CONSORT-SPI: A CONSORT extension for social and psychological interventions
Principle Investigator: Professor Paul Montgomery
Co-Investigators: Dr Evan Mayo-Wilson (Assistant Scientist, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health); Dr Sean Grant (Associate Behavioural & Social Scientist, RAND Corporation); Dr Sally Hopewell (Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford); Professor Geraldine Macdonald (Professor of Social Work, Institute of Child Care Research, Queen’s University Belfast); Professor Susan Michie (Professor of Health Psychology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness University College London); Prof David Moher (Research Chair in Systematic Reviews, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Centre for Practice-Changing Research (CPCR), The Ottawa Hospital - General Campus).
Funding: ESRC funded Development of an extension of the CONSORT guidelines for psychological, social and environmental interventions: £396,551
Dates: April 2013- December 2015
Summary: Social and psychological interventions are often complex. Understanding randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of these complex interventions requires a detailed description of the interventions tested and the methods used to evaluate them. However, RCT reports in child studies of criminology, education, psychology, public health, social work, and related disciplines often omit, or inadequately report, this information. The magnitude of these deficiencies is particularly striking when comparing RCT reporting quality in social and behavioural science journals to health care and medical journals. Incomplete and inaccurate reporting hinders the optimal use of research, wastes resources, and fails to meet ethical obligations to research participants and consumers.
The CONSORT Statement is a guideline widely used in medicine to help authors report RCTs. The original statement and later extensions have improved the quality of medical trial reporting, but there has been limited uptake in social and behavioural sciences, as the greater complexity of interventions in these disciplines gives rise to new issues that are not adequately addressed in existing guidelines.
Scientists working in the field of child mental health who develop and evaluate social and psychological interventions need a reporting guideline that is appropriate for the trials that they conduct. To address this need, we developed a CONSORT extension for social and psychological interventions: CONSORT-SPI
1) Montgomery, P., Grant, S., Hopewell, S., Macdonald, G., Moher, D., Michie, S., & Mayo-Wilson, E. (2013). Protocol for CONSORT-SPI: An Extension for Social and Psychological Interventions. Implementation Science, 8, 99. doi:10.1186/1748- 5908-8-99
2) Grant, S., Mayo-Wilson, E., Melendez-Torres, G.J., & Montgomery, P. (2013). The reporting quality of social and psychological intervention trials: a systematic review of reporting guidelines and trial publications. PLoS One, 8(5), e65442. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065442
3) Mayo-Wilson, E., Grant, S. Hopewell, S., Macdonald, G., Moher, D., & Montgomery, P., (2013). Developing a reporting guideline for social and psychological intervention trials. Versions available in:
4) Grant, S., Montgomery, P., Hopewell, S., Macdonald, G., Moher, D, & Mayo-Wilson, E. (2013). Letter to the Editor: New guidelines are needed to improve the reporting of trials in addiction sciences. Addiction, 108, 1687-1688.
5) Gardner, F., Mayo-Wilson, E., Montgomery, P., Hopewell, S., Macdonald, G., Moher, D, & Grant, S. (2013). Editorial Perspective: New guidelines are needed to improve the reporting of trials in child and adolescent mental health. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(7), 810-812.
6) Grant, S., Montgomery, P., & Mayo-Wilson, E. (2012). Development of a CONSORT extension for interventions in public health and related disciplines. The Lancet, 380(Supp. 3). S14.
7) Spreckelsen, T., Grant, S. P., & Montgomery, P. (2012). Letters: Additional requirements for complex interventions. BMJ, 345, e8003
Austerity and its impact on Early Years Informal and Family Learning in Disadvantaged Urban Communities
Principle Investigator: Professor Christine Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram, Centre for Research in Early Childhood
Project Team Members: Professor Chris Pascal – Project Director & Principal Investigator; Professor Tony Bertram – Family Case Studies Lead, Community Interviews – England; Professor Andy Cramp – Cultural Mapping Lead – England; Professor João Formosinho - Cultural Mapping Lead – Portugal; and Professor Júlia Formosinho - Family Case Studies Lead, Community Interviews – Portugal
Funding: British Academy: £46,200.00
Dates: February 2017- February 2018
Summary: This investigative project focuses on informal family learning in urban disadvantaged communities experiencing austerity in England and Portugal.
Poor families with young children are harder hit than any other group by austerity policies. Informal family learning in community spaces contributes to development of young citizens, for character building, positive learning dispositions and executive learning functions, influencing successful school outcomes. This connection between school outcomes and informal learning in urban environments is vital, under-researched and relevant to many urban communities experiencing austerity.
This project will map the impact of austerity in English and Portuguese disadvantaged urban communities, documenting changing levels of availability/access to what were, historically, public, free, cultural/leisure services on which poor families depend for stimulation and extension of family learning, including libraries, parks, playgrounds, youth clubs and museums.
The project aims to enhance family and informal learning for disadvantaged children before entry to school, generating learning with international relevance. The research will begin by mapping the cultural and community changes experienced by two inner-city Birmingham wards in the decade between 2007 and 2018.
This will include documenting changing levels of availability/access to what were, historically, public, free, cultural/leisure services on which poor families depend for stimulation and extension of family learning, including libraries, parks, playgrounds, youth clubs and museums.
The project aims to enhance family and informal learning for disadvantaged children before entry to school, generating learning with international relevance. A number of family and neighbourhood case studies will then be produced to learn more about how changes identified have impacted on what has existed, what exists now and what the consequences of changes might be for their family learning experiences and consequently children’s futures. Within this phase we will also work with existing community workers and cultural/arts-based services in each ward to explore and document, through focused interviews, their experiences of austerity on their services highlighting, in particular, examples of positive, enriching and creative responses to the impact of austerity on publicly funded community learning spaces and other environmentally based opportunities linked to informal family learning. We will interpret the data by looking for key themes and ideas of both loss and hope for the future in urban contexts
Further Information: www.earlylearningausterityproject.org