• Room 01.064 - Pharmacy & MCI

    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.


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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.

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. These studies led to a successful application for funding to investigate pain recognition, assessment and management in people with advanced dementia who are nearing the end of life. The outcome of this research will be 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 is undertaking 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 60 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 the International Journal of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine.


In the MPharm degree programme, Carole is responsible for teaching Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Introduction to Pharmacy Practice Skills at Level 1, Extemporaneous Formulation and Dispensing at Level 2, Social and Behavioural Aspects of Pharmacy, Responding to Symptoms and Infectious Diseases, their Treatment and Prevention at level 4, with her teaching involving both lecturing and the conducting of practical classes and workshops. She is also the Examinations Liaison Officer for levels 1 and 2 of the MPharm degree programme.

In the BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree programme, Carole teaches Pharmaceutical Microbiology to level 1 students. She is also the module co-ordinator for the module.

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Research Output

Open Access
  • 120 Downloads (Pure)

    Intrathecal Drug Delivery: Training Needs of Hospice Medical and Nursing Staff

    O'Kane, R., Black, C. & Parsons, C., 21 May 2019, p. 355-355. 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

    Open Access
  • Open Access
  • Service evaluation of the Medicines Optimisation in Older People (MOOP) service in the acute care setting

    Saeed, D., Miller, R., Darcy, C. M., Miller, K., Madden, K., Doherty, L., Ferris, T., Armstrong, L., Alcorn, M. & Parsons, C., 08 Nov 2019, (Accepted).

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

    The Medicines Optimisation in Older People (MOOP) service for frail older people in acute care: an evaluation

    Saeed, D., Miller, R., Darcy, C. M., Miller, K., Madden, K., Doherty, L., Ferris, T., Armstrong, L., Alcorn, M. & Parsons, C., 24 Oct 2019, (Unpublished).

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


    Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

    Carole Parsons (Recipient), Feb 2009

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    QUB Team Teaching Award (2017): Extemporaneous Formulation & Dispensing

    Carole Parsons (Recipient), 05 Jul 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    Health and Social Care in the Community (Journal)

    Carole Parsons (Peer reviewer)
    03 Feb 2020 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    International Journal of Pharmacy Practice (Journal)

    Carole Parsons (Peer reviewer)
    21 Feb 2020 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    Journal of nursing management (Journal)

    Carole Parsons (Peer reviewer)
    07 Oct 2019 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    9th All Ireland Pharmacy Healthcare Conference

    Carole Parsons (Participant)
    15 Oct 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


    Pain in people with dementia: an exploration of prevalence, prescribing and attitudes

    Author: Barry, H. E., Dec 2012

    Supervisor: Hughes, C. (Supervisor), Passmore, A. (Supervisor) & Parsons, C. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy