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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Sharon is a Professor of Nursing, Director of the Teesside Centre for Evidence-Based Practice: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence and is a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow. Sharon trained as a registered nurse at University College Hospital in London and after working in hospitals in London, Essex and Sheffield she undertook a degree in sociology and research methods, and a masters degree in social policy. She then moved into a public health specialist role in a public health department and later completed a PhD focusing on the implementation of evidence based practice in acute stroke care. Immediately prior to joining the staff at Teesside University, Sharon held a joint appointment as head of nursing research at two London hospitals and a University. She aims to combine her clinical knowledge with her research expertise to make a positive contribution to health policy and clinical practice.

Sharon was successful with an application to open a collaborating centre of the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) at Teesside University. The Joanna Briggs Institute is the international not-for-profit research and development facility within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. The JBI supports a global network of collaborating centres that work to synthesis research evidence in health. The Teesside centre will play an active role in the collaboration and is working closely with clinicians to ensure that important and relevant topics are selected for review.

In 2014 Sharon was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) Fellowship to visit Australia to explore the Australian approach to reducing undetected deterioration in acutely ill patients. As a WCMT Fellow, Sharon is an ambassador for the Trust and is keen to support others to apply for a fellowship.

Summary of Research Interests

An overarching theme running through many of Sharon’s research studies is a focus on the evaluation of public health interventions. Recently this has included the evaluation of a complex intervention to support pregnant women to stop smoking and an evaluation of an innovative back pain pathway being implemented across GP practices in the North East of England.

Another major theme of Sharon’s work is the synthesis of research evidence to inform clinical practice and policy. As part of this work, Sharon and a group of Teesside colleagues are developing a programme of systematic reviews. These reviews are bringing together research evidence that underpins important areas in health policy and practice, and will make a major contribution to knowledge. 


Current and recently completed projects

Intermittent fasting interventions for the treatment of overweight and obesity in adults aged 18 years and over: a systematic review.

The effectiveness of early intervention, community based programmes that aim to improve cognitive, social and emotional development, speech, language and nutrition of children from conception to 2 years old: a comprehensive systematic review.

An evaluation of the introduction of Neighbourhood Care Teams (NCT). Funder: Scarborough and Ryedale CCG.

Improving outcomes for both simple low back pain and acute radiculopathy (sciatica) for the North East of England population. Funding: Health Foundation. (Evaluation lead).

Patient reported experiences of using community neurological services whilst living with a long term neurological condition: a qualitative systematic review.

Natural experimental evaluation of a complex intervention to promote increased smoking cessation rates among pregnant women in maternity care. Funding: NIHR School for Public Health.

Research interests

Doctoral completions

  1. ‘The use of NPT to evaluate the implementation of a complex intervention: Healthy Heart checks.’  PhD awarded 2028 (Director of Studies)
  2. ‘Information needs of newly diagnosed scoliosis patients and their families’. Full time PhD Teesside scholarship student. PhD awarded 2017  (3rd supervisor)
  3. ‘An exploration of the empowerment of Project 2000 nursing students’ PhD awarded 2012 (Director of studies)
  4. ‘Dynamic complexity, invisible nursing: the construction of age-related complexity by registered nurses working in mental health services’. DProf awarded 2011 (2nd supervisor)


Current doctoral students

  1. ‘Exploring the Theory-Practice Gap in Public Health interventions: a critical assessment of the potential for Normalisation Process Theory to aid knowledge transfer into practice, using the evaluation of a complex smoking cessation in pregnancy initiative’. Due to complete 2018 (Director of Studies)
  2. ‘An exploration of the role of the shift co-ordinator in midwifery’. Due to complete 2022. (Director of Studies)
  3.  ‘Inter-professional working in the radiography dept’ Due to compete 2022. (Director of Studies)
  4. ‘An exploration of clinical skills required by military nurses’ Due to complete 2020. (Director of Studies)
  5. ‘Implementation of a cultural measuring tool into an NHS hospital: the utility of Normalisation Process Theory’. Due to complete 2021. (Director of Studies)
  6. ‘Is Normalisation Process Theory useful in conceptualising the implementation of the Nursing Associate role. Due to complete 2020 (2nd supervisor)
  7. ‘Implementation of a back pain pathway across the north east of England’ Due to complete 2019 (3rd supervisor).
  8. ‘An exploration of the concept of evidence-informed practice’. Due to complete 2020. (3rd supervisor)
  9. ‘Barriers and facilitators to people with learning disabilities accessing cancer screening services’. Due to complete 2021. (2nd supervisor)

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Stroke Medicine & Life Sciences
Nurses Medicine & Life Sciences
Smoking Cessation Medicine & Life Sciences
Pain Medicine & Life Sciences
Caregivers Medicine & Life Sciences
Learning Disorders Medicine & Life Sciences
Low Back Pain Medicine & Life Sciences
Musculoskeletal Pain Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2004 2019

Learning Disorders
Early Detection of Cancer
Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
Breast Neoplasms
Learning Disorders
Early Detection of Cancer
Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
Breast Neoplasms

Does duration of pain at baseline influence clinical outcomes of low back pain patients managed on an evidence-based pathway?

Jess, M-A., Ryan, C., Hamilton, S., Wellburn, S., Atkinson, G., Greenough, C., Coxon, A., Ferguson, D., Fatoye, F., Dickson, J., Jones, A. & Martin, D., 1 Sep 2018, In : Spine. 43, 17, p. E998-E1004

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Low Back Pain
Back Pain
Low Back Pain
Health Care Costs

Intermittent fasting interventions for the treatment of overweight and obesity in adults aged 18 years and over: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Harris, L., Hamilton, S., Azevedo, L. B., Olajide, J., De Brún, C., Waller, G., Whittaker, V., Sharp, T., Lean, M., Hankey, C. & Ells, L., 1 Feb 2018, In : JBI database of systematic reviews and implementation reports. 16, 2, p. 507-547

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Weight Loss
Body Weight Changes