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Dr Sara Mallinson

Formerly at Lancaster University

Sara Mallinson

PhD supervision

Sara is interested in supervising postgraduate research projects in the following areas:

Qualitative research exploringexperiences of health and illness, particularly mental illnesses and chronic health problems. Patient perceptions of health care and outcomes. Health status measurement. Exploring how local context shapes health policy implementation, particularly work exploring the effect of local history. Communities of practice and learning in health systems.



Harries, U., and Hill, S*. (1993) 'The Outcomes Process: some reflections on research with people in their 60s and 70s'. Critical Public Health, 4 (4): 21-28.

Hill, S*., Harries, U., Popay, J. (1996) 'Is the SF-36 suitable for routine health outcomes assessment in health care for older people? Evidence from preliminary work in community based health services.' Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 50 (1): 94-98.

Smith, S.J. and Mallinson, S. (1996) 'The problem with social housing: discretion, accountability and the welfare ideal.' Policy and Politics, 24 (4): 339-357.

Smith, S.J. and Mallinson, S. (1997) 'Housing for Health in a Post-Welfare State.' Housing Studies, 12:173-200.

Mallinson, S. (1998) 'The short-form 36 and older people: some problems encountered when using postal administration.' Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 52 (5): 324-328.

Easterlow, D., Smith, S.J., Mallinson, S. (2000) 'Housing for health: the role of owner occupation.' Housing Studies, 15(3):367-386.

Mallinson, S. (2002) 'Listening to respondents: a qualitative evaluation of a health status questionnaire' Social Science and Medicine, 54 (1): 11-21.

Mallinson, S., Popay, J., Elliott, E., Bennett, S., Bostock, L., Gatrell, A., Thomas, C., Williams, G. (2003) 'Historical data for health inequalities research: a research note' Sociology, 37(4), 771-80

Popay, J., Mallinson, S., Kowarzik, U. MacKian, S., Busby, H. and Elliot, H. (2004) Developing public health work in local health systems. Primary Health Care Research and Development, 5(4): 338-350.

Mallinson, S., Popay, J., Kowarzik, U.(2006) 'Developing the public health workforce: a 'communities of practice' perspective.' Policy and Politics, 34 (2): 265-85.

Mallinson, S, and Popay J. (2007) 'Describing depression: somatic metaphors in accounts of mental distress in difference ethnic groups' Sociology of Health and Illness, 29 (6): 857-871

Popay J., Mallinson, S., Kowarzik, U. MacKian, S Barker, J (2007) 'Social problems, primary care and pathways to help and support: addressing health inequalities at the individual level. Part I: the GP perspective.'J Epidemiol Community Health; 61: 966-971.

Popay J., Mallinson, S., Kowarzik, U. MacKian, S Barker, J (2007) 'Social problems, primary care and pathways to help and support: addressing health inequalities at the individual level. Part I Part II: lay perspectives.'J Epidemiol Community Health; 61: 972-977.

Career Details

Sara was a contract researcher for 15 years before being appointed as a lecturer at Lancaster. She has worked at Edinburgh University, Salford University and Leeds University in health related research. She has worked on a series of major research grants from funders that include the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The ESRC, Kings Fund, and the Department of Health. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008.

She is currently leading the development of the Cumbria and Lancashire Local Academic Network for the NIHR Research Design Service in the North West.Thedesign service supports people developing research grant applications for applied health research.

Sara is a grant proposal reviewer for the ESRC, MRC, National Institute for Health Research.

She is a peer reviewer for a number of journals including Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Public Health, Age and Ageing, JECH.

Research Interests

Sara's main areas of research interest are: peoples' experiences of health care, primarly community-based services; understanding illness narratives, particularly in relation to mental distress andchronic health problems; and perceptions of health related work across different stakeholder groups; communities of practice and the process of sharing of knowledge and skills; local context and the implementation of health policy; popular memories of place; .

She has a particular interest in the interface between qualitative and quantitative methods in health and social research and in exploring innovative ways of collecting and synthesising evidence to inform public health policy.

Current Teaching

Sara teaches various short courses and workshops on qualitative research methods,questionnaire design, critical appraisal, and qualitative evidence synthesis. She is convenor of the qualitative data analysis mini-module on the IHR distance-learning Masters in Research and the evidence synthesis mini-module.

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