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Dr Sheehan leads the Rehabilitation & Health Research Group at the Department of Population Health Sciences.

She is available for PhD and postdoctoral supervision in the fields of health services research, orthopaedic trauma, and rehabilitation.

Dr Sheehan is a health services researcher and physiotherapist with experience from Ireland, Canada and the UK. Her research focuses on improving access to- and delivery of- quality rehabilitation across the care continuum to improve outcomes of fragility fractures in older adults. She has a strong track record in secondary analysis of linked audit data, qualitative interview studies, and complex intervention development to meet this focus.

She has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and been awarded more than £1.9 million in grant funding from UKRI, NIHR, and charities for her research. Her teams work on early mobility and access to physiotherapy after hip fracture surgery has informed quality improvement initiatives both nationally and internationally. Her subsequent work led to the development of the ‘Stratify-Hip’ algorithm to risk stratify patients after hip fracture. This algorithm is now being used to inform a stratified approach to rehabilitation within the UK’s National Health Service.

Dr Sheehan facilitated the establishment of TROOP (Trauma Rehabilitation (orthopaedic) for Older People), a Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement Group whose mission is to support patient and carer informed research to improve the lives of older people who have experienced orthopaedic trauma. TROOP meets at least four times a year to talk about research projects which address questions important to people after orthopaedic trauma.

She chairs the Hip Fracture Recovery Research Special Interest Group of the Global Fragility Fracture Network and the Royal College of Physicians Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme Scientific and Publications Committee. She is an Associate Editor for BMC Geriatrics and a member of the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit London Regional Committee.

Dr Sheehan is a Fellow of both the UK Young Academy and the Young Academy of Europe where she advocates for early career researchers. Dr Sheehan also led the establishment of a set of Toolkits to better enable managers to support the development and progression of early career researchers funded by UKRI Development Network and in partnership with Vitae. The Toolkits are available here.

Research interests:

  1. Access, delivery and outcomes of care after fragility fracture
  2. Stratified approaches to care after fragility fracture
  3. Observational data analysis (competing risk, prediction modelling, causal inference)
  4. Qualitative interview studies
  5. Development of complex interventions