What help is helpful for people to manage transitions on the dementia journey? (Poland_U17SF1)

Project Description

Public and voluntary sector organisations provide diverse services aimed at helping people with dementia, however forms of help can be disparate and fragmented. Further many services and resources are badged as dementia-specific and so risk creating stigma and alienating those for who they are intended.  Research is limited into what forms of help people with dementia and their families access and whether such help supports the continuing social citizenship of people with dementia.

This PhD is linked to the ESRC/NIHR £4M-funded PRIDE research programme which draws on national and international longitudinal data to investigate what enables continuing social participation and independent living for people with dementia (Poland and Birt UEA research leads).  PhD students linked to the PRIDE research team can gain international research skills- from INTERDEM membership. Poland and Birt have undertaken a multi-site mixed qualitative methods longitudinal study of transitions towards and beyond dementia diagnosis.  This work  explored the transition from ‘person with memory difficulties’ to ‘person with dementia’ and how the management of such liminalities can lead to very different post-liminal states spanning passive to active citizenship. (Birt, Poland et al 2017), suggesting that differing types of help may  shape diverse journeys through dementia.

The PhD will include:

structured review to identify types of support people with dementia valve and their reasons
secondary analysis of PRIDE WP2 qualitative data set to identify types, uses and effects of help
small mixed-methods study with up to 10 families from PRIDE study

The PhD will extend the PRIDE study’s longitudinal findings and explore micro- and meso- social structures that able help to be provided in ways that support social citizenship. This may inform a conceptual tool to assess helpfulness. The supervisory team (Poland, Birt and Charlesworth UCL) have expertise in gerontology carework and peer support.    


i) Birt, L, Poland, F., Cpiske E., Charlesworth G. (2017) Shifting the dementia discourse form deficit to active citizenship. Sociology Health and Illness

Apply online


  • Start date: Flexible
  • Programme: PhD
  • Mode of Study: Full Time

How to Apply

Fees & Funding

Entry Requirements

  • Acceptable First Degree:

    Health Sciences, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Sociology, Gerontology, Social Work.

  • Minimum Entry Standard: The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1 or above.