Please note we do not have specific funding available, as this is usually sought on a case-by-case basis.
This online module will enable you to develop critical skills in implementation science so that you can lead change in key advanced and chronic care issues such as shared decision-making, advance care planning, and medication management.
You can take the module on its own or as part of a postgraduate research degree (MSc, MD, or PhD).
We have a number of students at the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre working towards their PhDs.
Funded PhD Training Fellowships/PhD studentships, when available, are listed on our funded opportunities page.
We also work with suitable students to support applications for national or regional PhD funding. This is highly competitive, so potential students will need to have a track record of interest or involvement in palliative care research already. Please email either Professor Miriam Johnson or Professor Fliss Murtagh to enquire further.
If you are interested in short-term visits or attachments, further information is also available on our visit with us page.
Title: Optimisation of the detection and assessment of malnutrition, cachexia and sarcopenia in the older cancer patient
Funder: Yorkshire Cancer Research
Supervisors: Professor Miriam Johnson and Professor Mike Lind (Cancer Research Group)
To evaluate and improve the clinical diagnosis of malnutrition, to produce a single, validated, clinically relevant method of identifying elements of malnutrition, cachexia and sarcopenia in older cancer patients, to allow targeted and effective treatment.
This research aims to produce a screening tool to allow the medical team assess older cancer patients more effectively. The tool will help identify issues regarding poor nutrition and causes of weight loss, allowing the medical team to use the correct method of treatment to manage these symptoms.
Title: Effect of physical activity on quality of life in cancer survivorship: an online delivered, tailored physical activity programme.
Funder: Yorkshire Cancer Research
Start date: October 2019
Supervisors: Dr Cindy Forbes (primary) and Dr Mark Pearson (secondary)
To develop and assess the feasibility of an online web-based tailored exercise program for lung cancer survivors.
Within the last 40 years lung cancer has shown little improvement with only 5% of individuals surviving more than 10 years.
Developing on online evidence-based tailored exercise program could improve functional capacity and quality of life while overcoming exercise related barriers within lung cancer survivors
Title: Psychological suffering and distress in women undergoing treatment for breast cancer in India.
Supervisors: Professor Miriam Johnson and Dr Chitra Venkateswaran
Publications: View Sunitha's publications on ORCID
- To determine the psychological concerns of Indian women undergoing breast cancer treatment.
- To explore the experience of distress/suffering in Indian women with breast cancer living in India with special focus on patients undergoing treatment.
- To investigate the cultural context of and general awareness of healthy volunteers about the impact of breast cancer on Indian women with the disease in the community.
- The project consists of 3 parts; systematic literature review on the psychological concerns of Indian women undergoing breast cancer treatment, qualitative interviews to assess the level of suffering women undergoing treatment for breast cancer in India and focus group discussion among healthy volunteers to investigate the cultural context of and general awareness of the impact of breast cancer on Indian women in the community.
The project consists of 3 parts; systematic literature review on the psychological concerns of Indian women undergoing breast cancer treatment, qualitative interviews to assess the level of suffering women undergoing treatment for breast cancer in India and focus group discussion among healthy volunteers to investigate the cultural context of and general awareness of the impact of breast cancer on Indian women in the community.
Daniel, Sunitha, Chitra Venkateswaran, Ann Hutchinson, and Miriam J. Johnson. "‘I don’t talk about my distress to others; I feel that I have to suffer my problems...’Voices of Indian women with breast cancer: a qualitative interview study." Supportive Care in Cancer (2020): 1-10. doi:10.1007/s00520-020-05756-8
Daniel S, Clark J, Gnanapragasam S, et alPsychological concerns of Indian women with breast cancer in different national contexts: a systematic review and mixed-methods synthesisBMJ Supportive & Palliative Care Published Online First: 11 May 2020. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2019-002076
Title: Person-centred care for people with dementia: Improving recognition of symptoms and needs in the acute geriatric environment
Funder: Office and technical support is being provided by Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), along with self-funding by the student. Further funding applications are currently under review.
Supervisor: Professor Fliss Murtagh
The aim of this PhD project is to provide a validated person-centred outcome measure to assess and monitor symptoms and needs in people with advanced dementia, which is acceptable and feasible to use for nurses and relatives in the acute geriatric setting.
Symptom assessment and recognition of needs is challenging in people with advanced dementia. Symptom and needs recognition can be aided and improved by using a person-centred outcome measure, completed by nurses and relatives in the primary care setting.
However, a holistic and easy to use person-centred outcome measure is not yet available for people with advanced dementia in Switzerland. Therefore, the IPOS-Dem, as the only holistic and person-centred outcome measure available for people with advanced dementia, will be fully validated following testing its acceptability in the acute-geriatric setting to inform implementation.
Title: Identification and assessment of chronic breathlessness in primary care.
Funder: University of Hull
Supervisors: Dr Joseph Clark and Professor Miriam Johnson
To explore how chronic breathlessness is identified and assessed in primary care and to understand the impact this has on patients’ and carers’ psychological wellbeing.
During this project, literature will be searched to see how chronic breathlessness is identified across health care settings. Then a survey will be developed to identify frail older adults suffering with chronic breathlessness in primary care. Finally, interviews will be conducted with these individuals, their carers, and their health care professionals to gather experiences of chronic breathlessness in the primary care environment.
Title: Public perception of palliative care: A systematic review
Supervisor: Professor Miriam Johnson
- what the public understanding and perception of palliative care is
- whether this understanding and perception has changed over time
- if there is evidence that understanding and perception impacts access to palliative care
There is misperception that palliative care is just care of the dying whereas it is an approach that improves the quality of life of people facing life-limiting illness. This misperception may impact access to cost saving, quality care. We will review the evidence of the perception of palliative care.
Outputs: Prospero systematic review protocol
Title: A complex intervention study evaluating the effect of a digitalised, patient-centered comprehensive geriatric assessment on clinical decision making and patient experience when utilised by a head and neck cancer multidisciplinary team.
Funder: Yorkshire Cancer Research
Supervisors: Professor Mike Lind (Cancer Research Group) and Professor Miriam Johnson
To develop, validate and implement a digitalised, cross-platform and integrated web and mobile service for undertaking comprehensive geriatric assessment in head and neck cancer patients.
To develop a website and mobile app to enable older people with head and neck cancer to get a complete assessment of their day to day functioning and overall health.
Title: Exploring the experiences of hospice-based clinicians in relation to the use of outcome measures
Supervisors: Dr Mark Pearson and Professor Fliss Murtagh
The aim and purpose of the PhD is to explore the experiences of hospice-based clinicians with using outcome measures based on Normalisation Process Theory.
Through qualitative interviews, the PhD explores the subjective experiences of clinicians in English hospices, and what these experiences could mean for the normalisation of outcome measures. The PhD will use Normalisation Process Theory to understand how clincians’ agency, perceptions and action in hospices might impact on the process of embedding outcome measures into routine palliative care.
Title: A mixed methods investigation of the screening and assessment of cachexia in primary care settings.
Funder: University of Hull cluster PhD studentship
Supervisors: Professor Fliss Murtagh and Professor Miriam Johnson
This study aims to enhance the knowledge of how the symptoms of cachexia are identified and assessed in patients with advanced chronic conditions and end-stage disease in primary care settings.
The main symptoms of cachexia are unintended weight loss and loss of appetite. It is associated with advanced diseases such as cancer, heart failure and chronic kidney disease. Cachexia can also be associated with frailty and malnutrition in elderly patients with chronic disease.
The aims of the study are to capture the views and experiences of such patients (and their family caregivers); and the views and experiences of general practice staff of how they manage unintended weight loss in frail elderly patients. An analysis of patient data will be also be used to describe this patient group and how their symptoms are assessed and managed by GPs and practice nurses.
Title: How do opioids affect older adults’ cognition
Funder: University of Hull (scholarship)
Supervisors: Dr Jason Boland and Professor Fliss Murtagh
Outputs and resources: ORCID
To improve our understanding of how opioid analgesics affect older adults cognition, and their carers, in a primary care setting using mixed methods.
To understand how opioids affect older adults memory and attention in primary care, this project will use the following three methods:
- A review of the existing literature on how opioid analgesics affect older adults’ memory and attention, as well as exploring which tools are used to identify and assess this.
- A survey to explore how opioid analgesics affect older adults’ memory and attention in primary care (including opioid use, side effects, quality of life and day-to-day living).
- Interviews with patients and carers to understand their experiences of taking opioids and how this affects their memory and attention. Their family carer will also be interviewed. Information and support needs on opioid therapy will also be discussed.
Title: CLinical OuTcomes, Symptoms and Quality of Life in cancer patients with i-PE. CLOTS-QoL study
Supervisor: Professor Antony Maraveyas (Cancer Research Group) and Professor Miriam Johnson
Publications: View Naima's publications on ORCID
The overarching aim of the study is to investigate the relationship between incidental pulmonary embolism in cancer patients and performance status, symptoms, QoL and other key clinical outcomes such as venous thromboembolism (VTE) o(re)currence and haemorrhagic complications. A secondary aim is to identify clinical and demographic predictors of VTE o(re)currence, haemorrhage, QoL and PS.
Advances in medical technology have resulted in an increase in the detection of unexpected blood clots in the lung of patients with cancer. the study aiming to see the effects these blood clots may have on the survival and quality of life of these patients, when compared to cancer patients without blood clots. It is hoped that we can find a way to identify more quickly those patients who are deteriorating and are at greater risk of developing further clots.
Title: After body donation for medical education: identifying good practice in the interactions between Medical School Anatomy Unit staff and families
Funder: University of Hull
Supervisors: Dr Trish Green, Dr Peter Bazira
To identify good practice in the interactions between Medical School Anatomy Unit staff and the families of body donors
Zivarna gained an integrated masters (MAnth) in Biological Anthropology from Durham University. Her thesis concerned engagement with the dead in public contexts. She has interests in public engagement with human remains, what is hidden and hidden work, death and the dead, and body donation for medical education.