The challenges faced by older people, particularly those with sensory impairments, in their pharmaceutical care are to be addressed by PhD students at the University of Strathclyde.

The University has received £199,500 from the Dunhill Medical Trust to fund four studentships, in which students will explore solutions to the most frequent difficulties for older people with impairments to their hearing or vision.

The multi-disciplinary project will cover the fields of PharmacyComputer ScienceArchitecture and Biomedical Engineering.

It will build on an existing Strathclyde study, also funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, which is seeking better and safer ways for older people with visual and/or hearing impairment to use their medicines.

Both projects are led by Professor Margaret Watson, of Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. She said: “Older people are disproportionately affected by sensory impairment. They are also more likely to use multiple medicines and to live alone.

“Pharmaceutical care aims to promote the safe and effective supply and use of medicines but older people with sensory impairment are at high risk of harm and therapeutic failure. Healthcare settings, consultations and services need to support the complex needs of our growing number of older, community-dwelling citizens to facilitate their ability to live at home for as long as desired. “

“With the support of the Dunhill Medical Trust, these Studentships are a novel opportunity for us to find inter-disciplinary solutions to these challenges.”

The researchers in the project will be hosting a public online event, aimed at informing the next stages of the project, on Wednesday 11 May from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. It will explore the design of patient-centred healthcare and disability-inclusive services and will be of particular interest to people with sensory impairment and health professionals.

It forms part of Engage With Strathclyde, an annual, week-long series of events providing opportunities for industry, the public and third sectors to find out more about the University’s world-leading research, innovation and technologies.