University of Surrey Featured PhD Programmes
Cardiff University Featured PhD Programmes
University of Leeds Featured PhD Programmes

Feasibility of an intervention to improve oral health across distinct age groups. A dynamically tailored behaviour change system supported by a connected toothbrushes and digital health technologies.

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr M Goodwin, Dr George Kitsaras  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Manchester United Kingdom Data Analysis Dentistry Epidemiology Nursing & Health Psychology

About the Project

Despite the improvement in oral health over the last 40 years. Poor oral health still remains a significant issue for a proportion of the population. There are individuals that can be described as hard to reach, who

often only attend for symptomatic treatment. Novel ways of engaging with these groups need to be explored. One way to do this is to engage with the increasingly widespread use of technology such as smart devices and text


Research Question/Aims

This research will determine the feasibility of using a tailored text message intervention supported using a ‘smart

toothbrush device’ across one of three groups (parents of 0-5 year olds, 18-21 years old and 65+).


To collect data to be used to inform the design of a definitive RCT including:

  • Recruitment – number of eligible participants across different settings
  • Practicality of delivering the intervention and adherence/retention over 6 months
  • Process outcomes using the APEASE criteria for intervention effectiveness
  • Collecting toothbrushing outcomes to inform the next stage of the research and estimated sample size
  • Establish response to text messages including number and timing of messages
  • Optimise the message content based on subject feedback

Participants will be recruited from a range of settings in order to gain a broad and representative sample and to

determine the most appropriate settings for a full trial, these will include nurseries, sure start centres, student

campuses, services for older adults such as friendship centres, etc depending on the group chosen.

100 participants will be recruited to a defined group to receive the intervention and followed over a 6-month

period. A control group of 70 participants (as this will not involve any qualitative work) will also be followed to

ensure no changes occur within this group over the 6-month period.

Entry Requirements

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject (dentistry, psychology, social sciences, public health, etc). A masters within a related discipline such as Public Health, Psychology, etc would also be beneficial. Candidates with an interest in public health, behaviour change or the use of technology to improve health are encouraged to apply.

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select PhD Dentistry.

For international students, we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 1 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (View Website). For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (View Website).
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.