Qualitative Research Methods for Healthcare Evaluation

Group Leader: Professor Sheila Greenfield


This research group brings together all those who use qualitative methods in their research. Our group provides guidance for nested qualitative studies now commonly included in clinical trials and develops qualitative research in collaboration with colleagues at the School of Health and Population Sciences and across the University.

Our Research Group

Qualitative methods are particularly helpful in illuminating the social, psychological, cultural and political aspects of public health and medicine. They are appropriate where research questions cannot be answered numerically. Complex systems, context or processes in public health and health care, as well as experiences and beliefs can be captured and explained using qualitative approaches.

Members of our group are leading the qualitative components of NHS funded clinical trials and programme grants. In developing their own qualitative research interests, group members work with colleagues across the School, NHS trusts and collaborative groups such as CLAHRC and the School for Primary Care Research and other universities. Our interests focus on the patient experience of illness and health care, especially in usually neglected areas such as sexual wellbeing after a serious health event or the engagement of ‘hard to reach groups’ in discussions about health. We are developing novel methods to facilitate this work.

Group members are also involved in collaborative networks across the University (e.g. the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) and draw on their research experience to inform their qualitative methods teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Qualitative and mixed-methods PhD student projects supervised in our group also contribute to the richness of the research environment.

Recent Publications

LAVIS, A. (2013) The substance of absence: exploring eating and anorexia. (2013) IN ABBOTS, E-J. & LAVIS, A. (Eds.) Why We Eat, How We Eat: Contemporary Encounters Between Foods and Bodies. Farnham: Ashgate

Mellor RM, Greenfield SM*, Dowswell G, Sheppard JP, Quinn T, McManus RJ (2013) ‘Health Care Professionals’ Views on Discussing Sexual Wellbeing with Patients who have had a Stroke: A Qualitative Study’. PLoS ONE 8(10): e78802. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078802

Jones MI, Greenfield SM, Bray EP, Hobbs FR, Holder R, Little P, Mant J, Williams B, McManus RJ (2013) Patient self-monitoring of blood pressure and self-titration of medication in primary care: the TASMINH2 trial qualitative study of health professionals' experiences. Br J Gen Pract 63(611):e378-85. doi: 10.3399/bjgp13X668168.

Redwood S, Gale NK, Greenfield S. (2012) ‘You give us Rangoli, we give you talk’ Using an Art-Based Activity to Elicit Data from a Seldom Heard Group. BMC Medical Research Methodology, , 12:7 [full-text paper]

Dowswell G, Ryan A, Taylor A, Daley A, Freemantle N, Brookes M, Jones J, Haslop R, Grimmett C, Cheng KK, Wilson S. (2012) ‘Designing an intervention to help people with colorectal adenomas reduce their intake of red and processed meat and increase their levels of physical activity: a qualitative study’ BMC Cancer, 12:255 doi: 10.1186 /1471-


Senior Lecturer in Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Applied Health Research
Jonathan Mathers

Senior Lecturer in Bioethics
Jonathan Ives (who is also a member of the MeSH group; his current projects and publications are listed there)

Lecturer in Qualitative and Mixed Methods Applied Health Research
Laura Jones

Lecturer in Qualitative Methods
Antje Lindenmeyer

Research Fellows
Sarah Flanagan
Anna Lavis
Christel McMullan 

Honorary Research Fellow
Susan Neilson

Rukhsana Bibi
Nicole Andrews
Farina Kokab Craig Rimmer