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Improving care and support for psychological morbidity in patients with advanced COPD and their informal carers (FarquharMU19SF)


Project Description

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common chronic respiratory condition with high symptom-burden, slow relentless progressive impact, substantial informal carer-burden and high service use. Anxiety and depression are highly prevalent in these patients and carers and associated with lower quality of life and increased healthcare use [1-5].

The Living with Breathlessness Study (LwB [4-5]) followed a population-based cohort of patients with advanced COPD and their carers for up to 3 years collecting a range of quantitative and qualitative data, qualitative data from key health care professionals (HCPs) and engagement with stakeholders. Self-reported anxiety and/or depression were positively associated with Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores (HADS) which were higher than population norms (patients and carers). Patients did not always report anxiety and depression to HCPs and described feeling little could be done about these symptoms, they “just had to get on with it”. Carers described the challenges of managing patient anger and frustration with some reporting limited skills and knowledge for directly meeting the needs of the person they supported.

The specific direction of the research will depend on both the subject- and methodological-related interests of the applicant but will relate to improving care/support for psychological morbidity in patients or carers living with advanced COPD.

Activities/objectives may include:

1. Research proposal development

2. Systematic review of literature relating to care/support for psychological morbidity in patients and carers living with advanced COPD

3. Analysis of mixed method longitudinal data from the LwB Study relating to psychological morbidity in patients and carers living with advanced COPD and care/support received

4. Observational studies using quantitative/qualitative methods to identify a means to improve care/support of psychological morbidity in patients and carers living with advanced COPD

5. Intervention development

6. Relevant training in research skills and personal/professional development

7. Dissemination to academic/non-academic audiences.

For more information on the primary supervisor for this project, please go here: https://people.uea.ac.uk/en/persons/m-farquhar

For more information on the secondary supervisor for this project, please go here: https://people.uea.ac.uk/en/persons/j-cross

This is a PhD programme.

The start date of the project is either 1 January 2020, 1 April 2020, 1 July 2020 or 1 October 2020.

The mode of study is full-time. The studentship length is 4 years (3 years period of study, 1 year period of registration).

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.

Entry requirements:

An acceptable Health-related first degree.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Masters in a related topic area (health, research methods) or equivalent research experience.

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 View Website.

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.

References

1) Willgoss TG, Yohannes AM. Anxiety disorders in patients with COPD: a systematic review. Respir Care 2013; 58(5): 858-66

2) Hill K, Geist R, Goldstein RS, Lacasse Y. Anxiety and depression in end-stage COPD. Eur Respir J 2008; 31(3): 667-77

3) Maurer J, Rebbapragada C, Borson S, et al. Anxiety and depression in COPD: current understanding, unanswered questions, and research needs. Chest 2008; 134(4 Suppl): 43S-56S

4) Mi E, Mi E, Ewing G, Mahadeva R, Gardener C, Holt Butcher H, Booth S, Farquhar M. Associations between the psychological health of patients and carers in advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. International Journal of COPD 2017:12 2813-21

5) Mi E, Mi E, Ewing G, White P, Mahadeva R, Gardener C, Farquhar M. Do patients and carers agree on symptom burden in advanced COPD? International Journal of COPD 2018;13:969-977

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