Interested in projects using qualitative research methods to understand health and illness experiences, and the use of these experiences to develop more patient-centred policy and practice, including service improvement and commissioning decisions. Current and recent D Phil supervision topics include: patient-centred care for people with long terms conditions, use of personal health narratives for peer support, and how people use front-of-pack food labelling.
BA, MPhil, PhD
Associate Professor and Director of Applied Research, Health Experiences Research Group
- Health Experiences Fellow, Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
- Research Fellow, Green Templeton College
- Narrative research theme lead, Oxford Health Experiences Institute
I specialise in qualitative interview research into people's experiences of health and illness, having joined the Health Experiences Research Group (HERG) in 2003. Understanding what it is like to face serious health issues and what matters to people when they are ill is essential if we are to develop truly person-centred care. As well as publishing in clinical and social science journals, we use the findings from our research to support other people going through the same thing: every condition or topic we cover forms the basis of a new section on the health information website www.healthtalkonline.org where patients, family and friends can see and hear people talk about what it was like for them.
During my time at HERG I have worked on experiences of antenatal screening, pregnancy, screening for sickle cell and thalassaemia, and motor neurone disease. For the last few years I have specialised in experiences of research participation, including clinical trials, biobanking and cohort studies. My current projects in collaboration with the Oxford BRC are on the experiences of patient and public involvement (PPI) in research, including perspectives of researchers as well as patients and members of the public, and young people's experiences of primary care.
Making a difference with our research is crucial and as Director of Applied Research this is now a major focus of my work. I was principal investigator of a study funded by NIHR HS&DR examining how we can use the narratives we have collected to stimulate local service redesign, working in partnership with two NHS trusts and colleagues from King's College London. I now hold an ESRC award to extend this work, using secondary analysis of further sets of narrative interviews. I am leading a new NIHR HS&DR grant with colleagues in the University, the Picker Institute and NHS England, to explore how we can support NHS frontline staff to use different kinds of patient experience data. I am coinvestigator on a further study led by Professor John Powell on how the NHS can use online patient feedback.