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Our Projects

NICHE comprises of six work packages delivered over five years. It is currently in Year 3.

We have run a number of studies in the first 3 years of the grant:

Year 1:

Study 1.1: We have completed a systematic review of the current literature to summarise recent evidence from high-income countries on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions to improve mental health and overall quality of life and/or wellbeing in people living with HIV. We plan to submit the findings to a journal for review and publication in early 2024.

Study 1.2 Qualitative focus group discussions (FGDs) and one-to-one interviews were conducted to understand the needs of people living with HIV and how a psychosocial service could be integrated into an HIV service. Nine focus groups were conducted across the UK. Groups were a diverse range of age, gender, ethnicities, sexual orientation and time since HIV diagnosis. 20 interviews were conducted with clinicians and stakeholders at clinical sites participating in the SPHERE RCT (WP3). The results of this work have helped inform the intervention design through use in Study 2.1. Results are currently being written up for publication.

Study 1.3 Positive Voices 2022 survey. The Positive Voices questionnaire study collected 4618 responses from people with HIV attending clinics across 101 clinics in the UK. Manuscripts and conference presentations are in development and results have fed directly into the national UK HIV action plan. Results were presented at an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on inequality among people with HIV, attended by over 100 parliamentarians, 3rd sector organisations and policy makers.

Year 2

Study 1.4 Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE). The first round of the DCE was completed in August 2023 and results presented at theTheory of Change workshops (Study 2.1). A second round of the DCE is planned in May 2024 to sample people of colour and older age.

Study 2.1 Theory of Change Workshop. Two Theory of Change workshops were held in September 2023, each attended by over 40 participants including HIV clinicians, people living with HIV, charity and third sector organisations, commissioners, and policy makers. The workshops presented the results of the formative work from Year 1 to inform the design of the health coaching intervention for the RCT (Study 3.1). A Theory of Change map was developed which informed the design and parameters of the intervention for the RCT, and the development of the monitoring tools for the RCT. A manuscript detailing the process is in development.

Year 3

Study 3.1 The SPHERE RCT. A multi-centre 2-arm parallel group RCT of a complex intervention in people living with HIV (PLWH) regularly attending clinical care who have unmet health and social needs. An observational cohort study will occur in parallel with the RCT and provide information on changes over time. Seven NHS sites are participating in the study and two experienced HIV healthcare professionals from each site have attended a six day bespoke, accredited Health & Wellbeing Coaching & Social Prescribing course. The study is coordinated by Birmingham CTU and completing sponsorship approval at Birmingham University, aiming to have completed REC and local approvals by end of June 2024.

Our projects