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PhD Students

Joanna Davies


Dunhill Medical Trust PhD Research Training Fellow

Phone: 0207 848 5868
Fax: 0207 848 5517
Researcher ID:



Having previously worked for the Social Disadvantage Research Centre at Oxford University, Joanna’s PhD combines interests in social deprivation and palliative care for older people in a project entitled ‘Understanding the social determinants of outcomes important to older people at the end of life: reducing social inequality in palliative care’. The project aims to advance our understanding of the relationship between old age, social disadvantage and health outcomes at the end of life, in order to inform effective health policies targeted at reducing social inequality in palliative and end of life care.

Topic Areas: Palliative care for older people; use of routinely collected datasets to improve palliative care; measurement of social inequalities in palliative care.


Joanna is currently being funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust to complete her PhD training fellowship. Joanna has an MSc in Social Research Methods from the University of Bristol, and a BA (Hons) in Criminology and Sociology from the University of Liverpool. She joined the Cicely Saunders Institute in August 2012 and has previously worked with Dr Murtagh on the OACC and C-CHANGE projects using patient centred outcome measures, and with the death registry data for England with Dr Gao Wei and Professor Irene Higginson.

Selected Publications
  • Davies JM, Sleeman KE, Leniz J, Wilson R, Higginson IJ, Verne J, Maddocks M, Murtagh FEM. Socioeconomic position and use of healthcare in the last year of life: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med. 2019 Apr 23;16(4):e1002782. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002782.

  • Bajwah S, Davies JM, Tanash H, Currow DC, Oluyase AO, Ekström M. Safety of benzodiazepines and opioids in interstitial lung disease: a national prospective study. Eur Respir J. 2018 Dec 6;52(6). pii: 1801278. doi:10.1183/13993003.

  • Nicholson C, Davies JM, George R, Smith B, Pace V, Harris L, Ross J, Noble J, Hansford P, Murtagh FE. What are the main palliative care symptoms and concerns of older people with multimorbidity?—a comparative crosssectional study using routinely collected Phase of Illness, Australia-modified Karnofsky Performance Status and Integrated Palliative Care Outcome Scale data. Ann Palliat Med 2018. doi: 10.21037/apm.2018.06.07

  • Guo P, Dzingina M, Firth AM, Davies JM, Douiri A, O'Brien SM, Pinto C, Pask S, Higginson IJ, Eagar K, Murtagh FEM. Development and validation of a casemix classification to predict costs of specialist palliative care provision across inpatient hospice, hospital and community settings in the UK: a study protocol. BMJ Open. 2018 Mar 17;8(3):e020071. doi: 10.1136

  • Pask S, Pinto C, Bristowe K, van Vliet L, Nicholson C, Evans CJ, George R, Bailey K, Davies JM, Guo P, Daveson BA, Higginson IJ, Murtagh FE. A framework for complexity in palliative care: A qualitative study with patients, family carers and professionals. Palliat Med. 2018 Jun;32(6):1078-1090. doi: 10.1177/0269216318757622

  • Mather H, Guo P, Firth A, Davies JM, Sykes N, Landon A, Murtagh FE. Phase of Illness in palliative care: Cross-sectional analysis of clinical data from community, hospital and hospice patients. Palliat Med. 2018 Feb;32(2):404-412. doi: 10.1177/0269216317727157

  • Davies JM, Osborne TR, Edmonds PM, Schey SA, Devereux S, Higginson IJ, Ramsenthaler C. The Myeloma Patient Outcome Scale is the first quality of life tool developed for clinical use and validated in patients with follicular lymphoma. Eur J Haematol. 2017 May;98(5):508-516. PubMed PMID: 28160316.
  • Davies JM, Gao W, Sleeman KE, Lindsey K, Murtagh FE, Teno JM, Deliens L, Wee B, Higginson IJ, Verne J. Using routine data to improve palliative and end of life care. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2016 6(3):257-262
  • Sleeman KE, Davies JM, Verne J, Gao W, Higginson IJ. The changing demographics of inpatient hospice death: Population-based cross-sectional study in England, 1993-2012. Palliat Med. 2016 Jan;30(1):45-53
  • Henson LA, Gao W, Higginson IJ, Smith M, Davies JM, Ellis-Smith C, Daveson BA.Emergency Department Attendance by Patients With Cancer in Their Last Month of Life: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Clin Oncol. 2014 Dec 22.JCO.2014.57.3568. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Hall S, Davies JM, Gao W, Higginson IJ. Patterns of dignity-related distress at the end of life: a cross-sectional study of patients with advanced cancer and care home residents. Palliat Med. 2014 Oct;28(9):1118-27. 
  • Koffman J, Ho YK, Davies J, Gao W, Higginson IJ. Does ethnicity affect where people with cancer die? A population-based 10 year study. PLoS One. 2014 Apr 21;9(4):e95052. 
  • McLennan, D., Barnes, H., Noble, M., DAVIES, J., Garratt, E. and Dibben, C. (2011) The English Indices of Deprivation 2010, London: Department for Communities and Local Government.
  • Noble, M., Wright, G., DAVIES, J., Barnes, H. and Ntshongwana, P. (2011) Constituency-level Namibian Index of Multiple Deprivation 2001, Report produced for UNDP Namibia.


  • Lecturer on core module: Service Organisation and Policy, Cicely Saunders Institute MSc, May 2016. Using routine data to improve palliative care.
  • Lecturer on: BOSCH Palliative Care short course, Cicely Saunders Institute, January 2015. Introduction to Epidemiology (co-led with Anna Bone).
  • Support lecturer for the SPSS practical sessions on the Research Methods and Statistics in Palliative Care, Cicely Saunders Institute, MSc module, January 2014, January 2015.
  • Supervisor/Personal Tutor for the MSc in Palliative Care, Cicely Saunders Institute – currently supervising two MSc students.
Selected Grants

2016, The Dunhill Medical Trust, Research Training Fellowship, Understanding the social determinants of outcomes important to older people at the end of life: reducing social inequality in palliative care.



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