David Craig - PhD Ad 2011

School of Medicine, Dentistry
and Biomedical
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
Dr. David Craig (david.craig@qub.ac.uk)
Professor Carmel Hughes (c.hughes@qub.ac.uk)
Professor James McElnay (j.mcelnay@qub.ac.uk)
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
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
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.