[[The impact of music therapy on the physiological and psychological stress of being a carer for a partner with dementia.]]
The incidence of dementia is increasing as our society ages. This has led to an increase in ‘informal’ caring, where partners provide the majority of the care for their loved one with dementia. Previous research has linked informal caring with very high levels of psychological stress and substantially elevated stress biomarkers, such as the hormone cortisol, and disrupted cardiovascular responses to stress. Innovative research from Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research has examined the utility of an active music therapy programme for people with dementia and their caregivers, and found benefits for both the individual carers and evidence of improvements in caregiving techniques. This PhD scholarship draws on two distinct areas of expertise available at Anglia Ruskin: The world renowned music therapy expertise at Ruskin’s Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research, and expertise in stress and the physiological response to stress from the School of Psychology and Sports Science (and the internationally recognised ARU Biomarker laboratory). The PhD scholarship will examine the role of music therapy as a method for reducing the perceived stress of caring for a partner with dementia using innovative biomarkers, such as measures of hair cortisol and heart rate variability as well as validated psychological measures.
This project will be supervised by Dr Matt Bristow & Dr Eimear Lee from the School of Psychology and Sports Science and Professor Helen Odell-Miller OBE from the Cambridge Institute of Music Therapy Research.
Applicants should have a good first degree in psychology or related science. Expertise in related methodologies (e.g. stress biomarkers and/ or music therapy) would be advantageous but not essential.
How to apply
To apply, you’ll need: A first class bachelor’s degree or a 2:1 bachelor’s degree and a masters at merit level or above. Equivalent awards will be considered. Qualifications must be relevant for the particular studentship you are applying for.