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Research project

NIHR liver disease research partnerships: Liver Champions

Project overview

Liver disease is the second-biggest cause of early death in England and Wales. People from under-served communities are more likely to die from liver disease. People with liver scarring (cirrhosis) need an ultrasound scan twice a year to look for liver cancer. These scans are very important as they can pick up cancer early, meaning it is more likely to be cured.
People from under-served communities are less likely to have these scans. However, we know that support from their peers, who also have liver disease, can help people to attend liver health services. We want to study whether people with experience of liver disease can work as ‘liver health champions’ to help others go to their scan appointments.
To test this model properly we need to study it in communities that are likely to get the most help from it. We will build strong relationships with service providers and their clients in five deprived coastal areas; Portsmouth, Southampton, the Isle of Wight, Hull and Newcastle. We will reach them first by running liver health roadshows. We have experience doing this but will work hard to make sure we meet people who wouldn’t normally come forward for research or to attend health appointments.
We will create a public partnership group to support this research study now and in the future. We will work with this group to plan and run events to co-design the next study phase that will test the Liver Health Champions model. We will also use these meetings as an opportunity to share what we have learned, what we have achieved, and to give training to our public partnership group.
This project will help to improve services for people with liver disease in under-served communities and lead to more research in communities under-served by healthcare services.


Lead researcher

Dr Kate Glyn-Owen DM, MFPH, MPH, MBBS, BSc

Associate Professor in Public Health
Other researchers

Dr Ryan Buchanan

Associate Professor in Hepatology

Research interests

  • Liver disease
  • Health services research 
  • Inclusion health

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups