Heather Dunn

Heather Dunn Cert.HSAP, RN, BSc, MSc

PhD Candidate/Associate Lecturer


I have worked in various roles within the NHS in Sheffield between 1980 and 2011, including administration, finance, and as a Registered Nurse. I have worked as an administrator in various departments including Estates, Treasurers, Funded Nursing Care (FNC), and a NHS Clinical Research Facility. As Administrator for Funded Nursing Care in Sheffield I developed systems through liaison with multiple stakeholders to roll out a new DoH initiative on a city wide basis, with responsibility for communication, calculation and distribution of FNC payments of £1.5million per annum.


In 2008 I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a BSc in Psychology and went on to complete my MSc in Health Psychology in 2010. On graduating I worked for Sheffield PCT as a Health Trainer, holding clinics in GP practices and within the community to help promote healthy lifestyles and behaviours with individuals that either self-referred, or were referred by their GP. I started my PhD in Health Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University in September, 2010.

My present doctoral research adopts a Critical Health Psychology perspective to explore long-term care delivery in older people’s private sector nursing homes from the viewpoint of care users and care providers. This research uses diverse qualitative data collection methods and data analysis. The research seeks to add to existing knowledge about nursing home care, and may inform nursing home policy and best practice.

Teaching Interests

2010-present – As Associate Lecturer I have delivered teaching to undergraduate and postgraduate students on the Qualitative Research Methods, Health Psychology modules. I have also provided research project supervision for Level 6 undergraduate Criminal Psychology students.

2010-2014 As PhD demonstrator I assisted with teaching research methods (qualitative and quantitative) and statistics to undergraduate and postgraduate students within the department. I also delivered other sessions including seminars to MSc Developmental Psychology students, and other modules as required.

Research Interests

I have a particular interest in health related research, particularly the psychological health and well-being of older people, or those who are more vulnerable or marginalised.

My research to date has been mainly qualitative from a critical perspective. I have used multiple methods including ethnography, visual methods, photo voice, object elicitation, photo elicitation, interviews and focus groups. I have conducted thematic analysis, discourse analysis and narrative analysis.


Journal articles

Phelan, I., Furness, P., Dunn, H., Carrion-Plaza, A., Matsangidou, M., Dimitri, P., & Lindley, S. (2021). Immersive Virtual Reality in Children with Upper Limb Injuries: Findings from a Feasibility Study. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. http://doi.org/10.3233/PRM-190635

Phelan, I., Furness, P., Matsangidou, M., Carrion-Plaza, A., Dunn, H., Dimitri, P., & Lindley, S. (2021). Playing your pain away: designing a virtual reality physical therapy for children with upper limb motor impairment. Virtual Reality. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-021-00522-5

Other activities

Membership of professional bodies: Graduate Member of BPS, Member of Health Psychology Division of BPS, Member of ISCHP, Registered with National Midwifery Council (NMC).

Former secretary (2012-2013) of the PhD student and Early Researcher Forum responsible for organising activities, meetings, learning opportunities and information dissemination to other PhD students and Early Researchers within the faculty.

Authorised Representative for Healthwatch including enter and view visits to health and social service provides for adults in Sheffield. Duties involve reporting on good practice and making recommendations for improvement to services.

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