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SCDTP Studentship - Contextual Factors in Low Back Pain Consultations

Centre for Clinical & Community Applications of Health Psychology

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £15009
(19/20 UKRI rate)
Closing Date:  Tuesday 18 June 2019
Reference:  1078918JW

Contextual Factors in Low Back Pain Consultations

A fully funded studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) commencing in 2019/20 Academic Year.

Supervisory Team:

Dr Felicity Bishop (Lead, Psychology)(; Dr David Newell (Medicine);

Components other than the active ingredients of treatment can have substantial effects on pain and disability.  Such "contextual" components include: the therapeutic relationship, the healthcare environment, incidental treatment characteristics, patients' beliefs, and practitioners' beliefs.  This PhD will identify which contextual components are associated with reduced pain and disability over time in patients with low back pain having chiropractic treatment.  You will conduct a major prospective questionnaire-based study, using advanced statistical techniques (e.g. multilevel modelling, structural equation modelling) to analyse the data.  You will also design and conduct a nested qualitative study to explore in more depth a contextual component of your choice.  Findings will develop theory on contextual effects in managing low back pain and associated disability, and will inform training to attempt to augment chiropractic treatment.

Skills Required

A good grasp of basic multivariate statistics (multiple regression, factor analysis), consistent with accredited undergraduate psychology degrees.  


South Coast DTP Funding provides an annual maintenance grant (tax free) of £15,009 (2019/20 UKRI rate), plus payment of all programme fees.  Other funding available for SCDTP funded students can be found on the SCDTP website (

Funding is provided for 3 years full-time PhD study (pro-rata for part-time students).  Applications for 1+3 funding for students completing a Master's year prior to the commencement of PhD study are also welcome (details available at

Application Procedure

The closing date and time for applications is 4.00pm on 18th June 2019.  The full application procedure, the funding application form, and more information on the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership can be found at:

For further information about this project, please contact the lead supervisor detailed above.  For questions relating to the application procedure, or for more information about the SCDTP, please visit the SCDTP website or contact us at

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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