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The Cicely Saunders International PhD Studentship Programme will contribute to the overall aims of the BuildCARE IARE study and help generate information to improve the access, rights and empowerment of people who need end-of-life and palliative care. There are four CSI International BuildCARE PhD Training Fellows. Details of their research interests are detailed below.
Clare Ellis-Smith joined the BuildCARE team as a BuildCARE and Cicely Saunders International PhD Fellow (Non-clinical) in July 2012. Clare is currently developing an intervention to be used in care homes for people with advanced dementia to aid care home staff identify, assess and communicate unmet palliative care needs to GPs and community nurses. It is proposed that this intervention, by enabling unmet palliative care needs to be identified and addressed, will improve symptom management and improved quality of life for people with advanced dementia living in care homes. Clare’s professional background as an occupational therapist and her specialist clinical work for the memory service for the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has aided the development of her PhD topic for BuildCARE. This service provides early diagnosis and intervention for those with dementia. Before joining project BuildCARE, Clare was awarded an MSc in Mental Health Services Research (distinction) by the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. She is a member of the College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section for both Older People and Palliative Care. Clare’s supervisors are Dr Barbara Daveson, Dr Catherine Evans and Professor Irene J Higginson.
Dr. Mendwas Dzingina joined the BuildCARE team as a BuildCARE and Cicely Saunders International PhD Fellow (Non-clinical) in August 2012. He plans to derive a preference-based measure of health related quality of life (HRQoL) for use in economic evaluations of palliative care interventions. He currently plans to develop a function for mapping the 10-item Palliative Outcome Scale (POS) questionnaire to the EuroQol Group’s EQ-5D utility index. He will examine the comparability and performance of the POS to the EQ-5D. Depending on the outcome of this, he will conduct a general population survey, and in turn will estimate a preference-based measure of health (with which Quality Adjusted Life Years – QALYs – can be calculated) from the POS. His professional background as a Project Physician and Coordinator for Pro-Health International, an N.G.O. in Nigeria and as a health economics technical analyst in the Internal Clinical Guidelines team of the Centre for Clinical Practice at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in Manchester has aided the development of his PhD topic for BuildCARE. In 2010, Mendy was awarded an MSc in Public Health in the Health Economics Stream and Diploma of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His supervisors are Dr Fliss Murtagh, Dr Paul McCrone and Professor Irene Higginson.
Dr. Lesley Henson joined the BuildCARE team as a BuildCARE and Cicely Saunders International PhD Fellow (Clinical) in September 2012. She is currently looking at homecare services for palliative care patients to determine how these patients’ preferences for care in the community can be supported, focusing particularly on why patients are admitted acutely to hospital towards the end of life. She is looking at literature regarding the potential rationale behind acute admissions to hospital at the end of life. She aims to develop an intervention, in the form of a question prompt list, to help patients avoid such admissions in the future. Her professional background as a palliative medicine specialist registrar and as a Clinical Fellow at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, where she spent a year with the Mulago Hospital Palliative Care Team has aided the development of her PhD topic for BuildCARE. During her medical training, Lesley was awarded a BSc in Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2.1) and was awarded membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 2009. Her supervisors are Dr Barbara Daveson, Dr Gao Wei and Professor Irene Higginson.
Dr. Pauline Kane joined the BuildCARE team as a BuildCARE and Cicely Saunders International PhD Fellow (Clinical) in October 2012. She currently plans to identify the potential palliative care needs of the Irish population. She will look at the impact of the use of outcomes measures on clinical practice. She will develop and use the concept of patient complexity to develop an intervention to address the gap between the palliative care needs of the Irish population and actual service provision. Her professional background as a palliative medicine specialist registrar and her experience working in palliative care in Ireland has aided the development of her PhD topic for BuildCARE. In 2006 she was awarded membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. In 2011 she was awarded an MSc in Healthcare Ethics and Law (first class honours) at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Her supervisors are Dr Fliss Murtagh, Dr Barbara Daveson and Professor Irene Higginson.