Efficacy of internet-based educational films for people with prediabetes (PhD Scholarship)

Efficacy of internet-based educational films for people with prediabetes

Aberystwyth University, IBERS

Project ID: AU30028
Annual Stipend: £14,340
Application Deadline: Thursday the 31st May 2018

Project Description

eHealth Digital Media Ltd is a specialist health communications company that has developed PocketMedic to create, and deliver, educational films using a web-based interface. Health Care Professionals (HCPs) can view and prescribe a series of films to patients who are then able to access the link sent to them and watch their prescription on a personal computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The current suite of available films includes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes, chronic pain, chronic lung disease, lymphoedema, heart failure, life after cancer, pressure ulcer prevention, wellbeing and they have recently developed a film targeting prediabetes. The simplicity, scalability and flexibility of this educational intervention provides a cost-effective way of helping patients become more expert in managing their health. While there is a robust evidence base for the role of education in the management of a number of chronic conditions, including diabetes, there has been a relatively limited number of well controlled studies evaluating the efficacy of educational films.

Engagement of people with the films is largely dependent upon health care systems and referral by HCPs.The aim of the studentship is to evaluate the use and efficacy of educational films, which are intended to promote lifestyle change in people with prediabetes.


  1. to review the existing literature on media-based education interventions targeting chronic condition management;
  2. to assess the effectiveness of referral mechanisms to the films;
  3. to assess engagement with the films;
  4. to evaluate the impact of the films on health indicators, including HbA1c (a measure of blood glucose control);
  5. to identify effective and non-effective components of the film content;
  6. to establish participant and practitioner perspective on the films.

The work will be carried out with collaborators in the health service and will involve both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Following appropriate ethical clearance and research approval people will be recruited via primary care and referred to the educational films.  Data will be collected on the number of referrals and the number of engagements with the films. Follow on studies will include measurement of health indicators with the Wellbeing and Health Assessment Research Unit in Aberystwyth University.

The increased evidence base will provide a platform for eHealth Digital Media product development and, via improved HCP confidence, facilitate increase engagement of health care commissioners and practitioners in educational films to support people with chronic conditions.

The Applicant

You should have a minimum of a 1st or good 2:1 in a relevant degree while  experience of health-related research is desirable it is not essential. The successful candidate will be expected to take up the studentship by 1st October 2018. The project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the European Union’s Convergence programme administered by the Welsh Government. KESS II PhD scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners. (Applicants need to only apply, they do not need to search for partners.)

To apply: Please submit the following to the Postgraduate Admissions Office (address below) by Thursday the 31st May 2018

  1. A completed Research Programme Application Form, two references. Application and reference forms may be downloaded from http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/
  2. A completed KESS II Participant proposal form (put the reference number AU30028 in the top right hand box of the application form) and an up-to-date CV. KESS II application forms are available to download at the link below.


  1. A PhD proposal (please refer to the Project Description) of up to 1,000 words*. In the proposal please expand on your experience, making links to the skills necessary to complete the proposed work clear, and describe why you are a good candidate for this research studentship.

* please note, the proposal forms part of the selection process and will not necessarily be reflected in the work undertaken for the PhD

Value of Award: A stipend of £14,340 (rising in accordance with inflation for the remaining two years). Each scholarship has an additional budget for travel, equipment/consumables and training to support your research. KESS II PhD Scholarship holders do not pay fees.

Length: Full-time for 3 years. (Thesis must be submitted 6 months after the funded three year study period.)

Training: The achievement of a Postgraduate Skills Development Award (PSDA) is compulsory for each KESS II scholar (The PSDA is based on a 60 credit award, which is an additional award to the PhD).

Eligibility: To be eligible to apply for a KESS II award, you must be resident, upon starting the scholarship, in the Convergence Area of Wales and you must be able to take paid employment in the Convergence area on completion of the scholarship.

The Convergence Area means the following counties of Wales:

Isle of Anglesey
Neath Port Talbot
Rhondda Cynon Taff

For further student eligibility criteria related to the individual projects, please view the details of the individual project above.

Informal enquiries should be made to Rhys Thatcher at ryt@aber.ac.uk or 01970 630628

Address for applications:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Recruitment & Admissions
Student Welcome Centre
Aberystwyth University
SY23 3FB

Quote Reference AU30028

Closing date for applications Thursday the 31st May 2018