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The experiences and patterns of use of psychoactive substance use amongst the homeless population.


School of Nursing

Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded PhD Studentship.

Homelessness is a reality and can be characterized as a global problem; with complex the links between social and health problems. Homelessness is a phenomenon associated with social, economic and political transformations.

There is limited UK evidence on the patterns of psychoactive substances (PS) in the homeless population, and there is even more limited is the literature on the experience of PS amongst homeless people (Macleod K et al., 2016; Irving, 2017; Maguire & Mclvor, 2017; Ralphs, Gray & Norton, 2017; PHE, 2018; Ralphs & Gray, 2018).

In line with the WHO (2019) we define psychoactive substances as a substance that, when ingested, affects mental processes, e.g. cognition or affect, and we are including the use of prescription medications for non-prescription purposes. Due to their prevalence in society, if potential participants are only using alcohol and/ or tobacco they will not be included in the study.

In the proposed study we intend to conduct semi-structured interviews with adults who are homeless about their experiences of using PS. Additionally, participants will be asked to complete the World Health Organization Alcohol Smoking Substance Involvement Screening Test (WHO ASSIST) anonymously.

The aim of the study is to develop a broader understanding of the experiences, and the patterns of use, amongst homeless people who use psychoactive substances.

The objectives of this study are to:

• Develop an understanding of the experiences of psychoactive substance use;
• Develop both an understanding of the mental and physical health consequences, worries and concerns, the life stressors and perceived social support, perceived benefits and risks in relation to psychoactive substance use in the homeless population;
• Through the use of the WHO ASSIST develop a better understanding of the patterns of psychoactive substance use amongst the homeless population.

Data collection is complete in the Brazilian arm of the study. The study is being completed in two sites.

Person Specification
Applicants should have a strong background in working with the homeless and/ or drug work. They should have a commitment to mixed methods research and hold or realistically expect to obtain at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a related health or social care subject.

How to apply
Applications should be directed to . To apply, please send:
• A Detailed CV, including your nationality and country of birth;
• Names and addresses of two referees;
• A covering letter highlighting your research experience/capabilities;
• Copies of your degree transcripts;
• Evidence of your proficiency in the English language, if applicable.

Applicants will be required to attend an interview. This can be conducted face –to –face, by telephone or skype


Funding Notes

Self funded/ International students welcome

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