The impact of a tailored dietary intervention coupled with oral rehabilitation on the nutritional status of older patients
Dr G McKenna
No more applications being accepted
Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
A poor diet has been shown to be important in patients developing a range of diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Different factors influence patients’ food choices, including income levels, education and living circumstances. However, dental health including the numbers of remaining natural teeth can also be important. As patients get older and lose their teeth they tend to move towards a softer diet composed of foods they find easier to chew. Unfortunately this often means that many patients avoid important things such as fruit, vegetables and meat which can lead to low levels of vitamins, minerals and fibre in their diets. Unfortunately, simply giving patients new teeth or dentures is not enough for them to break these habits and change their diet.
This study aims to test if providing tailored diet advice focused on creating healthy eating habits, in combination with replacing missing teeth can have a positive impact on the diets of older patients. All the patients in the study will receive dental treatment to replace their missing natural teeth. Half of the patients will then receive help and support to improve their diet, whilst the remainder will receive an information leaflet on healthy diets only. The patients will be asked to fill in surveys asking them about their knowledge of nutrition, their satisfaction with food and their oral health and they will repeat these three times: at the start of the project, after two months and after six months. They will also be asked to record their food choices during the study using food diaries and surveys. In addition, blood samples will be taken during the study to measure levels of a variety of vitamins and nutrients. The information from the two groups will be compared to test if the healthy habits dietary advice and counselling has resulted in any improvements for that patient group compared to those who did not receive the healthy habits intervention.
Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.
Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.
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• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
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The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU http://www.qub.ac.uk/tefl/
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