• Room 03.031 - Whitla Medical Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to PhD applications in the field of medicines use and optimisation in palliative, hospice and end of life care.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Carole Parsons graduated from Queen's University Belfast in 2002 with a First Class Honours degree in Pharmacy, and completed her pre-registration training in both hospital and community pharmacy practice. In 2003 she returned to the School to undertake a PhD in Pharmaceutics, in the area of biomaterials and drug delivery. She submitted her thesis in September 2006 and was appointed as a full-time Teaching Fellow inthe School of Pharmacy. She was appointed to a Lectureship in Pharmacy Practice in January 2009 and a Senior Lectureship in August 2023.

Research Statement

Carole's research interests focus on prescribing and use of medicines in advanced disease as patients approach the end of life.  She has a particular interest in people who are in the advanced stages of dementia. Carole has been involved in work examining the prevalence of pain among community-dwelling patients and nursing home residents with dementia, and has studied the ways in which medications are discussed, decided upon, managed and administered to people with advanced dementia, from the perspectives of healthcare professionals, carers and families. She led a project investigating pain recognition, assessment and management in people with advanced dementia who are nearing the end of life, which led to the development and subsequent pilot of an intervention to improve the way that pain is assessed and managed for people dying with dementia in primary, secondary, hospice and nursing home care settings.

Carole is also interested in the appropriateness of prescribing for nursing home residents with advanced dementia as they approach the end of life and how prescribers make decisions and communicate with the families of people with advanced dementia regarding medication use. She has completed a Cochrane Systematic Review to evaluate the evidence regarding withdrawal or continuation of drug treatments for dementia (cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine).

Carole has authored more than 90 peer-reviewed publications. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Palliative Care Research Forum and the Clinical Management Group of the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network for Dementia. She serves on the editorial board of BMC Health Services Research and BMC Palliative Care.


In the MPharm degree programme, Carole is responsible for teaching students in levels 1, 2 and 4 of the degree programme, with her teaching involving lecturing and conducting of practical classes and workshops. She is also the Examinations Liaison Officer for levels 1 and 2 of the MPharm degree programme.

Carole also teaches postgraduate students in the School of Pharmacy, delivering lectures and workshops in the Research Methods and Data Management module for the MSc in Industrial Pharmaceutics. She also delivers lectures to postgraduate students in the School of Nursing and Midwifery on the topic of Pharmacological Interventions in Dementia Care.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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