New intervention empowers people using community health services | Research news

New intervention empowers people using community health services

Community teams at CPFT have been testing an intervention to enable patients with long-term conditions to address their support needs, and contributed to research now published in an international journal.

CPFT’s district nursing team are currently helping deliver the Support Needs Approach for Patients District Nursing (SNAP-DN) study. SNAP is an evidence-based health care intervention to enable person-centred care for patients with chronic or progressive conditions. The SNAP Tool (one part of the intervention) helps patients identify and discuss their support needs with health care professionals in clinical appointments.

The Trust’s respiratory team (pictured below in 2019) successfully ran the pilot to test SNAP with patients managing severe respiratory illnesses, supported by the Windsor Research Unit and working with researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and University of Cambridge, who developed the intervention. Following the trial, the team applied for a licence to continue using SNAP in their respiratory care service and are working with UEA to share their experience and educate other health teams.

Respiratory service team - group of 4 ladies smiling

When respiratory nurse Nicola Zolnhofer (third) joined CPFT’s district nursing team as team leader, she helped to set up a further study with UEA to test SNAP in district nursing care, which is now recruiting.

Nicola said: “I really enjoyed working on the SNAP pilot and want to ensure CPFT can offer beneficial research to everyone we care for in the community. Any new approaches that can improve the patient experience, their care and treatment are worth testing, and I’m glad to be able to continue this research with the district nursing team.

“We’re helping to investigate if SNAP helps people manage other long-term conditions, working with the UEA team interviewing patients and staff about their experiences of SNAP. I’m really grateful to the Windsor Research Unit for their support, as well as my nursing colleague Maria Martin, sharing her knowledge and experience from the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East of England Fellowship to help the team successfully apply for the research grant!”

The SNAP pilot study lead Professor Morag Farquhar at the UEA School of Health Sciences said: “We are delighted that the first paper from the SNAP2 Study has now been published. We found that SNAP helps health professionals address good practice guidance by providing a suitable mechanism to achieve person-centred care in everyday practice and enable their patients to discuss and address their support needs. Thank you to the CPFT teams involved for your amazing contribution to the study and your fantastic support – we could not have done it without you.”

CPFT’s specialist Windsor Research Unit is working with the Trust’s community teams and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to bring more health research to people with long-term physical conditions using community services, to improve their care and treatments. Meet some of the key contacts involved in community research in this introductory video from NIHR Clinical Research Network Eastern:

Community health research video screenshot

Read about some of the study’s findings in their first paper published in the Chronic Illness journal: Understanding how the Support Needs Approach for Patients (SNAP) enables identification, expression and discussion of patient support needs: A qualitative study

Visit the SNAP website to find out more about the approach and current research projects.

This research is funded and supported by Marie Curie, UEA School of Health Sciences and CPFT.


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