Dr Liz Shaw
Senior Research Fellow
+44 (0) 1392 722396
South Cloisters 3.09
South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
- May 2023 – Current [Research Fellow: Isca Evidence, University of Exeter]
- March 2020 – Current [Research Fellow: Exeter PRP Evidence Review Facility, University of Exeter]
- April 2017 – Present [Research Associate/Fellow: Health Services and Delivery Research Programme (HS&DR), University of Exeter]
- Jan 2016 – March 2017 [Research Associate: Exeter Evidence Synthesis Team, University of Exeter]
- Dec 2014 – Dec 2015 [Research Assistant: Plymouth University]
- May 2012 - Dec 2014 [Clinical Psychologist: Community Adult Learning Disability Team, Devon Partnership & Cornwall Foundation Trusts]
- Sept 2008 - Sept 2011 [Trainee Clinical Psychologist, University of Hull]
RESEARCH SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
For the past three years, I have worked as a systematic reviewer providing expertise in qualitative and mixed-methods synthesis within the small Exeter PRP Evidence Review Facility team and in May 2023, I was recruited to a 0.2 leadership role within the Isca Evidence team. Work for both these teams entails working closely with stakeholders from the UK government, including representatives from the Department of Health and Social Care, Department of Work and Pensions and NHS England to produce systematic reviews to inform government policy and commissioning. Examples of work I have led within his role include:
- A systematic review of qualitative evidence utilising framework synthesis to determine the views of patients and/or family of what constitutes a fair justice-seeking process following an adverse event;
- A systematic umbrella review and evidence and gap map using EPPI-Reviewer and EPPI-Mapping software to understand the quantity and quality of literature available regarding the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different multi-disciplinary, workplace-based Occupational Health models to promote the return-to-work for individuals in employment;
- A systematic review and evidence and gap map pertaining the quantity and quality of evidence regarding the optimal prescribing of drugs which may cause dependence and those which prevent/treat cardiovascular disease.
I have also collaborated with colleagues on an annotated bibliography examining the socio-economic factors associated with hearing loss and a qualitative systematic review examining the experiences of primary healthcare providers to identify factors which may contribute to women not feeling listened to when seeking medical care.
Prior to this role, I held a three-year post with the Exeter Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Evidence Synthesis Centre conducting systematic reviews intended to improve the delivery and organisation of health and social care services. I led a rapid eight-week review of qualitative evidence, examining experiences of the Nearest Relative provision of the Mental Health Act. This work was used to inform the reform of the Mental Health Act. I also led a narrative systematic review examining the need for specialist provision for individuals with acquired brain injury within forensic psychiatric services. Across both roles my main duties included:
- Identification of research questions and developing research protocols based upon the topic briefs provided to us from our funding organisation and/or government stakeholders. This entailed scoping the existing background literature and familiarisation with relevant health and social care policies structures and practises;
- Supporting all stages of a systematic review, including database and website searches, citation chasing, title and abstract screening, data extraction, quality appraisal, tabulation, synthesis and writing up of the final report.
- Collaborating with colleagues and methods experts to deliver reviews of both quantitative and qualitative evidence in response to a range of different research and policy queries. Reviews range from rapid pieces of work conducted within eight weeks in response to an urgent policy need to those conducted over one year;
- Using a range of novel and innovate methods and presentation techniques to deliver a high quality, accessible review which meets the needs of the review customer within the timeframe available;
- Supporting colleagues to develop skills in qualitative critical appraisal and qualitative synthesis;
- Working alongside colleagues from the University of Exeter, other UK universities and local health services to develop collaborative funding bids, methods papers, and editorial pieces.
Between May 2021 and October 2022, I co-led an NIHR funded linked evidence synthesis which aimed to explore the effectiveness and experiences of interventions intended to reduce the hospital length of stay of older and adults admitted for planned surgery. This work comprised three parts: a review of quantitative evidence using meta-analysis/narrative synthesis, a review of qualitative evidence and an overarching synthesis utilising Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).
In 2016 I worked within the University of Exeter Evidence Synthesis Team on an NIHR commissioned linked-evidence synthesis focusing on the effectiveness and experiences of interventions aiming to improve the mental health of children with physical long-term conditions. My role involved leading a qualitative synthesis using meta-ethnography using NVivo software and supporting the delivery of the linked quantitative review, overarching synthesis and PPIE plan.
Stakeholder Engagement and Involvement
My experience working with government stakeholders entails within the PRP and HS&DR review teams entails:
- Supporting them to identify a research question and review output which will meet their evidence needs;
- Providing regular written and verbal updates to and incorporating their feedback throughout the systematic review process;
- Identification of appropriate clinical and patient stakeholders to ensure our work reflects the requirements of review customers.
I have experience of leading engagement meetings with clinical stakeholders and patients/members of the public for most systematic reviews I have worked on. This typically involves:
- Liaising with patients, family members and members of the public throughout the systematic review process to ensure that this piece of work accurately represents their views;
- Working with clinical and/or topic experts and patients/members of the public to identify the main messages arising from each review and recommendations for future clinical practise and further research;
- Gaining their views on dissemination materials and audiences with which these should be shared to ensure our findings are accessible to those they are intended to benefit.
Research Communication and Dissemination
My role as a systematic reviewer requires communication of complex information to academic and non-academic audiences. This work is informed by my MSc in Science Communication and involves:
- Writing up final reports in a style suitable for publication in the NIHR journals library and relevant academic journals;
- Creation of accessible summaries of research findings, with identification of key messages and output format tailored to different audiences, including members of the public, clinicians, and commissioners;
- Utilising a variety of creative techniques, such as briefing papers, blog posts, podcasts, and comic strips.
Primary Research Experience
My dissertationt to fulfil the requirements of my MSc in Communication was a qualitative interview study, exploring the experiences of researchers, PPIE facilitators and artists of using graphic narrative techniques to support PPIE in health and social care research.
Within my role at the University of Plymouth, I took responsibility for the daily management of data collection and analysis for a pilot study for an RCT examining the effectiveness of debt counselling for adults with debt difficulties and depression.
As a trainee Clinical Psychologist, I completed a doctoral research thesis, comprising a systematic review and original piece of primary research. My primary qualitative research focused on the experiences of recovery of people receiving methadone maintainance treatment, analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
Other research interests: cPTSD, Mental Health, Wellbeing.
- 2023: MSc Science Communication (University of the West of England)
- 2011: Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (University of Hull)
- 2008: Postgraduate Certificate in Mental Health (University of York)
- 2007: BSc Psychology (University of York)
I have an ongoing interest in research aiming to improve mental health in vulnerable populations and enhance coordination between services to support individuals with multiple and complex needs.
Within the Exeter HS&DR Evidence Synthesis Centre I support the identification of research questions and development of research protocols for systematic reviews aiming to improve the organisation and delivery of health services within the UK. My work involves the delivery of all stages of these systematic reviews, from application of screening criteria, quality appraisal, synthesis of results and write up of reports for publication.
I have particular expertise in conducting both primary and secondary qualitative research.
My thesis focused on the experiences of recovery of individuals receiving methadone maintentance treatment, I gained experience in conducting individual interviews and analysing the content using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
In my previous role as a systematic reviewer within the PenCLAHRC team, I led a systematic review aimed at exploring the experiences of young people, their parents and intervention deliverers of interventions aiming to improve the mental wellbeing of young people with long-term physical conditions. This work involved the use of a meta-ethnography approach to synthesise qualitative evidence.
As part of my work with the Exeter HS&DR Evidence Synthesis Centre, I led a rapid review of qualitative evidence associated with people's experiences of the Nearest Relative provision of the MHA. I was responsible for developing a novel methodology drawing upon a framework synthesis approach as part of this piece of work.
3 Systematic Reviews within the Evidence Synthesis team examining:
1) The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions targeting mental health for children and young people with LTCs and symptoms of mental distress.
2) The effects of such interventions on other key aspects of social and family functioning.
3) The factors that may enhance, or hinder, the effectiveness of the above interventions and / or the successful implementation of interventions