Ali Smith

Alison Smith


Senior Teaching Fellow Integrated Care (Mental Health), Lead for Student Wellbeing
MSc., BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RN (Mental Health) PGDip (Arts Psychotherapy) PGDip (Systemic Psychotherapy) PGCert (Teaching and Learning), PGCert Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
+44 (0)1483 683697
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9-5 Monday to Friday

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Alison Smith, Z. Fortune, Rachel Phillips, Paul Walters, Geraldine A. Lee, Anthony Mann, Andre Tylee, Elizabeth A. Barley (2014)UPBEAT study patients' perceptions of the effect of coronary heart disease on their lives: A cross-sectional sub-study, In: International Journal of Nursing Studies51(11)pp. 1500-1506 Elsevier

Background: Patients can report positive effects of myocardial infarction. It is unknown whether these effects are sustained or what factors influence adaptation. Objectives: To explore primary care patients' perceptions of the effect of coronary heart disease and to identify possible modifiable predictors of adaptation. Design and setting: Cross-sectional, sub-study of UPBEAT cohort participants. Patients were recruited from coronary heart disease Registers in South London General Practices. Method: 548 participants were asked "Has having heart disease changed your life? If so, was that change for the better, worse, both or neither?" Participants were asked to explain their response; explanations were subjected to content analysis. Associations between response and lifestyle, demographic, mood and coronary heart disease variables were tested. Results: Respondents (394 male, 72%) were aged 27-98 years and had had heart disease for a mean of 12.4 SD ± 8.4 years. 120 (22%) reported that life was better and 200 (37%) said it was worse. The explanations of those who said 'better' were categorised as 'Healthier Living', 'Recognised Mortality' and 'Stress Reduction'. For those saying 'worse', categories were 'Restricted Lifestyle', 'Recognised Mortality', 'Loss and Burden'. More anxiety symptoms (RRR 1.56, 95% CI 1.12, 2.17), lower functional status (RRR 2.46, 95% CI 1.21, 4.98) and self-reported chest pain (RRR 2.24, 95% CI 1.34, 3.77) were associated with saying 'worse'. Conclusions: Many primary care patients are ambivalent to the effects of coronary heart disease, but some report positive effects. Negative perceptions are associated with reported functional impairment, chest pain and anxiety, but not illness severity or patient characteristics. Future work will track the implications of these perceptions, but nurses managing patients with coronary heart disease should consider these effects as they may be modifiable predictors of adaptation. © 2014.

Andre Tylee, Mark Haddad, Elizabeth Barley, Mark Ashworth, June Brown, John Chambers, Anne Farmer, Zoe Fortune, Rebecca Lawton, Morven Leese, Anthony Mann, Pual McCrone, Joanna Murray, Carmine Pariante, Rachel Phillips, Diana Rose, Gill Rowlands, Ramon Sabes-Figuera, Alison Smith, Paul Walters (2012)A pilot randomised controlled trial of personalised care for depressed patients with symptomatic coronary heart disease in South London general practices: the UPBEAT-UK RCT protocol and recruitment, In: BMC Psychiatry1258 BioMed Central

Background: Community studies reveal people with coronary heart disease (CHD) are twice as likely to be depressed as the general population and that this co-morbidity negatively affects the course and outcome of both conditions. There is evidence for the efficacy of collaborative care and case management for depression treatment, and whilst NICE guidelines recommend these approaches only where depression has not responded to psychological, pharmacological, or combined treatments, these care approaches may be particularly relevant to the needs of people with CHD and depression in the earlier stages of stepped care in primary care settings.Methods: This pilot randomised controlled trial will evaluate whether a simple intervention involving a personalised care plan, elements of case management and regular telephone review is a feasible and acceptable intervention that leads to better mental and physical health outcomes for these patients. The comparator group will be usual general practitioner (GP) care.81 participants have been recruited from CHD registers of 15 South London general practices. Eligible participants have probable major depression identified by a score of â¥8 on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale depression subscale (HADS-D) together with symptomatic CHD identified using the Modified Rose Angina Questionnaire.Consenting participants are randomly allocated to usual care or the personalised care intervention which involves a comprehensive assessment of each participant's physical and mental health needs which are documented in a care plan, followed by regular telephone reviews by the case manager over a 6-month period. At each review, the intervention participant's mood, function and identified problems are reviewed and the case manager uses evidence based behaviour change techniques to facilitate achievement of goals specified by the patient with the aim of increasing the patient's self efficacy to solve their problems.Depressive symptoms measured by HADS score will be collected at baseline and 1, 6- and 12 months post randomisation. Other outcomes include CHD symptoms, quality of life, wellbeing and health service utilisation.Discussion: This practical and patient-focused intervention is potentially an effective and accessible approach to the health and social care needs of people with depression and CHD in primary care.Trial registration: ISRCTN21615909. © 2012 Tylee et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Andre Tylee, Mark Ashworth, Elizabeth Barley, June Brown, John Chambers, Anne Farmer, Zoe Fortune, Mark Haddad, Rebecca Lawton, Anthony Mann, Anita Mehay, Paul McCrone, Joanna Murray, Morven Leese, Carmine M. Pariante, Diana Rose, Gill Rowlands, Alison Smith, Paul Walters (2011)Up-Beat UK: A programme of research into the relationship between coronary heart disease and depression in primary care patients, In: BMC FAMILY PRACTICE1258 BIOMED CENTRAL LTD

Background: Coronary heart disease and depression are both common health problems and by 2020 will be the two leading causes of disability worldwide. Depression has been found to be more common in patients with coronary heart disease but the nature of this relationship is uncertain. In the United Kingdom general practitioners are now being remunerated for case-finding for depression in patients with coronary heart disease, however it is unclear how general practitioners should manage these patients. We aim to explore the relationship between coronary heart disease and depression in a primary care population and to develop an intervention for patients with coronary heart disease and depression. Methods/design. This programme of research will consist of 4 inter-related studies. A 4 year prospective cohort study of primary care patients with coronary heart disease will be conducted to explore the relationship between coronary heart disease and depression. Within this, a nested case-control biological study will investigate genetic and blood-biomarkers as predictors of depression in this sample. Two qualitative studies, one of patients' perspectives of treatments for coronary heart disease and co-morbid depression and one of primary care professionals' views on the management of patients with coronary heart disease and depression will inform the development of an intervention for this patient group. A feasibility study for a randomised controlled trial will then be conducted. Discussion. This study will provide information on the relationship between coronary heart disease and depression that will allow health services to determine the efficiency of case-finding for depression in this patient group. The results of the cohort study will also provide information on risk factors for depression. The study will provide evidence on the efficacy and feasibility of a joint patient and professional led intervention and data necessary to plan a definitive randomised controlled trial of the intervention. © 2011 Tylee et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

N Courtier, S Gaze, Jo Armes, A Smith, L Radley, J Armytage, M Simmonds, A Johnson, T Gambling, J Hopkinson (2018)ACTIVE – A randomised feasibility trial of a behavioural intervention to reduce fatigue in women undergoing radiotherapy for early breast cancer: study protocol, In: Pilot and Feasibility Studies4(85) BioMed Central

Background Fatigue is rated as the most distressing side effect of radiotherapy treatment for curable breast cancer. About four-in-ten women treated experience fatigue, which can last for years after treatment. The impact of this debilitating tiredness is loss of independence and impaired physical and mental function. Our study will take a behavioural intervention with demonstrated effect in treating fatigue in a mixed group of chemotherapy patients and adapt it for women undergoing radiotherapy for early breast cancer. The purpose of this trial is to evaluate the feasibility of delivering the intervention in the radiotherapy pathway for patients at a high risk of fatigue and to explore participants’ experiences of the trial and intervention. Methods A pragmatic single-site non-blinded feasibility trial of a behavioural intervention. Main inclusion criteria are prescription of the UK standard 40Gy in 15 fractions over three weeks radiotherapy (± tumour bed boost) for early (stage 0-IIIa) breast cancer. The total projected sample size after attrition is 70. A previously developed fatigue risk score tool will be used to predict individual’s likelihood of experiencing fatigue. Thirty women predicted to be at a high risk of experiencing significant fatigue will be allocated in the ratio 2:1 to the behavioural intervention or education trial arms, respectively. These feasibility trial participants will be assessed at baseline, after 10 and 15 fractions of radiotherapy, and 10 days, three weeks and six months after radiotherapy. A further 40 women predicted to be at a lower risk of fatigue will join a risk score validation group. Measures to assess feasibility include recruitment, retention and completion rates and variation in implementation of the intervention. Process evaluation with intervention providers and users includes fidelity and adherence checks and qualitative interviews to understand how changes in behaviour are initiated and sustained. Discussion This feasibility study collates data to both inform the progression to and design of a future definitive trial and to refine the intervention. Trial registration: ISRCTN 10303368. Registered August 2017 (retrospectively registered); Health and Care Research Wales Clinical Research Portfolio (CRP) registration 31419.

Objectives The number of UK service personnel who have a diagnosis of PTSD is unclear, but there has been a recent increase in referrals to services for PTSD symptomology. It is imperative to understand the impact this may have on the children of affected service families. This review of literature aimed to explore and provide insight into the experiences of services children whose parent has a diagnosis of PTSD. Design. A comprehensive review of the literature. Data Sources. Online databases CINAHL, MEDLINE, psychARTICLES, The Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection and PILOTS were searched. Review Methods. The studies were chosen in keeping with a specified inclusion and exclusion criteria. The literature was critically analysed and key themes identified through the strategy of thematic analysis. Results Five studies met the inclusion criteria. Three key themes were identified from the five articles; secondary traumatisation; impact on the child's mental health; and impact on the child's adult relationships. Conclusion The findings highlighted the prevalence of secondary traumatisation and a potential negative impact on the child's mental health and relationships. However, literature used in the review was conducted in countries outside of the UK, therefore the comparison of results may be compromised. This review identifies the paucity of research on this topic and highlights the need for UK based research to be carried out in this area

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