Psychological morbidity in patients with advanced COPD and their informal carers (Farquhar_U17SF)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common chronic respiratory condition with high symptom-burden, slow relentless progressive impact, and substantial informal carer-burden. Anxiety and depression are highly prevalent in these patients and carers, and are associated with lower quality of life and increased healthcare use [1-3].
The Living with Breathlessness Study (LwB) followed a population-based cohort of patients with advanced COPD and their carers for up to 3 years collecting a range of quantitative and qualitative data, qualitative data from key and health care professionals (HCPs) and engaged with stakeholders . Self-reported anxiety and depression was positively associated with Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores (HADS ) which were higher than population norms for both patients and carers. Patients did not always report anxiety and depressions to HCPs - they felt little could be done about these symptoms and they “just had to get on with it”. Carers described the challenge of managing patient anger and frustration and some identified a lack of their own skills in directly meeting the needs of depressed and anxious patients.
Specific focus of the research will very much depend on both the subject and methodological related interests of applicant, but will relate to psychological morbidity in patients and carers living with advanced COPD. Activities/objectives may include:
1. Research proposal development.
2. Systematic review of the literature relating to psychological morbidity in patients and carers living with advanced COPD
3. Analysis of mixed method longitudinal data from the LwB Study relating to psychological morbidity in patients and carers living with advanced COPD.
4. Observational studies using quantitative/qualitative methods to enable care and support of psychological morbidity in patients and carers living with advanced COPD.
5. Intervention development
6. Engagement in relevant training in research skills and personal/professional development
7. Dissemination to academic and non-academic audiences
This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at http://www.uea.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research-degrees/fees-and-funding.
A bench fee may also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.
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