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Lois Thomas

Dr. Lois Thomas

Reader in Health Services Research

School of Health Sciences

Brook Building, BB434

+44 (0) 1772 89 3643

lhthomas@uclan.ac.uk

Subject Areas: Health and Social Care; Nursing

Lois is a member of the Health Research Methodology and Implementation (HeRMI) group.

Full Profile

LT is a Reader in Health Services Research. Her research is focussed on implementation and evaluation of complex interventions. She is particularly interested in innovative methods of transferring research evidence into practice, and of managing service user involvement in research. She manages the PG Certificate in Research Methods in Health and Social Care and is Deputy Course Leader for the Professional Doctorate in Health.

LT has been a health services researcher since 1996, and has methodological expertise in questionnaire design (HTA), systematic review (Cochrane), evaluating complex interventions and implementation science (NIHR). Her specialist topic interest is in urinary incontinence after stroke, and she is currently leading an NIHR Programme Grant of a pilot cluster randomised controlled trial to test a systematic voiding programme after acute stroke. Her other subject-related interests are in knowledge transfer and evidence based practice, such as the use of clinical guidelines in nursing.

Publications

Thomas LH, French B, Sutton CJ, Forshaw D, Leathley MJ, Burton CR, Roe B, Cheater FC, Booth J, McColl E, Carter B, Walker A, Brittain K, Whiteley G, Rodgers H, Barrett J and Watkins, CL on behalf of the ICONS: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke project team and the ICONS Patient, Public and Carer Involvement Groups. ICONS: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke: An evidence synthesis, case study and exploratory cluster randomised controlled trial of the introduction of a systematic voiding programme for patients with urinary incontinence after stroke in secondary care. NIHR Journals Library: Programme Grants for Applied Research In press.

Thomas LH, French B, Burton CR, Sutton C, Forshaw D, Dickinson H, Leathley, M, Britt D, Roe B, Cheater FC, Booth J and Watkins CL on behalf of the ICONS project team and the ICONS Patient, Public and Carer Involvement Groups. Introducing a systematic voiding programme for patients with urinary incontinence after stroke in secondary care: findings from the ICONS: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke case study phase. International Journal of Nursing Studies. Published online 20th February 2014. . Evaluating a systematic voiding programme for patients. 

Lois Thomas, Christopher Burton, Beverley French, Michael Leathley, Denise Forshaw, Christopher Sutton, Brenda Roe, Brigit Chesworth, Caroline Watkins. ICONS: identifying continence options after stroke trial: utility of a logic model in the design and implementation of a process evaluation

Thomas LH, Watkins CL, French B, Sutton C, Forshaw D, Leathley MJ, Burton C, Cheater F, Roe B, McColl E, Booth J, Brittain K, The ICONS Project Team and the ICONS Patient, Public and Carer Involvement Groups. ICONS: Identifying OptioNs after Stroke: findings from a cluster randomised exploratory trial.

More publications

Research Activities

My specialist field comprises three inter-related themes: two are subject related, knowledge transfer and implementation science and stroke with particular focus on urinary incontinence after stroke, and one has a methodological focus, systematic review. Over the last 21 years I have built a substantial academic portfolio around these themes, often used in combination. This culminated in the award of an NIHR Programme Grant in July 2008 (£1,202,831). The grant is a prestigious award in which NHS managers, researchers, clinicians from the NHS and patients, carers and the public will work together to deliver research and recommendations which can be applied for the benefit of patients. The funding is part of the Department of Health’s £32 million investment into 20 substantial research programmes for the NIHR in the third round of competition.

The programme (now in the dissemination phase) has provided the opportunity to develop and consolidate all my key themes: the main focus is the implementation and evaluation of interventions for the management of urinary incontinence after stroke that have a proven evidence-base in other patient groups. The programme also comprised a systematic review for the Cochrane Collaboration, a narrative review and a cluster randomised controlled feasibility trial where one trial arm tested the preliminary effectiveness of innovative methods of transferring research evidence into practice.

In January 2014 I was successful in obtaining a Portfolio Development grant from the NIHR Stroke Research Network to develop the definitive trial. This will be a pragmatic, multi-centre cluster randomised controlled trial with blinded outcome assessment including a cost-effectiveness evaluation and multi-method evaluation of process. The bid was submitted to the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme in September 2014.

Projects

Title: ICONS II: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke Portfolio Development Grant
Source: National Institute for Health Research
Funding amount: £2,500
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding period: 30/01/2014 to 08/09/2014

Title: TREAT-UI: TPTNS for Rehabilitation And Treatment of Urinary Incontinence
Source: Stroke Association
Funding amount:£162,033
Role: Co-applicant
Funding period: 01/05/2014 to 29/02/2016

Title: A mixed method approach to explore the delivery, cost, education and training needs of children’s continence services across the Cheshire & Mersey foot print
Source: NHS England
Funding amount: £20,000

Role: Co-applicant
Funding period: 01/05/2014 to 31/03/2015

Title: ICONS: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke.
Source: NIHR Programme Grant
Funding amount: £1,202,831
Role: Co-Chief Investigator
Funding period: 01/10/2008 to 28/02/2014

TEACHING activities and responsibilities

Positions of responsibility

  • 2014 – Deputy Course Leader, Professional Doctorate
  • 2005 – Course Leader, PGCert Research Methods in Health and Social Care 
  • 2005 – Module Leader, NU4026 Advanced Research Methods

Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching

  • NU4025 Introduction to Postgraduate Research 
  • NU4026 Advanced Research Methods
  • NU4001 Evidence, Effectiveness and Evaluation
  • NU4005 Writing and Presentation Skills
  • NU4137 Advanced Stroke Practice
  • NU3047 Valuing Research

External Activities

  • 2012 to date Member of the National Institute for Health Research College of Experts.
  • 2011 Invited to contribute to an INVOLVE project developing guidelines for encouraging greater diversity and better inclusion for public involvement in research.
  • 2011 Invited to contribute to a web-based project for primary care annual review of people with stroke (funded by the Scottish Health Department).
  • 2009 to date Member of the Steering Group of the FIRE (Facilitating Implementation of Research Evidence) study; funded by the European Union (3 million Euros).
  • 2009 to date Advisor for the NIHR Research Design Service for the North West.

Conferences

Some recent examples include:

Thomas LH, Watkins CL, French B, Sutton C, Forshaw D, Leathley MJ, Burton C, Cheater F, Roe B, McColl E, Booth J and Brittain K on behalf of the ICONS Project Team and the ICONS Patient, Public and Carer Groups.
ICONS: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke: findings from an NIHR Programme Grant.
Edge Hill University Evidence-Based Practice Research Centre, 2nd October 2014.
(Invited seminar presentation)

Thomas LH
ICONS II: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke: strategies for involving allied health professions.
Council for Allied Health Professions Research Regional Hub Forum, London, 19th September 2014 (Invited platform presentation)

Watkins CL, Thomas LH, French B, Sutton C, Forshaw D, Leathley MJ, Burton C, Cheater F, Roe B, Britt D, McColl E, Booth J , Carter B, Brittain K

The ICONS Project Team and the ICONS Patient, Public and Carer Involvement Groups
ICONS: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke: findings from a cluster randomised feasibility trial. (Platform presentation)
European Stroke Conference, NICE, 6th-9th May 2014.

Thomas LH, Forshaw D, Britt D, Crosby S, Burton C, Chesworth B, Leathley MJ, Watkins CL, French B, Sutton C, Cheater F, Roe B, McColl E, Booth J , Carter B, Brittain K
The ICONS Project Team and the ICONS Patient, Public and Carer Involvement Groups
Making sense of complexity within the ICONS: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke trial. (Symposium presentation)
Royal College of Nursing Annual International Nursing Research Conference, Glasgow, 2nd-4th April 2014.

Burton CR, Thomas LH, French B, Coupe J, Watkins CL, the ICONS Project Team and the ICONS Patient, Public and Carer Involvement Groups
Assessing implementation challenges within the ICONS: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke trial: a soft systems analysis. (Invited poster presentation)
Stroke Research Network National Meeting, ‘Recognising Achievement’, Gateshead, 4th March 2014.

Burton CR, French B, Thomas LH, Watkins CL, the ICONS Project Team and the ICONS Patient, Public and Carer Involvement Groups
Treatment fidelity within the ICONS: Identifying Continence OptioNs after Stroke trial: developing an explanatory account across data sources. (Poster presentation)
Stroke Research Network National Meeting, ‘Recognising Achievement’, Gateshead, 4th March 2014.