Which factors promote prevention of pressure ulcers and adherence to skin regimes following discharge from hospital for people with spinal cord injury

   School of Psychology and Wellbeing

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  Dr Margaret Tilley  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a PhD research student on a project investigating the psychological factors that might promote skin regime adherence and the consequential prevention of pressure ulcers for people with spinal cord injury, after they have been discharged from in-patient rehabilitation.  Recent research has found that pressure ulcers represent one of the most challenging problems facing people with spinal cord injury (Guihan & Richardson, 2018), carrying with them a higher mortality risk and increased hospitalisation (Kraus & Saunders, 2011). Working with your supervisors and with the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville, you will seek to understand what might contribute to the prevention of pressure ulcers using qualitative and/or quantitative methodology, with the aim of determining the way forward in promoting adherence to skin care regimes. 

Health Psychology explores how psychology, biology, behaviour and social factors are involved in health and illness. It focuses on health promotion and the prevention of disease, as well as understanding how people react to, cope with and recover from illness. The University of Buckingham is currently active on research projects covering a wide range of topics within Health Psychology. We collaborate on projects and activities with other universities and organisations, both in the UK and abroad. You would join the Centre for Health and Relationships (CHR) Research Hub (www.buckingham.ac.uk/research/chr); a thriving research hub focusing upon research in five core areas: Pain, Social Support, Sexual & Reproductive Health, Spinal Cord Injury, and Health in Vulnerable Populations. 

Your first supervisor would be Dr Margaret Tilley (www.buckingham.ac.uk/directory/margaret-tilley/) whose research focuses on psychological issues in spinal cord injury.

PhD applicants must have achieved a 2:1 or above in a British Psychological Society (BPS)-accredited Psychology degree, or international equivalent conferring Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the BPS. The degree must include at least a 2:1 in the dissertation/project module. 

It is also desirable that candidates hold or be nearing the completion of an MSc degree in psychology (or equivalent), although this is not essential for exceptional applicants. The candidate should be enthusiastic about the research area and have excellent written and oral communication skills along with experience of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. 

Funding Notes

Candidates must be self-funded. For suitable students, there may be teaching opportunities after upgrade.


Applicants for this opportunity should upload a single document including a covering letter and brief CV, outlining (a) how their previous experience supports their application to pursue a PhD in Psychology and (b) how their experience/interests suit them for this particular study. The names of two academic referees should be included, but would only be approached in the event that the applicant was shortlisted.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview.
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