Dr Mary Birken

Dr Mary Birken

Research Fellow in Occupational Therapy

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health & Human Sciences)


My role as Research Fellow in Occupational Therapy involves developing a programme of research regarding occupation and mental health with Dr. Katrina Bannigan. 

Currently we are undertaking two systematic reviews to inform the programme of research.


PhD Health Service Research, Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London

MSc OT, University of East London
BSc OT, Trinity College Dublin

Professional membership

College of Occupational Therapy Specialist Section: Mental Health

World Federation of Occupational Therapists

Research interests

Author of GLOW (Graduating Living skills Outside the Ward) An intervention for people with mental health diagnoses Occupational therapy  and Adult mental health 

Accredited Joanna Briggs Institute  Systematic reviewer

Grants & contracts

2014-215 United Kingdom Occupational Therapy Research Foundation (UKOTRF) Career Development Grant Award: Principle Investigator: £10, 000.

Project title: Revising an Evidence-based community intervention for people with a personality or mood disorder and preparation for an intervention study grant application.

2014-2015 Health Foundation SHINE award: Co-applicant and lead researcher: £75,000.
Project title: Testing an intervention to promote independence following discharge from hospital.

McNeill, A., Bauld, L., Birken, M., Hammond, D., Moodie, C., Stead, M., Hitchman, S. and Hartmann-Boyce (2015) Tobacco packing design for preventing tobacco update: A cochrane systematic review protocol. 

McNeill, A., Bauld, L., Birken, M., Hammond, D., Moodie, C., Stead, M., Hitchman, S., Gartmann-Boyce and Gravely, S. (2015) Tobacco packaging design for reducing tobacco use: a cochrane systematic review protocol.

Birken M and Harper S. (2017) Experiences of people with a personality disorder or mood disorder regarding carrying out daily activities following discharge from hospital British Journal of Occupational Therapy 

Birken M, Couch E and Morley M. (2017) Barriers and facilitators of participation in intervention research by mental health occupational therapists British Journal of Occupational Therapy

Birken, M., Slade, M. & Henderson, C. (2012) Improving occupational performance following discharge from an adult psychiatric ward. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 75 Suppl 8, 54.

Abbott,S., Birken, M. & Meyer., J. (2016) The impact of improved environment in a care home. The Journal of Dementia Care 24(6), 23-25.

Conference Presentations

Birken, M., Morley, M. & Harper, S. (2016) "Exploring occupational participation of people with a personality disorder to inform an intervention" COTEC-ENOTHE Congress.

Birken, M., Morley, M. & Parkinson, P. (2016) "Testing an occupational therapy intervention for people using secondary mental health services to promote the value of occupation in everyday life" COTEC-ENOTHE Congress.

Birken, M. & Morley, M. (2016) "Testing an occupational therapy intervention for people with a personality or mood disorder." COTEC-ENOTHE Congress.

Other academic activities

Member of NICE Guidance Development Group for: Transition between inpatient mental health settings and community care home settings

Guidance available on: www.nice.org.uk/ng53