Between self-report and proxy report in adults with intellectual disability

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

When seeking information about individuals' health or healthcare experience, including quality of care, self-report questionnaires are preferred when possible. Although many questionnaires aimed at individual self-report ('patient-reported outcome measures' or 'patient-reported experience measures') exist, development or adaptation of these for individuals living with intellectual disability (ID) has been limited. Additionally, in some cases proxy reporting, such as from a carer, may be needed. However, once again, we know little about how these proxy measures are perceived by carers of individuals living with intellectual disability, nor how effective they are at evaluating care quality.

Therefore, this mixed-methods study aims to improve the measurement of self-reported health outcomes and experiences among people living with ID. To do so, we will:

  • Identify commonly used patient- and proxy-reported measures used to measure quality of life, well-being and care quality in adults with intellectual disability
  • Examine the perception of adults living with intellectual disability, or caring for an adult living with intellectual disability, as to the accessibility of these measures
  • Explore the factors that make measures easier or harder to complete, and when adults with ID would want to seek assistance or have someone else complete these measures as a proxy
  • Evaluate the perception of carers as to the challenges they encounter completing these measures as proxies, and stakeholder perception of the use of self-reported and proxy-reported measures in the evaluation of care quality

The proposed PhD will use qualitative studies and surveys. The project will enhance student knowledge of qualitative methods, surveys and questionnaires and provide opportunities to use different methodological techniques.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Jessica Roydhouse


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 $31,500 per annum (2023 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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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:

  • Minimum entry requirements in Science, Health Science, Public Health, Psychology or a related field

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience in clinical or survey research
  • Experience with qualitative methods

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Jessica Roydhouse to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

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

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience