Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Centre for Ageing and Population Studies

Supervisors: Dr Kate Walters, Dr Nathan Davies, Dr Greta Rait, Dr Rachael Frost, Dr Christina Avgerinou, Jane Wilcock

Our Centre undertakes a broad range of research on effective healthcare for older people, health promotion/behaviour change in later life, self-management of long-term health conditions, the epidemiology of ageing and age inequalities. Particular areas of interest are frailty, dementia, Parkinson's Disease, mental well-being, loneliness, health promotion in later life, and end-of-life care. CAPS is a multidisciplinary research group with expertise in the development and testing of complex interventions, health service research methodology, epidemiology of ageing and mixed methodology including qualitative methods. We are happy to work on new ideas in these themes with students, or projects linked to our ongoing work as detailed below. 

Project: Personalised care for Parkinson's Disease (PD-Care)

Supervisors: Dr Kate Walters, Dr Nathan Davies, Prof Elizabeth Murray

There is an opportunity to join this new five-year programme of work funded by the NIHR due to start in Sept 2018, which will develop a new approach to support self-management for people with Parkinson's Disease (PD), integrating new technologies. Work includes a series of systematic reviews, qualitative studies, co-production of an intervention with people with PD and their carers, and ultimately a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT). There are several opportunities to develop PhD ideas linked to this work within the themes of self-management of long-term health conditions, preventing hospital admissions/improving non-specialist care for complex conditions and comorbidities and integrating new technologies into health care management.

Project: Predicting the onset of Parkinson's Disease (PD)

Supervisors: Dr Kate Walters, Prof Anette Schrag

This study would build on our work which explored prodromal symptoms for PD using routinely collected healthcare data, to examine risk factors for future PD and the role of potentially neuroprotective drugs. There is potential to develop a PhD in this field, suitable for someone who has quantitative analysis skills. 

Project: Primary care-led post diagnostic Dementia care (PriDem): developing evidence-based, person-centred sustainable models for future care

Supervisors: Dr Kate Walters; Dr Greta Rait, Jane Wilcock

We have recently been funded as an Alzheimer's Society 'Centre for Excellence' in dementia research with the University of Newcastle to develop and evaluate improved models for dementia care in the community. There is an opportunity to join our team for this 4 year programme of work starting April 2018. This work includes systematic reviews, qualitative studies, co-production of an intervention and a pilot RCT. Possible project ideas include work to gain a better understanding of what person-centred care means for someone with dementia and/or how we can improve the care of physical health conditions in the context of dementia. 

Project: Supporting family carers of people with dementia at the end of life: Developing a decision aid

Supervisor: Dr Nathan Davies

The end of life for someone with dementia can present a number of challenges and difficulties. Family carers are often the main providers of care and as the person with dementia lacks capacity are faced with making difficult decisions as proxy. There is currently a lack of support for family carers making decisions. We have just received funding from the Alzheimer's Society to develop and test the feasibility of a decision aid. There is an opportunity to join the team and contribute to a systematic review, secondary analysis of qualitative data and conduct semi-structured interviews with family carers and practitioners. There is potential to extend this into a PhD on decision making in dementia care.

Contact: k.walters@ucl.ac.uk n.m.davies@ucl.ac.uk