Dr Alison Warren

Dr Alison Warren

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health)

Alison can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Dementia
  • Occupational therapy
  • Air travel
  • Practice placement models


I am Academic Lead for Occupational Therapy and lecturer with the University of Plymouth. Throughout my career I have integrated professional practice experience with service development and research. I have an interest in innovative placement models and my PhD explored the learning experiences of occupational therapy students during role emerging placements with a particular focus on competency and professional identity development. My professional practice experience has been mainly in the area of dementia care, community mental health and emerging areas of practice. As a member of the Prime Minister Dementia Working Group for Air Transport I seek to raise the importance of this meaningful occupation and improve the experiences flying for people with dementia and their carers. I have experience of working in the UK, Romania and the Republic of Ireland. Alison is also a co-investigator with E-Health Productivity & Innovation in Cornwall (EPIC2) and is interested in the use of technology in healthcare. 



Doctor of Philosophy, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences

University of Limerick, Ireland (2014)

Innovation, Personal Growth and Professional Identity: Perspectives on role emerging placements in occupational therapy

Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education

Brunel University, London (2005)

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy 

University of Wales, Cardiff (1999)

Diploma in Occupational Therapy

Dorset House, Oxford (1990)

Education Experience

  • School of Health Professions, University of Plymouth
    Lecturer in Occupational Therapy
    (December 2014 to Present)
  • Department of Clinical Therapies, University of Limerick, Ireland
    Regional Placement Facilitator
    (December 2006 to October 2014)
  • Department of Clinical Therapies, University of Limerick, Ireland
    Acting Practice Education Coordinator
    (October 2011- January 2012)
  • Department of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, UK
    Lecturer in Occupational Therapy
    (January 2002-January 2005)
  • Department of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, UK and Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Care NHS Trust
    Lecturer/Practitioner in Occupational Therapy
    (April 2001-January 2002)

International Teaching

Ergotherapeu-og Fysiotherapeutskolen I, Denmark (2002), Karalinska Institute, Sweden (2003), University of Limerick, Ireland (2003 & 4)

Clinical Experience

Throughout my career I have worked as a clinician and manager in a range of clinical settings. Primarily I have worked with people who have dementia and their carers and also in mental health and learning disabilities services.

Professional membership

  • Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT)
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Roles on external bodies

Accreditor for Royal College of Occupational Therapists 



Teaching interests

I enjoy facilitating learning in a broad range of subjects, particularly in the area of dementia care, mental health and innovative placement models including role emerging placements. I am an advocate of interprofessional learning and encourage entrepreneurial practice in emerging areas for occupational therapy. I am also interested in integrating digital health into occupational therapy programmes.

I have developed an international distance learning module and am keen to provide a range of learning opportunities via the Moodle platform. 

International Scholar at the University of Malta 2019- 2021.

Staff serving as external examiners

Previous External Examiner On BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programme at University of Cumbria 2016 - 2019.

Current External Examiner on BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programme Glyndŵr University, Wrexham, Wales - 2020 onwards.



Research interests

My research interests are linked closely to my clinical and educational experiences. I lead a growing research team of occupational therapists, including Kate Turner and students seeking to improve the travel experiences of people with dementia, hidden disabilities and their companions - Dementia Friendly Flying. 

Informed by my doctoral work I also supervise occupational therapists and other healthcare professionals with research interests related to placements and particularly innovative placement models

I am also involved with EPIC2 which seeks to grow eHealth businesses and improve health, wellbeing and enhance the care quality by using eHealth technology.

I am a co-applicant on Generating Older Active Lives Digitally (GOALD)

I have supervised two PhD to completion and currently have 4 PhD students. I have extensive experience of supervising masters level research.

Other research

Member of the Prime Ministers Dementia Challenge Group for Air Transport- Chair of the In-flight Training Group, Director of Studies for PhD studentship on Dementia Friendly Flying and supervisor of 3 Alzheimer’s Society Summer Studentships (2017 and 2019)  

Community Occupational Therapy for People with Dementia- Supervisor for the COTiD RCT (2016-17)

Supervisor of occupational therapy students as Digital Champions introducing Echospot into local care homes (Summer 2019)

Grants & contracts

EchoSpot In care Homes: Research project with Professor Ray Jones, nursing and occupational therapy students. Digital Champions (March 2019, £19,900)

Alzheimer’s Society Research Studentships: 3 summer bursaries, occupational therapy students) (2017 and 2019, £5300)

School of Health Professions PhD Stipend: Dementia Friendly Flying (Kate Turner- commenced April 2017)

Health Research Board (HRB) PhD Fellow, Ireland (2012-13)

National Academy for the Integration of research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) Grant, Ireland (2009 and 2010)

Quality Improvement Fund (QIFAC) Developing guidelines to support students and stakeholders in role emerging placements. University of Limerick (2010/11)

Constance Owens Travel Award (2003)

NHS Research Grant. Home-based Art Therapy for Older Adults with Mental Health Needs (2002)



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted


Recent Papers

Križaj T., Roberts A., Warren A. & Slade A. (2019) 'Early Hour, Golden Hour: an Exploration of Slovenian Older People’s Meaningful Occupations' Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 34, (2) 201-221


Warren, A., Turner, K. and Chami, H. (2017) ‘Working together to promote dementia friendly flying’. OTnews, February 40-41.


Linnane, E. & Warren A. (2017) ‘Apprehension and interest: therapist and student views of the role emerging placement model in the Republic of Ireland’. Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy Vol. 45 Issue: 1, pp.40-51, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOT-01-2017-0002

Edwards KJ, Jones RB, Shenton D, Page T, Maramba I, Warren A, Fraser F, Križaj T, Coombe T & Cowls H (2020) 'Implementing smart speakers for care home residents across a region: uses, benefits and barriers (Preprint)' Journal of Medical Internet Research , DOI
Cunningham M, Warren A, Pollard N & Abey S (2020) 'Enacting social transformation through occupation: A narrative literature review' Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy 1-20 , DOI Open access
Križaj T, Roberts A, Warren A & Slade A (2019) 'Early Hour, Golden Hour: an Exploration of Slovenian Older People’s Meaningful Occupations' Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 34, (2) 201-221 , DOI Open access
Linnane E & Warren AF (2017) 'Apprehension and interest: Therapist and student views of the role emerging placement model in the Republic of Ireland' Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy , DOI Open access
Hocking M, Warren AF & Bannigan K (2017) 'CPD with a twist: the ROTTERS Curry Club' OTnews Open access
Warren AF, Turner K & Chami H (2017) 'Working together to promote dementia friendly flying' OTnews
Križaj T, Warren A & Slade A (2016) '"Holding on to What I Do": Experiences of Older Slovenians Moving into a Care Home' The Gerontologist 58, (3) 512-520 , DOI Open access
Joyce J & Warren A (2016) 'A Case Study Exploring the Influence of a Gardening Therapy Group on Well-Being' Occupational Therapy in Mental Health 32, (2) 203-215 , DOI Open access
Kirk E, Burrows L, Kent B, Abbott R & Warren A (2016) 'Facilitators and barriers to remaining at home for people with dementia who live alone' JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports 14, (4) 20-29 , DOI Open access
Warren A, Dancza, K, McKay E, Taylor A, Moran M, Copley J & Rodger S (2016) 'Supervising role-emerging placements: a CPD opportunity that supports innovation in practice' World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin , DOI Open access
Dancza K, Warren A, Copley J, Rodger S, Moran M, McKay E & Taylor A (2013) 'Learning experiences on role-emerging placements: An exploration from the students' perspective' Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 60, (6) 427-435 , DOI
Cahill M, O'Donnell M, Warren A, Taylor A & Gowan O (2013) 'Enhancing interprofessional student practice through a case-based model' Journal of Interprofessional Care 27, (4) 333-335 , DOI
Wiid C, McCormack C, Warren A, Buckley S & Cahill M (2013) 'Public and private blogging during placements: perspectives of occupational therapy students' International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation 20, (2) 79-87 , DOI
Warren A, Taylor A, Cahill M & O’Donnell M (2010) 'The MAGPIE model' The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning 11, (2) 47-59 , DOI
Warren A & Wilson L (2009) 'Role-emerging placements' British Journal of Occupational Therapy 72, (12)
Jones F, Warren A & McElroy S (2006) 'Home-Based Art Therapy for Older Adults with Mental Health Needs: Views of Clients and Caregivers' Art Therapy 23, (2) 52-58 , DOI
Warren A (2003) 'The use of the COPM in mental health' British Journal of Occupational Therapy 66, (2)
Warren A (2002) 'An Evaluation of the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure in Mental Health Practice' British Journal of Occupational Therapy 65, (11) 515-521 , DOI
Crawford M, Warren A & Edmans J (2001) 'Dedicated time at work for research activities (multiple letters)' British Journal of Occupational Therapy 64, (8) 419-420
Manley M, Bentley R, Richards C, Tattersall K, Warren A, Mackenzie A, Pratt AL, Lillywhite A, Grant M & McIntyre A (2013) 'Health Conditions and Active Ageing' Occupational Therapy and Older People John Wiley & Sons, Ltd 73-119 , DOI
Conference Papers

Howard, M., Sherriff, I., Warren, A., Turner, T., O’Reilly, M., La Bey, L., Garcia, L., Mulvey, M., Shouse, D., Zoglin, R. & Cowie, H., (2020) I-D-air travel: international dementia-air travel, 34th Virtual International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International, 10-12 December 2020.

Warren A., Sherriff, I, Turner, K., Bourne, S. Roberts, C., Goodrick, J., Chami, H & Fremantle, J. (2019) Air Travel Connections: creating a hub of collaborators to enhance flight experiences for People with Dementia and their Companions 29th Alzheimer’s Europe Conference, The Hague, October 2019.


Turner, K., Warren, A., Sherriff, I & Bannigan, K. (2019) Air travel for people with dementia: working together to identify barriers and facilitators to participation 29th Alzheimer’s Europe Conference, The Hague, October 2019.

Armstrong M, Reid G, Angove J, Rockey C & Warren A (2017) 'How do students perceive compassion in healthcare practice?' 101-102
Cunningham MJ, Warren A, Krizaj T, Twinley R & Mitchell S (2016) 'DEVELOPING PROBLEM BASED LEARNING IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY' 2016 - COTEC-ENOTHE Congress 6-/-0/20166-/-0/2016Open access
Krizaj T, Warren A & Slade A (2016) 'The significance of Occupation and Others: Experiences of Older Slovenians Transitioning into Care Homes' VOYAGE Ageing Conference Plymouth University 6-/-0/20166-/-0/2016


Other academic activities

Warren, A. (2012) International Judge at the National Health Fusion Team Challenge, Brisbane Australia