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Following a first degree in psychology, Vanessa completed a PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neurology in which she used a grounded theory methodology to explore the subjective reality of living with dementia and caring for a person with dementia within multicultural Britain.  She subsequently co-authored a book on how best to provide culturally sensitive dementia care (Managing Dementia in a Multicultural Society, Wiley). She is Associate Editor for Qualitative Research for the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and is passionate about using qualitative methods to understand and improve the experiences of service users.   

Research Interests 

Vanessa designs and conducts high quality applied qualitative research.  She is interested in using traditional and innovative methods of date collection to develop, evaluate and implement therapeutic interventions that are grounded in the lived experiences of service users.  She has particular interests in the fields of older adults’ mental health, recovery, and, most recently, eating disorders.  

Current research focuses on using qualitative methods to developing acceptable and feasible interventions, specifically: management strategies for visual hallucinations in older adults; problem solving therapy in people with dementia; Acceptance Commitment Therapy for people with motor neuron disease; Acceptance Commitment Therapy for and older people with treatment resistant anxiety.  

Vanessa is affiliated with the King’s Clinical Trials Unit and provides expert advice on applying qualitative methods in clinical trials across King’s Health Partners. 


Vanessa provides teaching, supervision and advice on qualitative methods to post-graduate and undergraduate students across Kings Health Partners.  She is the Academic Lead for the MSc Module, ‘Qualitative Research: Principles, Methods and Practice’ and the IoPPN’s Summer School: Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods. 

She offers a Qualitative Research Advisory Service to staff and students that can be booked via the Biostatistics and Health Informatics Advisory Service. 

Vanessa is also the PhD Admissions Tutor for the Health Service and Population Research Department.