Dr Ruth Gwernan-Jones
Complex Intervention Research Fellow


Research interests

  • Mental Health
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Identity
  • Inclusion
  • Qualitative research 
  • Systematic review of qualitative research

From February 2018, Dr Gwernan-Jones is working on systematic reviews of quantitative and qualitative research about the experience of care in hospital for people with dementia and those who care for them, the Caring about Care project (see http://clahrc-peninsula.nihr.ac.uk/research/acedem). She will be leading the systematic reviews of qualitative research. Caring about Care aims to develop a model for change in hospital practice to improve the experience of care for people with dementia. We will create a model for beneficial change based on synthesised findings across the quantitative and qualitative reviews, and then collaborate with healthcare practitioners and commissioners, people with dementia and their carers to ensure the plans for service change are feasible and relevant. 


Past Research

Dr Gwernan-Jones worked on the NIHR-funded programme grant, PARTNERS2, developing and evaluating a collaborative care intervention based in primary care for people with schizophrenia and bipolar, from April 2014 to February 2018. The project is multi-sited from universities in Birmingham, Lancaster, Exeter and Plymouth, and led by Professor Max Birchwood in Birmingham. Dr Gwernan-Jones was particularly involved in developing the programme theory, working on qualitative aspects of the project across workstreams, and preparing for the process evaluation of the pilot RCT that is currently running. For more information, see the PARTNERS2 website.

Dr Gwernan-Jones completed work on the HTA-funded project, RAIS: Review of ADHD Interventions in Schools, led by Prof Tamsin Ford, in March 2014. This was a series of systematic reviews exploring non-pharmacological interventions for ADHD in schools. It included a quantitative review of efficacy, a quantitative review of attitudes towards interventions, a qualitative review of the experience of interventions, a qualitative review of the experience of ADHD in schools and an overarching synthesis bringing these four reviews together. Dr Gwernan-Jones contributed across reviews, leading the qualitative review of the experience of ADHD in schools.

Her previous experience includes two years at the Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, as a capacity-building research fellow, working to support the Special Educational Needs and Disability research group. In this role she developed a number of fundings bids, as well as working on funded projects such as Lesson Study and Moderate Learning Difficulties, funded by Esmee Fairbairn. She also worked for six months as a research associate on the Metafora team, a European Commission-funded project exploring the role of visual language to support dialogic collaboration between pupils through use of technology.

For her ESRC-funded PhD she looked at the experience of having difficulty learning to read and write, and how identifying oneself as dyslexic impacted this experience. She carried out life-history research with 7 dyslexic adults, mapping the way discourses of dyslexia used by the participants related to their process of making sense of their difficulties with reading and writing, by linking them to a model depicting self-perceptions and resulting actions developed by Gerber et al (1992). Discourses and links to self-perceptions and actions were mapped onto timelines for each participant in a visual language. Analysis of patterns suggests that for these participants, understanding dyslexia as a pattern of personal strengths and weaknesses, and seeking contexts that highlighted strengths and allowed weaknesses to be downplayed, was the most positive and productive way of understanding difficulties with reading and writing.

Research projects

Caring about Care






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