|Funding for:||UK Students|
|Funding amount:||From £18,154 Annual stipend, plus fees at UK residency rate only|
|Placed On:||4th May 2023|
|Closes:||31st August 2023|
Hospital-associated deconditioning: Exploring factors contributing to the physical and cognitive decline of older people post-hospitalisation
Lead Institute / Faculty: Medicine
Main Supervisor: Dr Stephen Lim
Other members of the supervisory team: Dr Kinda Ibrahim
Duration of the award: 3 years
Start date: 01/10/2023
This PhD studentship will explore the associations between acute illnesses and physical and cognitive decline of older people in hospital. This work will enable better understanding of the mechanisms and factors that result in hospital-associated deconditioning among older people, and in turn support a targeted intervention to address deconditioning.
Hospital-associated deconditioning (HAD) can be defined as the decline in physical and cognitive function following an acute hospitalisation. HAD is a significant problem and is estimated to affect up to 1 million older inpatients per year, with significant personal and health and care costs. HAD is multifactorial in aetiology and low physical activity and undernutrition have been identified as key modifiable risk factors.
This project will explore how different acute illnesses (medical and surgical conditions) impact on the trajectory of functional and cognitive decline of older people in hospital. It will involve collecting data on the cognitive status, frailty status and sarcopenia measures of older people in hospital, including measures of muscle strength (grip strength), physical function and muscle mass (bioimpedance analysis). The study will also seek to explore the impact of deconditioning on older adults and their family members through qualitative interviews. By developing an understanding of the mechanisms or factors that increases the risk of deconditioning in older people, this will help tailor a targeted intervention to prevent deconditioning in hospitalised older people.
We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate to join our dynamic and multidisciplinary team of researchers within the Academic Geriatric Medicine (AGM) department here at University of Southampton. The AGM has a track record of developing innovative physical activity and nutrition interventions to improve health outcomes for older people. The candidate will have the opportunity to develop mixed methods research skills and will be supported to disseminate their research findings at regional and national conferences.
The successful candidate is likely to have the following qualifications:
Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK applicants. This PhD studentship is funded for three years by National Institute for Health Care Research (NIHR) advanced fellowship.
Amount of stipend £18,154.00 plus fees at UK residency rate only.
Administrative contact and how to apply:
Please complete the University's online application form, which you can find at
You should enter Dr Stephen Lim, as your proposed supervisor. To support your application provide an academic CV (including contact details of two referees), official academic transcripts and a personal statement (outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date).
Informal enquiries relating to the project or candidate suitability should be directed to Dr Stephen Lim, (email@example.com).
Closing date: 31/08/2023
Type / Role: