The last 1000 days with chronic disease

The last 1000 days with chronic disease: valuing a patient’s time

Degree type

PhD

Closing date

29 October 2021

Campus

Hobart

Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

Kidney failure was previously an untreatable fatal illness, but treatments such as dialysis are now widely available. It is an imperfect treatment, with a significant burden in some, particularly older people, contributing to a progressive decline in quality of life. Similar to other chronic diseases, the information currently available to inform elderly people does not always address their needs and is somewhat limited, particularly around the consequences of not having dialysis treatment.

Using mixed methods, this project will address the following aims:

  1. To report the survival (total and hospital-free days), cause and place of death for people with kidney failure using or not using kidney replacement therapy (KRT, dialysis and/or kidney transplant).
  2. To report the variation in the burden of health care (tests, procedures, & days in hospital) in the last 1000 days of life by gender, geography, and use/non-use of kidney replacement therapy.
  3. Understand patient and health professional preferences to use this information in shared decision-making for managing kidney failure.

To address these aims, this project will require both quantitative and qualitative analysis. We will use the CKD.TASlink dataset (2004-2020) to address aims 1 & 2. This unique dataset links existing Tasmanian state-wide datasets (including death registry, cancer registry, admitted patient dataset and ED presentation dataset) to two pathology providers. This established dataset consists of 460,737 Tasmanians including 56,438 with kidney disease (Saunder et al 2021).

For Aim 3 we will conduct focus groups and semi-structured interviews with health professionals and people with kidney failure to ascertain what information is important to them and their preferences to inform shared decision-making around using (or not) kidney replacement therapy (dialysis & transplant).

Knowing how people prefer to use their time in the last 1000 days with kidney failure has broad application to people living with other chronic conditions.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Matthew Jose

Funding

Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Eligibility

The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • As we are using qualitative methods including patient interviews and focus groups, there is a higher English language requirement for this project

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Health professional background

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Prof Matthew Jose, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including contact details of two referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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