Dr Laura Jones BSc (Hons), PhD

Lecturer in Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Applied Health Research

Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

LauraJones1-Cropped-110x146

Contact details

Public Health, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
School of Health and Population Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

About

Laura Jones is a Lecturer in the School of Health and Population Sciences and has multi-disciplinary health related research and teaching experience. She has significant expertise in tobacco control research, and in her previous role as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham led the development of a programme of mixed-methods research aiming to reduce disadvantaged children’s exposure to secondhand smoke at home.

Overall, her main expertise is in mixed-methods applied health research, with a particular interest in the use of qualitative methodology within clinical trials. She is currently supporting the qualitative components of a number of clinical trial feasibility studies funded by the NIHR HTA and RfPB programmes.  These studies will focus on a core set of themes which are key to the successful design and delivery of pragmatic clinical trials including:

  • understanding the acceptability of trial questions to key stakeholders, including patients, carers and healthcare professionals
  • understanding the factors that are likely to influence trial recruitment and participation
  • selecting outcome measures that are important to the range of key stakeholders, including patients, carers and healthcare professionals, and that are transferable across trials (e.g. via the construction of core outcome sets)
  • understanding patient experience of trial treatment regimes, and trial processes in order to optimise design and delivery

Laura has published a number of research papers in peer-reviewed academic journals, reports and book chapters. She is also a co-applicant on a number of grants from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Department of Health.

Biography

Laura qualified with a First Class BSc (Hons) in Human Biology and a diploma in professional studies from Loughborough University in 2004, staying on to successfully gain her mixed-methods PhD in 2008. With funding from the Child Growth Foundation, and under the supervision of Professor Noël Cameron and Dr Paula Griffiths, Laura’s PhD explored how early childhood events affect the timing and duration of puberty and subsequent propensity for risky behaviours in South African adolescents.

Laura’s first post-doctoral position at Loughborough University investigated the determinants of childhood and adolescent obesity using data from a number of large datasets including the Birth to Twenty and the FELS birth cohort studies.

In early 2009, Laura moved to the University of Nottingham to take up a UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies (UKCTCS) Research Fellowship and later (2012) a Senior Research Fellow position. Whilst at Nottingham, Laura was involved in a variety of mixed-methods tobacco control work and established significant expertise in harm reduction, specifically in secondhand smoke and smoke-free environments. Most notably, she lead the development of a complex intervention to help protect disadvantaged children from the harms of secondhand smoke at home, which is now being tested in a randomised controlled trial. During her time at Nottingham, Laura contributed as a co-applicant, specifically as a qualitative methods expert within a multidisciplinary team, to over £2.8 million of grant income.

In April 2013, Laura moved to the University of Birmingham to take up a Lectureship and is now working closely with other researchers within the Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit and in the wider School of Health and Population Sciences. Laura is looking to continue to build her research expertise in tobacco control and to contribute to the school and University by establishing productive collaborations and building research capacity in the development of qualitative methodologies within the context of clinical trial research.

Teaching

Postgraduate supervision

Laura is interested in supervising doctoral research students who are planning to use qualitative or mixed methods within their research and currently co-supervises two doctoral research students at the University of Nottingham. One student is mapping attitudes to risks surrounding treatment for lung cancer and the other is exploring mother’s views on smoking in the home through pregnancy and in the early post-natal period.

Laura is also interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following general research areas:

  1. Qualitative and mixed methods to explore smoking at home and children’s exposure to secondhand smoke in disadvantaged communities
  2. The use of qualitative methodologies within and alongside randomised controlled trials of complex healthcare interventions.

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please get in touch with Laura using the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.

Research

Research Themes

Tobacco smoke harm reduction, child health, health inequalities; qualitative and mixed-mehtods approaches in clinical trials

Current Research Activities (selected)

Tobacco Control

Laura has lead a programme of research exploring ways to reduce disadvantaged children’s exposure to secondhand smoke in the home. To date, this has involved three qualitative studies with disadvantaged families and healthcare professionals and the subsequent development of a complex intervention that has been assessed in a feasibility trial and is currently being tested in an exploratory randomised controlled trial (for further information please see: http://www.ukctcs.org/ukctcs/research/featuredprojects/nihrcessationprogrammegrant/pgproject3.aspx). This five year project has a budget of nearly £1 million.

Other tobacco related research that Laura is involved in includes: (1) a systematic qualitative evidence synthesis of the barriers to and enablers of smoke-free homes; (2) evaluating a mobile Stop Smoking Service; (3) the development and evaluation of a novel intervention providing insight into the tobacco industry to prevent the uptake of smoking in school-aged children; (4) preventing uptake and promoting cessation of smoking in Ghana: the role of pictorial or text health warnings, and conventional or generic packaging, for cigarette packs; (5) action research: smoking in a disadvantaged community in Nottingham and (6) a mapping review of global car smoking laws.

Qualitative and mixed methods approaches in clinical trial and applied health research

Currents projects include feasibility studies of (1) pressure garment therapy to prevent or reduce abnormal scarring following serious burn injury (PEGASUS); (2) complex, simple or absent wound dressings in elective surgery (Bluebelle), and (3) undertaking appendicectomy to impact upon the clinical course of ulcerative colitis (ACCURE). 

Other activities

Academic Support & Teaching

Academic consultant for the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (www.ncsct.co.uk/SHS) (2011 to present)

Academic advisor for the Department of Health and for several English Primary Care Trust (PCT) led smoke-free family initiatives (including NHS Lincolnshire, Derbyshire City and County, Nottingham City and County) (2009 to present)

Teacher on UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies Continued Professional Development courses for Healthcare Professionals working in tobacco control

Grants

Jones LL, Longman J, Passey M and Mathers J. Protecting children from exposure to secondhand smoke at home: synthesising the international qualitative evidence of the facilitators and barriers to creating smoke-free homes. Wellcome Trust ISSF Mobility Scholarship, £3690 (Awarded March 2014)

Moiemen  N, Deeks J, Dziewulski P, Dickinson W, Wilson Y, Jones LL, Mathers J, Frew E, Kinghorn P, Bishop J, Mackie I, Dheansa B, Shah M, Jeffery S, Sadideen H, Calvert M, Doyle K, Gardiner F, and Whiting K. A study to assess feasibility of a randomised multi-centre clinical trial in children and adults, to examine the clinical and cost-effectiveness of pressure garments to improve scarring. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment, £534,069 (Awarded December 2013)

Rick C, Jenkinson C, Pall H, Ives N, Wheatley K, Jones LL and Mathers J. Understanding how coping mechanisms/accommodation and anosognosia affect the assessment of quality of life for people with a chronic condition (Parkinson’s disease) MRC Midland Hub for Trials Methodology Research, £43599 (Awarded June 2013)

Coleman T, Orton S, Jones LL and Cooper S. Smoking in the home after childbirth: prevalence, determinants and the relationship to smoking in pregnancy National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research PhD Studentship: £85260 (Awarded September 2012)

Szatkowski L, Lewis S, McNeill A, Britton J, Jones LL, Bains M, Docherty G, Bauld L, Parrott S, Fairs-Billam T and Letniowski T. “Development and evaluation of a novel intervention providing insight into the tobacco industry to prevent the uptake of smoking in school-aged children”.  National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research Programme, £710,751 (Awarded July 2012)

Owusu-Dabo E, Singh A, Owusuaa Amartey A, Jones LL, Munafò M and Britton J. “Preventing uptake and promoting cessation of smoking in Ghana: the role of pictorial or text health warnings, and conventional or generic packaging, for cigarette packs” Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland: Links with Developing Countries Scheme 2011, £9900. (Awarded April 2012)

McNeill A, Jones LL, Sendzik T, Fong G and Bauld L. “Mapping review of global car smoking laws” Department of Health, £27,987. (Awarded March 2012)

McEwen A, Amos A, Robinson J, Jones LL and Streets E. “Tobacco control health inequalities pilot on children’s centre workforces and smoking cessation services” Department of Health, £186,192 (Awarded March 2010)

Britton J, De Gruchy J, McNeill A, Lewis S, Venn A, McKeever T, Hari I, Leonardi-Bee J, Murray R,  Coleman T, Smyth A, Godfrey C, Parrot S, Jones LL, Hubbard R and Sherwood W. “Smoking: new approaches to cessation service delivery, prevention of passive smoke exposure in children, and healthcare cost estimation” National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) programme grants for applied research, £1,972,426 (Awarded October 2009)

Travel Grants

Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Europe Travel Award, €1000, Awarded March 2013

Awards

Parental and household smoking and the increased risk of bronchitis, bronchiolitis and other lower respiratory infections in infancy: systematic review and meta-analysis paper: General Medicine Award Runner Up, 6th Annual Biomed Central Research Awards (2012)

Loughborough University Graduate Student of the Year Award. Faculty of Science Graduate School Research Prize for outstanding academic performance and achievements (2008)

Society Membership

Member of Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) (2013 to present)

Committee member of Society for Study of Human Biology (SSHB) (2011 to present)

Member and previous fellowship holder of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS) (2009 to present)

Publications

Singh, A., Owusu-Dabo, E., Britton, J., Munafo, M., Jones, L.L. “Pictures don’t lie, seeing is believing”: Exploring attitudes to the introduction of pictorial warnings on cigarette packs in Ghana. Nicotine and Tobacco Research (2014 in press)

Bains, M., Venn, A., Murray, R., McNeill, A. Jones, L.L. ‘You Just Went In and You Got It All Sorted Straightaway’ – What is the Appeal of a Community-Based Mobile Stop Smoking Service? Journal of Smoking Cessation (2014 in press)

Jones, L.L., Moodie, C., MacKintosh, A.M., Bauld, L. (2014) Young people’s exposure to and perceptions of smoking in cars and associated harms in the United Kingdom. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 21(3):225-33

Stead, M., Jones, L.L., Docherty, G., Gough, B., Antoniak, M., McNeill, A. (2013) “No-one actually goes to a shop and buys them do they?”: Attitudes and behaviours regarding illicit tobacco in a multiply disadvantaged community in England. Addiction, 108(12):2212-9.

Jones, L.L., McEwen. A. (2012), Making homes and cars smoke-free: just a few minutes of your time. British Journal of School Nursing, 7(8):389-93

Jones, L.L., Hassanien, A., Cook, D.G., Britton, J., Leonardi-Bee, J. (2012), Parental smoking and the risk of middle ear disease in children: systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Jan;166(1):18-27

Jones, L.L., Atkinson, O., Longman, J., Coleman, T., McNeill, A., Lewis, S.A. (2011), The motivators and barriers to a smoke-free home: identifying the positive levers for change. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Jun;13(6):479-86

Jones, L.L., Hashim, A., McKeever, T., Cook, D.G., Britton, J., Leonardi-Bee, J. (2011), Parental and household smoking and the increased risk of bronchitis, bronchiolitis and other lower respiratory infections in infancy: systematic review and meta-analysis. Respiratory Research, 12:5.

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