At the University of Southampton we conduct respiratory research that endeavours to improve the lives of millions. We do this under the banner of our Faculty of Health Sciences Rehabilitation and Health Technologies Research Group, which is led by Professor Jane Burridge.
The respiratory research cluster of the wider research group comprises two programmes, these are: breathing research, which is led by Professor Anne Bruton, and imaging research, which is led by Professor Joy Conway. Both of these strands of respiratory research involve academics, clinicians, scientists and students from diverse backgrounds.
As you may know, breathing problems can be life-threatening, but even when less serious they can produce frightening symptoms and reduce quality of life. Our respiratory research aims to find novel solutions to the monitoring, assessment and treatment of breathing problems using innovative research approaches and health technologies.
University of Southampton respiratory research themes are outlined as: developing objective respiratory assessment and monitoring tools for research and clinical practice to guide patient management; elucidating physiological mechanisms of normal respiratory function and dysfunction to inform development of therapies; developing and evaluating effective therapeutic techniques and patient centred approaches; and investigating non-pharmacological approaches to therapy.
Furthermore, as respiratory research specialists we are recognised internationally for technological developments and innovative applications in computerised lung sound analysis, portable oxygen therapy devices and breathing retraining techniques for asthma. The ultimate aim is to enable active living and healthy ageing, whilst minimising the limitations caused by respiratory problems.
All this involves developmental studies and clinical trials to increase our understanding of normal respiratory function and to find effective ways of managing acute and chronic respiratory disorder conditions (such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other conditions in which breathing might be affected. Both quantitative and qualitative techniques are employed in all areas, with mixed methods being an essential ingredient in clinical trials.
A key feature of our respiratory research is its sound interdisciplinary base, primarily involving health and engineering disciplines. Research approaches include: basic science laboratory based studies of physiological mechanisms behind normal respiratory function and dysfunction; and applied developmental studies of technologies for diagnosis, monitoring and therapy. And thatâ€™s not all...
Other respiratory research approaches comprise: the development of clinical and home-based respiratory therapies, and finally, the qualitative exploration of reasons for patient adherence to respiratory therapies and clinical trials of treatment effectiveness.
In addition, respiratory research in the area of breathing is linked closely with the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, and the Southampton NIHR Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, which is an interdisciplinary team of clinical and academic researchers. Projects here involve active collaboration across the University, with other research institutions nationally and worldwide, with the commercial and voluntary sectors, and with user representatives and groups.
If you have found this article interesting and as result would like to find out more information about the respiratory research
being undertaken by us at the University of Southampton, then simply visit the Faculty of Health Sciencesâ€™ Rehabilitation and Health Technologies Research Groupâ€™s website. The URL is www.southampton.ac.uk/healthsciences