Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common and debilitating condition that affects over 6million UK women over the age of 40years. UI leads to embarrassment, low self-esteem, social isolation, and reduced productivity. It is more common as women age hence the prevalence is likely to increase. Stress urinary incontinence (SUI: UI related to physical activities, coughing, sneezing, etc) is the most common type of UI in women.
The lifetime risk for UK women by age 80years undergoing pelvic floor surgery is 12.2%. The standard practice in the UK is for women to undergo an invasive test “Urodynamics” prior to proceeding for surgical treatment despite NICE guidelines recommending restricting this test to special groups of women (Mixed Urinary incontinence, previous failed continence surgery, women with voiding difficulties). Currently, urodynamics testing is the ‘standard’ investigation in assessing SUI in clinical practice. However, it is invasive, associated patient embarrassment, cost to health resources, and potential risk of lower Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). Similar limiting obstacles arise with the current alternatives such as the pad tests and the cough stress test.
We have recently invented a novel test “The Aberdeen Home Continence stress test (HCST)” with the aim to be a valid patient-friendly objective assessment tool for assessment of SUI. We have evaluated the HCST in clinical trials setting and concluded: The HCST is a valid and reliable patient-reported objective assessment tool of SUI in surgical clinical trials with good specificity, sensitivity, and consistency that eliminates the need for hospital visits and assessor’s bias. HCST can replace the 24-hour pad tests in future trials. Further research is required to see if it translates to be better retention in clinical trials and before it can be used in standard clinical practice.” The “Aberdeen Home Continence Stress Test”: a novel objective assessment tool for female stress urinary incontinence | International Urogynecology Journal (springer.com) The test was well received in the clinical community as a potential for use in the clinical setting as well as Clinical trials.
In this project we aim to:
- Evaluate the HCST in clinical practice i.e. in the population presenting to the incontinence clinics.
- Develop prediction models combining HCST results and responses to symptom severity questionnaires to confirm the diagnosis of SUI and perhaps its severity.
- Undertake qualitative research to determine whether participants favour the HCST to the other alternative assessment tools especially Urodynamics.
- Candidates should have a minimum of a First Class Honours degree in Health-related including Public Health or health data science subject. Applicants with a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree may be considered provided they have achieved a Masters with distinction.
- Quantitative and qualitative skills
- An active interest in women’s health
- Experience analysing data using basic statistics in a statistical software package
- Published Qualitative research and/or prediction models
We encourage applications from all backgrounds and communities, and are committed to having a diverse, inclusive team.
Informal enquiries are encouraged, please contact Professor Mohamed Abdel-Fattah ([Email Address Removed]) for further information.
- Formal applications can be completed online: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/pgap/login.php
- You should apply for Medical Sciences (PhD) to ensure your application is passed to the correct team for processing.
- Please clearly note the name of the lead supervisor and project title on the application form. If you do not include these details, it may not be considered for the studentship.
- Your application must include: A personal statement, an up-to-date copy of your academic CV, and clear copies of your educational certificates and transcripts.
- Please note: you DO NOT need to provide a research proposal with this application
- If you require any additional assistance in submitting your application or have any queries about the application process, please don't hesitate to contact us at [Email Address Removed]
Please note: International applicants are eligible to apply for this studentship, but due to funding limitations will be required to find additional funding to cover the difference between overseas and home fees (approximately £20,000 per annum). An international applicant receiving an offer will be required to provide evidence they have these funds available.