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.
- To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
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
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.
The Doctoral College at Ulster University
Ulster University has very enhanced independent learning. I strongly recommend my students to go abroad to broaden their vision to get new motivation. I tell them that when studying at Ulster University, they will receive an abundance of knowledge, new experiences and strong technology to enhance their life.
Professor Stenver Lin - PhD RadiologyWatch Video
I am currently the Director for the Department of Nursing-midwifery and Women's Heath at NTUNHS. I studied at Ulster University for 3 years and it was a very happy time. Ulster is very good for study, not only in academic work but it also shows you how to be a good teacher.
Professor Chein Huei Kao - PhD Health Science of NursingWatch Video