I am a Social Scientist by background and first came to Keele in 1991 following an undergraduate degree in Social Policy and Administration at Brighton. I worked on a variety of research projects funded by West Midlands Regional Health Authority and undertook my MPhil at Keele (1995) investigating experiences of clinicians and health service managers implementing the internal market in mental health care.  My PhD, also undertaken at Keele (2002), was an epidemiological study investigating the burden of knee pain in older adults living in the community. Since my PhD I have focused on developing a programme of applied osteoarthritis (OA) research in four linked areas investigating: the population burden and lived experience of joint pain; patterns and experiences of health care use; risk factors for onset and progression of OA; and interventions to optimise primary care management and self-management. I co-lead the osteoarthritis research programme in the RI and have mixed methods expertise (epidemiology, qualitative and randomised controlled trials (RCTs)). 

Research and scholarship

My main research interest is the management of pain conditions in primary care, with a specific focus on osteoarthritis. I work alongside colleagues to develop and evaluate interventions to optimise primary care management, including feasibility and pilot studies. My work embeds sociological and psychological theories (e.g. normalisation process theory, theoretical domains framework) to understand how and why interventions are delivered, how and why decisions are made to access health care, engage with interventions or undertake self-management. These are important areas of study as they influence health outcomes and impact on future implementation strategies. I have a particular in interest in the contribution of qualitative methods to randomised trials and have led process evaluations within RCTs in primary care. Co-design of research with stakeholders (clinicians and patients) underpins all of my research as this helps to ensure that the research is relevant to clinicians and patients and has a better chance of achieving patient benefit.

Recent grants and studies include:

  • Increasing physical activity in older people with persistent musculoskeletal pain: A pragmatic, three-parallel-arm, individually randomised controlled trial, with parallel health economic and process evaluation: The iPOPP study. Funded by Versus Arthritis.

  • Explaining osteoarthritis: development and implementation of a multimediaPatient Explanation Package (PEP-OA). Funded by NIHR Research for Patient Benefit.

  • Improving outcomes for patients with opioid-treated persistent non-cancer pain: a proactive clinical pharmacist-led primary care intervention (PROMPPT). Funded by NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research.
  • Improving outcomes for patients with hip osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled trial. (NIHR Research for Patient Benefit) 
  • Increasing physical activity in older people with chronic musculoskeletal pain: A brief and simple intervention to promote walking (iPOPP) Arthritis Research UK (Co-Chief Investigator).
  • Chondroitin sulphate for people with hand osteoarthritis to improve hand function and pain. NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme (HTA)
  • Case finding for osteoarthritis and anxiety and depression in people with long term conditions (ENHANCE Study). NIHR West Midlands Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care 
  • Understanding Social Construction of Arthritis. A mixed methods qualitative study. 
  • Understanding the experience, costs and consequences of patient and public involvement in Primary Care research. NIHR School for Primary Care Research


  • Course leader and module design. Research Practice in Health Care. Masters in Medical Science, Keele University.
  • Research Methods Module, Masters in Medical Science, Keele University.

Further information

  • Elected Faculty of Health Member of Keele University Senate
  • Keele Health and Wellbeing Pathway Lead for the ESRC North West Doctoral Training Partnership
  • Member of CLAHRC West Midlands Regional Steering Committee
  • Associate Editor BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Member Society for Academic Primary Care Executive (Stakeholder Lead)


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