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Doctor Katie Shearn PhD, BSc.

Researcher


Summary

My research interests span cultural, political, organisational and interpersonal factors affecting health and wellbeing. My doctoral studies developed theory and evidence to support services deliver positive youth sexual health services

I am currently researching whole-systems transformations to deliver person-centred public health including for sexual wellbeing and increased levels of physical activity. I am a methods pluralist with an expertise in realist methodologies which are orientated towards the explanation of social phenomena situated within complex systems.

I returned to academia in 2014 following a successful career in contract social and marketing research in the private sector.

About

I am actively involved in research and supervision at both Sheffield Hallam University and in collaboration with other universities. Most of my projects include a realist methodology component and I have contributed methodological advancements in peer-reviewed journal articles and at international conferences.

1) Sexual health and wellbeing for young people. This includes advising on policy and conducting research on positive sexuality, sexuality education and services for sexual wellbeing. I have contributed to national policy as well as peer reviewed publications and conference presentations. I am interested in the application of the Capabilities Approach as a framework to support young people's sexual health and general wellbeing.

2) Living well with HIV. This emerging research area acknowledges that people with HIV who are adherent to treatment can live longer lives but often with a range of comorbidities and ill mental health. This programme of work would investigate new models of health care and community led interventions to support people living with HIV to have the best possible quality of life.

3) Whole-systems transformations. In collaboration with local stakeholders I have developed realist informed theory and evaluation frameworks for transforming systems and processes to support community-led, assets-based or person-centred systems.

My academic career builds on the successes of a 13 year career in contract social and marketing research where I was responsible for large scale and high profile research projects for clients including the Department of Health and Social Care and the Wellcome Trust.

Research

1) Sexual health and wellbeing for young people. This includes advising on policy and conducting research on positive sexuality, sexuality education and services for sexual wellbeing. I have contributed to national policy as well as peer reviewed publications and conference presentations. I am interested in the application of the Capabilities Approach as a framework to support young people's sexual health and general wellbeing.

2) Living well with HIV. This emerging research area acknowledges that people with HIV who are adherent to treatment can live longer lives but often with a range of comorbidities and ill mental health. This programme of work would investigate new models of health care and community led interventions to support people living with HIV to have the best possible quality of life.

3) Whole-systems transformations. In collaboration with local stakeholders I have developed realist informed theory and evaluation frameworks for transforming systems and processes to support community-led, assets-based or person-centred systems.

My academic career builds on the successes of a 13 year career in contract social and marketing research where I was responsible for large scale and high profile research projects for clients including the Department of Health and Social Care and the Wellcome Trust.

I am currently working with Public Health England, the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield Accountable Care Partnership, Doncaster Council and the National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine.

Publications

Key Publications

Shearn, K., Allmark, P., Piercy, H., & Hirst, J. (2017). Building realist programme theory for large complex and messy interventions. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 16 (1), 1-11. http://doi.org/10.1177/1609406917741796

Shearn, K., Piercy, H., Allmark, P., & Hirst, J. (2016). Provision of positive sexual health services for young people: a realist evaluation. The Lancet, 388 (Supp2), S105. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32341-8

Shearn, K., Piercy, H., Allmark, P., & Hirst, J. (2019). Clarity, conviction and coherence supports buy-in to positive youth sexual health services: focused results from a realist evaluation. BMC Health Services Research, 19, 503. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4298-4

Bellow, B., Cavill, N., Allender, S., Copeland, R., & Shearn, K. (2020). Strategic principles and capacity building for a whole-of-systems approaches to physical activity. In Bellew, B., Nau, T., Smith, B.J., & Bauman, A. (Eds.) Getting Australia Active III. A systems approach to physical activity for policy makers. The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre and The University of Sydney

Shearn, K., Crabbe, T., Edgar, K., Frith, G., & Christy, E. (2020). Greater Manchester Local Pilot Process Evaluation April 2020. Substance.

Journal articles

Shearn, K., Brooks, A., Humphreys, H., & Wardle, C. (2022). Mixed methods Participatory Action Research to inform service design based on the Capabilities Approach, in the North of England. Children and Society: the international journal of childhood and children's services. http://doi.org/10.1111/chso.12496

Downey, J., Shearn, K., Brown, N., Wadey, R., & Breckon, J. (2021). Behaviour change practices in exercise referral schemes: developing realist programme theory of implementation. BMC Health Services Research, 21. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06349-9

Potts, A., Shearn, K., Frith, G., & Christy, E. (2021). Working with Local People as Part of a Whole-systems Approach to Physical Activity: Reflections from Local Delivery Pilots. Perspectives in Public Health, 141 (2), 74-75. http://doi.org/10.1177/1757913920982645

Danks, K., Shearn, K., Dalkin, S., Fitzgerald, M., & Broom, D.R. (2021). Towards a common purpose: a theoretical model for a whole system approach to physical activity developed in South Tees. Perspectives in Public Health, 141 (2), 72-73. http://doi.org/10.1177/1757913920983389

Peckover, S., Shearn, K., Wood, D., Frankland, S., & Day, P. (2020). Extending the Scope of Health Visiting and School Nursing Practice Within a 0–19 Service. Journal of Health Visiting, 8 (10), 426-434. http://doi.org/10.12968/johv.2020.8.10.426

Walker, S., Piercy, H., Shearn, K., & Acton, F. (2019). What consultation resources are available to support delivery of integrated sexual and reproductive health services? A scoping review. BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health. http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjsrh-2019-200414

Reports

Brook, A., Shearn, K., & Humphreys, H. (2020). Building young people’s capabilities:participatory action research. Unspecified.

Shearn, K., Crabbe, T., Edgar, K., Frith, G., & Christie, E. (2020). GM Moving Local Pilot September 2020 Process Evaluation. Sport England.

Theses / Dissertations

Shearn, K.M. (2018). Delivering positive youth sexual health services: a realist evaluation. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Piercy, H., Allmark, P., & Hirst, J. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00062

Presentations

Shearn, K., Dalkin, S., Danks, K., Allmark, P., & Shearn, K. (2021). Using Models in Realist Research. Presented at: International realist conference 2021, Dublin, Ireland, 2021

Posters

Shearn, K., Piercy, H., Allmark, P., & Hirst, J. (2018). Interpretations of 'positive' approaches to youth sexual health services: concept defining as one phase of a realist evaluation.

Postgraduate supervision

Natalie Grinvalds - Full Time (Y2):
A realist account of the co-location of NHS clinics within leisure centres to place physical activity at the heart of the NHS
2nd Supervisor

Jenny Longden - Part Time (Y2):
What makes effective Advanced Nursing Practitioners, for whom, under what circumstances and why?
2nd Supervisor

Laura Makey - Part Time (Y1):
A realist evaluation of community based support services for people living with HIV
2nd Supervisor

John Downey - Part Time (Y2):
Exercise referral schemes: A realist evaluation.
Methods advisor

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