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“Valuable input for our data analyses” – Newbreed doctoral students on their visit to Southampton

Doctoral student Maja Dobrosavljevic

Maja Dobrosavljevic also spent a few days at the University of Oxford for a course on systematic reviews together with her colleague Carmen Solares Canal.

Maja Dobrosavljevic’s and Carmen Solares Canal’s research projects focus on ADHD in older adults and health among older adults with a criminal background. This spring, they spent three weeks at University of Southampton in the UK to learn more about the research method they both use in their studies.

During their studies, doctoral students within the Newbreed programme are expected to undertake four secondments outside the university. The purpose is to facilitate a transfer of knowledge and an exchange between doctoral students and other researchers, businesses and organisations.

Maja Dobrosavljevic and Carmen Solares Canal both have degrees in psychology and are doctoral students within Newbreed – an interdisciplinary doctoral programme at Örebro University focusing on ageing.  

“During our stay in the UK, the aim was to learn as much as possible about systematic reviews from the experts there. This is the method we apply in our studies and it can be used to compile all available research within a specific subject field,” says Maja Dobrosavljevic.

In her research, she examines what it is like to grow old with ADHD – something we currently know very little of.

“We do not know how the disorder affects health and quality of life for people over 50. I am also interested in links between ADHD and other diseases common in older people, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes,” she says.

As a first step, Maja Dobrosavljevic is attempting to establish the number of people over 50 that have ADHD. The share of children with ADHD is around 5 per cent, while around 2.5 per cent of adults have been diagnosed with ADHD.

“In older age groups, the share is most likely even lower, but we do not know for sure.

In Southampton, both Maja Dobrosavljevic and Carmen Solares Canal worked on advancing their study protocols under the supervision of Samuele Cortese, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at University of Southampton.

“I was able to secure valuable input for my data analyses, and the fact that our host in Southampton also conducts research on ADHD was a great advantage for me,” says Maja Dobrosavljevic.

Older adults with a criminal background

Another field within ageing research that has large knowledge gaps is health among older adults with a criminal background. In Carmen Solares Canal’s research, the point of departure is that a criminal background will affect a person’s ageing.

Carmen Solares Canal.

Carmen Solares Canal’s research focuses on health among older adults with a criminal background.

“We’re talking about both mental and physical health. I want to chart the factors that have an impact on health in this group,” she says.

Currently, Carmen Solares Canal is working on compiling existing international research within the field. In her next study, the aim will be to look closer at older adults with a criminal background in Sweden.

“While in Southampton, I received feedback on my study from persons that are experts on the method I use. The knowledge I gained will be very useful in my continued research,” she says.

Text: Jasenka Dobric
Translation: Charlotta Hambre-Knight
Photo: Private 

ADHD is a neuropsychiatric disorder. It affects a person’s ability to focus, and to contain or control their behaviour. It may also affect how active or intense the person is.

Source: Sweden’s healthcare hotline 1177 Vårdguiden