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Self-funded MRes – What helps older people with dementia continue with their Tai Chi programme?

Self-funded MRes – What helps older people with dementia continue with their home-based Tai Chi exercise programme?

About this self-funded MRes project:

  • Statistically analyse a dataset from a randomised controlled feasibility trial where older people with dementia and their family carers participated in a Tai Chi exercise programme
  • Develop new methods for analysing behaviour change data
  • Create new understanding in what plans and behaviour patterns help people to keep up their home-based exercise programme
  • Test and develop theories of behaviour change.

An opportunity for a self-funded MRes project has become available to analyse a dataset from The TACIT Trial: TAi ChI for people with demenTia. This was a randomised controlled feasibility trial that had older people with dementia and their family carers take part in a Tai Chi exercise programme. Part of the programme required them to practice Tai Chi at home outside the classes.

This project will analyse participants’ weekly diaries over the trial, to see what patterns of exercise helped them continue with their Tai Chi over the 20 weeks. This project will also analyse the plans participants made at the beginning and see whether sticking to these plans also helped them keep up their Tai Chi exercise. The project will be supported with a collaborator, Professor Lisa Warner, Medical School Berlin, Germany, who has been instrumental in this area of developing methods to analyse participants’ data on planning and actual behaviour.

The successful candidate will need enthusiasm, self-motivation, and attention to detail as essential attributes. A good level of understanding of statistics and health psychology/behaviour change will be considered an advantage.

Closing date for applications 31 October 2021.

In addition to our main entry requirements we are preferably looking for an upper-second class honours degree or equivalent Grade Point Average in a BSc Psychology degree.

The project will require the use of statistics and associated software (Excel, SPSS) to test theories on behaviour change for promoting exercise among older people with dementia. Therefore, the project would suit a student with experience and skills in quantitative data analysis, report writing, and an interest in health psychology/behaviour change.

Please note: This is a self-funded MRes opportunity – it is not a fully-funded studentship.