ASO Small Grant for COVID-19 Research - Call for Projects 2020

The Association for the Study of Obesity launched a new grant in 2020. The funding was for new or ongoing research projects exploring the direct or indirect impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on health and wellbeing outcomes in people living with obesity or on population health. The research is expected to lead to new knowledge or innovations that make a difference to the lives of people living with obesity during the current COVID-19 epidemic.

We were delighted to receive 17 strong applications. Thank you to everyone who applied. After two rounds of reviewing, we are pleased to announce that two grants are being awarded as follows:

  • Dr Anna Chisholm, University of Liverpool

- Development of person-centred obesity management support during disruption: The REJOIN project (REaJustment to Obesity management INtervention)

  • Dr David Hughes, Royal Derby Hospital

- Consensus study utilising a mixed method delphi process to explore best Obesity Service Management practices utilized by ASO centres of obesity management In the Covid- 19 pandemic. (COSMIC-19)

Successful applicants will be invited to present their findings at UKCO.

All successful applicants must submit a final report that will be due within 3 months of the conclusion of the project. This report should include both a scientific overview of milestones, objectives achieved, budget expended, impact and publications produced as well as a lay summary of the project that will be published on publicly available sites.

More details on the successful applications can be found below (late and technical summaries will follow):

Project lead: Dr Anna Chisholm, Department of Psychology, University of Liverpool

Co-applicants: Dr Emma Boyland and Dr Charlotte Hardman, Department of Psychology, University of Liverpool

Title: Development of person-centred obesity management support during disruption: The REJOIN project (REaJustment to Obesity management INtervention)

Building on psychological theory and informed by data already collected from the target population, the overall project aims are to (1) modify an existing person-centred intervention to focus on supporting people with obesity-related behaviour change during disruption and, (2) identify people’s experiences of receiving this type of intervention to assess how it is likely to work in supporting people with obesity management, and how it could be improved.

Specific objectives to meet these aims include:

  1. Intervention Modification: Work with stakeholders (e.g. patient advocates; people living with obesity) to collaboratively create an intervention manual detailing the adapted intervention content and preferred delivery methods.
  2. Process Evaluation: Conduct focus groups with people already taking part in an existing trial of the person-centred approach to identify their experiences of receiving the intervention and of participating in the study.

Potential benefits: This work will help us design and conduct trials to measure the effectiveness of the newly developed intervention. In line with recommendations for designing complex interventions such as this one, this project will help identify and rectify any issues with both the intervention content and how it was delivered to participants early in the process. Collaboratively creating the intervention with stakeholders, and ensuring its impact can be measured successfully is critical for enhancing the likelihood of developing obesity management support that is effective, feasible and acceptable to people with obesity.

Grant awarded: £19,820.04

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Project lead: Dr David Hughes, Royal Derby Hospital

Co-applicant: Guy Holt, Royal Derby Hospital

Title: Consensus study utilising a mixed method delphi process to explore best Obesity Service Management practices utilized by ASO centres of obesity management In the Covid- 19 pandemic. (COSMIC-19)

Aim:

To produce a consensus statement concerning best clinical practices utilised by ASO Centres of Obesity Management that have evolved due to the need for social distancing brought about by the Covid pandemic.

Objectives:

  • Undertake a series of semi-quantitative interviews using online small group meetings exploring key domains: Care during Covid, Communication during Covid, Mental wellness of patients/staff, patient self-management/monitoring & other areas that will emerge during

the discussions.

  • Analyse interviews to develop a list of statements concerning best practice.
  • Undertake an online Delphi method process involving two survey rounds to determine consensus from the list of statements.
  • Undertake online large group feedback meetings involving both those already involved in the process as well as patient groups to discuss the draft consensus statements.
  • Publish a final consensus statement concerning best clinical practice utilised by ASO Centres of obesity management that have evolved from a need to socially distance during the Covid pandemic.

Potential benefits: The expected outcome is the publication of a consensus statement concerning best clinical practices utilised by ASO Centres of Obesity Management during the Covid pandemic. If centres adopt these practices then quality of patient care is expected to improve.

The process of bringing centres together through an online forum will help educate and disseminate best practices throughout the UK. It is expected to start a national discussion on how to manage patients with obesity, utilising distance management approaches, for decades to come. This will be of particular benefit to housebound patients that can not currently access weight management services. Also, it is hoped we can the break down barriers, so patients will find it easier to access weight management services in the future.

Grant awarded: £4,988.40