Dr Jessica Bollen
Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer
South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
Jessica Bollen is a mixed methods Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. Jessica has a research interest in improving health outcomes and quality of life for people with chronic conditions such as stroke, heart failure and physical frailty. Prior to this she was a a Trial Manager in the University of Exeter Clinical Truals Unity (ExeCTU) and an Associate Research Fellow in the Primary Care Group working on the REtirement in ACTion (REACT) project. REACT was a multi-centre randomised control trial (Bath/ Bristol, Birmingham and Devon) to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a group, community based physical exercise programme for people who are beginning to show signs of mobility related disability.
With an undergraduate degree in Human Biology and Sport and Exercise Science, Jessica has a keen interest in the human body, how it functions and the changes that can be brought about by exercise, aging, diseases and disabilities. Through working in gyms specialising in rehabilitation, an area of particular interest, Jessica was intrigued by individual’s attitudes to rehabilitation programs and their outcome expectations. This lead her to apply for the PhD she competed in February 2017. The end result was to create a valid and reliable questionnaire for stroke survivors to determine which individuals may be having particular problems conducting their rehabilitation programs and therefore, possibly not obtaining the outcome in terms of recovery they may like to achieve. More recently she has become interested in physical frailty and how this can be assessed in a clinical setting.
- PhD in Medical Studies (2017) with the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
- CYQ gym instructor level 2 (2013)
- BSc Joint Honours, Human Biology and Sport and Exercise Science (2011)
Broad Research Specialisms
- Questionnaire development
- Physical activity & health
For her PhD Jessica researched adherence to exercise based rehabilitation programmes in individuals who have had a stroke. The eventual outcome is that a questionnaire will be created which is psychometrically sound.
A mixed method approach has been used in developing this questionnaire; interviews and focus groups were conducted with stroke survivors, exercise professionals and, physiotherapists resulting in items for the questionnaire. The subsequent data from the completed questionnaires will undergo Rasch analysis in addition to other statistical tests to assess the validity and reliability of the measure.
In her 2014-2015 Associate Research Fellow role in the Mental Health Group Jessica researched inflammation responses and the effect they may have on cognition and information processing. In addition to this she is also supporting Leanne Trick a PhD student, aiding with recruitment and administration on a project looking at the role of worry and rumination in predicting depression in people with coronary heart disease.
Following this she was an Associate Research Fellow on the REtirement in ACTion (REACT) study which is a multi-centre randomised control trial. This study was looking at the efficacy and cost effectiveness of a community group based exercise programme for people over the age of 65 who may be beginning to experience mobility related disability. During this role she developed a keen interest in frailty, how to assess it, and ways to establish if a patient is frail/ becoming frail, and how this could be feasibly measured in a clinical setting. Following this Jessica became a Trial Manager in the Clinical Trials Unit at Exeter, working on a variety of trials.
Currently Jessica is working as a Postdoctoral Reserch Fellow for Dr Mark Tarrant developing grants and for Dr Julia Frost where she is working on the process evaluation for REACH-HFpEF trial. The trial is assessing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme ‘REACH-HF’ plus usual care (intervention) versus usual care alone (control) in heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction and their caregivers.
- Third Gap- REACH-HFpEF (process evaluation)
- Clinical Trials Unit- COVID-NURSE: evaluation of the effects of a COVID-specific fundamental nursing care protocol compared to care as usual on experience of care for non-invasively ventilated patients in hospital with the SARS-CoV-2 virus: a randomised controlled trial (COVID-NURSE)
- Clinical Trials Unit- Management of Infected Knee Replacements-Obtaining Best Evidence (MIKROBE)
- Clinical Trials Unit-Self-management and HeAlth Promotion in early-stage dementia with E-learning for carers (SHAPE)
- Primary Care Group- The REtirement in ACTion (REACT) study
- Mental Health Group- The role of perseverative negative thinking in predicting depression in people with coronary heart disease: A prospective cohort study.
- PhD with the PAtH Group- Developing a Stroke Rehabilitation Exercise Adherence Measure (StREAM). A self-report tool assessing the likelihood of adherence.
- University of Exeter Annual Fund grant (£15,000 over a three year period)
- PhD Studentship