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Health visitors’ family focused practice with mothers who have mental illness, their children and families

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J McNeill
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Supervisors: Dr Jennifer McNeill and Dr Anne Grant

Parental mental illness (PMI) is a major public health issue as it may adversely impact children’s cognitive, emotional, social, physical and behavioural development on a short or long term basis. Conversely, parental responsibilities may affect parents’ mental health. There is increasing evidence that family focused practice (FFP) can improve outcomes for families when parents have mental illness. On this basis, at a broad systems level initiatives have been introduced internationally and by the Health and Social Care Board to promote health and social care professionals’ (including health visitors) response to families when parents have mental illness. Health visitors are uniquely placed to identify the needs of individual children, parents and families (including safeguarding needs) and refer or direct them to existing local services, thereby promoting early intervention. However, while there is increasing understanding of health visitors’ FFP with vulnerable families there has been limited attention to their role in supporting families when mothers have mental illness.

This study will utilise a sequential mixed methods approach to examine health visitor’s FFP within the five Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland. Quantitative data will be elicited through a questionnaire and qualitative data through semi-structured interviews.

Essential Criteria:

Applicants must have (or be about to attain) at least an upper-second class honours bachelor’s degree or Masters degree in the field of nursing, midwifery or a cognate discipline in the social and health sciences. Candidates must also have been ordinarily resident in the UK or European Economic Area (EEA) since September 2013 (with no immigration restrictions). Applicants whose first language is not English must also have an IELTS score of 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years.

Desirable criteria:

It is preferable that applicants be registered on a relevant part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council register (or equivalent) and have at least one year post registration experience.
The successful applicant will receive a three year studentship which will cover UK/EU tuition fees and a stipend to cover living expenses. The studentship should preferably start on 01 October 2016.

If you wish to be considered for a studentship, please complete the following two steps:

- Email an up to date CV and a covering letter explaining why you want to undertake a PhD in the School of Nursing and Midwifery to Amber Mulholland at [Email Address Removed].

- Complete the online application at the QUB Postgraduate Applications Portal:

The closing date for applications is Friday 12 February 2016. Interviews for shortlisted candidates are expected to take place the week commencing 22 February.

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