Sarah Collins, specialist cystic fibrosis dietitian, was awarded a clinical doctoral research fellowship by Health Education England and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), which started in June 2016.
The award will allow her to obtain a PhD at Imperial College London through combining clinical research and leadership with continued clinical practice and development. Her research will be looking at developing a self-management education programme for people with cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD).
Sarah has worked at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals with adults who have cystic fibrosis for the past 19 years and has gained knowledge and expertise in many clinical areas and developed a particular interest in the management of CFRD.
CFRD is the most common complication of cystic fibrosis, affecting 45 to 50 per cent of adults over 30 years and is different from type 1 and 2 diabetes, requiring specialist dietary and clinical management and has a large impact on nutrition, lung function and survival.
The study is made up of two stages: the first part consists of a systematic review of current literature and qualitative interviews with patients, which will tell us what is known about the experience of living with and managing CFRD. The second part is the development of the self-management education programme. This will bring together a team of patients, carers, patient representatives and healthcare professionals to develop the programme as an e-learning resource for people with CFRD.
Sarah Collins said “I was absolutely delighted to receive this award and I am very grateful to everyone at the Trust who has supported me throughout the process. It is early days on my journey towards my PhD but I am thoroughly enjoying it.”
This programme is an active partnership between healthcare professionals and the patients it aims to empower. It will produce an evidence-based self-management programme for people with CFRD that will help improve self-care.
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