Views On Incontinence Care in care homes – an Exploration (VOICE)

The Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, UWE Bristol is offering a 3 year full-time PhD, funded by Abbeyfield Research Foundation, to conduct research about fundamental continence care in the care home setting. This opportunity includes a stipend of £15,009 per year, which is tax exempt, and full-time tuition fees for up to three years subject to satisfactory progress (Home/EU rates only). There will be £4,500 throughout the PhD to fund conference attendance and consumables required for the project.

Ref. 2021-OCT-HAS01

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 October 2020.

The closing date for applications is 31 May 2020. 

About the Studentship

The studentship is based within the Centre for Health and Clinical Research, UWE Bristol, which hosts a broad programme of research to benefit the health and wellbeing of individuals and society. 

The PhD is part of a broader programme of research led by Associate Professor Dr Nikki Cotterill, with the aim to improve continence care and the experience for individuals living with bladder and bowel symptoms. The PhD will also contribute to a city-wide initiative, the BABCON (Bladder and Bowel CONfidence Health Integration Team). This is a system-wide approach to tackling continence difficulties through research, education and implementation.

It is recognised that this opportunity is likely to attract clinical colleagues who may wish to continue to work clinically during the studentship. We can confirm that a maximum of one day per week in a clinical role is permitted whilst undertaking a full time PhD at UWE Bristol.

The Project

Urinary and faecal incontinence are conditions affecting one in three people living in residential care and two in three nursing home residents, which pose a significant impact on quality of life for these individuals and much concern for family and friends. Excellent continence care is fundamental to providing high-quality care and protecting dignity. Much can be done to improve these symptoms and the lived experience for people with these symptoms yet this often does not translate into practice. This PhD will provide a valuable exploration into how to optimise bladder and bowel continence care in care homes. Exploration of the perspectives of staff, residents and their relatives will provide an opportunity to work together to drive advances in this important aspect of essential care.

Objectives and methodology

  1. Establish the evidence base for continence care provision in care settings through a comprehensive literature review (systematic review),
  2. Observe practice to identify unrecognised barriers and facilitators to evidence-based care provision (non-participant observation),
  3. Investigate attitudes of staff, clients and their families to explore key influences in this fundamental area of healthcare (qualitative interview/focus groups),
  4. Identify unmet needs to support the provision of evidence-based continence care (data synthesis).

Funding details

The studentship is available from 1 January 2020 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £15,009 per annum. 

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years (Home/EU rates only).

Eligibility criteria

Applications are invited from ambitious, self-motivated and enthusiastic candidates, with a background in a health-related discipline. Applicants must have a Masters qualification or a 2:1 or first class undergraduate degree in a health-related discipline. Qualitative research experience is desirable but qualitative and quantitative training will be included during the PhD. A comprehensive programme of support is also provided at UWE Bristol for postgraduate researchers to prepare candidates for future research careers.

The applicant will be primarily based at Glenside Campus, Fishponds, Bristol and will be expected to directly engage with a network of care homes to conduct the study requiring travel around the city.

This opportunity is available to UK/EU applicants only.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Nikki Cotterill:  

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted, use the reference number 1920-OCT-HAS06.

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your degree certificates and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application so please have these available when you complete the application form.

Research proposal: please explain, in no more than 500 words, how your skill-set and experience could contribute to this proposed PhD project

References: you will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references before you submit your application. 

Closing date

The closing date for applications is 31 May 2020. 

Further information

Interviews will take place in early July 2020.  If you have not heard from us by 30 June 2020, we thank you for your application but on this occasion, you have not been successful.

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