Dr Sarah Damery BA, MA, PhD

Research Fellow

Primary Care Clinical Sciences

Contact details

Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 3343

Fax +44 (0)121 414 6571

Email s.l.damery@bham.ac.uk

Primary Care Clinical Sciences
School of Health and Population Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT


Sarah joined Primary Care Clinical Sciences in September 2008 as a Research Fellow on the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) project examining Healthcare Workers' Attitudes to Working During Pandemic Influenza. This project concluded in March 2009, and she is currently working on a number of projects centred around cancer and chronic disease, focusing particularly on early diagnosis of cancer and facilitating uptake of population-based cancer screening.

She has extensive experience of working in multidisciplinary contexts and with mixed methods, including a range of qualitative, participatory and quantitative research methodologies. She is Director of the Birmingham Hub of the West Midlands Research Design Service, and is a front-line advisor for the service.


  • PhD in Geography, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, 2006
  • MA in Geography, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, 2002
  • BA(Hons) in Geography, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, 1999


Sarah Damery began her career in Geography after qualifying with a BA in Geography from University of Cambridge in 1999. She went on to gain her PhD in 2006, and joined the Department of Primary Care Clinical Sciences as a Research Fellow in 2009.

Her work currently focuses on the early diagnosis of cancer, on interventions to increase the uptake of cancer screening, and on cancer survivorship. She has undertaken research on a number of projects in these areas, including work investigating the use of herbal medicines by people with cancer; work to develop a set of core messages to facilitate informed consent with respect to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, and the use of GP endorsed reminders to improve the uptake of screening for colorectal cancer.


Postgraduate supervision

Sarah is currently involved in postgraduate supervision for several students:

  • Adverse outcomes after colposcopy: Sarah Flanagan, Cancer Research UK PhD Studentship, registered 2008
  • Methods to improve recruitment to clinical trials in Primary Care: Ben Fletcher, NIHR Research Methods Fellowship, registered 2010
  • Establishing the extent and type of psychosocial and emotional needs of young people with osteosarcoma: Helen Queen, MSc in Clinical Oncology, registered 2010



Cancer and Chronic Disease, Epidemiology, Screening


Evaluating the effectiveness of GP reminders on increasing participation: feasibility trial to improve participation in the NHS bowel cancer screening programme. National School for Primary Care Research. Grant held in collaboration with Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Department of Primary Health Care, University of Oxford (2010-2012)

The NHS Cervical Screening HPV Triage Programme: A qualitative exploration of women’s and health professionals’ information needs. NHS Cancer Screening Programmes. Grant held in collaboration with Department of Primary Care, University of Oxford (2011)

Systematic review of primary care interventions to increase the uptake of cancer screening. NHS Cancer Screening Programmes (2010-2011)

Development and validation of a model to investigate repeated patient presentation to primary care as a means of identifying general practice patients at high risk of being HIV positive. Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT (2010-2011)

Development and evaluation of a set of core human papilloma virus (HPV) messages to promote informed choice for use in primary care and broader settings. CRUK Grant held in collaboration with Primary Care and Public Health, Cardiff University, and Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Department of Primary Health Care, University of Oxford (2008-2011)

The use of herbal medicines by people with cancer. Macmillan Cancer Support (2008-2010)

Healthcare workers' attitudes to working during pandemic influenza. NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme (2007-2009)

Other activities

  • Director, Birmingham Hub, West Midlands Research Design Service
  • Associate Editor for BMC Public Health since 2010
  • Member of the National School for Primary Care Research Cancer Working Group since 2010
  • Member of the NCRI Primary Care Clinical Studies Screening and Prevention Sub-Group since 2010


Damery S, Gratus C, Grieve R, Warmington S, Jones J, Routledge P, Greenfield S, Dowswell G, Sherriff J, Wilson S (2011), The use of herbal medicines by people with cancer: a cross-sectional survey. Forthcoming in British Journal of Cancer.

Damery S, Ryan R, Wilson S, Ismail T, Hobbs FDR, and the Improving Colorectal Outcomes (ICOS) Group (2011), Iron deficiency anaemia and delayed diagnosis of colorectal cancer: a retrospective cohort study. Forthcoming in Colorectal Disease.

Henderson L, Austoker J, Damery S, Clements A, Wilkinson C, Wilson S. and the HPV Core Messages Management Group (2011), “A false sense of security?” Parents’ and vaccination-aged girls’ understandings of the HPV vaccination and cervical screening: a qualitative study. Forthcoming in Journal of Medical Screening.

Parry HM, Damery S, Fergusson A, Draper H, Bion J, Low AE (2011), Pandemic H1N1 in a critical care and theatre setting: Beliefs and attitudes towards staff vaccination. Forthcoming in Journal of Hospital Infection.

Mistry A, Wilson S, Priestman T, Damery S, Haque MS (2010), How do the information needs of cancer patients differ at different stages of the cancer journey? A cross-sectional survey, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Short Reports, 1:30.

Damery S, Clifford S, Wilson S (2010), Colorectal cancer screening using the faecal occult blood test (FOBt): GP attitudes and practices in the UK, BMC Family Practice, 11:20.

Taskila T, Wilson S, Damery S, Roalfe A, Redman V, Ismail T, Hobbs R (2009), Factors affecting attitudes towards colorectal cancer screening in the primary care population, British Journal of Cancer, 101(2): 250-255.

Gratus C, Damery S, Wilson S, Warmington S, Grieve R, Steven N, Routledge P, Jones J, Greenfield S (2009), The use of herbal medicines by people with cancer: A systematic review of the literature, QJM,102(12): 831-842.

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