Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

PhD: Dr Cathal Cadogan - Development of a theory-based intervention to improve long-term use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs in primary care

The aim of this project is to develop a theory-based intervention to improve long-term use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs in primary care.

Project description

Inappropriate long-term use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs persists in primary care settings worldwide and can give rise to a range of adverse effects (e.g. cognitive and psychomotor impairment).

The aim of this project is to develop a theory-based intervention to improve long-term use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs in primary care. The project will involve a mixed methods approach that will allow the student to develop a comprehensive range of quantitative (e.g. pharmacoepidemiology) and qualitative research skills (e.g. semi-structured interviews, focus groups, intervention coding using a theoretical framework of behaviour change).

The project will align with the Medical Research Council’s complex intervention framework and comprise a number of discrete work packages, including:

  1. a systematic review
  2. a pharmacoepidemiological study of benzodiazepine and Z-drug prescribing patterns
  3. qualitative interviews with key stakeholders (e.g. patients, healthcare professionals) to explore barriers/facilitators to the discontinuation of the long-term use of these medications
  4. triangulation of data from Work packages 1-3, above, to develop an intervention using established behaviour change techniques
  5. a small-scale feasibility study of the intervention to gather feedback from key stakeholders regarding the intervention’s usability and acceptability. The intervention that will be developed will be ready for further evaluation and, if found to be effective, it could help to improve long-term use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs in primary care, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

 

  • Research theme: Pharmacy practice
  • Department: School of Pharmacy
  • Tenure: Four years
  • Salary: Annual stipend of €18,000 plus international travel grant of €1,500.

Specification

  • A primary degree in pharmacy is preferable but not a necessity
  • Applications are invited from enthusiastic and highly motivated individuals with a keen interest in a relevant area of pharmacy research.
  • English language requirements for candidates who do not speak English as their first language: an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or above.
Candidates should display:
  • A good knowledge base, with evidence of interest in this research area.
  • A capacity for independent thinking.
  • A professional work ethic.
  • The ability to organise themselves.
  • A willingness to learn.
  • Innovation and creativity.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.
  • A capacity to work collaboratively as part of a team as well as independently, in a non-structured environment.
  • Attention to detail, thoroughness in work practices and an ability to work to deadlines.

 

Application process

Please  complete your application for the Clement Archer School of Pharmacy PhD Scholarship via the careers section of our website, and submit the documents as requested.  

  • Application deadline: Friday, 18 August 2017.

Mentors Dr Cathal Cadogan