Dr Sarah Brand
Profiles

Dr Sarah Brand

Research Fellow in Health Services Research

Clinical Trials and Health Research - Translational and Stratified Medicine (Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry)

Role

I take a Realist approach (what works, who does it work for, under which circumstances, and in what way) to translating complex theory in to pragmatic practice in health services research.  

I use Realist Synthesis to develop middle range theory from a wide range of literature (including but not limited to mental health, physical health, criminal justice, psychology, and relevant vulnerable groups, such as homeless people or those who misuse substances) to inform understanding of 1) how the new NHS models of care (Multi-Specialty Community Providers) are intended to improve patient experience/outcomes and reduce costs for the NHS, and, 2) what works to provide collaborative care for men near to and after release from prison who have common mental health problems, under which circumstances, and in what way.

I use Realist Evaluation to test and refine the programme theory behind interventions. For example, using Realist Evaluation to iteratively test our initial programme theory about what works in collaborative through-the-gate support to improve mental well-being for men near to or after release from prison who have common mental health problems (such as anxiety or depression), under which circumstances, and in what way. The resulting theory fed in to the refinement, implementation and process evaluation of a theory-driven, evidence-based intervention.

More generally, I am interested in the use of a mixed qualitative and quantitive approach to explore questions about mental and physical health and wellbeing at the individual and group level. I have a PhD in experimental Cognitive Psychology from UCL and experience of both quantitative and qualitative research, including Realist Synthesis and Realist Evaluation, complex intervention development, formative/process evaluations, the application of complexity theory to mental health interventions in complex systems such as workplaces, qualitative explorations of the feeling of being suicidal, phenomenology and grounded theory methods, and the cognitive psychology of attention and memory and its relation to health experiences. I also have a strong interest in Buddhist philosophy and practice and its impact on mental well-being. Prior to my current role I worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School, Truro (European Centre for Environment and human Health) applying complexity theory to the development of NHS healthy workplace interventions, and as a Researcher for SANE mental health charity studying the phenomenology of suicidal feelings.

Qualifications

Psychology BSc (first class with honours) - University of Wales, Bangor

PhD Cognitive Psychology - UCL

Research interests

I take a Realist approach (what works, who does it work for, under which circumstances, and in what way) to translating complex theory in to pragmatic practice in health services research.  

I use Realist Synthesis to develop middle range theory from a wide range of literature (including but not limited to mental health, physical health, criminal justice, psychology, and relevant vulnerable groups, such as homeless people or those who misuse substances) to inform understanding of 1) how the new NHS models of care (Multi-Specialty Community Providers) are intended to improve patient experience/outcomes and reduce costs for the NHS, and, 2) what works to provide collaborative care for men near to and after release from prison who have common mental health problems, under which circumstances, and in what way.

I use Realist Evaluation to test and refine the programme theory behind interventions. For example, using Realist Evaluation to iteratively test our initial programme theory about what works in collaborative through-the-gate support to improve mental well-being for men near to or after release from prison who have common mental health problems (such as anxiety or depression), under which circumstances, and in what way. The resulting theory fed in to the refinement, implementation and process evaluation of a theory-driven, evidence-based intervention.

More generally, I am interested in the use of a mixed qualitative and quantitive approach to explore questions about mental and physical health and wellbeing at the individual and group level. I have a PhD in experimental Cognitive Psychology from UCL and experience of both quantitative and qualitative research, including Realist Synthesis and Realist Evaluation, complex intervention development, formative/process evaluations, the application of complexity theory to mental health interventions in complex systems such as workplaces, qualitative explorations of the feeling of being suicidal, phenomenology and grounded theory methods, and the cognitive psychology of attention and memory and its relation to health experiences. I also have a strong interest in Buddhist philosophy and practice and its impact on mental well-being. Prior to my current role I worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School, Truro (European Centre for Environment and human Health) applying complexity theory to the development of NHS healthy workplace interventions, and as a Researcher for SANE mental health charity studying the phenomenology of suicidal feelings.

Key publications are highlighted

Journals
Articles
Brand SL, Gibson S & Benson O 2015 'Planning on Dying to Live: A Qualitative Exploration of the Alleviation of Suicidal Distress by Having a Suicide Plan' Suicidology Online 6, (2) PEARL
Brand SL, Fleming LE & Wyatt KM 2015 'Tailoring Healthy Workplace Interventions to Local Healthcare Settings: A Complexity Theory-Informed Workplace of Well-Being Framework' The Scientific World Journal (Special Issue on Workplace Health) , DOI PEARL
Wyatt KM, Brand SL, Ashby-Pepper J & Fleming LE 2015 'Understanding how healthy workplaces are created: implications for developing a national health service healthy workplace program' INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH SERVICES · OCTOBER 2015 45, (1) 161-185 , DOI PEARL
Pearson M, Brand SL, Quinn C, Shaw J, Maguire M, Michie S, Briscoe S, Lennox C, Stirzaker A & Kirkpatrick T 2015 'Using realist review to inform intervention development: methodological illustration and conceptual platform for collaborative care in offender mental health' Implementation Science 10, (1) , DOI PEARL
Gibson S, Benson O & Brand SL 2013 'Talking about suicide: Confidentiality and anonymity in qualitative research' Nursing Ethics 1, (20) 18-29 , DOI
Benson O, Gibson S & Brand SL 2013 'The experience of agency in the feeling of being suicidal' Journal of Consciousness Studies: controversies in science and the humanities 24, (20) 56-79 PEARL
Gibson S, Benson O & Brand SL 2013 'The impact of participating in online qualitative suicide research' Journal of Suicide and Life Threatening Behaviours
Brand SL, Gibson S, Burt S, Boden ZV & Benson O 2013 'Understanding treatment non-adherence in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: a survey of what service users do and why' BMC Psychiatry 13, 153-153 PEARL

Links


https://plymouth.academia.edu/SarahLBrand