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Melanie Narayanasamy

Research Associate, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Expertise Summary

Melanie is an experienced health and health services researcher in qualitative and quantitative research across Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Medicine. Her overall research interest is people's experiences of health, illness, health services, and health interventions. In recent years, her focus has been in the areas of bone health, mental health, and adaptations for people who are struggling with their health.

Melanie is currently working on the Bath-Out-2 study in the Medical School, which is investigating whether the provision of walk-in showers in the homes of older adults is effective, and whether quicker provision is more effective. This Randomised Controlled Trial is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and aims to ascertain whether walk-in showers maintain or improve older people's health, safety, quality of life and their ability to manage their personal care. The study will also explore whether delayed provision has a negative impact on people's physical and mental health and independence, and if this leads to more costs. In addition, Melanie is also working on the NIHR-funded "ReStARt" study in the School of Health Sciences, which involves the development of an optimal physiotherapy intervention of people with arthrofibrosis- a complication that can occur following a total knee replacement operation.

Melanie has a PhD in the decision-making practices of mental health professionals, obtained from the School of Sociology and Social Policy. The study highlighted the importance and complexities of roles and identity in the ways that such professionals conduct and contribute to pivotal meeting discussions about clients using mental health services. This was a particularly important area of enquiry, because such meetings involved decisions around which clients were to be given access to mental health services and interventions. This work led to the development of a new social theory in this area called "Handling Role Boundaries", which was subsequently published.

Melanie has expertise in research methods, notably grounded theory and other qualitative methodologies from her PhD and roles as a Research Fellow in the School of Health Sciences and Business School. Throughout her experience in health and health services research, Melanie has worked across a number of research groups and topic areas including bone health, mental health, nursing, nurse education, rehabilitation, digital innovations in healthcare, and palliative and end of life care, and has achieved publications and conference presentations in these areas making her a versatile member of the research staff.

Teaching Summary

Melanie has experience teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students in Sociology, Social Policy, Healthcare and Research Methods modules. She has been tutor on the Social Sciences module… read more

Research Summary

Melanie is currently working on the Bath-Out-2 study in the Medical School, which is investigating whether the provision of walk-in showers in the homes of older adults is effective, and whether… read more

Recent Publications

Melanie has experience teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students in Sociology, Social Policy, Healthcare and Research Methods modules. She has been tutor on the Social Sciences module Policy and Social Justice (first year undergraduates). This module covered an array of topics including health, mental health, young carers, crime, housing, and the family. Sessions involved guiding students with critical thinking and generating discussions around key policy and social issues. Melanie was also tutor for the Research Design and Practice (qualitative and quantitative parts- second year undergraduates). Module content included development of practical methodological skills and for the quantitative part, this encompassed designing a project that would be supported by the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software (of which she has vast experience in using). Melanie's teaching for this module was commended by the Head of School following high evaluation marks from the Postgraduate Teaching Evaluation assessment.

In addition, Melanie was module tutor for the former Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS module, which was part of the postgraduate ESRC accredited Masters in Research Methods (MARM) degree programme. This module involved guiding students to develop a project to be supporting using SPSS. Students were of mixed backgrounds and abilities.

Melanie has done a lecture presentation on "Black people's Experience of Mental Health Care" for the Diversity and Mental Health workshop for second year BSc Mental Health Nursing Students. She also facilitated the group activity later on in the workshop. Furthermore, she co-facilitated the education game for spirituality education at the HEA Religious and Philosophy Subject Centre's Conference.

Current Research

Melanie is currently working on the Bath-Out-2 study in the Medical School, which is investigating whether the provision of walk-in showers in the homes of older adults is effective, and whether quicker provision is more effective. This NIHR-funded Randomised Controlled Trial aims to ascertain whether walk-in showers maintain or improve older people's health, safety, quality of life and their ability to manage their personal care. The study will also explore whether delayed provision has a negative impact on people's physical and mental health and independence, and if this leads to more costs. In addition, Melanie is also working on the NIHR-funded "ReStARt" study in the School of Health Sciences, which involves the development of an optimal physiotherapy intervention of people with arthrofibrosis- a complication that can occur following a total knee replacement operation.

Prior to this, Melanie was Research Fellow on the NIHR-funded "BLAST OFF" research study, investigating treatment experiences of people at risk of osteoporotic fragility fractures. The study explored acceptability and preferences around bisphosphonate treatment regimens amongst patients affected by osteoporosis and the health care professionals providing care and treatment to them.

Melanie was also study coordinator of the MENtal health first aid in The wORkplace (MENTOR) research study, funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). The study investigated the implementation, use and utility of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in different UK workplaces. In this role, Melanie also contributed to national guidance on the integration of MHFA trained individuals in the workplace. The MENTOR study report and additional resources can be accessed here: https://www.iosh.com/resources-and-research/resources/mental-health-first-aid-in-the-workplace/ The findings paper is available here: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JMHTEP-12-2019-0064/full/html

Past Research

Melanie has trained in the Social Sciences and has expertise and interests in the Sociology of Health and Illness and the Sociology of Mental Health. She was awarded her PhD in 2014 from the School of Sociology and Social Policy and her research focused on the decision-making activities of mental health professionals in multidisciplinary Single Point of Access (SPA) meetings. Such meetings encompassed discussions of case referrals from GPs, leading to decisions regarding which services and interventions should be allocated to clients. Using a Glaserian Grounded Theory methodology, she investigated the meetings using observations and interviews. Her conceptual product emerged as the Basic Social Process (BSP) and new social theory called "Handling Role Boundaries", which explains how mental health professionals work together to reach a decision about clients being discussed in the meeting. The BSP draws attention to the fact that attendees of the meeting behave not just in their professional capacities, but are also influenced by their personality traits. This diversity of roles and associated boundaries need to be managed in the meeting to ensure that all clients have a decision made about them within the meeting environment. The Grounded Theory of Handling Role Boundaries explains why behaviours such as making expectations, prioritising, negotiating and volunteering take place in this milieux. Melanie's thesis is available to read here: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/14083/ and a summary of the findings can be accessed here: https://journals.rcni.com/doi/full/10.7748/mhp.19.6.32.s21 In addition, insight into the grounded theory methodological approach used by Melanie can be accessed here: http://methods.sagepub.com/case/cracking-code-personal-journey-learning-glaserian-grounded-theory

Melanie worked as a Research Fellow at the School of Health Sciences between 2014-2019. She worked across a number of the School's research groups, including Digital Innovations in HealthCare (DICE); Nottingham Centre for the Advancement of Research into supportive, palliative and End of life care (NCARE); Mental Health; and Rehabilitation. She supported these groups in the following projects:

- The Rehabilitation research group: The MENTOR study (See above); The OPAL study- Occupational advice for Patients undergoing Arthroplasty of the Lower limb. This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme. The study sought to develop an occupational advice intervention to support early recovery to usual activities (including work), tailored to the requirements of patients undergoing hip and knee replacements.

The HEALINT project- Supporting Internationalisation of Traineeships in the Healthcare Sector. This innovative project aimed to meet nursing need through establishing an International Quality Audit System for nursing and healthcare institutions who want to exchange students. The project aimed to ensure that the quality audit system mapped to national and international priorities and met agreed requirements. The Briefing Paper outlining the development of the HEALINT Protocol is available at: https://multinclude.eu/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2020/03/HEALINT-Briefing-Paper-Development-of-the-HEALINT-Protocol.pdf

- A systematic review to provide an overview and synthesis of the effectiveness of interventions conducted with the goal of improving health, wellbeing and the job-related outcomes of nurses (Stanulewicz, N., Knox, E., Narayanasamy, M., Shivji, N., Khunti, K., & Blake, H., 2019- Effectiveness of Lifestyle Health Promotion Interventions for Nurses: A Systematic Review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(1): 17 https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010017)

- The DICE research group- The DIMEANE study: Development and Implementation of interactive Mobile E-learning Apps for European Nursing Education. The project focused on the repurposing and evaluation of digital learning tools originally developed by the e-learning department at the University of Stavanger, Norway.

- Between August 2014 and May 2016, Melanie was employed as a Research Fellow within the School of Health Sciences' formerly named Sue Ryder Centre for Palliative, Supportive and End of Life care (now named NCARE - Nottingham Centre for the Advancement of Research into Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care). Her role involved supporting research around the theme of conserving dignity in individuals experiencing palliative and end of life care.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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