Dr Sarah Fearn
Senior Research Fellow

Improving care

Portrait image of Sarah Fearn

Sarah joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton as a Senior Research Fellow in 2016 and has extensive experience carrying out research into care for people with long-term neurological conditions.

Sarah’s research often focuses on the patient perspective and she is keen to increase the participation of patients from communities whose voices have traditionally been less heard within research. She has an interest in qualitative and interpretivist approaches to health research and maximising the potential of mixed methods research designs.

She is currently working on projects that investigate the factors and events that influence care requirements for persons living with long-term neurological conditions (Neuro LTC); and the benefit and challenges associated with the use of digital and remote care for people with long-term neurological conditions (Neuro Online, Neuro Digital Outpatients).


recent publications:

Narrowing the gap between research and policy: using rapid evaluation during the COVID-19 crisis
Anil K, Watson D, Alagil J, Dewar-Haggart R, Fearn S, McGrath C, Meagher C, Muir S and Barker M
How do we engage people in testing for COVID-19? A rapid qualitative evaluation of a testing programme in schools, GP surgeries and a university
Watson D, Baralle NL, Alagil J, Anil K, Ciccognani S, Dewar-Haggart R, Fearn S, Groot J, Knowles K, Meagher C, McGrath C, Muir S, Musgrove J, Glyn-Owen K, Woods-Townsend K, Mortimore A, Roderick P, Baird J, Inskip H, Godfrey K and Barker M
The UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) emphasises the need for high levels of engagement with communities and individuals to ensure the effectiveness of any COVID-19 testing programme. A novel pilot health surveillance programme to assess the feasibility of weekly community RT-LAMP (Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification) testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus using saliva samples collected at home was developed and piloted by the University of Southampton and Southampton City Council.
The Causes and Impact of Crisis for People with Parkinson's Disease: A Patient and Carer Perspective
Fearn S, Bartolomeu Pires S, Agarwal V, Roberts HC, Spreadbury J and Kipps C
The reasons for acute hospital admissions among people with Parkinson's disease are well documented. However, understanding of crises that are managed in the community is comparatively lacking. Most existing literature on the causes of crisis for people with Parkinson's disease (PwP) uses hospital data and excludes the individual's own perspective on the crisis trigger and the impact of the crisis on their care needs.

research projects:

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