Funded PhD Opportunity Maternal mental health digital intervention among mothers: Randomized, embedded, multi-factorial, adaptive platform trial (REMAP)

This opportunity is now closed.

This project is funded by: Happy Mummy Baby Limited, Belfast, trading as Moment Health

Subject: Nursing and Health

Summary

This interdisciplinary CAST PhD scholarship is in collaboration with Happy Mummy Baby Limited, Belfast, trading as Moment Health. This is a new technology company that aims to deliver support in order to improve – and even save lives. It prioritizes maternal mental health and provides new parents with the tools and knowledge they need to sustain good mental wellbeing from pregnancy through to parenthood.

Moment Health has recently developed an app with expertise from clinicians and healthcare professionals, and is aimed at new and expectant mums and their families. This Moment Health App screens for prenatal and postnatal depression and associated anxieties, and includes additional features such as a helpful guide to practical and accessible coping strategies.

This PhD project will explore a number of research questions, to quantify the effect of a digital intervention (i.e. Moment Health App) on the mental wellbeing of mothers. It will also examine the user adoption and retention of using this technology. This project has a number of sub-questions that are important and highly impactful to informing the scientific research methods community, specifically, comparing the findings from big data user log analytics (App usage data from organic real world users representing an uncontrolled ‘in the wild’ ecological method) with the findings from a traditional two-arm pilot Randomized Control Trial (RCT).

This research study will provide empirical data in order to understand the benefits of each approach and also how their findings inter-relate.

Key research questions:

1. To determine the effectiveness of a digital intervention (i.e. Moment Health App) on the mental well-being of mothers.

2. To compare findings from big data user log analytics with those from a traditional two-arm pilot Randomized Control Trial (RCT).

This project will consist of four stages:

Stage 1. Systematic literature review

Stage 2: Data analytics

Stage 3. Pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT)

Stage 4: In the wild-comparison evaluation of data analytics and RCT approaches- the findings from big data user log analytics (App usage data from organic real world users representing an uncontrolled ‘in the wild’ ecological method) will be compared with the findings from a traditional two-arm pilot RCT. This is of particular importance given there could be a paradigm shift or an acceptance of leading experiments that are non-RCT based.

This project will provide research evidence on the effectiveness of the Moment Health App in improving the mental well-being among new mothers. Event log analytics will provide detailed insight into the use, survival and adoption of this technology, as well as the types of users seeking maternal mental health support. There will be peer-viewed publications (at least two), and conference presentations. The PhD researcher will gain experience in a cutting edge innovative research design and contributing to improving the mental well-being of mothers.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed equivalent via UK NARIC)

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Relevant professional qualification and/or a Degree in a Health or Health related area

Funding

This project is funded by: Happy Mummy Baby Limited, Belfast, trading as Moment Health

The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the home rate and, for applicants with UK residence only, a maintenance allowance of not less than £15,480 per annum for three years. EU residents may also apply but if successful will receive fees only.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Launch of the Doctoral College

Current PhD researchers and an alumnus shared their experiences, career development and the social impact of their work at the launch of the Doctoral College at Ulster University.

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Friday 21 September 2018
Interview Date
September/October

Contact Supervisor

Dr Anne Moorhead

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit https://www.ulster.ac.uk/applyonline and quote reference number #241205 when applying for this PhD opportunity