Research Impact

Bucks has an active applied research community covering a wide range of discipline areas. Activities are undertaken nationally, within European programmes and internationally. Our professional networks support generation of impact from our research activities. Some example Impact case studies from research undertaken at Bucks are shown below.

Professor Florin Ioras and Dr Ioan Dutca

Research conducted at Bucks on the impact of effective natural resources management has resulted in international action to mitigate climate change. Our research demonstrated that decarbonisation approaches in the wood related sector combined with effective measure of biomass leads to positive mitigation impacts in climate change. In light of these findings, the Malaysian Government, Ghanaian Government, European Islands Authorities and Romanian Government have amended their national policies to motivate landowners, wood-based resource users, to include mandatory Monitoring Reporting and Verification criteria. In partnership with businesses in European Islands, Ghana, Romania and Malaysia, Bucks researchers co-established carbon mitigating plans. These resulted in an investment of £2.5 million which achieved decarbonisation of rubberwood sawmilling in Malaysia, decarbonisation of coastal Tourism in European Islands and protection of 200,000 hectares of forest in Romania and 400,000 hectares in Ghana. Our research underpinned a natural resources based climate mitigation scheme resulting in the investment of an additional £1.4 million in decarbonisation initiatives.

Key references

Ioras, Florin, Ratnasingam, Jega, Ramasamy, Geetha, Kaner, Jake and Wenming, Lu (2012) Production potential of rubberwood in Malaysia: Its economic challenges. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 40 (2). pp. 317-322. ISSN 0255-965X

Dutcă, Ioan, Negrutiu, Filofteia, Ioras, Florin, Maher, Kevin, Blujdea, Viorel and Ciuvăt, Liviu Alexandru (2014) The Influence of Age, Location and Soil Conditions on the Allometry of Young Norway Spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) Trees. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 42 (2). pp. 579-582. ISSN 1842-4309

Dutcă, Ioan (2019) The Variation Driven by Differences between Species and between Sites in Allometric Biomass Models. Forest Ecology and Management (10). ISSN 1999-4907

Dutcă, Ioan, Stăncioiu, Petru Tudor, Abrudan, Ioan Vasile and Ioras, Florin (2018) Using clustered data to develop biomass allometric models: The consequences of ignoring the clustered data structure. PloS one, 13 (8). e0200123. ISSN 1932-6203

Dutcă, Ioan, Mather, Richard, Blujdea, Viorel N.B., Ioras, Florin, Olari, Mănăilă and Abrudan, Ioan Vasile (2018) Site-effects on biomass allometric models for early growth plantations of Norway spruce ( Picea abies (L.) Karst.). Biomass and Bioenergy, 116. pp. 8-17. ISSN 09619534

Ab Latib, Hazirah, Cheong, Lum Wai, Halis, Rasmina, Mahamad, Roslan Mohamad, Kasim, Lee Yan Yi, Jegatheswaran, Ratnasingam and Ioras, Florin (2019) The Prospects of Wooden Building Construction in Malaysia: current State of Affairs. BioResources. ISSN 1930-2126

Dr Paul Morgan

Psychological resilience represents an important phenomenon that explains the development of people who positively adapt to adverse events. Through our research we have demonstrated that the ability of teams, including athletes and coaches, to withstand stressors is a prerequisite for sporting excellence.   We therefore sought to provide practitioners with a framework and a series of interventions to develop team resilience at the highest levels of sport.

Key references

Morgan, Paul BC, Fletcher, David and Sarkar, Mustafa (2019) Developing Team Resilience: A Season-long Study of Psychosocial Enablers and Strategies in a High-Level Sports Team. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 45. ISSN 1469-0202 (In Press)

Morgan, Paul BC, Fletcher, David and Sarkar, Mustafa (2017) Recent developments in team resilience research in elite sport. Current Opinion in Psychology, 16. pp. 159-164. ISSN 2352-250X

Decroos, Steven, Lines, Robin LJ, Morgan, Paul BC, Fletcher, David, Sarkar, Mustafa, Fransen, Katrien, Boen, Filip and Vande Broek, Gert (2017) Development and validation of the Characteristics of Resilience in Sports Teams Inventory. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 6 (2). pp. 158-178. ISSN 2157-3905

Worth, Piers, Bradley, Scott and Morgan, Paul BC (2016) Strengths-based approaches and resilience development: a perspective from sport psychology. AI Practitioner.

Morgan, Paul BC, Fletcher, David and Sarkar, Mustafa (2015) Understanding team resilience in the world's best athletes: A case study of a rugby union World Cup winning team. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 16 (1). pp. 91-100. ISSN 1469-0202

Morgan, Paul BC, Fletcher, David and Sarkar, Mustafa (2013) Defining and characterizing team resilience in elite sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 14 (4). pp. 549-559. ISSN 14690292

Dr Ben Clayton

The UK government are increasingly using sport and physical activity to achieve a wide range of health, wellbeing, and community policy objectives.  Community coaches, small charitable and local government organisations, and other volunteers in sport, play a crucial role in realising these goals as the policy enactors at the coalface, and yet we know very little about the everyday realities and challenges of ‘doing’ policy.  Building on this, we have conducted extensive research into the experiences of these pivotal policy actors to create a knowledge base that might be used to better prepare community sport workers to deliver on policy or simply bring about positive change to their lives and the lives of others.

In 2016, Bucks’ Human Performance, Exercise and Wellbeing Centre was approached by Buckinghamshire County Council (Bucks CC) and the Bucks and Milton-Keynes County Sport Partnership (Leap With Us; now Active Partnership) to research the reasons why people with disabilities were not engaging with sport and physical activity. Working to the latest Government sport strategies, they wanted to increase sustainable participation among people with disabilities. Previous attempts to engage this hard-to-reach population had failed, despite trying to remove known barriers to participation.

Bucks researchers conducted in-depth interviews and focus groups with local non-sporting disability organisations and their members to find out about sport and disability in their own words. The research concluded that lack of enjoyment was the key factor influencing non-participation and that physical activity and sport needs to be redesigned for disabled people.  Many of the findings simply confirmed some of the commonly reported barriers to participation, such as cost of transport and activities, ineffective communication and advertisement, preconceived images of sport as competitive and judgmental, and anxieties about athletic abilities and performances. However, the study also concluded that these reported barriers – although important – often masked a lack of enjoyment. As a consequence, attempts to remove external barriers, such as costs and transport issues, will always be fruitless unless providers can first ensure that sport and physical activity is attractive, enabling continued engagement.

The researchers suggested moving away from ‘sport’ in favour of ‘activity’ and to place emphasis on creating a welcoming, inclusive and non-judgemental environment. They also recommended using a multi-activity approach to allow disabled people to discover what they enjoy and to blend physical activities with non-physical activities, such as coffee-drinking and lunches to help promote social interaction and wellbeing. Further, the researchers suggested that coaches should receive basic training in how to deliver sport and physical activity for disabled people and, going forward, developing people working in disability support organisations so that they themselves might take on sustainable delivery in the future. This was especially important, because delivering sport and physical activity in a familiar setting, could remove many of the reported external barriers and anxieties.

The findings of the research have made significant local impact, with the development of successful programmes to increase and sustain participation in sport and physical activity among disabled people. A local sport development organisation, Active in the Community (AitC), created a pilot programme offering bespoke multi-activity taster sessions delivered at facilities already attended by people with disabilities. These included clear signposting to opportunities to continue participation with mainstream disability sport providers in the area. Over 250 people took part, with 40% classified as previously inactive. The programme also trained 37 volunteers to deliver disability sport and physical activity. They were linked with schools and other community providers to offer future opportunities.

As a result of Bucks research, Nclude (a division of the learning disabilities and autism support charity, Talkback) established their own sports academy with an aim to run daily inclusive sports sessions for all their members in familiar settings. According to Nclude manager, Helen Krauze, ‘we discovered that sport is a powerful means of enabling physical and mental wellbeing as part of a healthy lifestyle, it creates opportunities, inspires confidence and self-esteem and most of all helps people to feel good about themselves’.

As part of the coaching development programme led by ‘Leap with Us’, Nclude staff and volunteers were trained as sports leaders and coaches. They now train new members in-house, including people with disabilities to become assistant coaches. By 2019, every disabled person at Nclude (160) had been exposed to sport.  Running five sports sessions per week, 44 members are attending sessions regularly. While still in its infancy, the Nclude sports academy has been recognised as an exemplary model for engaging disabled people in sport and keeping them engaged.

Key references

Ives, B., Clayton, B., Brittain, I. and Mackintosh, C. (2019) ‘I’ll always find a perfectly justified reason for not doing it’: Challenges for disability sport and physical activity in the United Kingdom. Sport in Society. pp. 1-19. ISSN 1743-0445

Ives, Ben and Clayton, Ben (2017) Motivations and Challenges for Disability Sport and Physical Activity in Buckinghamshire. Project Report. Buckinghamshire New University.

Professor Margaret Greenfields

This case study pertains to a substantial body of work at both policy and practice level with a particular focus on the health and wellbeing of Gypsy, Traveller and Roma populations in the UK. Professor Greenfields’ work in this area ranges from convening policy focused seminars which have drawn together EU and UK experts on the health inequalities experienced by these populations; the provision of expert evidence to the Department of Health, Inclusion Health team (underpinned by commissioned research); membership of expert advisory panels for Department of Health commissioned research; the delivery of training to health professionals working with vulnerable groups and engagement with both select committees and members of the House of Commons and Lords. Research has been utilised her research to scrutinise outcomes associated with the UK National Roma Integration Strategy and associated health policy interventions. As a result of recognition in this field, she is also regularly invited to speak to health practitioners working with members of these communities who may be particularly vulnerable to health exclusion.

Key references

Greenfields, Margaret and Brindley, Matthew (2016) Impact of insecure accommodation and the living environment on Gypsies’ and Travellers’ health. Project Report. The Traveller Movement.

Greenfields, Margaret (2017) Good practice in working with Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities. Primary Health Care, 27 (10). pp. 24-29. ISSN 0264-5033

Greenfields, Margaret, Cemlyn, Sarah and Berlin, Jenni (2015) Bridging the Gap between Academics and Policy Makers: Gypsy, Traveller and Roma Health and Social Work Engagement. [Report]

Professor Colin Martin

The 10-item Birth-Satisfaction-Scale-Revised (BSS-R) is a psychometrically valid and reliable birth satisfaction measure developed by Professor Colin Martin. Derived from a thematic review of the literature and an exhaustive psychometric process to select the best performing items from a long-form version (BSS), the BSS-R measures three domains of birth satisfaction:

  1. Quality of care provision (birth environment, sufficient support, relationships with health care professionals) (4-items).
  2. Personal attributes (ability to cope during labour, feeling in control) (2-items).
  3. Stress experienced during labour (obstetric injuries, long labour, distress experienced during labour) (4-items).

After extensive testing and analysis, the key measurement parameters of the BSS-R were established and found to be robust and reliable. The BSS-R provides a reliable and practical tool to assess the birth experience and identify areas for improvement and optimisation, in addition to providing clinically-valuable insights into the impact of specific clinical interventions on birth experience.

The BSS-R has become the ‘gold standard’ measure of birth experience, selected by experts as the key index of birth experience in the International Consortium for Health Outcome Measures (ICHOM) Pregnancy and Childbirth Standard Set. Widely translated and in use in over 30 countries, the BSS-R has been utilised by both researchers and clinicians alike. Currently, over 100 investigations are underway using the BSS-R to foster and evaluate evidence-based maternity care, with 18 studies thus far reporting findings. Numerous translation/validation studies have been conducted and published including the United States, Greek, Australian, Turkish,Spanish, Israeli, Italian and Iranian versions.

Use of the BSS-R has included:

  • Evaluation of birth satisfaction in relation to stress, anxiety, control and breast-feeding self-efficacy.
  • Application as a key outcome measure in a large randomised-controlled multi-site trial in Sweden to assess women’s intranatal satisfaction at 2-months post having a lateral episiotomy or no episiotomy.
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Early Labour Lounge (ELL) in a community hospital in north-eastern US.
  • The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has implemented its use across all of the delivery suites in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of improving standards of intranatal care.
  • Further evidence of both impact and innovation in the use of the BSS-R can be found in the development of a 6-item short-form version, BSS-R Indicator (BSS-RI) 5.3 which formed an integral part of the 2015 National Maternity Survey (NMS) for England and Wales5.4 to measure women’s satisfaction with maternity services.  Successful application of the BSS-RI in the 2015 NMS led to the adoption of the BSS-R in the 2018 National maternity care report.

Professor Martin continues to work on developing the BSS-R for innovative application in diverse clinical and research contexts, including the development of non-English language versions

Key references

The International Consortium for Health Outcome Measurement. (2016). Pregnancy and Childbirth Standard Set and Reference Guide. Retrieved from http://www.ichom.org/medical-conditions/pregnancy-and-childbirth/

Barbosa-Leiker, Celestina, Fleming, Susan, Hollins Martin, Caroline J. and Martin, Colin R. (2015) Psychometric properties of the Birth Satisfaction Scale-Revised (BSS-R) for US mothers. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 33 (5). pp. 504-511. ISSN 0264-6838

Fleming, Susan E., Donovan-Batson, Colleen, Burduli, Ekaterina, Barbosa-Leiker, Celestina, Hollins Martin, Caroline J. and Martin, Colin R. (2016) Birth Satisfaction Scale/Birth Satisfaction Scale-Revised (BSS/BSS-R): A large scale United States planned home birth and birth centre survey. Midwifery, 41. pp. 9-15. ISSN 02666138

Göncü Serhatlıoğlu, Seda, Karahan, Nazan, Hollins Martin, Caroline J. and Martin, Colin R. (2018) Construct and content validity of the Turkish Birth Satisfaction Scale – Revised (T-BSS-R). Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 36 (3). pp. 235-245. ISSN 1469-672X

Hollins Martin, Caroline J and Martin, Colin R. (2014) Development and psychometric properties of the Birth Satisfaction Scale-Revised (BSS-R). Midwifery, 30 (6). pp. 610-619. ISSN 1532-3099

Hollins Martin, Caroline J. and Martin, Colin R. (2015) A survey of women’s birth experiences in Scotland using the Birth Satisfaction Scale (BSS). European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare, 3 (4). pp. 478-486.

Martin, C.R., Vardavaki, Z. and Hollins Martin, C.J. (2018) Measurement equivalence of the Birth Satisfaction Scale-Revised (BSS-R): Further evidence of construct validity. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology.

Vardavaki, Zoi, Hollins Martin, Caroline J. and Martin, Colin R. (2015) Construct and content validity of the Greek version of the  Birth Satisfaction Scale (G-BSS). Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 33 (5). pp. 488-503. ISSN 0264-6838