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Psychological and social aspects of non-adherence

Department of Health Sciences

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Dr P Gupta No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Funding Source: East Midlands NIHR ARC

Proposed start date: 11th January 2021

Closing date for applications: 3rd December 2020

Eligibility: UK/EU applicants only

Department/School: Health Sciences

Supervisors: Dr Pankaj Gupta and Professor Kamlesh Khunti

Project Description
Applications are invited for a funded full-time PhD studentship available for UK/EU citizens to work in the Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester. The successful candidate will carry out the work in National Centre for Adherence Testing (NCAT) situated in the Department of Chemical Pathology and Metabolic Disease, Leicester Royal Infirmary, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) and will be supervised by Dr Pankaj Gupta, Honorary Senior Lecturer, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and Consultant in Metabolic Medicine and Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of NIHR East Midlands Applied Research Collaboration. NCAT is the leader in the world in non-adherence testing using liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry with collaborations with leading researchers in this field.

Non-adherence is one of the biggest unaddressed issues of modern medicine. 40-50% of patients with chronic diseases are non-adherent to their medications and it costs the NHS around £2 billion a year. We have developed a robust and clinically useful test that detects medications in urine for 160 common cardiovascular conditions. We have confirmed that non-adherence is high at around 40% in patients with hypertension and diabetes and have also shown that when the results are discussed with patients who are non-adherent, the majority become adherent and their blood pressure improves by an impressive 20mmHg systolic - the equivalent of two new medications.

We intend to study the psychological and social aspects of non-adherence research especially focused on comparing the differences between different ethnic populations. The research will focus on understanding the reasons of non-adherence, assessing barriers and ways to improve non-adherence. It will include both qualitative and quantitative research methods and will involve interaction directly patients both in primary and secondary care and health are professionals- including nurses, pharmacists and doctors.

Entry requirements

The successful candidate will need to have:
• Good communication and interpersonal skills
• A UK Bachelor's degree in Psychology with at least a 2:1 or overseas equivalent

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable:

Application advice
To apply please refer to
With your application, please include:
• CV
• Personal statement explaining your interest in the project, your experience and why we should consider you
• Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
• Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
• In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.

In the funding section please specify that you wish to be considered for the East Midlands NIHR ARC Studentship

In the proposal section please provide the name of the supervisors and project title (a proposal is not required)

Project / Funding Enquiries
Project enquiries
• Dr Pankaj Gupta via secretary, Carole Jones [Email Address Removed] or Tel: +44 (0)116 258 6550
Application enquiries
• [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This 3-year PhD studentship provides:
• UK/EU tuition fee waiver
• Annual stipend at UKRI rates (£15,285 for 2020/21)
• Research Training Support Grant of £1,300 per annum for 3 years


1. Gupta P, Patel P, Strauch B, et al. Risk factors of non-adherence to antihypertensive treatment.Hypertension 2017. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.08729
2. Gupta P, Patel P, Horne R, Buchanan H, Willimas B, Tomaszewski M. How to screen for non-adherence to antihypertensive therapy. Curr Hypertens Rep 2016;18:89.
3. Patel P, Gupta P, White C, Stanley A, Williams B and Tomaszewski M. Screening for non-adherence to antihypertensive treatment as a part of the diagnostic pathway to renal denervation. J Hum Hypertension.2016;30:368-373.
4. Tomaszewski M, White C, Patel P, Masca N, Damani R, Hepworth J, Samani NJ, Gupta P, Madira W , Stanley A and Williams B. High rates of non-adherence to antihypertensive treatment revealed by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HP LC-MS/MS) urine analysis. Heart 2014;100:855-861

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