Diverse disciplines sought for sleep doctorates

Flinders’ Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health is seeking three PhD candidates to assist on valuable projects being undertaken by its recently established National Centre for Sleep Health Services Research.

The Centre of Research Excellence is a five-year $2.5 million National Health and Medical Research Council grant that was awarded to the University last year, to tackle the endemic sleep disorders that negatively impact Australians each year, at a cost of billions to the national economy.

These new scholarships will provide eligible candidates with direct entry into a 3-year PhD program.

PhD Projects:

Development and testing of sleep health decision support (eHealth) systems for primary care

The outcome of this project will see GPs and other primary care professionals assisted in screening and managing sleep disorders. A prototype web-based support system has been developed for community use, but will need to be adapted for primary care and tested for effectiveness in a cluster randomised trial.

Key aims:

  • Identify technology gaps and opportunities to assist primary care professionals with screening and management of sleep disorders.
  • Based on these findings, revise and enhance the capability of the sleep health decision support (eHealth) tool for use in primary care.
  • Test the effectiveness of the sleep health decision support system in primary care in a cluster randomised control trial.

 This project would suit a candidate with a technical background in biomedical engineering, eHealth system or web-development. Dr Andrew Vakulin is the primary supervisor.

 Developing guidelines for sleep health management in primary care

Standardised, practical guidance for primary care professionals is needed on how to screen for and manage sleep disorders.

Key aims:

  • Review and adapt existing sleep specialist guidelines for use in primary care.
  • Determine the best ways of implementing the sleep health guidelines in primary care
  • Test the impact of the introduction of sleep health guidelines on general practitioner behaviour and patient outcomes

This project would suit a candidate with an interest in translational health services research, health policy, education and public health. Professor Doug McEvoy and Dr Ching Li Chai-Coetzer are the PhD supervisors.

 Developing a stepped care model for insomnia management in primary care

This project will develop, implement and test a stepped care insomnia management model in primary care towards reducing sedative medication prescriptions.

Key aims:

    • Develop stepped care model for insomnia comprised of simple screening and diagnosis, self-management using online behavioural therapy, a primary care nurse-led brief behavioural intervention, and sleep psychologist CBTi.
    • Evaluate the best approach to implementing the stepped care model for insomnia in primary care.
    • Test the effectives of the stepped care model for insomnia in reducing sedative medication prescriptions in primary care

This project would suit a candidate with a psychology background and an interest in sleep health and clinical insomnia research. Professor Leon Lack and Dr Nicole Lovato are the PhD supervisors.

All of the projects come with a full-time stipend of $27,082 per annum (in 2018 – tax exempt), for up to 3 years, and are indexed annually.

For further information on these opportunities contact the Centre for Research Excellence team at the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health.

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