Personal profile


I am a Research Fellow funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government. My CSO fellowship is being used to explore the views and experiences of pre-adolescent children with Type 1 diabetes in order to inform the development of new interventions designed to help children optimise their blood glucose control. This builds on earlier studies I have worked on which have explored the experiences of parents caring for children (aged 12 and under) with Type 1 diabetes and ways they could be supported to help better manage their child's diabetes.

I also have several lead-investigator, co-investigator and collaborator responsponsibilities for developing, managing and undertaking qualitative research across a range of projects which explore the views and experiences of adults living with Type 1 diabetes, their family members who provide them with support and members of their healthcare team. These include the NIHR-funded DAFNEplus programme (2016-2021), which is designed to develop and explore new types of follow-up and technological support for people with Type 1 diabetes who attend the DAFNE structured education programme, and the HTA-funded REPOSE RCT (2011-2015) which compared multiple daily injection therapy with insulin pumps in adults provided with high-quality structured education. I was a collaborator on the NIHR-funded DAFNE programme of research (2008-2012), which comprised a series of linked studies using the DAFNE structured education course as a research test-bed. 


PhD (2010) University of Edinburgh

MPhil (2000) Heriot-Watt University

MA (Hons) 2:1 (1996) University of Dundee

Current Research Interests

    • The views, experiences and support needs of children with type 1 diabetes: a qualitative investigation. Linked to this: Design, development and feasibility study of an intervention to support parents of young children with type 1 diabetes (CSO: PDF/14/01). I began my post-doctoral fellowship by developing new ways to support parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Findings from this phase of the fellowship highlighted a need for more work to be undertaken to develop support interventions for young children living with Type 1 diabetes. I am currently developing a study which will explore the views, experiences and support needs of young children (aged 9-12yrs) with Type 1 diabetes. Further funding will then be sought to develop new ways to provide children with support to help them optimise their blood glucose control alongside ways to support their parents.

      Developing and trialling the DAFNEplus (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) intervention: a lifelong approach to promote effective self-management in adults with type 1 Diabetes (NIHR: RP-PG-0514-20013). I am a collaborator on this study which began in March 2016. This programme comprises 3 linked work-streams involving curriculum redesign, development of follow-up support, and provision of technological support. Outcomes from these work-streams will be used to redesign the DAFNE course and long-term follow-up which will be subject to a RCT and linked qualitative evaluation.

      Caring for a child with Type 1 diabetes: a qualitative investigation of parents' experiences and views (CSO: CZH/4/722). Investigators: Lawton, Waugh, Rankin, Noyes and Harden. I was responsible for project management (inc budgets), sample selection and recruitment, data collection and analysis, liaison with health professionals and collaborators, establishing and chairing advisory group meetings, and writing for publication. The report from this study was graded 'excellent'.

      REPOSE: Relative Effectiveness of Pumps over MDI and Structured Education trial (HTA: 08/107/01). Investigators: Heller (University of Sheffield), Lawton (University of Edinburgh) et al. I was a collaborator on this grant and was involved in data analyis and writing reports and publications.

      Improving management of type 1 diabetes in the UK: the DAFNE programme as a research test-bed (NIHR: RP-PG-0506-1184). Investigators: Heller, Lawton, Amiel, Brennan, Campbell, Clark, Doherty, Lawrence, Mansell, Oliver, Taylor. I worked on 3 linked qualitative projects, including: Pyschosocial Study, 5x1 RCT and DAFNE-HART - hypoglycaemia awareness restoration trial. During this programme I used a variety of qualitative methods, including longitudinal interviews. These studies included: an investigation of how components of the DAFNE course contribute to successful biomedical and psychosocial outcomes; an investigation to explore why people cannot sustain intensive self-management techniques taught on the course over the long-term; a study to explore patients' experiences, recruitment to, participation in, and longer-term outcomes arising from attending one-week and five-week DAFNE courses; a qualitative study to investigate patients' experiences of hypoglycaemia unawareness and participation in a course to restore their awareness; and a study exploring family members' experiences of living with and supporting a person with hypoglycaemia unawareness.

Collaborative Activity

  • Co-convenor of the Qualitative Researchers in Health Group (CPHS) 2012-
  • Member of the DAFNE Research Collaborative 2008-
  • Professional Member of Diabetes UK 2010-
  • Member of the BSA Medical Sociology Committee 2004-2009
  • Grant Reviewer - Diabetes UK
  • Peer-reviewer: Diabetes Care, Diabetic Medicine, International Journal of Diabetes Mellitus, International Journal of Behavioural Medicine, BMC Public Health, BMC Family Practice, BMJ Open Diabetes Reseach and Care.


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