Caring for someone with long-term conditions: the experience and outcomes of informal caregivers
Project reference: NDPH/MT16/010
The HSRU conducts research into outcomes and experiences of health care services both in patients and caregivers. Not only patients but also family members or friends who help support the patient (hereafter referred to as carers) are impacted by the long-term condition. Therefore, carers need the support of health and social care services. Although measures exist to assess carer outcomes, they have been frequently developed and validated only for specific long-term conditions and their development frequently does not comply with current standards. Carer experiences have also been assessed in various studies, but usually only in specific conditions. No measures have been developed for use across a range of conditions but these are needed to allow valid comparisons to be made on outcomes between carers of a range of long-term conditions.
Research experience, research methods, and skills training
This DPhil will use a mixed method design and provides an opportunity to learn about both qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as a wide range of long-term (chronic) conditions. Carers will be recruited through a variety of routes, including charities such as Carers UK and the NHS. The project will use qualitative interviews to identify candidate items for the measure. Subsequently two surveys (pilot and main survey) will be conducted to validate and test using the measure modern psychometrics as well as traditional psychometrics.
Field work, secondments, industry placements, and training
Field work will include qualitative interviews with carers. The candidate will closely liaise with charities and NHS services. Training opportunities in quantitative methods will be offered, including psychometrics and statistical analyses of outcome measures data. Training will be available on on-line data collection, and the implementation of data collection for electronic surveys. The candidate will also have the opportunity to gain experience of the commercial application of outcome measures in trials in the pharmaceutical industry and in private healthcare.
The candidate should have experience in either qualitative or quantitative methods, and should have the interest and ambition to develop their skills in both methods. The candidate will need excellent communication skills (both verbal and written) and should have experience of research of long-term (chronic) conditions.