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Skills for Active Independent Living- Preventing frailty progression. (FoxCU19SF)

Project Description

Frailty, a multidimensional syndrome, needs holistic assessment and intervention. A systematic review showed combined exercise, nutrition and cognitive training has cumulative impacts on frailty and is potentially cost-effective. Frailty, depression and loneliness interact and interventions with strong social components show improved adherence, increasing effectiveness. Social group interventions report improvements in activities of daily living (ADL), depressive symptoms, psychological distress, capability and mood. HomeHealth, (a recent home-based, non-web, individual intervention) using behaviour change, targeting communication skills, exercise, nutrition and mood, showed potential. Better recognition and support for pre-frail older people could reduce progression into frailty. This Phd will support development of an understanding of pre-frailty which is a current priority for NHS frailty prevention development and use of digital interventions.

Year 1-2: Conduct a realist review for best way to identify pre-frailty- 18 months.

Year 2: Understanding web use in older adults to identify implementation factors important in pre-frailty interventions. Develop the qualitative methods approach to collecting data for this part of the study, then undertake this study after seeking appropriate permissions etc

Year 3: Data analysis and thesis submission. Finalise the study from year 2, develop the analysis strategy using the findings from the realist review, then using these findings develop the understandings of how prefrailty can be identified and how interventions can be developed in this group of pre-clinical patients.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

This is a PhD programme.

The start date of the project is 1 April 2020.

The mode of study is full-time/part-time. The studentship length for a full-time student is 4 years (3 years period of study, 1 year period of registration). The studentship length for a part-time student is 7 years (6 years period of study, 1 year period of registration).

Please note: Primary supervisors may suggest an application deadline which will be reviewed by the PGR Service.

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.

Entry requirements:

Acceptable first degree in Health or Social Care, Psychology.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.


i) Boyd, P. J., Nevard, M., Ford, J. A., Khondoker, M., Cross, J. L., & Fox, C. (2018). The electronic frailty index as an indicator of community healthcare service utilisation in the older population. Age and Ageing. DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afy181

ii) Fox, C., Smith, T., Maidment, I., Hebding, J., Madzima, T., Cheater, F., Cross, J., Poland, F., White, J., Young, J. The importance of detecting and managing comorbidities in people with dementia? Age and Aging 2014. DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afu101

iii) Smith, T., Maidment, I., Hebding, J., Madzima, T., Cheater, F., Cross, J., Poland, F., White, J., Young, J., Fox, C. Systematic review investigating the reporting of comorbidities and medication in randomized controlled trials of people with dementia. Age Ageing. 2014 Jul 19. pii: afu100. DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afu100.

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