Funded MSc by Research Studentship: Investigating the Motivation and Social Interaction Underpinnings for an Interactive Online Exercise Intervention

Swansea University - Sports Science

*This scholarship is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.*

MSc by Research Scholarship for UK or EU applicants in the field of: Sport and Exercise Science

Subject study: Investigating the motivation and social interaction underpinnings for an interactive online exercise intervention for people with Cystic Fibrosis

CF populations are often characterised by social isolation due to the risk of cross-contamination, making group exercise interventions difficult to manage with this group, although they offer benefits for motivation, adherence, QoL, and, physiological and functional effectiveness. Recent studies have reported more mental health and wellbeing problems in these populations, highlighting the need for interventions that seek to address these issues.

This is an important population group on which to focus, as CF is the most common, fatal disease amongst Caucasians, estimated to affect 1:2500 newborn babies in the UK. With a median survival age of 37 years (CF Trust, 2014), CF is financially, time and resource costly for both the NHS and patients/carers; figures suggest an annual cost of at least €30,000 (≈ £24,000) per patient. Respiratory failure remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in CF. As such, interventions which seek to ameliorate, or at least slow, the rate of decline in lung function in this ageing patient group should be a clinical priority.

Recent technological advances enable interventions to be delivered in novel ways, such as through online portals, allowing greater flexibility in engagement, enhanced peer socialisation and capacity to tailor the intervention to the individual’s needs and personally valued outcomes. Such a delivery method is particularly relevant to healthcare strategies in Wales where CF patients are typically geographically disparate with a poor transport infrastructure.

Therefore, the proposed studentship project will involve a series of inherently interdisciplinary studies to address the key research question of developing an online, interactive exercise tool to improve the physiological and psychosocial health of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients. 

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science, Medicine or Psychology or a related subject. Candidates must qualify for Home/EU fees.

For more information on eligibility criteria, please visit our website:

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