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Professor Felicity Astin

Profile summary

Professional biography

Felicity has worked as a clinical nurse specialist, researcher, lecturer, director and clinical academic during her career. In her current role, as Professor of Nursing at The Open University, she maintains close links with NHS partners, patients and carers with the shared goal of translating research into practice to improve NHS services. Her research focus has been upon improving care for people with cardiovascular disease. Recent projects have centred upon understanding how health professionals can best support people diagnosed with ischaemic heart disease. In particular she is interested in patients’ perspectives about key aspects of their recovery such as their preferences for health information provision, self-management support and their views about the meaning of quality of life. Felicity has also undertaken a variety of leadership roles within academic settings, professional organisations and charities. Felicity has a keen interest in the education of undergraduate and post graduate students. In particular she is keen to mentor health professionals who may be rather reluctant leaders who need encouragement to grow their confidence and realise their potential.

Research interests

Externally funded projects

Feasibility, Practicality and Acceptability of a Patient Decision Aid (CONNECT) to Improve Shared Decision-Making for Planned Coronary Angioplasty
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 May 202330 Apr 2025NIHR National Institute for Health Research

Background: Questionnaires sent to over 70,000 NHS patients in 2020 show that people do not feel fully involved in making decisions about their healthcare. Patients should be at the centre of decision-making about their treatments, but often they are not. Patients with angina (chest pain/discomfort), are one group that face a tricky decision. They are already treated with medications but may have the option of planned coronary angioplasty treatment as well. This treatment may improve their chest pain/discomfort but has more serious complications than treatment with medicines alone. So, patients should fully understand their options, so they can make a decision that is right for them. Earlier work we have done showed that almost half of patients treated with planned coronary angioplasty are not fully involved in decision-making, do not understand the information they are given, and misunderstood the risks and benefits of coronary angioplasty treatment. Something we want to change. Patient decision aids (PtDAs) are more than just educational ‘tools’. When used by patients and health professionals they improve the ‘quality’ of: 1) The decisions made, and 2) The decision-making process. There are no good quality UK 'coronary angioplasty' PtDAs available. So, we co-created a web-based one, called ‘CONNECT’ which shows 'promise'. Aim: We want to test CONNECT, in a larger study (trial), to see if it improves the quality of shared decision-making. But trials are expensive, so we need to do some groundwork first to know what works best. In this preliminary fact-finding study, run over 24-months, we will ask 8 NHS Cardiac Centres, and 320 of their angina patients, about what approaches will work best to run a future trial and how they felt about being involved in the study. Design/methods: We will evaluate 1) our plans for the future trial design; and 2) the acceptability and practicality of CONNECT to users. We will collect information (using forms, questionnaires and interviews), to understand who will take part and whether enough people and Cardiac Centres agree to try CONNECT. We will also see if our plan for the future trial will work, whether patients and NHS staff like CONNECT, and how it might fit within NHS cardiology services. Patient and Public Involvement (PPI): We have worked with 121 expert patients and 65 health professionals, over a 2-year period, to understand their priorities and help us to co-create CONNECT to meet their needs. An expert patient/co-applicant and an experienced PPI lead will coordinate involvement throughout our study. Dissemination: To get our research ‘out there’ to benefit others, we will share findings through our established international network of expert patients and health professionals to influence policy and practice. We will publish and present findings and run a national conference.

Publications

Illness perceptions and health literacy are strongly associated with health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression in patients with coronary heart disease: results from the EUROASPIRE V cross-sectional survey (2023-10)
Jennings, Catriona; Astin, Felicity; Prescott, Eva; Hansen, Tina; Gale, Chris and De Bacquer, Dirk
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 22(7) (pp. 719-729)


The Core Curriculum for Cardiovascular Nurses and Allied Professionals (2023-10)
Neubeck, Lis; Ross, Catherine; Jones, Jennifer; Simpson, Maggie; Mindham, Richard; Jaarsma, Tiny; Uchmanowicz, Izabella; Hinterbuchner, Lynne and Astin, Felicity
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 22, Article zvad035(7) (e62-e113)


Becoming partners in rehabilitation with patients in intensive care: physiotherapists’ perspectives (2023)
Carruthers, Helen; Derry, David and Astin, Felicity
Disability and Rehabilitation ((Early access))


Patient Decision Aids for Aortic Stenosis and Chronic Coronary Artery Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2023)
Harris, Emma; Benham, Alex; Stephenson, John; Conway, Dwayne; Chong, Aun-Yeong; Curtis, Helen and Astin, Felicity
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, Article zvad138 ((Early access))


Patient experience of informed consent for diagnostic coronary angiogram and follow-on treatments (2022)
Blanchard, Howard T; Carroll, Diane L and Astin, Felicity
British Journal of Healthcare Management, 28(11) (pp. 305-311)


Self-management support activities in primary care: A qualitative study to compare provision across common health problems (2020-12)
Harris, Emma; Barker, Caroline; Burton, Kim; Lucock, Mike and Astin, Felicity
Patient Education and Counseling, 103(12) (pp. 2532-2539)


Exploring the religious practice of langar as a route to health promotion in the Sikh community in Northern England: A qualitative study
Daffu O'Reilly, Amrit; Bharj, Kuldip and Astin, Felicity
Journal of Religion and Health ((In Press))