Our current PhD students form a vibrant and active group - though they are based at various locations around the UK. Each of our PhD students are undertaking a unique project in the field of applied asthma research, and have supervisors from at least two member institutions.
Affiliate students have been formally adopted by the Centre. They must be based in one of our member institutions, and be working on a study that aligns with our programmes of work and/or platforms. Benefits of being an affiliated PhD student include access to the post-graduate training scheme.
UK born South Asians have distinct asthma experiences compared to other ethnicities including poorer asthma outcomes, higher hospital admissions, risk of rehospitalisation and higher death rates. One important approach in addressing this inequality is to identify and implement culturally relevant and effective asthma self-management interventions, which is explicitly recommended in asthma clinical guidelines. Yet, implementation of self-management in routine clinical care is typically poor.
My project aims to maximise the benefit of routine data for asthma research and surveillance.
Affecting almost 300 million people in the world, asthma is typically a life-long heterogeneous disease, hence effective control and management remain the goals of treatment.
This is a collaboration research project between the University of Edinburgh and Queen Mary, University of London. It aims to develop, refine and pilot an integrated information technology (IT) application to support self-management for asthma patients. By using the uMotif platform, IT application will be developed for use on both Apple and Android mobile operation system in the end devices (e.g. smart phone/ tablet).
In 2008 The Northern Ireland (NI) healthcare service introduced Directed Enhanced Service (DES) which provided financial incentives to general practices for implementing asthma self-management. This project aims to use routine data to evaluate the impact of the financial incentives on provision of Personalised Asthma Action Plan (PAAPs) and health outcomes, and to use qualitative methods to explore how changes were achieved.
Despite efforts of controlling air pollution emissions, the target levels are routinely exceeded in the UK. While the government is urgently required to address this issue, children are currently being exposed to high levels of air pollution, which in turn is impairing their respiratory health.
People with asthma who rely on their bronchodilator (quick reliever) and not the preventive inhaler, which tackles the root cause of asthma often have poor control of their disease. Many studies confirm that they are at increased risk of asthma attacks, hospital admission and even death.
According to the National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) report a substantial proportion of asthma deaths are neither identifiable by clinical algorithms nor by patient understanding of personal risk: 58% of patients who die from asthma were classed as mild/moderate asthma and 43% had not had primary care contact for review of asthma in the previous year.
This PhD studentship aims to investigate factors related to non-adherence in children with problematic severe asthma (PSA), where asthma continues to be severe despite high levels of prescription medications.
Using the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework for intervention development the PhD will:
Existing ways of assessing asthma (such as peak flow meters) tell us about lung function and how well people are breathing but they don’t actually tell us how inflamed their airways are nor what the most appropriate treatment is. Every time a person exhales, they breathe out water vapour and various gases; dissolved in the water vapour are different substances that come from the lining of the airways.
Funders, regulators and publishers are increasingly requesting that clinical researchers share their research data with others, once the primary analysis has been completed. Existing data could be used to expand medical and scientific knowledge by:
Acute exacerbations are recognized as the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with asthma. Viral upper respiratory infections are the most common precipitants, but interventions to prevent these are lacking.
This research project is going to evaluate the influenza vaccine programme for people with asthma by measuring vaccine uptake and effectiveness in people with asthma. As part of a programme of work already funded by the Department of Health, information has been extracted about influenza vaccination and other relevant health information from primary care, linked to information on swabs collected to detect influenza and subsequently linked information to hospital and death records.
Low levels of fitness are associated with increased body mass index (BMI), both of which are related to quality of life (QoL) and the occurrence and severity of asthma.
There are varying estimates of asthma prevalence and burden in the published literature, and these have major limitations in terms of the analytical approach used and reproducibility. This PhD project aims to:
Asthma exacerbations can be life threatening and lead to accident and emergency (A&E) attendances or hospital admissions. Quality of life deteriorates when experiencing such events and due to the sporadic nature of asthma exacerbations, this is not always captured. The aim of this PhD is to estimate the loss in quality of life associated with an asthma exacerbation that leads to an A&E attendance or admission.
Asthma is common in the UK, causing considerable illness, healthcare usage, and public expense. Accurate diagnosis is essential for good asthma management. Yet, uncertainty about the best way to diagnose asthma can lead to missed diagnoses and under-treatment, or over-diagnosis leading to unnecessary treatment and healthcare costs.
This project aims to make it easier for doctors and nurses to identify and interpret the important information gathered from a patient suspected of having asthma.
In recent years, asthma has become increasingly recognised as an umbrella terms for a number of different diseases which present with similar symptoms. We refer to these different diseases as asthma subtypes.
This PhD studentship is part of a larger research project at the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) North Thames that aims to increase medication adherence to essential treatment for asthma.
The aim of the PhD is to examine UK pharmacists as a potential delivery channel for a theory-based adherence intervention for asthma. This is broken down into three objectives: