outside of University, I am working at trying to stay fit by training for triathlons and running around after my two daughters, Mariella, aged 3, and Annabelle, aged 1. I would like to spend more time in Italy, where I lived for four years, and hope that work takes us there one of these days – though in the meantime I am content with trying to map out the best trattorias, cycle routes and hilltop towns in Tuscany and beyond.