About the Project
For each 10 women starting fertility treatment 7 receive news that their cycle failed (HFEA, 2019). Sharing bad news (SBN) is a daily occurrence in fertility care, including news of fertilization failure, recurrent miscarriage, etc.
SBN are a major challenge for patients and staff. After a failed cycle, 30% of men and 10% of women present a psychiatric disorder (e.g., depression). Patients who receive bad news experience unanticipated emotional or physical reactions (e.g., shock) and 47% express that staff could do better in SBN. Fertility staff perceive SBN as one of the biggest challenges of their job and report willingness to receive training.
Perception of insensitive care and mismanagement of psychological aspects are leading reasons why patients stop treatment and change clinics. SBN in a sensitive way is expected to result in better patient-centred-care experiences and higher patient satisfaction ratings. These are conducive to higher treatment uptake and, therefore, higher chances of conception.
1) Develop training to improve fertility staff skills in SBN: the FertiCOMM;
2) Assess the acceptability and fidelity of FertiCOMM among fertility staff and patients.
Following MRC guidance to develop complex interventions, to develop the FertiCOMM, we will conduct a Systematic Literature Review of existing SBN training and conduct Online Surveys and run Focus Groups with fertility patients and staff to assess their needs and preferences in SBN;
Results obtained will inform the co-production of FertiCOMM.
To assess FertiCOMM (RQ3) we will design and implement a small-scale feasibility stydy whereby staff from the Wales Fertility Institute will be offered the FertiCOMM training and observed using new skills while SBN with 4 patients each (N=80) one week after. We will collect data on staff’s performance while SBN and self-perceived confidence to do it (fidelity), as well as on their views of using the FertiCOMM (acceptability). Patients’ experiences of patient-centred-care and satisfaction with care will also be assessed (acceptability).
This PhD programme offers candidates training in Health and Social Psychology and its practical applications into health services improvement.
The supervision team is interdisciplinary and composed of academics and field practitioners. The student will develop competences in intervention co-production (with stakeholders) and testing (according to the UK Medical Research Council guidance), use of mixed-methods designs, participatory research, patient-centred care, among others.
The programme includes training opportunities with the Cardiff Doctoral Academy and other world leading research institutions such as DECIPHER and the Centre for Trials Research.
As only one studentship is available and a very high standard of applications is typically received, the successful applicant is likely to have a very good first degree (a First or Upper Second class BSc Honours or equivalent) and/or be distinguished by having relevant research experience.
How to apply:
You can apply online - consideration is automatic on applying for a PhD in Psychology, with an October 2020 start date (programme code RFPDPSYA).
Please use our online application service at https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/programme/psychology
and specify in the funding section that you wish to be considered for ESRC funding. Please specify that you are applying for this particular project and the supervisor.
Application deadline: 3rd February 2020 at 12 noon, with interviews (either in person or by Skype) being held on or around March and decisions being made by April.
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