For me, doing research is a very interesting and stimulating thing to do. A journey of learning and discovery. Yet my motivation to do research is not solely based upon self fulfillment. Research is only worth doing unless it means something. It has to make a difference. Create change. It has to have an IMPACT. So with our latest project, my team (
@GemmaSPearce, @DrEReinhold) and I decided to collect evidence around what impact our latest open access paper…
had upon childbearing women with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS). As it turns out.. the answer was ‘quite a lot!’
We collected Tweets, emails, Facebook messages, feedback, download data and other testimonials to estimate the impact our work. The powerful magnitude of this impact data translated into us being awarded ‘Highly Commended’ status in the category of ‘Team Impact Commitment’ via ‘The Real Impact Awards’ hosted by
The Real Impact Awards celebrate the commitment to impact by the research community across the globe.
Along with the many messages we received from midwives who felt that this paper had enabled them to improve their midwifery practice, the British Journal of Midwifery (
@BJMidwifery) kindly made this article openly accessible, meaning that those outside of academic institutions could also use it to instigate change.
Our article has been downloaded over 12,000 times so far.
“So my friend was formally diagnosed with hEDS yesterday- not sure if you remember but I read your article and gave her it to take to her GP as it sounded exactly like her. She has 2 teenage girls so this formal diagnosis is so important! Thank you so much as without you raising the profile she wouldn’t have even been investigated – It is honestly all down to your article “
“This mirrors my own pregnancy. I cried today, knowing that this research could save families so much heartbreak.”
All of the inspirational stories of impact commitment are now presented in the…
“I’m showing this to my GP tomorrow. It’s the first time since the birth of my daughter and diagnosis 5 years ago that I’ve felt it possible to consider having the 2nd child I’ve longed for! I didn’t have the knowledge to advocate for proper care, now I do, thanks to new research.”
We are ‘Research Impact Ambassadors’
“I read this article with interest as clinical midwife and a midwifery researcher, and I realized that one of my friends had so many symptoms – local anaesthetic not working, severe PGP during pregnancy etc, so gave her the article which prompted her to request investigations!”
The York Research Impact Statement (PDF , 286kb) describes research impact as…
“…when the knowledge generated by our research contributes to, benefits and influences society, culture, our environment and the economy”.
For more information about impact in research, I recommend following this blog by
@JulieEBayley, this blog by @profmarkreed..and these Hashtags:
As a result of our impact activities, we have been able to secure several invited talks and an invited publication to update readers on the new evidence we have been pulling together. We have also won further funding to carry out more research, and I have received several nominations to become the British Journal of Midwifery’s Midwife of the year 2019… So watch this space, because we are working toward many more exciting things for the future.
If you would like to follow the progress of work going forward..
Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤