Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Dementia and discharge from acute hospital, dementia and identity, alcohol related brain damage, qualitative and sociological research methods in health

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Personal profile


Sarah graduated in nursing from Edinburgh University in 1998 and worked as a staff nurse in Medicine for the Elderly and Acute Medicine at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. She also enjoyed a variety of voluntary sector experiences, helping to manage and run services supporting frail older people and specialist day care for those living with dementia.

After completing an MSc by research part time while working as a senior staff nurse in Acute Medicine, she embarked on PhD work, pursuing interests in the nursing care of people living with dementia. Since completing the PhD Sarah has held a teaching post within Nursing Studies and has recently moved to a research post which allows her to continue with work around dementia and the nursing care of older people as well as pursuing an interest in Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD).

Research interests focus on the nursing care of older people, sociological approaches in nursing research and the nursing care of those living with dementia. Sarah is also interested in the nursing care of those who are dependent on alcohol and in the long term support of those with alcohol related brain damage (ARBD). Prevention of alcohol related harm has become a major Scottish Government priority and ARBD is an often neglected aspect of this work. Sarah's interests include the use of dementia care strategies in support of ARBD patients, including individuals in research about their care and care needs, innovative approaches to data collection with this group and long term service development.

PhD work explored nurses' conceptualisation of dementia and how these conceptualisations shape nursing practice. Post Doctoral interests focus on discharge of people living with dementia from acute hospital.


Current Research Interests

Sarah's current research interests are;

  • discharge of older people with dementia from acute hospital
  • nursing care of people living with dementia and nurses' experiences of caring for this group
  • nursing care of people with ARBD in acute hospital
  • maintenance of personal identity in dementia and ARBD

Research students

Sarah welcomes contact from people interested in pursuing PhD in any of her areas of research interest.

Education/Academic qualification

Education, Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice , University of Edinburgh

Dec 2012Jul 2015

Award Date: 1 Jul 2015

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Forgotten Shopping, Lost Keys and Hearts Which Forget to Beat: an exploration of nurses' conceptualisation of dementia, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 2010

Master of Science, Nurses' Perceptions of Dementia, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 2002

Bachelor of Science, Nursing Studies, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 1998


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