Sharon Hamilton



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Personal profile

Academic Biography

My academic background is in nursing, social sciences and public health.  My research programme aims to influence improvements in patient outcomes and the quality of patient care.  It is applied in nature and is based within multifaceted and multidisciplinary healthcare systems, and therefore many of my studies involve the evaluation of complex healthcare interventions.  I have undertaken evaluations of complex behaviour change interventions around smoking cessation for pregnant women, smoke free policies in mental healthcare facilities, and the introduction of simple back pain guidelines. Most of this work has a focus around the implementation of best evidence guidelines.

My research around the evaluation of complex behavior change interventions is informed by Normalization Process Theory (NPT). This is a mid-range theory which has gained much traction over the last few years with its ability to provide a lens through which to explore the evaluation, implementation and embedding of behavior change.

Another thread to my research is systematic reviewing, particularly qualitative reviewing and scoping reviews.  I have expertise in the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) approach to systematic reviewing and have completed the JBI comprehensive systematic review training and the advanced training to teach the approach. I have conducted systematic reviews in a number of areas including: patient experiences of community rehabilitation; weight loss interventions; and musculoskeletal pain. 

I 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 plays 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 I 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, I am an ambassador for the Trust and am keen to support others to apply for a fellowship.

Research Projects & External Funding

Current and recently completed projects

Strengthening the Nurse Director role: a UK study. 

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.

PhD and Research Opportunities

Doctoral completions

  1. ‘The use of NPT to evaluate the implementation of a complex intervention: Healthy Heart checks.’  PhD awarded 2018 (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 2019 (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)

External positions

Associate Editor, BMC Nursing

2018 → …

Member, Sigma Theta Tau International

2018 → …

Director, Teesside Centre for Evidence-Informed Practice: a JBI Centre of Excellence

2014 → …

Fellow, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

2014 → …

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Strengthening the Nurse Director role: a UK study

Kelly, D., Smith, P., Holloway, A., Jones, A., Rafferty, A. M., Harris, R., Reid, J., Noble, H. & Hamilton, S.

2/01/19 → …

Project: Research

Research Output

  • Open Access
  • 9 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 48 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 97 Downloads (Pure)

    Press / Media

    Report highlights success of innovative scheme helping the elderly

    Sharon Hamilton


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    End-of-life discharge nurses 'are effective'

    Sharon Hamilton & Susan Jones


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Teesside University links up with leading Australian academic

    Sharon Hamilton


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Collaborative project will help patients to self-manage back pain

    Sharon Hamilton, Cormac Ryan, Denis Martin & Shaun Wellburn


    4 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Press / Media