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Supporting behaviour change in women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)

Dental & Health Sciences Research

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Dr K Asimakopoulou , Dr M Ide , Prof Angus Forbes No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a frequent pregnancy complication associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes through impacts on the foetus, mother and infant, alongside an increased risk of type 2 diabetes later in mum and baby and seen in around 1% -25% of all pregnancies.

Women with GDM experience a highly medicalised pregnancy and report feeling like ‘baby-making machines’ where they report being treated as such by health care professionals (HCPs) eager to ensure that a healthy infant gets delivered at the end of term. There is no evidence currently to show what, if any, specific oral health care support these women receive during their pregnancies. At the same time it is known that i) periodontal health is related to glycaemic control and pregnancy outcomes and that ii) a simple behavioural intervention can effect clinical changes in periodontal health outcomes.

This project is seeking to develop a behaviour change intervention to support women with GDM to undertake behaviours that may directly and indirectly impact their oral health and glycaemic control and subsequently, support a healthy pregnancy.

This PhD will involve both qualitative and quantitative data collection including thematic analysis and multivariate statistical analysis. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to build on a strong behavioural science background and further develop their research methods skills in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods. This programme will help candidates further develop practical skills in designing and delivering behaviour change interventions in healthcare settings.

Funding Notes

UK students only. Stipend funding at MRC rate.

This PhD will suit a health sciences / psychology / nursing graduate with expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methods. It is expected that the successful candidate with have a strong (2.1 or above) first degree in a health science discipline and appropriate postgraduate training (MSc in research methods /health psychology).

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