Dr Sarah Griffiths

Dr Sarah Griffiths

Research Fellow in Complex Intervention Development

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)


I am a Research Fellow on an NIHR funded study (D-PACT), developing and evaluating a Dementia Support Worker intervention based in primary care.

My role involves using realist informed approaches and qualitative methodologies to build programme theory, develop a support worker intervention and evaluate the intervention in practice.

I joined the Community and Primary Care Research Group in January 2019. Prior to this I was a senior lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy at Plymouth Marjon University for 14 years. I have over 28 years of experience as a speech and language therapist and began my career working with adult clients in acute and outpatient settings before moving into higher education. 

In 2013 I completed a PhD in Medical Studies with the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry; a conversation analytic study of everyday conversation management in Parkinson's. I continue to be interested in the impact of communication difficulties on everyday and institutional interaction and have published in this area. 

D-PACT: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/primarycare/dementia-person-aligned-care-team

Blog: https://www.dementiaresearcher.nihr.ac.uk/tag/dr-sarah-griffiths/

Twitter: @sgriffiths1966

DPACT twitter: @DementiaPACT


2014 - 2015 University of St Mark and St John: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

2008 - 2013 Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth: PhD Medical Studies: 'Managing everyday participation in Parkinson’s disease: a conversation analytic study.    

2003 – 2005 University of Plymouth: MSc Psychological Research Methods

1987 – 1989 The City University, London: Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Communication Studies

1984 – 1987 Leicester University: BSc Degree in Psychology


Professional membership

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching interests

In my previous role as senior lecturer in BSc degree in Speech and Language Therapy, my teaching focused on Adult Acquired Communication Disorders, Evidence-based Practice and Psychology. Currently, alongside my research role, I supervise masters students from the University's dental programmes (ResM and MSc students completing dissertations).

External Examiner for Postgraduate Diploma in Speech and Language Therapy, Canterbury Christchurch University: 2015-2019

Key publications are highlighted

Griffiths S, Manger L, Chapman R, Weston L, Sherriff I, Quinn C, Clarkson P, Sutcliffe C, Davies K & Byng R 2020 'Letter on “Protection by exclusion? The (lack of) inclusion of adults who lack capacity to consent to research in clinical trials in the UK”' Trials 21, (1) , DOI PEARL
Griffiths S, Barnes R, Britten N & Wilkinson R 2015 'Multiple repair sequences in everyday conversations involving people with Parkinson's disease' International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 50, (6) 814-829 , DOI
Griffiths S, Barnes RK, Britten N & Wilkinson R 2012 'Potential causes and consequences of excessive overlap in talk between speakers with Parkinson’s Disease and their familiar conversation partners' Seminars in Speech and Language
Griffiths S, Barnes R, Britten N & Wilkinson R 2011 'Investigating interactional competencies in Parkinson's disease: the potential benefits of a conversation analytic approach' International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 46, (5) 497-509 , DOI
Bakheit AMO, Shaw S, Barrett L, Wood J, Carrington S, Griffiths S, Searle K & Koutsi F 2007 'A prospective, randomized, parallel group, controlled study of the effect of intensity of speech and language therapy on early recovery from poststroke aphasia' Clinical Rehabilitation 21, (10) 885-894 , DOI
Bakheit AMO, Shaw S, Carrington S & Griffiths S 2007 'The rate and extent of improvement with therapy from the different types of aphasia in the first year after stroke' Clinical Rehabilitation 21, (10) 941-949 , DOI
Bakheit AMO, Carrington S, Griffiths S & Searle K 2005 'High scores on the Western Aphasia Battery correlate with good functional communication skills (as measured with the Communicative Effectiveness Index) in aphasic stroke patients' Disability and Rehabilitation 27, (6) 287-291 , DOI
Davies R, Gibson A & Griffiths S 2019 'Patient and Public involvement' in Dobinson C; Wren Y Creating Practice-based Evidence for SLTs Guildford J and R Press 85-105
Griffiths S, Gardner H & Bear R 2019 'Conversation Analysis and its use in communication disorders research' in Lyons R; McAllister L QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN COMMUNICATION DISORDERS An Introduction for Students Guildford J & R Press 35-58
Conference Papers
Chapman R, Griffiths S, Manger L, Sherriff I, Creanor S, Quinn C, Mann V & Byng R 2019 'How do we optimise approach and recruitment strategies for inclusion of people with dementia in primary care clinical trials?' 1-/-0/1900 1-/-0/1900
Other Publications
Griffiths S & Bannigan K 2016 Enabling rewarding conversations. London Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists 01/01/1900 01/01/1900
Griffiths S & Burtenshaw E 2011 Dysarthria and group intervention. London Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists 01/01/1900 01/01/1900