Professor Bertha Ochieng

Job: Professor of integrated health and social care

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Nursing and Midwifery

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (01)116 2078973

E: bertha.ochieng@dmu.ac.uk

 

Personal profile

Bertha Ochieng is Professor of Integrated Health and Social Care at De Montfort University. She has extensive experience of health and social care provision as a clinician, an academic and as a researcher working with community groups and health and social care providers. Her academic and research focus is on improving health and social care through the provision of high quality education and research that provides positive results to marginalised and social disadvantage populations throughout the life span. Bertha’s strengths are in developing solutions for addressing the health and social care needs of socially disadvantaged populations and building relationships with community groups and practitioners in the health and social care sector. Her work has resulted in collaborations with diverse teams, comprising of, voluntary sector organisations, academics, NHS Trusts and social care teams locally, nationally and internationally. Her research portfolio includes three broad themes:

  • Community empowerment and engagement to enable the voices of marginalised and socially disadvantaged populations to be heard in the planning and delivery of services. Examples of work in this area: Migrants families - barriers with accessing and utilising health promotion services in the UK; examining multi-ethnic parents’ views on healthy eating practices for children, Black and minority ethnic young people and their families’ experiences and views on healthy lifestyles.

  • Engaging health and social care providers to identify framework that supports development of integrated models of health and social care to manage long-term non-communicable diseases such as incorporating digital solutions in health and social care, identification of cultural sensitive health promotion models for prevention and self-management of lifestyle related illnesses; examples of work include: Using smart-home sensors with older adults with long-term complex multi-morbidity; working with health practitioners to develop an evidence-based training tool for weight management

  • Service development and knowledge transfer activities to enable health and social care workforce deliver high quality care. Examples of projects she has led include: community health practitioners experiences of using telephone triage; practice nurse development programme to manage patients in the community with long-term conditions, examining the impact of continuing professional development on healthcare outcomes; 

Research group affiliations

  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Social science
  • Public policy
  • Health sciences

Publications and outputs

  • Augmented video consultations in care homes during the covid-19 pandemic
    Augmented video consultations in care homes during the covid-19 pandemic Ochieng, Lorraine; Salehi, Mahan; Ochieng, Rebecca; Nijhof, Dewy; Wong, Richard; Gupta, Vinay; Prasad, Rishabh; Ochieng, B. Background: The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated an unprecedented implementation of remote consultations in UK primary care services. Specifically, older adults in care homes had a high need for infection prevention due to their existing health conditions. GP practices in the East Midlands incorporated augmented video consultations with the potential to support remote healthcare assessments for older adults at care homes. Aim: To explore GPs and care home staff experiences of the use of augmented video consultation as a mechanism to perform remote examinations of older adults in care homes. Design and setting: Qualitative interviews were conducted with GPs and care home staff during May-August 2020. Method: A convenience sample of GPs (n=5), nurses (n=12) and senior health care assistants (n=3) were recruited using a purposive approach. Data was collected through semi-structured telephone interviews and was analysed using framework analysis. Results: Findings from participants indicated that augmented video consultation enables real-time patient examinations to aid diagnosis; and promotes person-centred care in meeting the needs of older adults. The participants also discussed the challenges of video consultations for patients with cognitive impairment and those under end-of-life care. Conclusion: Augmented video consultations show great potential in terms of GPs providing primary care services for care homes. However, healthcare staff must be involved in the development of the technology, and consideration should be given to the needs of older adults with cognitive impairment and those under end-of-life care. It is also vital that training is available to encourage confidence and competency in implementing the technology. open access journal Ochieng, L. et al. (2022) Augmented video consultations in care homes during the covid-19 pandemic. British Journal of General Practice - Open, BJGPO.2022.0073
  • My Story: Using a life story approach to build friendships between younger and older people to alleviate loneliness and social isolation
    My Story: Using a life story approach to build friendships between younger and older people to alleviate loneliness and social isolation Clayton, David; Clifton, Andrew; de Vries, Kay; Kuuya, Henson; Ochieng, B. Loneliness and social isolation for older people remain a problem. Intergenerational befriending may be one solution that could help with loneliness and social isolation. ‘My Story’ is based on a life story approach aimed at facilitating friendship by providing a format for older and younger people to interact. An original pilot was undertaken to test the approach by bringing together older people identified as lonely by a voluntary sector provider and pairing these with a student volunteer. The students visited the older person over six weeks to discuss their life story and create an artefact based on the story of the older person. Three pairings were studied to explore the experiences of the older and younger person using ‘My Story’. The focus of the case studies was if a therapeutic alliance emerged which could lead to friendship. The research found that in the two of the pairings, ‘My Story’ helped to create mutual benefit and a therapeutic bond that could lead to friendship. As this was an exploratory and small pilot, more cases and further research is required to fully assess if ‘My Story’ is an effective approach to intergenerational befriending. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Clayton, D., Clifton, A., de Vries, K., Kuuya, H. and Ochieng, B. (2022) My Story: Using a life story approach to build friendships between younger and older people to alleviate loneliness and social isolation. Mental Health Review Journal,
  • ‘They are kids, let them eat’: A qualitative investigation into the parental beliefs and practices of providing a healthy diet for young children among a culturally diverse and deprived population in the UK
    ‘They are kids, let them eat’: A qualitative investigation into the parental beliefs and practices of providing a healthy diet for young children among a culturally diverse and deprived population in the UK Cook, Erica Jane; Powell, Faye; Ali, Nasreen; Penn-Jones, Catrin; Ochieng, B.; Constantinou, Georgina; Randhawa, Gurch In the UK ethnic minority children are at greater risk of obesity and weight-related ill health compared to the wider national population with the factors that influence the provision of a healthy diet among these populations less understood. An interpretive qualitative study com-prised of 24 single sex semi-structured focus groups was conducted with 110 parents (63 mothers and 47 fathers) of young children (aged 0-5). Participants were recruited from deprived and ethnically diverse wards in Luton, UK and self-identified as being white British, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, black African and Caribbean or Polish. The findings highlighted a wide range of inter-relating psychological and socio-cultural factors that inform and underpin parental beliefs and practices relating to providing children a healthy diet. Parents whilst aware of the im-portance of providing children a healthy diet; challenges, particularly among mothers surround-ing lack of time and balancing competing responsibilities were clear barriers to providing a healthy diet to children. Access, affordability of healthy food alongside the over exposure of cheap convenient and unhealthy processed foods made it increasingly difficult for parents to pro-vide a healthy diet to their growing families. Household food practices were also found to be situated within the wider context of socio-cultural and religious norms around cooking and eat-ing with cultural identity and upbringing. open access journal Cook, E.J. et al. (2021) ‘They are kids, let them eat’: A qualitative investigation into the parental beliefs and practices of providing a healthy diet for young children among a culturally diverse and deprived population in the UK. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18 (24), 13087
  • Exploring Parental Experiences of Online Engagement with Arts and Creative Activities During the COVID-19 pandemic: The Talent 25 Longitudinal Sub-sample Study (Executive Summary)
    Exploring Parental Experiences of Online Engagement with Arts and Creative Activities During the COVID-19 pandemic: The Talent 25 Longitudinal Sub-sample Study (Executive Summary) Daxini, Amar; Dikwal-Bot, Diretnan; Blair, Krista; Ochieng, Rebecca; Nijhof, Dewy; Ochieng, B. Daxini, A. et al. (2021) Exploring Parental Experiences of Online Engagement with Arts and Creative Activities During the COVID-19 pandemic: The Talent 25 Longitudinal Sub-sample Study (Executive Summary)
  • Examining GP online consultation in a primary care setting in east midlands, UK
    Examining GP online consultation in a primary care setting in east midlands, UK Nijhof, Dewy; Ingram, Andy; Ochieng, Rebecca; Roberts, Emma-Jane; Poulton, Barnaby; Ochieng, B. Background Increasing pressure threatens to overwhelm primary care services, affecting the quality of care and their role as gatekeepers to specialised care services. This study investigated healthcare users’ acceptability of – and the effectiveness of – an e-consultation system in primary care services. Methods Seven GP practices in East-Midlands, all of whom use online consultation system participated in the study, with a retrospective review being undertaken of 189 electronic patients’ records (age range of 18–76 years) over 5 months. The focus was on the electronic records of patients who accessed the service for five different conditions identified as presenting common conditions seen by the GPs practices. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS to perform an exploratory data analysis and descriptive statistics. Results The results showed a positive reception of the online consultation platform, with an average satisfaction score of 4.15 (most likely to recommend score = 5). Given the nature of the conditions, 47.6% of patients had experienced a previous episode of the health condition they were seeking consultation for, and a total of 72% had existing comorbidities. Follow-up activity occurred for 87.3% of patients, 66.1% of which included at least one follow-up visit for the same condition as the initial online consultation. Conclusion The results suggest that online consultation is convenient for patients, and it also has the potential to relieve pressure placed on primary care services. Although a number of challenges were identified, such as patient verification, this study gives insight into – and enhances our understanding of – the use of online GP consultations. open access article Nijhof, D., Ingram, A., Ochieng, R., Roberts, E.J., Poulton, B., Ochieng, B. (2021) Examining GP online consultation in a primary care setting in east midlands, UK. BMC Health Services Research, 21, 1030.
  • Improving support for breastfeeding mothers: a qualitative study on the experiences of breastfeeding among mothers who reside in a deprived and culturally diverse community
    Improving support for breastfeeding mothers: a qualitative study on the experiences of breastfeeding among mothers who reside in a deprived and culturally diverse community Cook, Erica; Powell, Faye; Ali, Nasreen; Penn-Jones, Catrin; Ochieng, B.; Randhawa, Gurch Background: The United Kingdom has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe, with the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding shown to be closely related to the mothers’ age, ethnicity and social class. Whilst the barriers that influence a woman’s decision to breastfeed are well documented, less is known how these barriers vary by the UK’s diverse population. As such, this study aimed to explore mothers’ experiences of breastfeeding and accessing breastfeeding services offered locally amongst a deprived and culturally diverse community. Methods: A qualitative interpretive study comprising of 63 mothers (white British n = 8, Pakistani n = 13, Bangladeshi n = 10, black African n = 15 and Polish n = 17) who took part in single-sex focus groups, conducted in local community centres across the most deprived and ethnically diverse wards in Luton, UK. The focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically using Framework Analysis. Results: The most common barriers to breastfeeding irrespective of ethnicity were perceptions surrounding pain and lack of milk. Confidence and motivation were found to be crucial facilitators of breastfeeding; whereby mothers felt that interventions should seek to reassure and support mothers not only during the early stages but throughout the breastfeeding journey. Mothers particularly valued the practical support provided by health care professions particularly surrounding positioning and attachment techniques. However, many mothers felt that the support from health care professionals was not always followed through. Conclusions: The findings presented inform important recommendations for the design and implementation of future programs and interventions targeted at reducing breastfeeding inequalities. Interventions should focus on providing mothers practical support and reassurance not only during the early stages but throughout their breastfeeding journey. The findings also highlight the need for tailoring services to support diverse communities which acknowledge different traditional and familial practices. open access article Cook, E.J., Powell, F., Ali, N. Penn-Jones, C., Ochieng, B. and Randhawa, G. (2021) Improving support for breastfeeding mothers: a qualitative study on the experiences of breastfeeding among mothers who reside in a deprived and culturally diverse community. International Journal for Equity in Health, 20, 92.
  • Parents’ experiences of complementary feeding among a United Kingdom culturally diverse and deprived community
    Parents’ experiences of complementary feeding among a United Kingdom culturally diverse and deprived community Cook, Erica Jane; Powell, Faye Caroline; Ali, Nasreen; Penn-Jones, Catrin; Ochieng, B.; Randhawa, Gurch Complementary feeding practices and adherence to health recommendations are influenced by a range of different and often interrelating factors such as socio- economic and cultural factors. However, the factors underlying these associations are often complex with less awareness of how complementary feeding approaches vary across the UK’s diverse population. This paper describes a qualitative investiga- tion undertaken in a deprived and culturally diverse community in the UK which aimed to explore parents’ knowledge, beliefs and practices of complementary feed- ing. One hundred and ten mothers and fathers, self-identified as being White British, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African/Caribbean or Polish took part in twenty-four focus group discussions, organised by age group, sex and ethnicity. The findings revealed that most parents initiated complementary feeding before the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation of 6 months. Early initiation was strongly influenced by breast feeding practices alongside the extent to which parents believed that their usual milk; that is, breastmilk or formula was fulfilling their infants' nutritional needs. The composition of diet and parents' approach to complementary feeding was closely aligned to traditional cultural practices; however, some contradic- tions were noted. The findings also acknowledge the pertinent role of the father in influencing the dietary practices of the wider household. Learning about both the common and unique cultural feeding attitudes and practices held by parents may help us to tailor healthy complementary feeding advice in the context of increasing diver- sity in the United Kingdom. open access article Cook, E.J. et al. (2020) Parents’ experiences of complementary feeding among a United Kingdom culturally diverse and deprived community. Maternal and Child Nutrition, e13108
  • Nurturing Babies During the COVID-19 Lockdown: Resilience, Art and Creativity The Talent 25 Longitudinal (Sub-sample Study Executive Summary)
    Nurturing Babies During the COVID-19 Lockdown: Resilience, Art and Creativity The Talent 25 Longitudinal (Sub-sample Study Executive Summary) Nijhof, Dewy; Ochieng, Rebecca; Daxini, Amar; Diawal-Bot, Diretnan; Owens, Christopher; Ochieng, B. Ochieng, B. et al. (2020) Nurturing Babies During the COVID-19 Lockdown: Resilience, Art and Creativity The Talent 25 Longitudinal (Sub-sample Study Executive Summary)
  • A qualitative study of health care providers’ perceptions and experiences of patients bypassing primary healthcare facilities: a focus from Nigeria
    A qualitative study of health care providers’ perceptions and experiences of patients bypassing primary healthcare facilities: a focus from Nigeria Koce, Francis; Randhawa, Gurch; Ochieng, B. Background The healthcare referral system is designed to ensure that patients receive the best care at the appropriate level, as well as improving access to different levels of care. However, approximately 60-90% of patients in Nigeria bypass their local primary level of care to seek healthcare outside of the community. This study is part of a larger mixed methods study that explored the patients’ and healthcare providers’ perceptions and experiences in order to understand the factors that influence a patient’s decision to bypass the primary level of care to go to secondary and tertiary level facilities. In this study we present the perspectives of the healthcare providers and the factors that influence a patient’s decision to self-refer, as well as their suggestions for how primary healthcare facilities can retain patients locally. Methods In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with eighteen healthcare providers comprising doctors, nurses, and community healthcare workers from primary and secondary healthcare facilities in Niger State, Nigeria. The interviews were tape recorded and subsequently transcribed. The analysis was carried out using the principles of framework analysis. Results The shortage of healthcare providers at local facilities was described as a key reason for patients to self-refer to secondary and tertiary care. Lack of basic equipment, inequitable distributions, and the inconsistent opening hours of the primary healthcare facilities were also considered to be influencing factors for bypassing the primary health facilities. In order to encourage the use of the primary healthcare facilities, some of the healthcare providers suggested ensuring that medical doctors were stationed within those facilities, and also suggested the need for collaboration between the different levels of care, as current services appeared fragmented. Conclusions Interventions such as employing the services of doctors (family physicians) and standardising the primary healthcare facilities in terms of distribution and availability of the basic facilities are needed to reduce the barriers associated with the bypass of the primary level of care in low cost economies. In addition, tangible policies that ensure the primary health facilities are well resourced should be enacted. The findings have implications for planning, practice, and policy in service delivery aimed at curtailing the bypass of the primary health care facilities. open access article Koce, F.G., Randhawa, G., Ochieng, B. (2020) A qualitative study of health care providers’ perceptions and experiences of patients bypassing primary healthcare facilities: a focus from Nigeria. Journal of Global Health Reports. 4, e2020073
  • Healthy weight maintenance strategy in early childhood: the views of Black African migrant parents and health visitors
    Healthy weight maintenance strategy in early childhood: the views of Black African migrant parents and health visitors Ochieng, B. In Europe and the US, childhood obesity is found to be higher in migrant children from Black African communities and other visible minority ethnic groups. However, very little is known about the factors that contribute to the significant rates of obesity in these groups. The material for this paper is drawn from a community-based qualitative study that examined the socio-cultural, familial, and environmental factors that either facilitate or hinder healthy weight in Black African children during early childhood. The participants for the study were Black African parents (n=30) and health visitors(n=32), residing and working in the East Midlands, UK. The participants were purposively selected according to an inclusion/exclusion criterion and invited to participate in seven focus groups (FG-7) conducted for parents (FG-4) and health visitors (FG-3) at a time and place convenient to the participants, between March and June 2018. The focus groups examined a number of issues, including the participants’ views on the barriers and facilitators to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes within the data. Although participants were knowledgeable about the need for a healthy weight in early childhood, the parents discussed how immigration status and experiences of discrimination had an impact on their children’s diet and wellbeing, also discussing how structural factors influenced the decisions they made regarding healthy weight in early childhood. While the health visitors in general felt they did not have the skills to advise Black African parents about the cultural influences on diet during early childhood, findings highlighted a need for a system-based approach in meeting the nutritional needs of Black African children. This study concludes by suggesting the need for broad social-environment and economic changes that address factors such as migration status, deprivation, and discrimination, coupled with culturally specific healthy diet messages. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Ochieng, B. (2020) Healthy weight maintenance strategy in early childhood: the views of Black African migrant parents and health visitors. Health and Social Care in the Community,

Click here to view a full listing of Bertha Ochieng's publications and outputs from 2010

Research interests/expertise

  • Access and utilization of health and social care services,
  • Concepts of health and wellbeing
  • Diabetes and long-term disease self-management
  • Inequalities in health and social care,
  • Parenting styles and early child rearing
  • Self-care strategies in health and social care
  • Socially disadvantaged populations and immigrant health
  • Mixed methods
  • Qualitative methodologies
  • Service development
  • Systematic reviews
  • User and carer experiences/perspectives of health and social care

Areas of teaching

  • Health promotion
  • Public health
  • Systematic review
  • Research methodologies
  • Working with communities to improve health 

Qualifications

  • Post-graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management in Higher Education, University of Bradford.
  • PhD, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds.
  • MSc Health Education Health Promotion; Leeds Metropolitan University.
  • Post-graduate Certificate in Education; University of Huddersfield.
  • MA Development Studies; University of Leeds.
  • BSc (Hons); Leeds.

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (UK)
  • Nursing & Midwifery Council (UK)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health (UK)
  • Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health (European association)
  • Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies (Leeds)

Conference attendance

  • 2016: Diabetes care pathway: an analysis of self-management, 9th European Public Health Conference, Vienna
  • 2016Spirituality and meditation as mediating factors in Black families wellbeing. Mental Health and Cultural Diversity International Conference, Leicester.
  • 2014: Welfare systems and wellbeing: exploration of Black Families' Experiences and Beliefs, Ninth International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
  • 2012: Health literacy and access to health and social welfare services. Seventh International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Conference, Universidada Abat Oliba CEU, Barcelona Spain.
  • 2012: Community group actions: their emergence, maintenance and continuance. Seventh International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Conference, Universidada Abat Oliba CEU, Barcelona Spain.
  • 2010: Spirituality as a mediating factor in Black families beliefs and experiences of health and wellbeing. Interdisciplinary Social Sciences conference, University of Cambridge, Cambridge. 
  • 2010: Minority ethnic families and the challenges to practice a healthy lifestyle. 8th European Regional Conference of the Commonwealth Nurses’, Pathos, Cyprus.

Consultancy work

Professor Ochieng provides consultancy for a range of health and social care organisations. Her portfolio of activities includes specialist staff training on service development, user and family involvement, and ethnicity and cultural perspectives.

bertha-ochieng