The Edge of Health

Category: The Health Research Institute

Research Theme | Public Health

Research in this cluster focuses on health inequalities, delivery of public health interventions and the balance between population and individual perspectives. There is also work on population musculoskeletal health led by Prof Paola Dey, Dr Ben Langley and Dr Nicola Relph. A group led by Prof Stuart Fairclough, are exploring the impact of detrimental lifestyle-related behaviours, such as physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour and poor sleep, on child and adolescent health, including movement behaviour interventions to promote well-being.

Research Theme | Health and Wellbeing

This cluster focuses on the impact of lifestyle factors on health across the life course. This includes the role of the arts, psychotherapy and creative psychotherapy in health, led by Professor Vicky Karkou, the influence of digital technology and data analytics in enabling good health, led by Professor Ella Pereira and the management of sickness absence, stress and resilience in healthcare settings, led by Prof Paresh Wankhade.

To learn more about our Health and Wellbeing research theme, please visit

Research Theme | Supporting Care

In this cluster Professor Sally Spencer, Dr Carol Kelly and Dr Andy Levy lead work on systematic reviews and the management of chronic respiratory conditions. Active research topics include self-management strategies in bronchiectasis and emotional health in rehabilitation.

Professor Mary O’Brien, Professor Barbara Jack and Dr Kate Knighting lead work on the management of palliative and end of life care. Active projects include characterisation of respite care services for young people with life-limiting conditions and further development of the Carers Alert Thermometer (CAT).

To learn more about our Supporting Care research theme, please visit

Research Theme | Improving Professional Practice

Professor Jeremy Brown, Professor John Sandars, and Dr Axel Kaehne lead this research cluster.

Activities focus on three main areas: Performance enhancement in health professional development, the Impact and assessment of education in health and other related professions – including theory-driven approaches to the evaluation of education, and the Evaluation of improvements to health care services.

To learn more about our Improving Professional Practice theme, please visit


Research Theme | Children, Young People and Families

The work of this group focuses on young people with complex needs, those requiring palliative care and those living with long-term conditions. Teams within this cluster, led by Professor Bernie Carter and Professor Lucy Bray, have a particular interest in pain management, support and information for children and young people undergoing clinical procedures in hospital.

To learn more about the Children, Young People and Families research theme please visit


Introducing the Health Research Institute

Since its launch in 2014, the Institute has established a strong brand and attracted a portfolio of multi-disciplinary research that extends beyond traditional medical approaches to reflect a broader multi-agency view of healthcare.

To maintain future growth and more effectively encompass this broader definition of health research, the PGMI (Postgraduate Medical Institute) has been restructured and relaunched as the Health Research Institute. This supports the Institute’s overall mission to facilitate and enable collaborative research across a range of academic perspectives with external stakeholders in the NHS, social care, charities and other health-related organisations.

We have developed collaborative research relationships with a number of tertiary and secondary care NHS Trusts and clinical commissioning groups in the North West Coast region and beyond, as well as local councils, third sector organisations and small businesses. Our work is driven by a collective goal to grow locally led health research by combining clinical, academic and other regional strengths to attract external funding.

Successes to date have included National Institute for Health (NIHR) Research Fellowships, funding from the Research for Patient Benefit and Health Services and Delivery Research funding streams, and work commissioned by Health Education England.

The Institute serves as a research enabling platform for a range of thematic areas, which are designed to harness complementary internal and external research strengths. You can read more about each theme in our upcoming blog posts.

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