Dr Shazia Zafar BSc Hons, MRSc, PhD

Dr Shazia Zafar

Department of Social Work and Social Care
Research Fellow

Contact details

Department of Social Work and Social Care
Park House
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Dr Shazia Zafar is a scientist in applied health research and social science who conducts research using quantitative and qualitative methods. 

She is currently exploring the impact which results from care home closure. As little evidence currently exists on the impact of care home closure, the results will provide key lessons to local governments nationally.

Her projects are both UK based and internationally (Brazil, Chile, Austria, Norway, Pakistan) and include research in abuse and violence; alcohol consumption in pregnancy; impacts of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) in varied ethnicities, as well as improving communication with health professionals; virtual reality as relaxation and pain control for patients with chronic pain (narration by Sir David Attenborough).


  • PhD in Polymers and Analytical Research
  • BSc (Hons) in Chemistry


Dr Shazia Zafar is an experienced applied health research scientist with exceptional data analysis and leadership skills acquired in both academia and industry. Dr Zafar moved towards health research after participating in projects within molecular physics including impacts on health with shisha smoking and volatiles of Manuka honey. Shazia explored medical physics and research in health at the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Birmingham.

She has worked across a range of disciplines which include healthcare based research and service evaluation studies. She is experienced in methodology development, investigative research, analytical methods, statistical analysis, and rapid systematic reviews. Dr Zafar also taught in the School of Physics & Astronomy on topics such Quantum Physics and Observing the Universe.

Dr Zafar completed the UK-wide Marie Curie Hospice Day Services Evaluation Study in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. Collaborating partners included healthcare staff from Marie Curie and other Hospices, University of Edinburgh, Ulster University, University of Bristol, Queen’s University Belfast, and UCL.

She was the lead researcher investigating Pan West Midlands IRIS Evaluation Study in the area of domestic abuse and violence and child abuse. This was both a quantitative and qualitative study using statistical analysis. Shazia worked closely with collaborating partners including Public Health England, Clinical Leads, CCG Leads, GP Surgeries, Women’s Aid shelters and IRIS Advocate Educators.

Dr Zafar worked closely with patients and continues to develop her research projects which not only benefit patients but society as a whole in areas of abuse and violence, pregnancy and end of life (with older people).


Research interests and current projects

Dr Zafar is interested in research which focus on violence against women, child abuse and child slavery with collaborating partners both in the UK and internationally.

Her research is both UK based and internationally (Brazil, Chile, Austria) in areas such as abuse and violence; alcohol consumption in pregnancy; impacts of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) in varied ethnicities; improving communication with health professionals around HG; virtual reality as relaxation and pain control for patients with chronic pain (narration by Sir David Attenborough).

Having served as Chair and Women’s rep on the Royal Society of Chemistry Birmingham & West Midlands Local Section Committee, Dr Zafar engaged with members and the general public to promote science and in particular chemistry especially to girls. Dr Zafar helped build ‘science sessions’ at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The science sessions provided for the first time experimental chemistry/science accessible to home schooled children (prior to the pandemic COVID-19).

Other activities

  • Dr Zafar is Trustee of charity Pregnancy Sickness Support who provide one to one support and information to women suffering from severe pregnancy sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum
  • Shazia has been a member of Equality & Diversity Committee, MDS
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (served as Chair of RSC Birmingham & West Midlands Local Section including Women’s Representative)
  • Member of UK Oncology Nurses Society
  • Honorary member of Marie Curie Hospice
  • Honorary member of School of Physics & Astronomy


Recent publications


Douglass, T, Zafar, S & Glasby, J 2023, 'What happens when care homes close? A review of the literature', International Journal of Care and Caring. https://doi.org/10.1332/239788221X16753558695396

Myring, G, Mitchell, PM, Kernohan, WG, Mcilfatrick, S, Cudmore, S, Finucane, AM, Graham-Wisener, L, Hewison, A, Jones, L, Jordan, J, Mckibben, L, Muldrew, DHL, Zafar, S & Coast, J 2022, 'An analysis of the construct validity and responsiveness of the ICECAP-SCM capability wellbeing measure in a palliative care hospice setting', BMC Palliative Care, vol. 21, no. 1, 121. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-022-01012-4

Zafar, S, Bradbury-Jones, C & Bandyopadhyay, S 2022, 'Impacts of an intervention to improve the identification, referral and safety of those experiencing domestic violence: a mixed methods study in the UK', The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , vol. 19, no. 23, 16181. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192316181

Desai, R, Bandyopadhyay, S, Zafar, S & Bradbury-Jones, C 2022, 'The experiences of post-separation survivors of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: findings from a qualitative study in the United Kingdom', Violence against Women. https://doi.org/10.1177/10778012221142914

Hasson, F, Jordan, J, Mckibben, L, Graham-wisener, L, Finucane, A, Armour, K, Zafar, S, Hewison, A, Brazil, K & Kernohan, WG 2021, 'Challenges for palliative care day services: a focus group study', BMC Palliative Care, vol. 20, no. 1, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-020-00699-7

De Araújo Lima, LA, De Souza Monteiro, CF, Nunes, BMVT, Da Silva Júnior, FJG, Fernandes, MA, Zafar, S, Dos Santos, MA, Wagstaff, C, Diehl, A & Pillon, SC 2021, 'Factors associated with violence against women by an intimate partner in Northeast Brazil', Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 669-677. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnu.2021.10.006

Hewison, A, Zafar, S & Efstathiou, N 2020, 'Bereavement support in the UK: a rapid evidence assessment', Bereavement Care, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 69-78. https://doi.org/10.1080/02682621.2020.1728086

da Cunha, VF, Pillon , SC, Zafar, S, Wagstaff, C & Scorsolini‐Comin, F 2020, 'Brazilian nurses’ concept of religion, religiosity, and spirituality: a qualitative descriptive study', Nursing and Health Sciences, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 1161-1168. https://doi.org/10.1111/nhs.12788

Zafar, S & Hewison, A 2020, 'Exploring the costs, consequences and efficiency of three types of Palliative Care Day Services in the UK: a pragmatic before-and-after descriptive cohort study', BMC Palliative Care, pp. 1-10.

Other contribution

Douglass, T, Glasby, J & Zafar, S 2023, What happens when care homes close?. Policy Press. <https://www.transformingsociety.co.uk/2023/05/09/what-happens-when-care-homes-close/>


Kernohan, G, McIlfatrick, S, Hasson, F, Jordan, J, Brazil, K, Graham-Wisener, L, McCorry, N, Finucane, A, Zafar, S & Hewison, A 2019, 'Chart reviews of Palliative Care Day Services: signalling the start of something new', The Annual Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Conference, jointly with the Palliative Care Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, London, United Kingdom, 14/10/19 - 14/10/19. https://doi.org/10.1136/spcare-2019-mariecuriepalliativecare.11


Moura, AAMD, Kaur-Aujla, H, Gonçalves, AMDS, Júnior, FJGDS, Perruci, LG, Zerbetto, SR, Fernandes, MA, Zafar, S, Santos, MAD, Wagstaff, C & Pillon, S 2021 'Alcohol consumption by women in the previous year who were unaware they were pregnant' Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-905679/v1

View all publications in research portal