Reader in Public Health and Health Promotion
areas of expertise
Lorna Porcellato is Reader in Public Health and Health Promotion at the Public Health Institute. She teaches on both undergraduate and post graduate programmes. Specialist teaching areas include: qualitative research methods, health promotion and community engagement. Lorna also leads the faculty-based dissertation module for the MSc Public Health programme.
Lorna has successfully supervised a number of PhD students and currently supervises students conducting qualitative and/or mixed methods research on a range of topics including: alcohol and pregnancy, factors affecting physically disabled children and young people participating in mainstream out-of-school activities, the challenges of developing Malaysian nursing leaders and decision-making within undergraduate healthcare students’ fitness to practise panels.
Lorna has been involved in a range of health related research studies over the years, bringing qualitative expertise to projects around tobacco control, health and physical activity and discrimination and older workers. Latterly she has been involved in health services research in collaboration with Staffordshire, Shropshire & Black Country maternity network and Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust to inform policy development and service provision.
Current research interests include: understanding health risk behaviours (smoking, obesity, alcohol); developing effective health interventions, developing innovative qualitative research methods, community based participatory research and the patient experience of health services.
In addition to the papers and publications in the relevant sections below, Lorna has also contributed to the following:
Woolfall K, Porcellato L, Stredder K, Wareing M, Atkinson A, Lushey C, McVeigh J, Sumnall H (2008). The prevention of uptake of smoking by children and young people, with reference to areas of mass media and the sale of tobacco products: findings from a multi-method primary research study. Liverpool, UK. National Collaborating Centre for Drug Prevention. Available from www.nice.org.uk
Porcellato, L., Dugdill, L. and Springett, J. (2005) A Longitudinal Study Exploring Primary Schoolchildren’s Perspectives on Smoking: Results from the Early Years Phase. Childhood A Global Journal of Child Research 12(4),425-443.
Porcellato, L., Dugdill, L. Springett, J. and Sanderson, F. (2000) Exploring children’s perceptions of smoking with the ‘draw and write’ investigative technique in Lu, R., Mackay, J., Niu, S., and Peto, R. (eds) Tobacco: The Growing Epidemic – Proceedings of the Tenth World Conference on Tobacco or Health, Beijing, China, 24-28 August 1997. London: Springer-Verlag
Porcellato L., and Zoe Knowles (2013) Reflecting forward: Exploring reflective methodologies with and for children in Knowles, Z., Gilbourne, D., Cropley, B and Dugdill, L. (eds) Reflective Practice in the Sport and Exercise Sciences: Contemporary Issues. Routledge: London ISBN: 978-0415814935
Carmichael F., Hulme. C., Porcellato, L., Ingham. B., Prashar, A., (2010) Ageism and age discrimination: the experiences and perceptions of older employees, in Parry, E. and Tyson, S. (eds.) Managing age diversity. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, UK, 115-128, ISBN: 9780230240933
Non Peer Reviewed Outputs
Carmichael F, Hulme C, Porcellato L. 2013 Work histories of older people: evidence from mixed method occupational history calendars. Working Paper WP13-05, Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds.
Porcellato, L. (2008) Exploring Young Adults Perceptions of Smoking Prevention and Cessation. University of Salford and Salford NDC.
Anderson, G; Brennan, C; Carmichael, F; Dobson, J; Hulme, C; Ingham, B; Porcellato, L; Prashar, A; Sharif, S; Syme, T; Tanner, A and Ward R (2007) Older Men in the North West Labour Market: A Report for the European Social Fund. Salford Business School / European Social Fund.
Brennan, C; Carmichael, F; Ingham, B; Prashar, A; Dobson, J; Sharif, S; and Porcellato, L. (2007) Ageism and Employment: A Survey of the Literature in the Context of the Current Research Agenda. Salford Business School and European Social Fund
Carmichael, F; Ingham, B; Porcellato, L; Prashar, A and Sharifi, S. and Dobson, J. (2007) ‘Anyone can get old but…’ Ageism and older male participation in the labour market. Salford Business School/ European Social Fund
Carmichael, F; Dobson, J; Hulme, C; Ingham, B; Marshall, K; Porcellato, L; Prashar, A and Sharifi, S. (2006) Older Male and Female Participation in the North West Labour Market: Exploring the Role of Age Discrimination. Salford Business School/ European Social Fund
Anderson, G; Brennan, C; Carmichael, F; Connell, G; Hulme, C; Porcellato, L; Prashar, A; Syme, T; Tanner, A and Ward R. (2006) Older Workers in the North West – A Report for the European Social Fund Vol 1 and Vol 11. Salford Business School / European Social Fund.
Cavill, N., Dugdill, L., Almond, L and Porcellato L. (2006) An Evaluation of the NW Region Physical Activity Coordinator’s Post – Final Report. Big Lottery Fund.
Dugdill,L., Cavill, N and Porcellato, L. (2005) Regional Health and Physical Activity Coordinator Evaluation: interim report. Government Office North West/Dept of Health
Cavill, N., ,Dugdill, L and Porcellato, L. (2005) Physical Activity in the North West of England: a Policy Audit. Government Office North West
Woods, S., Dugdill, L., Milton, B., Porcellato, L. and Springett, J. (2005) The Liverpool Longitudinal Study on Smoking: the primary school phase. Liverpool: John Moores University, Centre for Public Health and Roy Castle Foundation
Springett, J., Wainright, A., Porcellato, L., Chendo-Thomas, M. and Tobert, N. (2003) Unfinished Business: An Evaluation Synthesis for Merseyside Health Action Zone – Pan Regional Element. Liverpool: John Moores University, Institute For Health.
Wainwright, A., Porcellato, L. and Lake, J. (2002) Smoking in Public Places: A Survey of Public Houses, Bars, Restaurants and Cafes in Merseyside and Barriers to Uptake of Smoking Policies. Liverpool: John Moores University, Institute For Health.
Springett, J., Young, A. and Porcellato, L. ( 2002) Manchester, Salford and Trafford Health Action Zone: Learning For the Future. Salford: University of Salford- IPHRP.
Springett, J., Young, A. and Porcellato, L. (2001) Working Outside the Box: A Preliminary Report for the Manchester, Salford and Trafford Health Action Zone. Salford: University of Salford- IPHRP.
Porcellato, L. (1998) Perspectives on Smoking of Liverpool Primary Schoolchildren in their Early Years. (Unpublished PhD Thesis) Liverpool: John Moores University.
Porcellato, L., Dugdill, L. Springett, J. and Sanderson, F. (1996) Attitudes, Beliefs and Smoking Behaviour in Primary Schoolchildren: An Interim Research Report. Occasional Paper Series, The Institute for Health: Liverpool John Moores University
Dr Lorna Porcellato's Publications
A Health Needs Assessment for Children and Adults with Neurodevelopmental Conditions in Liverpool
PHI have recently published a rapid health needs assessment for children and adults with neurodevelopmental conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). This report includes a review of the literature which details: risk factors, prevalence estimates and a summary of the evidence on relevant interventions. The report also includes aggregated data on local service use and an audit of the support services available in Liverpool through brief semi-structured interviews with service providers. Conclusions and recommendations for future service development are also provided.
Evaluation of Rapid Access to Alcohol Detoxification Acute Referral (RADAR)
Alcohol-related presentations to hospital have been increasing in the United Kingdom, with one of the major causes of such admissions being the occurrence of acute withdrawal symptoms. In response to this, the RADAR (Rapid Access to Alcohol Detox Acute Referral) service was established in Greater Manchester as an innovative pathway from A&E departments into specialist detox facilities. The RADAR service has four main aims: reducing the burden on acute trusts, improving clinical outcomes for service users, providing improved experience for service users in a therapeutic setting and demonstrating cost-effectiveness. The Centre for Public Health conducted an evaluation of RADAR to explore experiences and cost-effectiveness. Service users and stakeholders described positive experiences and felt that RADAR provides specialist support which makes a difference to people’s lives. Six months after discharge, just over half of those who could be contacted reported either being abstinent or being controlled drinkers. This reduction in the levels of alcohol consumption resulted in fewer contacts with Acute Hospitals, with reductions in both the number of A&E attendances and nights in hospital being reported. The cost-effectiveness analysis of RADAR suggests that the service is cost-effective, with a projected saving of £ 1,320,921 over a 12 month period.
A systematic review of qualitative research on the views, perspectives and experiences of hepatitis B and C testing among practitioners and people at greatest risk of infection
Dr Lorna Porcellato's Papers
Effect of a sport-for-health intervention (SmokeFree Sports) on smoking-related intentions and cognitions among 9-10 year old primary school children: a controlled trial
Dr Ciara McGee, Joanne Trigwell, Stuart Fairclough, Rebecca Murphy, Dr Lorna Porcellato, Michael Ussher, Lawrence Foweather
BMC Public Health, BMC series – open, inclusive and trusted 16:445, 2016.
Abstract: Background: Preventing children from smoking is a public health priority. This study evaluated the effects of a sport-for-health smoking prevention programme (SmokeFree Sports) on smoking-related intentions and cognitions among primary school children from deprived communities. Methods: A non-randomised-controlled trial targeted 9-10 year old children from Merseyside, North-West England. 32 primary schools received a programme of sport-for-health activities over 7 months; 11 comparison schools followed usual routines. Data were collected pre-intervention (T0), and at 8 months (T1) and one year post-intervention (T2). Smoking-related intentions and cognitions were assessed using an online questionnaire. Intervention effects were analysed using multi-level modelling (school, student), adjusted for baseline values and potential confounders. Mixed-sex focus groups (n = 18) were conducted at T1. Results: 961 children completed all assessments and were included in the final analyses. There were no significant differences between the two study groups for non-smoking intentions (T1: β = 0.02, 95 % CI = -0.08–0.12; T2: β = 0.08, 95 % CI = -0.02–0.17) or for cigarette refusal self-efficacy (T1: β = 0.28, 95 % CI = -0.11–0.67; T2: β = 0.23, 95 % CI = -0.07–0.52). At T1 there was a positive intervention effect for cigarette refusal self-efficacy in girls (β = 0.72, 95 % CI = 0.21–1.23). Intervention participants were more likely to ‘definitely’ believe that: ‘it is not safe to smoke for a year or two as long as you quit after that’ (RR = 1.19, 95 % CI = 1.07–1.33), ‘it is difficult to quit smoking once started’ (RR = 1.56, 95 % CI = 1.38–1.76), ‘smoke from other peoples’ cigarettes is harmful’ (RR = 1.19, 95 % CI = 1.20–2.08), ‘smoking affects sports performance’ (RR = 1.73, 95 % CI = 1.59–1.88) and ‘smoking makes ‘no difference’ to weight’ (RR = 2.13, 95 % CI = 1.86–2.44). At T2, significant between-group differences remained just for ‘smoking affects sports performance’ (RR = 1.57, 95 % CI = 1.43–1.72). Focus groups showed that SFS made children determined to remain smoke free and that the interactive activities aided children’s understanding of smoking harms. Conclusion: SFS demonstrated short-term positive effects on smoking attitudes among children, and cigarette refusal self-efficacy among girls. Although no effects were observed for non-smoking intentions, children said that SFS made them more determined not to smoke. Most children had strong intentions not to smoke; therefore, smoking prevention programmes should perhaps target early adolescents, who are closer to the age of smoking onset.
Influence of family and friend smoking on intentions to smoke and smoking-related attitudes and refusal self-efficacy among 9–10 year old children from deprived neighbourhoods: a cross-sectional study
Dr Ciara McGee, Joanne Trigwell, Rebecca Murphy, Dr Lorna Porcellato, Michael Ussher, Lawrence Foweather
BMC Public Health 15:225, 2015.
Abstract: Background: Smoking often starts in early adolescence and addiction can occur rapidly. For effective smoking prevention there is a need to identify at risk groups of preadolescent children and whether gender-specific intervention components are necessary. This study aimed to examine associations between mother, father, sibling and friend smoking and cognitive vulnerability to smoking among preadolescent children living in deprived neighbourhoods. Methods: Cross-sectional data was collected from 9–10 year old children (n =1143; 50.7% girls; 85.6% White British) from 43 primary schools in Merseyside, England. Children completed a questionnaire that assessed their smoking-related behaviour, intentions, attitudes, and refusal self-efficacy, as well as parent, sibling and friend smoking. Data for boys and girls were analysed separately using multilevel linear and logistic regression models, adjusting for individual cognitions and school and deprivation level. Results: Compared to girls, boys had lower non-smoking intentions (P = 0.02), refusal self-efficacy (P = 0.04) and were less likely to agree that smoking is ‘definitely’ bad for health (P < 0.01). Friend smoking was negatively associated with non-smoking intentions in girls (P < 0.01) and boys (P < 0.01), and with refusal self-efficacy in girls (P < 0.01). Sibling smoking was negatively associated with non-smoking intentions in girls (P < 0.01) but a positive association was found in boys (P = 0.02). Boys who had a smoking friend were less likely to ‘definitely’ believe that the smoke from other people’s cigarettes is harmful (OR 0.57, 95% CI: 0.35 to 0.91, P = 0.02). Further, boys with a smoking friend (OR 0.38, 95% CI: 0.21 to 0.69, P < 0.01) or a smoking sibling (OR 0.45, 95% CI: 0.21 to 0.98) were less likely to ‘definitely’ believe that smoking is bad for health. Conclusion: This study indicates that sibling and friend smoking may represent important influences on 9–10 year old children’s cognitive vulnerability toward smoking. Whilst some differential findings by gender were observed, these may not be sufficient to warrant separate prevention interventions. However, further research is needed.
Process evaluation of a sport-for-health intervention to prevent smoking amongst primary school children: SmokeFree Sports
Joanne Trigwell, Dr Ciara McGee, Rebecca Murphy, Dr Lorna Porcellato, Michael Ussher, Katy Garnham-Lee, Zoe Knowles, Lawrence Foweather
BMC Public Health 15:347, 2015.
Abstract: Background: SmokeFree Sports (SFS) was a multi-component sport-for-health intervention aiming at preventing smoking among nine to ten year old primary school children from North West England. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the process and implementation of SFS, examining intervention reach, dose, fidelity, acceptability and sustainability, in order to understand the feasibility and challenges of delivering such interventions and inform interpretations of intervention effectiveness. Methods: Process measures included: booking logs, 18 focus groups with children (n = 95), semi-structured interviews with teachers (n = 20) and SFS coaches (n = 7), intervention evaluation questionnaires (completed by children, n = 1097; teachers, n = 50), as well direct observations (by researchers, n = 50 observations) and self-evaluations (completed by teachers, n = 125) of intervention delivery (e.g. length of sessions, implementation of activities as intended, children’s engagement and barriers). Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were applied to quantitative and qualitative data, respectively. Results: Overall, SFS reached 30.8% of eligible schools, with 1073 children participating in the intervention (across 32 schools). Thirty-one schools completed the intervention in full. Thirty-three teachers (55% female) and 11 SFS coaches (82% male) attended a bespoke SFS training workshop. Disparities in intervention duration (range = 126 to 201 days), uptake (only 25% of classes received optional intervention components in full), and the extent to which core (mean fidelity score of coaching sessions = 58%) and optional components (no adaptions made = 51% of sessions) were delivered as intended, were apparent. Barriers to intervention delivery included the school setting and children’s behaviour and knowledge. SFS was viewed positively (85% and 82% of children and teachers, respectively, rated SFS five out of five) and recommendations to increase school engagement were provided. Conclusion: SFS was considered acceptable to children, teachers and coaches. Nevertheless, efforts to enhance intervention reach (at the school level), teachers’ engagement and sustainability must be considered. Variations in dose and fidelity likely reflect challenges associated with complex intervention delivery within school settings and thus a flexible design may be necessary. This study adds to the limited scientific evidence base surrounding sport-for-health interventions and their implementation, and suggests that such interventions offer a promising tool for engaging children in activities which promote their health.
- Published 26 March 2014