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WILSONU18ARUK: Development and feasibility testing of a scalable behavioural change intervention to promote physical activity among sedentary adults with moderate/severe asthma

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  • Full or part time
    Prof A Wilson
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

We invite applications for this Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research adopted PhD, which provides an exciting opportunity to work with experts in Respiratory Medicine (Wilson, Davies), Exercise Science (Stratton), Public Health (Jones) and Behavioural Science (Hardeman) to develop and test the feasibility of a digital physical activity intervention for sedentary adults with moderate/severe asthma.

Asthma attacks, which result in major social and healthcare costs, can be reduced by exercise training. However, we need interventions which can achieve long-term change in physical activity, health and well-being which are acceptable to people living with asthma.

The project
1) Systematic review of digital interventions to improve physical activity in people with severe asthma

2) Development of a theory and evidence-based physical activity intervention.
Development work will include review of theories and behaviour change techniques, qualitative research and stakeholder consultations to inform intervention content and delivery. The intervention will comprise face-to-face behaviour change support, individual exercise prescription and a digital component e.g. mobile health (mHealth).

3) Piloting and feasibility testing of intervention.
This will use qualitative and quantitative methods to assess feasibility, acceptability and implementation of the intervention. Recruitment, completion, and adherence rates will be captured. Efficacy outcomes will include exercise capacity assessment and asthma symptom control and exacerbation frequency. Focus groups and/or semi-structured interviews will be conducted to explore the findings and aid development of a definitive trial.

Training opportunities
Training will be provided in the areas of systematic reviews, intervention development and evaluation, assessment exercise capacity, exercise training, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based route map planning software, clinical trials, and quantitative and qualitative methods.

Supervisory Team
Andrew Wilson*, Andy Jones*, Gareth Stratton+, Gwyn Davies+ Wendy Hardeman ~
*Norwich Medical School +Swansea University. ~ School of Health Sciences, UEA

Please contact Prof Wilson ([Email Address Removed]) for more information.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

Type of programme: PhD

Project start date: October 2018

Mode of study: Full time

Funding Notes

Entry requirements: Acceptable first degree Health related degree (nursing, physiotherapy), health psychology, sports science, education. The prospective student will have an interest in behaviour change interventions to improve health and well-being, and relevant research methods and data analysis skills.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1 or higher – preferably a masters in related topic e.g. health psychology, research methods, public health.

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