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Evaluation of interventions to address hepatitis C virus infection among children born to mothers with a history of injecting drug use in Scotland


Project Description

REF SHLS-20002 Hutchinson

There are an estimated 41,000 to 59,000 children of problem drug using parents in Scotland, representing about 4-5% of children aged under 16. The adverse consequences for these children can include hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, suboptimal healthcare and early substance misuse. More specifically, given high rates of infection with HCV among people who inject drugs (PWID), children born to infected PWID mothers are at risk of HCV through vertical transmission. Highly-effective antiviral therapies for treating HCV have now been licensed for children aged 12+; however, we do not know the extent to which at risk children are being tested for HCV, nor do we know the extent of diagnosis and treatment, or health outcomes, among those who acquire HCV in childhood.

The primary focus will be quantitative analyses to better understand the epidemiology of HCV and the effectiveness of interventions to address infection and associated health outcomes among children in Scotland. The project will involve record-linkage and statistical analysis of national databases on births/maternity, HCV test/clinical and drugs misuse. In addition, there may be scope to evaluate pilot work incorporating HCV into the universal antenatal screening programme. More broadly, there is potential to also investigate other health outcomes for children born to women with a history of injecting drug use. The successful applicant will work in collaboration with Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and the Scottish Paediatric and Adolescent Infection and Immunology Network (SPAIIN). This research will inform the National HCV Elimination Implementation Group on efforts needed to diagnose and treat HCV-infected children.

The successful applicant will hold a minimum of a first degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant subject (e.g. Public Health, Epidemiology, Statistics). Highly developed statistical analysis skills are essential.

This project is part of the research activity of the Substance Use and Misuse (https://www.gcu.ac.uk/hls/research/researchgroups/healthylivesandrelationships/substanceuseandmisuse/) and the Sexual Health and BBV research groups (https://www.gcu.ac.uk/hls/research/researchgroups/sexualhealthandbloodborneviruses/).

How to Apply

This project is available as a 3 years full-time PhD study programme with expected start date of 1 October 2020.

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisors for the project before applying.

To apply for this project, use the following link to access the online application form, as well as further information on how to apply: https://www.gcu.ac.uk/research/postgraduateresearchstudy/applicationprocess/.

Applicants shortlisted for the PhD project will be contacted for an interview within four weeks from the closing date.

Supervisory Team

Director of Studies: Professor Sharon Hutchinson
Email:
GCU Research Online URL: https://researchonline.gcu.ac.uk/en/persons/sharon-hutchinson

2nd Supervisor: Dr Norah Palmateer
Email:
GCU Research Online URL: https://researchonline.gcu.ac.uk/en/persons/norah-palmateer

Funding Notes

The studentship of £19,509 per year is for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress. The studentship covers the payment of tuition fees (£4,500 for UK/EU students or £15,000 for international students) plus an annual stipend of £15,009 for UK/EU students or an annual scholarship of £4,509 for international students.

How good is research at Glasgow Caledonian University in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.30

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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