School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences DEL Postgraduate Research Opportunity for September 2011 (SUBJECT TO FUNDING) Public Health Innovative technology to support medication compliance in older people: a digital health initiative Supervisors: Dr. David Craig (firstname.lastname@example.org) Professor Carmel Hughes (email@example.com) Professor James McElnay (firstname.lastname@example.org) Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in Pharmacy, Nursing, Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry or other relevant Biology degree. Further information is available on the School website at http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/mdbs/ (Click on Postgraduate Studentships). Potential candidates are encouraged to contact the supervisor prior to submitting an application. Abstract The primary aim of this study is to assess the impact of reminder alerts sent to memory impaired patients by community pharmacists on a) adherence to anti-hypertensive medications and b) blood pressure control. We shall recruit 40 Memory Clinic patients as a feasibility cohort to participate over 3 month trial period. The main inclusion criteria will be (i) diagnosis of hypertension combined with a diagnosis of mild dementia/cognitive impairment (mini mental state score>18) and (ii) non-adherent patients as determined via personal reporting by pharmacist or clinician or according to computerised patient records. Data collection will involve structured interviews between patients and community pharmacists in order to employ validated Medication Adherence/Beliefs About Medicines data gathering tools. The community pharmacist will set up medication reminders which will be sent to a specially adapted mobile phone - the reminder will take the form of a video message which will prompt the patient to take their medication at the agreed time(s). A blood pressure monitor will wirelessly transmit the patient’s measurements to a secure pharmacist web interface permitting the community pharmacist to send subsequent video messages to the patient in which they will inform them that an irregular reading has been received. Quantitative data relating to adherence and blood pressure control will be analysed using ttest/regression based techniques via SPSS. Qualitative evaluations of the views of community pharmacists, patients and carers will be conducted via focus groups examining the utility of the system and data derived using NVivo® based deduction of emergent themes. CLOSING DATE: Friday 11 February 2011 Eligibility for both fees and maintenance (£13,590 in 2010/11 depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship. Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.