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Type 1 diabetes and eating disorders: developing best practice communication guidelines for healthcare professionals

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J James
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

In the last 20 years the prevalence of eating disorders has increased in the United Kingdom by 15%. People with type one diabetes are twice as likely to develop an eating disorder than in people without diabetes. Restricting insulin to lose weight is a disordered eating behaviour specific to people with type 1 diabetes and has been termed diabulimia – though this condition currently lacks an officially recognised medical or mental health diagnosis. Studies suggest that healthcare professionals’ lack confidence in managing people with diabulimia and many are fearful that their management could exacerbate the condition. There is a clear need for research to investigate how to communicate about type 1 diabetes management in a way that is appropriate for all patients especially those with known eating disorders or for those that have the potential to develop an eating disorder. Communication and language are known to be important in dealing with patients with eating disorders. It is recognised that standard treatments for eating disorders are not usually appropriate for patients with diabulimia because those treatments tend to involve removing the focus on food.

The overall aim of Type 1 diabetes and eating disorders: improving communication guidelines project is to systematically evaluate the communication elements of diabetes management in people with type 1 diabetes and eating disorders. This will include evaluating the communication used within the COMPASSION pathway as compared with other current type 1 diabetes education programmes. The overarching aim is to support health care professionals through the development of educational materials with best practice communication guidelines on supporting people with type 1 diabetes and eating disorders.

How to apply:

Applications are made via our website using the Apply Online button below. If you have an enquiry about this project please contact us via the Email NOW button below, however your application will only be processed once you have submitted an application form as opposed to emailing your CV to us.

Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate:

• Outstanding academic potential as measured normally by either a 1st class honours degree (or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA) or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent
• An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent) for candidates for whom English is not their first language and this must be evidenced at point of application.

Ideally candidates should demonstrate an:
• an understanding of the theories of communication, and how these can innovate and influence practice or individuals.
• ability to recognise influence of language on mental health or chronic disease management.
• an understanding of chronic disease management, through professional or lived experience.
• experience of working with or alongside healthcare teams
• Ability to create interactive digital content, including video and audio for project website, social media channels and educational materials.

Funding Notes

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £15,225 per year to contribute towards living expenses during the course of your research, as well as a fee waiver for 36 months.



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