Nicola Brough Wins Researcher Awards

Congratulations to Dr Nicola Brough PhD, winner of two researcher awards in 2018 in recognition of her work in developing and validating The 25-item Warwick Holistic Health Questionnaire (“WHHQ”).

WHHQ is a patient-reported outcome measure for assessing changes in health and wellbeing in people receiving craniosacral therapy. It incorporates holistic statements and represents new concepts in healthcare evaluation, such as self-agency and self-care.

The awards, from the Research Council for Complementary Medicine and the Federation of Holistic Therapists, were in recognition of Nicola’s valuable work. Identifying outcomes that are important to patients is essential in holistic care.

In 2017 Nicola was awarded a PhD from Warwick Medical School, Division of Health Sciences for her research. WHHQ was developed by Nicola as part of her PhD, with input from CST users and practitioners. The research was funded by a University of Warwick Chancellor’s Scholarship Award and the CSTA.

Nicola’s research began with a Masters by Research, funded by the CSTA, for which she was awarded an MPhil for outstanding work. Her thesis, Clients’ Experiences of Craniosacral Therapy: A Qualitative Study (2012), explored 29 participants’ experiences of CST and outcomes they attributed to having had CST. This was the first qualitative study involving CST and the findings have been published in the following paper:-

Brough, N. et al (2015) Perspectives on the effects and mechanisms of craniosacral therapy: A qualitative study of users’ views. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. Volume 7: Issue 2, pg. 172-183

Nicola received a prize of £2,000 from the RCCM to continue her validation work for the questionnaire. The judges felt that WHHQ was likely to have significant impact over time for complementary and alternative medicines in enabling the design of more robust studies of effectiveness and in building an evidence base on patient-reported outcomes.

Editor’s Note:

The psychometric properties of the WHHQ questionnaire have since been confirmed and the WHHQ is robust and psychometrically sound. 

The peer review publication relating to the WHHQ-18 development and validation can be seen here.

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