Skip to content


PhD at the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies

  • Supervised by Dr Ana Barbosa, Dr Lindsey Collins and Professor Siobhan Reilly
  • Start date: June 2021
Andreia Fonseca de Paiva, PhD at the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies

My biography

"With a Master’s in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Cognitive-Behavioural Integrative Psychotherapy, I am enthusiastic for mental health and neuropsychological research, with interests in dementia, well-being, and psychosocial factors for healthy cognitive ageing."

What was your motivation for pursuing a PhD and for researching your particular topic?

"I am very interested in the study and working on how to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders. Individuals with dementia possess a strong sense of personhood and sometimes societies forget that these individuals are, primarily, human beings, with personality and a sense of self, and that their diagnosis comes second. It is part of them, but it’s not what they are.

"So, more research needs to focus on help maintaining the quality of life and personhood of individuals with dementia and other disorders. I am also very passionate about working on the prevention of cognitive decline in middle and older age. I know I can find the support that I need within the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies."

Aims of the study

Main scope “Implementation issues of Dementia Care Mapping”

Publications to date:

Paiva AF, Nolan A, Thumser C, Santos FH. Screening of Cognitive Changes in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: A Systematic Review. Brain Sciences. 2020; 10(11):848.

What impact do you hope your study will have?

"I hope to learn from individuals and staff who work and engage with people with dementia in other to gain further insight into their wellbeing and research ways to improve care and their quality of life while maintaining a sense of purpose and personhood.

"I hope I can make a difference even in a small way, and continue learning, improving my academic but also interpersonal skills, work more independently and make an impact. This PhD programme would enable me to gain further insights into health promotion and prevention, provide me with the opportunity to continue my education and allow enhancing the intellectual, technical, and transferable skills required for a career in science."

Collaborators and funding

Some of my collaborators so far:

  • Prof. Alice Delerue Matos: University of Minho, Portugal
  • Dr. Salima Douhou: Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Munich, Germany
  • Survey of Ageing, Health and Retirement in Europe
  • Prof. Flávia Santos: University College Dublin, Ireland

My project has been funded by a Faculty of Health Studies Studentship.