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Views On Incontinence Care in care homes – an Exploration (VOICE)

Post Graduate Research School

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Dr N Cotterill No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The studentship is based within the Centre for Health and Clinical Research, UWE Bristol, which hosts a broad programme of research to benefit the health and wellbeing of individuals and society:
The PhD is part of a broader programme of research led by Associate Professor Dr. Nikki Cotterill (, with the aim to improve continence care and the experience for individuals living with bladder and bowel symptoms. The PhD will also contribute to a city-wide initiative, the BABCON (Bladder and Bowel CONfidence Health Integration Team. This is a systemwide approach to tackling continence difficulties through research, education and implementation.
It is recognised that this opportunity is likely to attract clinical colleagues who may wish to continue to work clinically during the studentship. We can confirm that a maximum of one day per week in a clinical role is permitted whilst undertaking a full time PhD at UWE Bristol.
The Project
Urinary and faecal incontinence are conditions affecting one in three people living in residential care and two in three nursing home residents, which pose a significant impact on quality of life for these individuals and much concern for family and friends. Excellent continence care is fundamental to providing high quality care and protecting dignity. Much can be done to improve these symptoms and the lived experience for people with these symptoms yet this often does not translate into practice. This PhD will provide a valuable exploration into how to optimise bladder and bowel continence care in care homes. Exploration of the perspectives of staff, residents and their relatives will provide an opportunity to work together to drive advances in this important aspect of essential care.
Objectives and methodology
1. Establish the evidence base for continence care provision in care settings through a comprehensive literature review (systematic review),
2. Observe practice to identify unrecognised barriers and facilitators to evidence-based care provision (non-participant observation),
3. Investigate attitudes of staff, clients and their families to explore key influences in this fundamental area of healthcare (qualitative interview/focus groups),
4. Identify unmet needs to support the provision of evidence-based continence care (data synthesis).

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