quantifying slow stepping

Quantifying slow stepping in clinical populations and the frail elderly

Project reference number: HLSP023

Background

There are several physical activity monitors available. The validity and reliability of these monitors is poor for slow walking in clinical populations and the frail elderly. Typically for slow, shuffling walking the monitors do not record steps, thus missing important information about what people do during periods of recovery from operations, whilst in rehabilitation or simple due to an ongoing condition.

Aims

To develop methods of quantifying slow stepping in clinical populations and the frail elderly using body worn sensors.

To validate the methods in a variety of clinical populations, including those with Multiple Sclerosis, following stroke and after surgery for hip joint replacement. Additionally the methods will be validated within frail elderly people.

Value

Developing a validated body worn monitor to detect very slow stepping would facilitate meaningful quantification of physical activity in those with disability and in the frail elderly. This would allow clinicians and health practitioners to quantify what patients are doing, both at critical time points in clinical disease progress and within the rehabilitation process. This new information will help to inform intervention development and allow long term tracking of changes in physical activity in these populations.

Application deadline

The application deadline for October intake is 1st of July.

Research supervisors

Candidates are encouraged to contact the following researchers for further details:

  • Ben Stansfield, Department of Psychology, Social Work and Allied Health Sciences, School of Health and Life Sciences - Staff profile
  • Philippa Dall, Department of Psychology, Social Work and Allied Health Sciences, School of Health and Life Sciences - Staff profile
  • Elaine Coulter, Department of Psychology, Social Work and Allied Health Sciences, School of Health and Life Sciences

Modes of study

This project is available as a:

  • PhD: 3 years full-time or 4.5 years part-time.
  • 1 + 3 route to PhD: Undertaking MRes [1 year full-time or 2 years part-time] + PhD as above

Eligibility

Applicants will normally hold a UK honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent); or a Masters degree in a subject relevant to the research project. Equivalent professional qualifications and any appropriate research experience may be considered. A minimum English language level of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required. Some research disciplines may require higher levels.

Specific requirements of the project

The successful applicant will be numerate with a demonstrated ability to analyse quantitative data. Preferably the applicant will be a health professional, for example physiotherapy or occupational therapy holding the minimum of a first degree (2:1 or above), however, as long as the candidate is able to interact in a suitable way with patients any discipline background would be suitable.