After graduating from the School of Pharmacy, University of London, I undertook my pre-registration year at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, staying on to establish a specialist medicines information centre. I was appointed to a senior clinical role to develop and manage pharmacy services on the newly opened Cardiac Wing. During this time, I also completed a master's in information science at City University.
I then moved to a health district to carry out reviews of drug prescribing. With the introduction of evidence-based medicine in the mid-1990s, I was invited to take on a new role as adviser on evidence-based practice. The main remit was to support staff in developing the skills required for implementing evidence in practice.
In 2003, I joined the University as project manager for a 4-year Department of Health funded project to identify and review the evidence on complementary therapies in a range of conditions. This resulted in a series of publications and an online database, with a subset of papers forming the basis of a PhD by publication. The work from this project contributed to the development of the National electronic Library for Complementary and Alternative Medicine which subsequently became part of the NHS Evidence service. Subsequently, my research has focused on the presentation, evaluation and interpretation of research evidence; conducting systematic reviews; reporting of safety in healthcare; online information-seeking behaviour and self-care. Specialist areas of interest: anxiety and depression, cancer, chronic conditions, complementary therapies and self-care interventions.
Ongoing projects include the Self-Care Library and the European Information Centre for Complementary & Alternative Medicine.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority with post-graduate qualifications in medical education and educational research. Previous posts have had a significant educational role providing experience of designing and teaching courses for a range of health professionals. I currently lead modules on research methods, research design and planning, and health and wellbeing. The main focus of my teaching is on research skills, particularly searching for and appraising research but I also teach health sciences, specifically physiology and pharmacology. I teach and supervise undergraduate, masters and doctoral students.
Current research interests
- Self-care for chronic conditions
- Systematic reviews and systematic review methodology
- Online information-seeking behaviour
- Reporting of safety in healthcare research
- Presentation, evaluation and interpretation of research evidence particularly in relation to anxiety and depression, cancer, chronic conditions, complementary therapies and self-care interventions.
Research projects (current)
- Service evaluation of a Community Health Facilitator supporting diabetic and pre diabetic patients to make health lifestyle changes, Polley M, King D, Pilkington K and Ridge D, 2013-2015.
- Research summaries for the European Information Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (EICCAM), Pilkington K, 2011-2013.
- The Self-Care Library: evidence for self-care interventions, Peters D and Pilkington K, 2009-2013 (in collaboration with Peninsular Medical School and the Culm Valley Integrated Centre for Health)
- The CAM-Cancer project, CAM-Cancer Collaborators (European collaboration), 2010
- £144,000, Make My Day Better charity for Evaluation of a community health facilitator in supporting diabetic patients, Polley M, King D, Pilkington K and Ridge D, 2013-2015.
- 11,800 Euros, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin for Development of the European Information Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (EICCAM).
- £87,000, Department of Health, Peters D and Pilkington K, Evidence for self-care interventions, 2009-2012.
- £209,000 (in collaboration with the Research Council for Complementary Medicine and the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital, (£40,000 to UoW), National Institute for Innovation and Improvement: Development of the National Library for Health Complementary and Alternative Medicine Specialist, 2008-2011
- The Prostate Cancer Charity, 2009: Complementary and alternative medicine and prostate cancer: a scoping exercise, £8,145.
- Department of Health, 2008: Assessment of the evidence on complementary therapies in depression, in collaboration with Prof Janet Richardson, University of Plymouth, £12,156 Research students 3 doctoral students investigating competency assessment in the health service, smoking cessation and nutritional therapy practice.
Membership of professional bodies
- General Pharmaceutical Council Registered pharmacist (registration number: 2029980)
- Royal Pharmaceutical Society Member UK Clinical Pharmacy Association Member
- Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Associate member
- Guest professor, Beijing Hospital for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, China
- Cochrane Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Field international Advisory Board member
- Scientific Board member and advisor on information and transparency, European Information Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (EICCAM)
- Responsible Editor, reviewer and author, CAM-Cancer European project
- Editorial Board: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, European Journal of Integrative Medicine, Journal of Acupuncture and Meridians Science (Korea), Journal of Naturology and Complementary Therapies (Brazil)
- Research Editor, Self Care Library, College of Medicine, UK
- Member PRISMA for harms (international systematic review reporting guidelines) working group
- Invited expert and moderator, European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) (Council of Europe) Traditional Chinese Medicine Practices in Europe initiative on education, information and practice