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A novel way of providing individualised indications of prognosis to patients with terminal illness

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

Project Description

Clinical audits, surveys, qualitative interview based research and ethnographic studies all show that people with terminal illnesses would mostly like to know their prognosis but frequently are not told this or are unable to take the information in when told. Such studies also indicate prognosis-giving to be a complex process requiring careful communication strategies. Clinician hedging tactics are common, often because of the emotional labour involved in giving bad news, and lead to patients over-estimating the time they have left. Our project will be a collaboration between Health Sciences and Computer Sciences. The student will undertake a mixed methods review of the existing literature. Findings will inform qualitative arts based co-design work with patients and clinicians using a modified focus group approach, to design a smartphone app that can be used by patients to obtain individualised information on prognosis. Studies indicate that preference for a prognosis, and whether it is provided in a quantitative or qualitative manner, may depend on gender, ethnicity, age at diagnosis, level of education and fear of death. The app would allow for these individual preferences; patients will be able to control the information they are given. The app would also avoid giving absolutes, taking account of prognostic uncertainty, and different disease trajectories. Underlying architecture for the app will be developed in a collaboration with a computer scientist with separate funding.

For further details regarding this project, please contact the named supervisor above at [email protected] or the Pathway Coordinator for this project [email protected]

The Southampton ESRC-DTC application form can be found on the Soton ESRC-DTC website. www.southampton.ac.uk/esrcdtc
Applicants must also have completed a University of Southampton online application form for the appropriate PhD Programme prior to the submission of the DTC Studentship application form.

Funding Notes

Studentships awarded by the Southampton ESRC-DTC cover programme fees and an annual Standard Maintenance Grant.
Enhanced awards of an additional £3000 are available to those undertaking Advanced Quantitative Methods as part of their research project.
The Southampton ESRC-DTC studentships also provide access to Research Training Support Grants, funding for Overseas Fieldwork, and additional funding awards for Overseas Institutional Visits, and Internships.
EU and International students must be undertaking Advanced Quantitative Methods as part of their research project to be eligible for funding.

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