Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Augmenting Stroke-Focused Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (ASCOT) (BroomfieldNU19SF)

Faculty of Medicine and Health Science

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Prof N Broomfield , Dr F Gracey , Prof Valerie Pomeroy No more applications being accepted Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

One third of stroke survivors develop Post-Stroke Depression (PSD), one quarter post-stroke anxiety (PSA) yet few effective psychological interventions exist. The two ever randomised controlled trials of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) showed neutral findings but CBT was not developed with input from people living with stroke. This PhD provides an opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders and experts to develop an intervention and then to run an initial trial. In collaboration with the primary supervisor, you will lead a group of highly experienced stroke/CBT clinical academics to design an augmented CBT (aCBT) PSD/PSA therapy programme based on our existing model. Input will be interleaved throughout from a core group of stroke survivors and a core group of Stroke Allied Health Professionals. Views of the patients and nurses will be integrated iteratively as the aCBT programme develops. Online survey of UK stroke experts regarding feasibility/acceptability of the final programme/therapy materials will be completed.

The new aCBT programme will then be tested using a Phase II randomised controlled clinical trial methodology. This could include outcome evaluation, embedded qualitative process evaluation or trial feasibility and acceptability.

The successful applicant would join a thriving department comprising researchers involved in development and evaluation of interventions for people post stroke and ABI, CBT research programmes (child PTSD, psychosis) and a wider faculty with considerable expertise in clinical trials in the area of stroke, dementia, ageing and mental health.

Key learning objectives would cover systematic review and/or realist review methodologies, trial methodology, PPI in clinical / stroke research, qualitative analysis, and knowledge of CBT practice (the department runs regional accredited training in CBT). The successful applicant would also benefit from the excellent opportunities for research knowledge and skills development through the PPD programme, and to network with other PhD students via the doctoral college and shared social activities.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

This is a PhD programme.

The start date of the project is 1 October 2020.

The mode of study is full-time. The studentship length is 3 years with a 1-year registration period.

Entry requirements:

Acceptable first degree in Psychology.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Please note: Applications are processed as soon as they are received and the project may be filled before the closing date, so early application is encouraged

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at

A bench fee may also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


(i) Baylan S, Haig C, MacDonald M, Stiles C, Easto J, McGinlay M, Cullen B, Quinn TJ, Stott D, Mercer SW, Broomfield NM, Murray H, Evans JJ. Measuring the Effects of Listening for Leisure on Outcome after stroke (MELLO): a pilot randomised controlled trial of mindful music listening. International Journal of Stroke (in press).

(ii) Cullen B, Pownall J, Cummings J, Baylan S, Broomfield NM, Haig C, Kersel, D; Murray H, Evans JJ. (2016) Positive PsychoTherapy in ABI Rehab (PoPsTAR): A pilot randomised controlled trial. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 1-17.

(iii) Broomfield NM, Scoular A, Welsh P, Walters M, Evans JJ. (2015) Post Stroke Anxiety is prevalent at the population level, especially amongst socially deprived and younger age community dwelling stroke survivors. International Journal of Stroke 10, 897-902.

(iv) Broomfield NM, Quinn TJ, Abdul-Rahim A, Walters M, Evans JJ. (2014) Depression and anxiety symptoms post-stroke/TIA: Prevalence and associations in cross-sectional data from a regional stroke registry. BMC Neurology 14, 198.

(v) Broomfield NM, Laidlaw K, Hickabottom E, Murray MF, Pendrey R, Whittick JE & Gillespie DC. (2011) Post-Stroke Depression: The Case For Augmented, Individually Tailored Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy 18, 202-217.

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