Dr Andrew Mayers


PhD projects

A great way to undertake research is through a PhD programme. Listed here are the projects that I have been involved with

Current supervision

Sarah Hambidge

Care farming: providing better futures for young and old.

On a farm in the beautiful Dorset countryside, the therapeutic use of farming practices is being used to provide health, social and educational care services for a wide range of individuals, but most notably young males (with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties) and older men (especially those with dementia). Historically, much of the awareness and research regarding mental health issues has focused predominantly on females, whilst males with mental health concerns have faced an element of negativity from society, despite being at higher risk of depression and loneliness, alcohol dependency, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and suicide. This study aims to explore the benefits of the care farm model as an alternative social care intervention on improving mental health and well-being outcomes of young males and older men.

Ashley Mitchell

‘Can we fix it?!’: Understanding the impact of children’s hospices on parental relationships of life limited and threatened children and young people

The overall aim of this research is to explore the impact of different models of respite care for families of life threatened and limited children and young people on the relationship between parents. This will be done using a two-part exploratory sequential mixed methods design. The first stage will be to qualitatively interview parents across the UK using semi-structured interviews. The subsequent analysis and data will be used to inform the development of a national questionnaire for the second stage. Participants will be recruited in partnership with participating children’s hospices identified through the Together For Short Lives network. It is hoped that the research will demonstrate a positive impact that regular and frequent respite has on parental relationships, inform policy on how families should be supported and give parents a voice to express their views.

PhD completions

Dr Lauren Kita

Poor sleep as a risk factor for postnatal depression

Lauren explored the extent that poor sleep may be a risk factor for postnatal depression. It may seem obvious that sleep is compromised in pregnancy, and after the baby is born. However, what if that sleep is poorer even accounting for that? What does that mean for the mother's mood? Click here to find out more.



Sleep efficiency may be altered during chemotherapy treatment. Cognitive decline has been associated with sleep disruption, impaired glucose levels, and chemotherapy treatment. This study aimed to analyse sleep efficiency and blood glucose levels during cancer treatment, to observe if these factors are contributing to the impairment of Prospective and Working Memory.

My PhD

Subjective sleep dissatisfaction in depression

The PhD focused on subjective perceptions of sleep in depression. The research also included psychophysiological and psychopharmacological examination of sleep. The most novel finding from this research is that depressed individuals report poorer perceptions of sleep satisfaction than those without depression, even when there is little actual difference in reported sleep timing. Click here to find out more (and see the publications that arose from the PhD work).