Nursing and Practice Development Group

Nursing & Practice Development Group

This interdisciplinary research group has increased its research activity considerably in recent years due to the introduction of academic research coordinators who are working closely with departmental readers and professors to build research capacity.  This has led to increases in grant capture and the submission of papers to academic journals, while scholarly writing continues to contribute to the knowledge base informing our taught programmes.

By working closely with the Centre for Nursing Innovation, and collaborating with ABMU and Hywel Dda LHBs in advancing practice-led research, this interdisciplinary group addresses issues of professional working and contributions to patient care which cut across the professional boundaries, through three research programmes:


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Evidence-base for Practice

Building on our established reputation in reflective strategies for learning in nursing, portfolio development and reflective practice, we have continued to explore the impact of reflective activity in professional arenas. Supported by Burdett Trust funding  staff have investigated nurses’ understanding and implementation of evidence-based practice, with findings offering a novel perspective on the relationship between research, theory and practice in nursing. Other work has critiqued the use of evidence-based practice and application of research methodologies derived from the social sciences to nursing while collaborative work with other universities to explore the assessment of reflective learning strategies in relation to competence for practice, has led to national and international consultancy work.  Reflective practice skills development is a fundamental feature of nursing education and research has investigated reflective practice at the micro level, whilst the theory/practice gap in respect of reflective practice at the ward level has also been explored.

A growing area of activity also relates to mental health nursing, reflecting the diversity and complexity of provision and practice. This has included explorations of the value of the therapeutic nurse relationship and advocacy in nursing care, the effectiveness of interventions for people with psychosis, and service users’ views of community mental health nursing and users’ and nurses’ perspectives on forensic community mental health services. Our work on occupational stress within this discipline is the first of its kind.

Healthcare Practice

This interdisciplinary programme of work draws together diverse areas of current healthcare practice with a focus on improving the health of people.

The management of chronic conditions is an increasing need within the healthcare system, and our multi-disciplinarity has lead to research spanning basic to translational research. Unifying features of the research activities include developing and refining diagnostic measures, assessing effectiveness of interventions, developing new treatments and interventions and exploring patients’ and carers’ experiences of living with long term conditions, including life-limiting conditions.

The development of patient-tailored continuous ECG monitoring with patients in coronary care units has shown promise of improvements in treatment outcomes, while work on haemodialysis to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with end stage renal disease in also underway. Multiple sclerosis is the focus of some research into the effectiveness of several electrotherapeutic treatments such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on pain relief. While the effectiveness of a family support organiser for stroke patients and their carers has led to the modification of the Reintegration to Normal Living Index for use with stroke patients. The development of new treatments to combat infection such as MRSA is benefitting from collaborative work with the School of Biological Sciences. Potential compounds have been patented and are being commercially assessed for pharmaceutical use.

Social inclusion and public health remains a high priority for today’s society, and our research is helping to address these issues.  Much of our research has focussed on black and minority ethnic communities such as the identification of the health and social care needs of Bangladeshi carers which led to the appointment of a community development worker for Asian carers in Swansea. Studies of the extent and nature of race and ethnicity training within nursing education in Wales, health and social care needs of Bangladeshi women both from their perspective and that of primary care providers, and a review of health information needs of minority ethnic groups. As members of the Wales Equality and Diversity  in Health and Social Care research network our research is helping to lead the way in this field.  In relation to public health, our focus has been on service delivery and development of new nursing and health professional roles in primary care, through a review of primary care and community nursing in Wales.


The midwifery research programme focuses on communication and support in maternity care, and how this affects the experiences of women, families and midwives. The programme includes a number of funded studies, as well as interlinked postgraduate research projects. 

The programme is of contemporary relevance. It has been developed in response to concerns from Welsh and UK governments, service users and professional bodies regarding low workforce morale, falling normal birth rates, negative user experiences and public health concerns. Key research themes are: The midwifery workforce – midwives’ emotion work, empathy and resilience; Supporting normal birth; Understanding and enhancing parents’ experiences of maternity care, neonatal intensive care and breastfeeding; Supporting healthy lifestyles in pregnancy; and the History of maternity care.

This maternity research programme has attracted international interest. For example, Health Foundation funded research into the All Wales Clinical Pathway for Normal Labour has raised important questions about the appropriateness of standardized decision making tools for maternity care, of relevance to clinicians across the world. Previous work in the field of the emotion work of midwives has led to numerous publications including the recent Hunter B, Deery R (Eds) (2009) Emotions in Midwifery and Reproduction, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke which is core reading on national and international midwifery courses.

NPD Researchers




Amy Brown

Department of Public Health and Policy Studies 

Michael Coffey

Department of Public Health and Policy Studies

Jayne Cutter

Department of Nursing 

Ruth Davies

Department of Nursing

Lyn Gardner

Department of Public Health and Policy Studies

Hayley Hutchings

College of Medicine

Susan Jordan

Department of Nursing 

Michelle Lee

Department of Psychology

Joy Merrell 

Department of Public Health and Policy Studies

Fiona Murphy 

Department of Nursing 

Yamni Nigam 

Department of Interprofessional Studies 

Jaynie Rance

Department of Public Health and Policy Studies

Frances Rapport

College of Medicine

Sherrill Snelgrove

Department of Public Health and Policy Studies 

Julia Terry 

Department of Nursing 

Phil Tucker

Department of Psychology

Tessa Watts

Department of Interprofessional Studies 

Angela Williams

Department of Nursing