Professor Sarah Brearley SFHEAProfessor of Palliative Care
My research expertise is in supportive and palliative care (cancer and non malignant conditions), focusing on three broad areas: i) systems of palliative care in hospital, primary and community settings, including family/patient experiences of care; ii) symptoms (including patients' experiences of symptoms) and the outcome measures used to assess these; iii) health inequalities in palliative and end of life care. Current or recent projects include evaluating the effect, effectiveness and experiences of enhanced 7-day palliative care services (2018-2020), an evaluation of the Manchester Macmillan Supportive and Palliative Care Programme (2019-2021) and a mixed methods study mapping illness trajectories for people with advanced cancer receiving immunotherapy treatment in order to identify palliative care need (2021-2023).
I have an interest in research methods, and recently co-edited a handbook on Research Methods in Health Research.
Alongside my disciplinary and methodological interests i am interested in pedagogical scholarly work focusing on two areas: i) learner typologies and ii) mesocultures as a mechanism of sustaining excellence in teaching.
Current and recently completed projects include:
- IMPACT: a mixed methods study mapping illness trajectories for people with advanced cancer receiving immunotherapy treatment to identify palliative care need (Noth West Cancer Research)
- Evaluating the effectiveness of the Macmillan 7-day Advice and Assessment Programme (Macmillan Cancer Support)
- Evaluating the effectiveness of the Manchester Macmillan Supportive and Palliative Care Service (Macmillan Cancer Support)
- Hidden lives and deaths: the last months of life of older people with learning disabilities living in long term care settings for older people in England and Wales (The Dunhill Medical Trust)
- TERSC- A randomised controlled trial of thoracic epidural analgesia versus rectus sheath catheters for open midline incisions in major abdominal surgery within an Enhanced Recovery Program (RfPB)
- I also supervise PhD students pursuing both traditional route PhDs and the PhD in Palliative Care Programme.
Potential projects include those which focus on:
- Experiences of supportive and palliative care and care systems in hospital, primary and community settings.
- Experiences of symptoms, particularly for people with life limiting conditions receiving novel treatments such as immunotherapies.
- Complex interventions for symptom management
- Paediatric and AYA palliative care
- Spiritual care
- Health inequalities for people with long terms life limiting conditions (particularly people with Intellectual disabilities).
In addition to supervising PhD students i have played a leading role in developing and teaching a number of modules including DHR 516, DHR 517, DHR 403, DHR 523 and the annual academies. I currently teach on DHR 517 Palliative Care: history, policy, practice, as well as ad hoc sessions to our blended learning programme.
I have an active interest in developing teaching excellence and my own teaching practice. i co-lead Teach-Learm-Share a cross University initiative Teach-Learn-Share for sharing food practice about teaching and learning, involving all ffour faculties, and part of the Institute for Curriculum Enhancement.
I led and developed the PhD in Palliative Care, completing 5 years as Director of Studies. I have successfully supervised to completion 15 PhD students and 1 DClinPsy, and currently supervise 11 PhD students.
Handbook of Theory and Methods in Applied Health Research: Questions, Methods and Choices
Walshe, C., Brearley, S. 31/07/2020 Cheltenham : Edward Elgar. 367 p. ISBN: 9781785363207.
The palliative care needs of adults with intellectual disabilities and their access to palliative care services: A systematic review
Adam, E., Sleeman, K., Brearley, S., Hunt, K., Tuffrey-Wijne, I. 1/09/2020 In: Palliative Medicine. 34, 8, p. 1006-1018. 13 p.
Hidden lives and deaths: the last months of life of people with intellectual disabilities living in long-term, generic care settings in the UK
Todd, S., Bernal, J., Worth, R., Shearn, J., Brearley, S., McCarron, M., Hunt, K. 30/11/2021 In: Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. 34, 6, p. 1489-1498. 10 p.
Consensus building in palliative care : a Europe-wide Delphi study on common understandings and conceptual differences
Jünger, S., Payne, S., Brearley, S., Ploenes, V., Radbruch, L. 08/2012 In: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 44, 2, p. 192-205. 14 p.
The physical and practical problems experienced by cancer survivors: a rapid review and synthesis of the literature
Brearley, S.G., Stamataki, Z., Addington-Hall, J., Foster, C., Hodges, L., Jarrett, N., Richardson, A., Scott, I., Sharpe, M., Stark, D., Siller, C., Ziegler, L., Amir, Z. 07/2011 In: European Journal of Oncology Nursing. 15, 3, p. 204-212. 9 p.
Exploring the experience of recurrence with advanced cancer for people who perceived themselves to be cancer free: a grounded theory study
Economou, D., Walshe, C., Brearley, S. 31/07/2021 In: Supportive Care in Cancer. 29, 7, p. 3885-3894. 10 p.
Clinical features of oral chemotherapy : results of a longitudinal prospective study of breast and colorectal cancer patients receiving capecitabine in the UK.
Brearley, S.G., Craven, O., Saunders, M., Swindell, R., Molassiotis, A. 07/2010 In: European Journal of Cancer Care. 19, 4, p. 425-433. 9 p.
Women's experiences of advanced breast cancer in a resource-limited Arab context: A Stakian multi-case study
Fearon, D., Hughes, S., Brearley, S. 21/05/2021 In: Psycho-Oncology.
Activity and advanced cancer: A grounded theory
Lowe, S.S., Milligan, C., Brearley, S.G. 1/02/2020 In: Palliative Medicine. 34, 2, p. 231-244. 14 p.
Forgotten lives, hidden Deaths: people with ID living in and dying in non‐ID care settings
Todd, S., Bernal, J., Hunt, K., Brearley, S., McCarron, M. 1/07/2019
A mixed method study to describe the factors associated with palliative care inequalities experienced by cancer patients in the North West, and the impact of these inequalities
01/10/2022 → 30/09/2025
Mapping illness trajectories for people with advanced cancer receiving immunotherapy treatment: a mixed methods study to identify something about need and health service input?
01/04/2022 → 31/03/2024
Manchester Macmillan Supportive and Palliative Care Programme
29/05/2019 → 30/06/2021
To evaluate the Macmillan 7-day Specialist Palliative Care Advice and Assessment Programme, Greater Manchester
30/08/2018 → 07/09/2020
Research for patient benefit award PB-PG-0212-27122 - A pilot prospective randomised controlled trial od Thoracic Epidural Analgesia (TEA) versus Rectus Sheath Catheters (RSC) for open midline incisions in major abdominal surgery within an enhanced recove
06/01/2014 → 05/01/2017
Unpacking The Home
01/06/2011 → 31/05/2013
Immunotherapy and Palliative Care Trajectories (IMPACT): a mixed methods study mapping illness trajectories for people with advanced cancer receiving immunotherapy treatment to identify palliative care need.
01/01/1900 → …
North West Cancer Research Fund (External organisation)
Membership of committee
Health Research Board, Ireland (External organisation)
Membership of committee
- Institute for Social Futures Fellow
- International Observatory on End of Life Care