As part of this blog series featuring PhD Students/ Early Career Researchers that were in the SDRC Annual Report 2019/20, today we are sharing the research from Suzanne Gray, read more below. 

 I am currently a mental health nurse lecturer at Abertay University, Dundee. My role involves being Programme Lead for the MSc Mental Health Nursing and leader of undergraduate modules focussing on older adults, professional issues and evidence-based practice.

Having had over 30 years’ experience as a mental health nurse, latterly supporting younger people with dementia, I achieved an MSc in Dementia Studies from University of Stirling and decided to move into an academic role and undertake further study at doctoral level regarding one of the most challenging clinical issues I had encountered whilst supporting younger people with dementia. My clinical doctorate studies are in Health Sciences at University of Stirling.

I am a Clinical Doctorate student at the University of Stirling. My current study aims to investigate the experiences of living with a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) from the perspective of the person and to identify factors which help and hinder the person living well with FTD, in order to inform clinical practice.

The data consists of 13 semi-structured interviews of 7 people with a diagnosis of FTD. Participants were recruited via third sector services across central Scotland. An interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach was adopted and five themes have emerged. They are diagnosis, assessment and support; experience of support throughout the journey; the changing self; challenges of living with FTD; strategies for living; someone there. Currently, I am writing the draft thesis and hope to be able to submit by the end of 2020.

In the future, I am hoping to continue to build upon my current research and strengthen networks with others in order to collaborate in future research projects.

Read the SDRC Annual Report here.

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