Dr Karen Louise Shaw PhD, PGCert, BSc (Hons)

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
Institute of Applied Health Research
CLAHRC West Midlands (Theme 1 – Maternity and Child Health)
The Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Karen Shaw is an experienced Research Psychologist with a track record in children’s health service development and research. Her research focuses on transitional health care for children with long-term or life-threatening conditions. This includes transitions between services (e.g. from paediatric to adult health services) and transitions along the condition trajectory (e.g. from curative to end of life care). As such, she has a special interest in how professionals and families can work together to plan care and develop better services.

Karen is currently working for CLAHRC West Midlands (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care) on the Maternity and Child Health Theme. This involves leading projects to evaluate (i) advance care planning for children who have complex, life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, and (ii) a new hospital facility to support the sharing of life-altering information and bereavement care.

Karen is an experienced project leader and has used mixed methods in a range of settings. This includes participatory research that facilitates the user-voice to be heard.  She has published widely in scientific journals and book chapters. She has also developed many data collection tools, outcome measures and educational-resources for patients, carers and professionals.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Psychology, Coventry University, 2001.
  • PGCert in Information Technology & Research Methods (Psychology), University of Leicester, 1995.
  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology, Teeside University, 1994.

Biography

Karen Shaw’s initial appointment to the University was in 2000 where she worked as the National Programme Co-ordinator for a project to develop and evaluate a programme of transitional care for young people with arthritis. This won the BUPA 2005 Clinical Excellence Award for translating research into clinical practice and was used to support national policy and best practice guidance in transitional care (e.g. Transition: getting it right for young people, DH, 2006; Transition: Moving on Well. A good practice guide for health professionals and their partners, DH 2008).

In 2005, Karen became a Birmingham Research Fellow (based in Nursing and Physiotherapy). During this time, she contributed to 10 research projects and supported teaching in research methods. Key projects included the first ever study to explore generic prognostic indicators in children’s end of life care, and validation and revision of the Spectrum of Children’s Palliative Care Needs; a prognostic based framework to facilitate the collection of standardised data. This is designed for use by those involved in the planning, delivery and evaluation of children’s palliative care services.

Karen joined CLAHRC West Midlands in 2014 and is leading two projects to evaluate (i) the Advanced Care Plan for a Child or Young Person, (ii) Magnolia House, a new facility at Birmingham Children’s Hospital to support families and staff with sharing life-altering information and bereavement care. She is also a co-applicant on a prospective pilot study of home monitoring in adults with cystic fibrosis (HOME-CF).

Teaching

Karen supervises student research projects on the BMedSc Public Health and Population Sciences programme.

Postgraduate supervision

Karen has experience in supervising at postgraduate level at both Master’s and PhD level.

She is interested in supervising projects related to:

  • Transitional health care
  • Children’s palliative care (health service development)
  • Lay health beliefs
  • Psychosocial interventions in children’s health care

Research

RESEARCH THEMES

Karen has significant experience of developing, managing and disseminating practice and policy-relevant research. Her work generally focuses on children’s healthcare and centres on the themes of transition and anticipatory planning. This includes planning ahead for transitions between services (e.g. from paediatric to adult health services) and transitions along the condition trajectory (e.g. from curative to end of life care). However, she also contributes to many adult-focused studies, providing methodological expertise.

RESEARCH ACTIVITY

Karen leads and contributes to projects in the following areas:

Palliative Care / Life-threatening conditions:

  • Advanced Care Planning
  • New approaches in sharing life-altering information and bereavement care
  • Prognostic indicators in children’s palliative and end of life care
  • Home monitoring in adults with cystic fibrosis

Long-term conditions

  • Transitional care for young people with long-term conditions and their parents
  • Beliefs and behaviours related to help seeking behaviour and medicine taking

A cross cutting theme across most of these is the use of participatory methods to include young people and their families in research.

Research groups and Centres

Karen Shaw works for CLAHRC West Midlands (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care) on the Maternity and Child Health Theme.

Website: CLAHRC West Midlands

CLAHRC WM News Blog

She is also a member of:

  • The West Midlands Paediatric Palliative Care Network
  • The Birmingham Children’s Hospital Palliative and Bereavement Research Interest Group

Other activities

Karen is a member of The British Psychological Society