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The University of Southampton

Primary Care & Population Sciences

Primary Care and Population Sciences encompasses a broad range of research disciplines and areas including primary care, public health, clinical epidemiology, medical statistics, qualitative methods, health economics and complementary medicine. There is an active postgraduate group and our staff make major contributions to postgraduate training and medical undergraduate teaching.

The constituent groups are:

The Director of the School is Professor Julie Parkes and the Deputy Director is Professor Michael Moore. There is a Senior Management Team which meets every six to eight weeks. 

We run a programme of seminars for our school, please view our seminars here
Our seminars are by invitation only, please contact Elena if you would like to attend

Since 2008 the Primary Care group (research led by Professor Paul Little) has been a member of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR). The Unit has attracted a wide range of funding, notably from NIHR (Programme Grants, Health Services Research, EME, Public Health Research, RfPB, Health Technology Assessment) as well as other research bodies e.g. MRC, Arthritis Research Council and Macmillan Trust.

Researchers in Population Health from Primary Care and Population Science are working on a number of multi-disciplinary projects and work closely with other Faculties and Departments right across the University of Southampton. The University Strategic Research group (USRG) for Population health has 4 Co-chairs from different departments, including Professor Paul Roderick.

Our research is described in detail on the following websites (and under personal pages of research staff):

Primary Care website

Primary Care Group
Population Health Sciences Research Group

Academic collaborators
Dr Andrew Mortimore director of Public Health for Southampton City Council and Wessex Senate council member is working closely with the Public Health team.
David Phillips, director of Public Health for Dorset County Council, working closely with the Public Health Team.
Professor Heiner Bucher from Basle and Professor Theo Verheij from Utrecht have joined PCPS as Visiting Professors. PCPS will be working closely with both of them in the area of acute infection with a focus on antibiotic sparing strategies.

Primary Care and Population Sciences contributes to the University 'Our Impact' - examples of the research being carried out at the University which is impacting on lives of people in the UK and all over the world.

Improving care for patients with chronic kidney disease
Improving patient outcomes for depression
Reducing the threat of resistance to antibiotics
Developing a non-invasive test for fibrosis severityIncreasing awareness and reducing deaths from alcohol

Postgraduate education

To view our current PCPS PhD/DM students please go to the 'useful downloads' section and visit our postgraduate research students profiles. We have an active early researchers group (REACH) which meets regularly and we have an annual conference day where our students can present and share their work.

We particularly welcome postgraduate students who have a good degree in one of the basic sciences such as Psychology, Geography, Statistics, or Social Sciences, and health professionals wishing to study part or full-time for a PhD (or MD if clinical).

Co-supervision of PhD students has been established with Health Sciences, Psychology, Geography and Mathematics.

We run a Masters in Public Health as part of our cross Faculty University Strategic Research Group in Population Health. Our staff teach on other post graduate programmes MSc in Allergy, MSc in Medical Statistics, Faculty of Medicine Postgraduate research programme.

Undergraduate education 

We co-ordinate public health, epidemiology and medical statistics teaching to the undergraduate BM4/5/6 medical students, and supervise third-year medical students' research projects (particularly in the Primary Care Group).

Primary Care and Population Sciences staff

To view our staff list please go to the 'Useful downloads' section.



Our staff opportunities are featured on this page.

The results of the BATHE study are in! Watch a short summary here.  

REDUCE study mentioned in The New York Times article, Many people taking antidepressants discover they cannot quit. Long-term use of the medications is surging in the United States, according to an analysis by The Times. One reason: withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult to stop. April 2018.

New Primary Care website launched. February 2018.

EVENT: 15 February 2018 10am-5pm, University of Southampton Sports Ground, Wide Lane. The Qualitative Group, Primary Care and Population Sciences, put on a very successful one day masterclass on 'Designing and completing qualitative research' led by world-renowned expert Professor David Silverman. Aimed at PhD students, and also beneficial for early career researchers, this masterclass provided an opportunity to learn about the uses and limits of mixed methods, and how to write up a qualitative PhD. The masterclass included lectures and practical sessions, and a limited number of one to one supervisions. February 2018.

PCPS PhD annual conference - our fourth annual PhD conference took place on 31 January 2018, the conference gave our PhDs the opportunity to present the research they are conducting as part of their studies. Please see a report of the day in our 'Useful downloads' section and on our PhD webpage. January 2018.

Michael Moore et al published paper news story - Chewing gum and probiotics no good in alleviating sore throats. December 2017.

Delayed prescriptions or shorter courses of treatment could be a way of fighting antibiotic resistance, read the story here. This has also been covered in the media, Daily Mail, Daily Echo, The Statesman, Business Standard and many more. August 2017.

New Scientist article, 'People are hacking antidepressant doses to avoid withdrawal', comment by Professor Tony Kendrick.
The Times article, Dr Mark Porters writes 'One in ten people is on antidepressants and some need to come off them', he discusses the REDUCE study. July 2017.

Please see 'Herbal medicine for comprehensive patient care' article (page 6) or view in our 'Useful downloads' section, written for the School for Primary Care Research newsletter by Dr Lily Lai and Dr Xiao-yang Hu.

Dr Nisreen Alwan and the PCPS Public Health team
had a stand at the Science and Engineering Festival 18 March 2017. Please view the full story in our 'Useful downloads' section above.

Professor George Lewith and Mark Lown have written in The Conversation about a Mulberry leaf extract which could reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Read it in full here. Gov.UK have followed on from this and added the following news story to their website, read in full here.

Guardian letter 23 Feb 2017, Professor George Lewith - Burnout, stress and drinking in the NHS.

On 10 February, 30 delegates attended a Masterclass led by Professor David Silverman, and hosted by PCPS Qualitative Group, on Writing Qualitative Data. World renowned expert Professor Silverman illustrated lectures and practical sessions with his own research on healthcare and counselling, and provided one-to-one sessions with six PhD students. Feedback was very good, with many delegates pleased to have the opportunity to discuss their research with other researchers, as well as Professor Silverman himself. We hope to welcome him back to Southampton in the new year.

Radio 5 live, Professor Tony Kendrick talks (approx 25 minutes in) about the REDUCE study looking at web support.

Our annual PCPS PhD conference took place on 30 January 2017. The conference gave all our PhDs the opportunity to present the research they are conducting as part of their studies. Please see the report of the day in the Useful Downloads above named PCPS annual PhD day report.

New Research supervised by Professor George Lewith suggests doctors' burnout should be treated as organisation-wide problem, please see news story here for full details.

Congratulations to Professor Nuala McGrath, who has been appointed as a 'Commissioner' for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

Coinciding with European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November, a TRACE (Translational Research on Antimicrobial resistance and Community-acquired infections in Europe) e-learning presentation is now online. Professor Paul Little is part of the TRACE collaborative which produced the learning module entitled: 'Safe and effective management of primary care patients with acute cough while reducing unnecessary antibiotic use'.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week 14-20 November 2016 - Professor Michael Moore has given a webinar run by Public Health England on 'Assessing the need for antibiotics', Professor Paul Little also gave a webinar on 'Back-up prescriptions'.

Congratulations to Merlin Willcox who won the RCGP Global Health Dragon's Den competition at the national RCGP conference 8/10/16. Merlin made a 3 minute pitch on 'A confidential enquiry into child deaths could save lives'.

Professor George Lewith Dr Richard Fuller and Dr Mark Lown designed a phase 2 clinical trial which investigated Mulberry Leaf Extract's ability to reduce carbohydrate absorption and lower post prandial blood glucose and insulin rises. The extract was produced by Phynova in Oxford and the trial was funded by Innovate UK / TSB. The project has been nominated for the Innovate UK SME awards and shortlisted for “Innovation Leading to New Markets”. The awards ceremony will take place at the end of October in the House of Commons.

PCPS contribute to NIHR 5 year BRC grant worth £15million - Associate Professor Borislav Dimitrov and Professor Mark Mullee have contributed to this success, please read the story here.

Related ProjectsStatusType
BREATHE (Breathing Retraining for Asthma Trial of Home Exercise)Active
ACTIB - Assessing Cognitive behavioural Therapy in Irritable Bowel SyndromeActive
The Hampshire Acute Kidney Injury StudyActive
ALICE Antivirals for influenza like illness - an RCT of clinical and cost effectiveness in primary careActive
ANCAP - Antibiotic Negotiations Conversation Analytic ProjectActiveGrant
Andrographis paniculata (Chuan Xin Lian) for symptomatic relief of acute respiratory tract infections in adults and children: a systematic review and meta-analysisActive
Antidepressants for Insomnia: Cochrane systematic reviewActive
ANTidepressants to prevent reLapse in dEpRession (ANTLER) Active
ARCHIE The early use of Antibiotics for at Risk CHildren with InfluEnza in primary careActive
ATAFUTI Alternative treatments of adult female urinary tract infectionActive
The Atlantis study: Amitriptyline at Low-dose and Titrated for Irritable Bowel Syndrome as Second-line Treatment: A Double-blind Placebo-controlled TrialActive
ATTOM Access to Transplantation and Transplant Outcome MeasuresActive
BARACK-D Benefits of aldosterone receptor antagonism in chronic kidney diseaseActive
BATHE Bath additives in the treatment of childhood eczemaActive
CANDID Cancer Diagnosis Decision RulesActive
CEDAR the children's ear pain studyActive
CELLULITIS - Experiences of cellulitis and views about causation and preventionActive
CLASP Cancer: Life Affirming Survivorship support in Primary careActive
CONTACT Colchicine or Naproxen Treatment for Acute GoutActive
CPRD How has the GP management of depression changed in the last 10 years?Active
D-fRUTI - D-mannose for recurrent UTI Active
ECO - Eczema Care OnlineActiveGrant
Empathica: Expectation Management for Patients in Primary Care: Developing and Feasibility Testing a New Digital Intervention for PractitionersActive
EndoBarrier TM Gastrointestinal Liner Diabetes TrialActive
FAME Fatigue: acute Fatigue Assessment and Management in Everyday practiceActive
Family Planning: Fact or Fiction?Active
HaRI: Harnessing resources from the internet to maximise outcomes from GP consultations: A qualitative StudyActive
HATRIC - Herbal Alternative Treatment (Pelargonium) for lower Respiratory tract Infections with Cough in adultsActive
Healthy Paths - Exploring primary care patients’ experience of an internet intervention ‘Healthy Paths’ for emotional distress Active
HEAT Helicobacter Eradication Aspirin TrialActive
HHRCKD Hampshire Health Record Chronic Kidney Disease studyActive
MABcan Understanding and perceptions of mindfulness-based interventions and development of an adapted mindfulness intervention for breast cancer patientsActive
MACRO - Defining best management for adults with chronic rhinosinusitisActive
MOMA Investigating the feasibility of a mobile mindfulness-based digital intervention for patients with asthmaActiveGrant
A UK on-line 24h dietary recall tool for population studies: development, validation and practical application (myfood24)Active
OPTIMISE - OPtimising Treatment for MIld Systolic hypertension in the ElderlyActiveGrant
ORCHID 2 - Standardised Chinese Herbal Medicine for Menstrual Irregularity in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Nominal Group Technique and Prospective Observational StudyActive
Partnership for Improvement & Innovation in Dietary Assessment Technology (DIET@NET)Active
PRINCESS - Probiotics to reduce infections in care home residents, the PRINCESS trialActive
PROBITY - Prolonged Antibiotic Use, Inflammation and Obesity - a retrospective cohort studyActiveGrant
PROMDEP Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) in the assessment and follow-up monitoring of patients with depression in Primary CareActive
Patient-reported outcome measures for monitoring primary care patients with depression: PROMDEP randomised controlled trial.Active
PROMs in Depression and Anxiety DisordersActive
RECON - Reducing and preventing Cognitive impairment iN older age groups (the RECON programme)Active
REDUCE (REviewing long term anti-Depressant Use by Careful monitoring in Everyday practice)Active
ROSE - Rosa canina fruit (rosehip) for OsteoarthritiS: a cochrane rEviewActive
SAFETY - Screening for Atrial Fibrillation using Economical and accurate TechnologY - a pilot studyActiveGrant
SNIFSII - Saline Nasal Irrigation For acute Sinusitis IIActiveGrant
STREAM - Screen and TREAt for MalnutritionActive
Supporting self-management of low back pain with an internet intervention in primary care: A randomised controlled trial of clinical and cost-effectiveness (SupportBack 2)Active
UNderstanding medIcal and non-medical anTibiotic prescribing for rEspiratory tract infections in primary care out of hours services: a qualitative analysis (The UNITE Study)Dormant
Utilising routinely-collected individual and area-level maternal and early life data to quantify childhood obesity riskActive
Assessing Cognitive behavioural Therapy in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (ACTIB)Active
Acupuncture for Back Pain: Evaluating Patient Outcomes and Their DeterminantsActive
Creating a taxonomy to harness the placebo effect in UK primary careActive
Positive Online Weight Reduction Plus (POWeR+)Active
PROstate ACTIVE Surveillance supportActive
Treatment Beliefs in Back PainActive
Benefits of the Alexander Technique for sufferers with low back painActive
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