Alzheimer’s Society – PhD studentship: Advance care planning in dementia: A conversation analysis of GP consultations and development of a support programme
About the Project
The Research Department of Primary Care & Population Health (PCPH) at University College London (UCL) is seeking an outstanding, highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate for this PhD studentship. We are seeking to attract applications from social scientists, particularly with a background in qualitative research methods, and ageing research who are interested in extending their research skills.
The student will be part of the Centre for Ageing Population Studies (CAPS) which is based in the Research Department of Primary Care & Population Health. The PhD will be supervised by Dr Nathan Davies, Professor Greta Rait, and Professor Fiona Stevenson. The student will be supported by collaborators from University of Bradford, Dr Danielle Jones; University of Bristol, Dr Jemima Dooley; and Professor Elizabeth Sampson from the Division of Psychiatry at UCL.
PCPH offers an excellent environment to work, with a vibrant PhD community and the opportunity to engage in seminars and activities within the department and beyond. We have a conversation analysis PhD group which the student will join and there are data analysis groups that will be open to the student. The student will be nested in the EMBED-Care PhD group consisting of 6 PhD students across UCL and King’s College London all working on palliative care and dementia projects.
The full-time PhD studentship is funded by Alzheimer’s Society for three years from January 2022 to cover University fees £5,210 per annum, maintenance stipend £17,280 per annum. [ND1]
The successful applicant will also have access to Research costs to complete their project, as well as money for training. Skills training and career development support provided will include training in qualitative methods including conversation analysis and further specialist training will be provided as needed for the PhD.
Support for people with dementia after diagnosis has been described as ‘patchy’. In particular, people report a lack of conversations about preparing and planning for their future and end of life care, with limited advance care planning. Conversations are important as they may improve end of life care and minimise the grief family carers could experience. GPs who are often responsible for supporting people with dementia and their families after a diagnosis have reported they lack the confidence and skills for such conversations.
In this PhD, the student will explore ‘how’ advance care planning, including conversations about the later stages of dementia and end of life care occur in consultations between people with dementia, their carers and GPs. They will develop a practical support package for GPs on how to conduct advance care planning.
The overview of the research questions and plan are outlined below.
Main aim and objectives:
The aims of this studentship are:
1. Explore ‘how’ advance care planning, including conversations about the later stages of dementia and end of life care occur in consultations between people with dementia, their carers and GPs
2. Develop a support package for GPs on how to conduct advance care planning.
Proposed research plan:
Study 1: Literature review
Literature review of interventions and studies which have explore communication in healthcare interactions discussing end of life care across conditions.
Study 2: Observational study
Conversations between people with dementia and GPs will be video recorded to facilitate analysis of conversations about later stages of dementia and end of life. Conversation analysis will provide valuable insights into how conversations about such sensitive subjects of advance care planning, end of life care and later stages of dementia occur in primary care consultations. Analysis will provide ideas for how to optimise these conversations for practitioners and people with dementia and their families / carers.
Study 3: Co-design study
A series of co-design workshops with people living with mild dementia, family carers, and professionals will be used to co-design a resource to support GPs engage in conversations about future care, and end of life. This is expected to consist of a set of key recommendations and practical top tips including video tutorials led by someone with dementia, a family carer, and a GP.
Application via CV and a supporting statement outlining your key research skills and why you are interested in this PhD sent to email@example.com
Master’s qualification in an appropriate social science discipline, and a 2:1 or equivalent in a first degree in a social science or other appropriate discipline. All applicants are required to have excellent written and verbal communication skills. They should also be willing to work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary and multi-professional teams. Experience of qualitative research is essential and experience of conversation analysis is desirable. A research interest in ageing, dementia or long-term conditions would be desirable.
Further details about the UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care are available here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/iehc
Closing Date: 5pm Thursday 30th September 2021
Interview Date: TBC
To apply for this job please visit www.findaphd.com.