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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Dr Anna De Simoni, MB BS PhD FHEA MRCGP

Anna

Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care Research Unit: Translational Research Affiliate Research Unit: Global Health, Policy and Innovation Unit Visiting Researcher: Primary Care Unit, University of Cambridge

Email: a.desimoni@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: 0207 882 2520

Profile

I am an academic GP specialising in improving self-management and adherence to medications in patients with long-term conditions.

I combine basic science, clinical and applied research, with training including a PhD in Neurophysiology in neural networks (Milan), an EU-funded Individual Marie Curie post-doctoral Fellowship (UCL), a NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship at University of Cambridge, and a NIHR Academic Clinical Lectureship award at QMUL.

I am leading AD-HOC, a NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research (PGfAR) to carry out an interdisciplinary programme, combining network science, big data analytics and computational social science with industry and charity partners, to examine and theorise the relationship between online peer support and patient health outcomes, and evaluate health impacts of digital social interventions in primary care.

My expertise includes: Primary Care, Evaluation, Qualitative research methodologies, Systematic reviews, Patient and Public Involvement, Multidisciplinary approaches to study digital social interventions and digital interventions to improve adherence to medications in long-term conditions, Data science.

I sit in the London NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Committee, the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR) Central Management Committee, and co-lead the AUKCAR Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group.

I provide supervision to undergraduate (SSC) and postgraduate students (MSc and PhD).

My clinical work includes in-hours GP, urgent A&E and GP care in Out of Hours settings.

Teaching

  • 2016 to present: supervision of PhD students.
  • 2015 to present: supervision of Year 4 medical students’ Student Selective component projects.
  • 2015 to present – Invited lectures:
  1. QMUL BSc Global Health: 'Adherence to medication (and secondary prevention more generally)' 2015.
  2. QMUL Global Public Health MSc course: ‘Primary Care in Europe’ 2017.
  3. QMUL Language and Health Communication Course, Department of Linguistics: 'Health Communication in Practice'. From 2016, ongoing.
  • 2015 to present: OSCE examiner, SSC medical students’ supervisor.
  • 2015 to present: PBL facilitator.
  • 2015: MSc Global Health Dissertation supervisor: Izuka N.
  • 2013 to present: Supervision of stage 2 and 3 medical students in GP clinical settings.
  • 2012 to 2014 Facilitator of Communication Skills Sessions for stage 1-3 medical students, School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge. Certificate in Clinical Communication Skills Teaching, University of Cambridge, School of Clinical Medicine).
  • 2012 Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 2012 (completion of HEA GP Tutor Development Course).
  • 2004-2005 Physiology tutorials to 1st year Human Physiology, University College London.
  • 2002-2004 Physiology tutorials to 1st year Medical students, University College London.
  • 1998-2000 Physiology tutorials to 2nd year Medical students, University of Milan, Italy.

Research

Research Interests:

 

  1. Digital social interventions for patients with long-term conditions as:
    • self-management support intervention and its integration with primary care services. This is achieved through an interdisciplinary team including network science, big data analytics, computational social science, information governance, ethic and medical law expertise, in partnership with industry and charities. I am leading AD-HOC, a programme of research to answer the question: Does promoting engagement in an online health community in primary care improve asthma control and quality of life?
    • source of source of data for qualitative research on patients’ and caregivers’ perspectives and unmet needs
  2. Adherence to medications in long-term conditions (stroke, hypertension, diabetes, asthma), and the use of technology to improve and monitor adherence.
  3. Primary care after TIA/stroke.
  4. Primary Care and domestic violence.

Publications

Simoni A, Taylor SJC, Griffiths CJ, Panzarasa P, Sheikh A. Online "superusers" as allies of the health care workforce. (2018) NEJM Catalyst.

Joglekar S, Sastry N, Coulson N, Taylor SJC, Patel A, Duschinsky R, Anand A, Jameson Evans M, Griffiths CJ, Sheikh A, Panzarasa P, De Simoni A. How do online communities of people with long-term conditions function and evolve? Network analysis of the structure and dynamics of the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation (BLF) online communities. J Med Internet Res 2018;20(7):e238.

Holender A, Sutton S, De Simoni A. Opinions on the use of technology to improve tablet taking in people over 65 on cardiovascular medications. J Int Med Res. 2018:300060518770578.

Jamison J, Sutton S, Mant J, De Simoni A. An online stroke forum as source of data for qualitative research: insights from a comparison with patients’ interviews. BMJ Open 2018; 8:e020133.

Jamison J, Ayerbe L, Di Tanna GL, Sutton S, Mant J, De Simoni A. Evaluating practical support stroke survivors get with medicines and unmet needs in primary care: A survey. BMJ Open 2018; 8:e019874.

Jamison J, Sutton S, Mant J, De Simoni A. Barriers and facilitators to adherence to secondary stroke prevention medications after stroke: Analysis of survivors’ and caregivers’ views from an online stroke forum. BMJ Open 2017;7:e016814.

De Simoni A, Horne R, Fleming L, Bush A, Griffiths CJ. What do adolescents with asthma really think about adherence to inhalers? Insights from a qualitative analysis of a UK online forum. BMJ Open. 2017;7(6):e015245.

Izuka NJ, Alexander M, Balassoriya-Smeekens C, Mant J, De Simoni A. How do stroke survivors and their carers use practitioners’ advice on secondary prevention medications? Qualitative study of an online forum. Family Practice. 2017;34(5):612-620.

De Simoni A, Griffiths CJ, Taylor SJ. Improving access to primary care: can online communities contribute? Br J Gen Pract. 2016;66(652):559.

De Simoni A, Shanks A, Balasooriya-Smeekens C, Mant J. Stroke survivors and their families receive information and support on an individual basis from an online forum: descriptive analysis of a population of 2348 patients and qualitative study of a sample of participants. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010501.

Balasooriya-Smeekens C, Bateman A, Mant J, De Simoni A. Barriers and facilitators to staying in work after stroke: insight from an online forum. BMJ Open 2016;6:e009974.

De Simoni A, Mant J, Sutton S. Adherence to medication in stroke survivors dependent on caregivers. Br J Gen Pract. 2015. 65 (640), e789-91.

De Simoni A, Shanks A, Mant J, Skelton J. Making sense of patients’ internet forums: a systematic method using discourse analysis. Br J Gen Pract. 2014. 64 (620), e178-e180.

De Simoni A, Hardeman W, Mant J, Farmer AJ, Kinmonth AL. Trials to Improve Blood Pressure Through Adherence to Antihypertensives in Stroke/TIA: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Am Heart Assoc. 2013. 2(4):e000251.

De Simoni A, Yu LMY (2006) “Preparation of organotypic hippocampal slice cultures: interface method”. Nature Protocols 1, 1439-1445.

De Simoni A, Griesinger CB, Edwards FA (2003) “Development of rat CA1 neurons in acute vs organotypic slices: role of experience in synaptic morphology and activity”. Journal of Physiology. 550(1) 135-47.

 

Outstanding publications: 

 

De Simoni A, Shah AT, Fulton O, Parkinson J, Sheikh A, Panzarasa P, Pagliari C, Coulson NS, Griffiths C. Superusers’ engagement in asthma online communities: asynchronous web-based interview study. J Med Internet Res 2020. J Med Internet Res 2020;22(6):e18185

 

Jackson T, Pinnock H, Liew SM, Horne E, Ehrlich E, Fulton O, Worth A, Sheikh A, De Simoni A. Patient and Public involvement in research. From tokenistic box ticking to valued team members. BMC Medicine 2020; DOI:10.1186/s12916-020-01544-7.

 

Panzarasa P, Griffiths CJ, Sastry N, De Simoni A. Social medical capital: How patients and caregivers can benefit from online social interactions. J Med Internet Res 2020;22(7):e16337

 

De Simoni A, Taylor SJC, Griffiths CJ, Panzarasa P, Sheikh A. Online" superusers" as allies of the health care workforce. New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst 2018 https://catalyst.nejm.org/superusers-allies-online-health-communities/

 

Joglekar S, Sastry N, Coulson N, Taylor SJC, Patel A, Duschinsky R, Anand A, Jameson Evans M, Griffiths CJ, Sheikh A, Panzarasa P, De Simoni A. How do online communities of people with long-term conditions function and evolve? Network analysis of the structure and dynamics of the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation (BLF) online communities. J Med Internet Res 2018;20(7):e238.DOI: 10.2196/jmir.9952

 

Supervision

Jasmine Hine – Imperial College London, AUKCAR funded. Title: Electronic reminders and incentives to improve adherence to inhaled asthma treatments in adolescents. https://www.temp.aukcar.ac.uk/what-we-do/postgraduate/current-students/jasmine-hine

Anya Jacobs, QMUL, Wellcome Trust PhD Programme in Science. Title: Development of a long-term health economic evaluative framework of adult asthma for assessing asthma strategies in UK primary

Charis Xie, QMUL, Wellcome Trust PhD Programme in Science. Title: Exploring the use of routine health data in improving the efficiency of randomised implementation trials.

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