Dr Amy Burton

Job Title and Responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Qualitative Psychological Research Methods.

About Me

I graduated with a first class degree in Psychology from Staffordshire University and went on to complete an MSc in Health Psychology also at Staffordshire. I then attended Aston University where I completed a PhD investigating the impact and experience of living with age related macular degeneration. Alongside my PhD I worked as a Research Associate at Manchester University and following this as a Research Associate at Aston University co-ordinating a project exploring the impact of vision impairment on older people’s ability to manage their general health. I am now a Senior Lecturer in Qualitative Psychological Research Methods at Staffordshire University.


  • BPS Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology (2013-2015). Supervised by R. Shaw.

  • Post Graduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education (2013-2014).

  • PhD Health Science: Quality of Life and Wellbeing in Older Patients with Macular Degeneration: A Longitudinal Mixed Methods Study (2009-12). Supervised by J. Gibson (Principal supervisor), R. Shaw and E. Peel. ARCHA Studentship.

Professional Memberships and Activities

I am a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol), a Health Psychologist (Registered with the HCPC) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).


I am a Health Psychologist and my research interests focus on improving health care communication in a range of areas including: gerontology, pain management, visual impairment and sensory disability. I am interested in the factors that contribute to poor communication in health care settings and how interventions can work to address these issues. I also have an interest in research methods and how qualitative approaches can be used to investigate and improve the patient experience.

My research methods expertise is in qualitative methods (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Thematic Analysis, and Grounded Theory), systematic reviews, and qualitative meta-synthesis. I also have an interest in novel approaches to qualitative data collection, in particular the use of photo-elicitation.

Enterprise and Commercial Activities

2014-2015: Communication and cultural competence skills training for Health Care Professionals.

2014- Consultancy report for Birmingham Pain Management Service: A literature review to aid the reconfiguration of a pain management programme for South Asian, Somalian, Arabic and African American patients in Birmingham.

2016 - Consultant Behavioural Scientist, The Change Exchange Project, Manchester University.

Research Interests

I am particularly interested in the experience of ageing and the impact of acquired and age related disability on the quality of life and wellbeing of older people. I am currently working on a project to review the impact of self-directed stereotypes on older people’s engagement in health behaviours.

I am interested in pain and pain management research. This includes qualitative explorations of experiences of chronic and long term pain and evaluations of new tools for reporting and understanding pain in health care settings.

I have an interest in understanding cross cultural experiences of health and promoting culturally competent communication in Health Care Professionals.

I am passionate about developing and enhancing critical evaluation skills in undergraduate and postgraduate students. Currently I am working on a project exploring and evaluating the implementation of student-led Journal Clubs for enhancing critical thinking.

Research Funding

Burton, A. E., & Dean, S. “Journal clubs for postgraduate students: An exploration of experiences and perceived impacts on skill development”, Vice-Chancellor's Teaching-Led Small Research Grants Scheme 2015-16, December 2015.

Burton, A. E., & Dean, S. “Exploration of UK Ageing Stereotypes”, Staffordshire University REF Support Scheme 2015, November 2015.

Burton, A. E., & Chipchase, L. “Exploring the pain and pain management beliefs of South Asian communities in Birmingham”, Staffordshire University Faculty of Health Sciences- Applied Psychology Research Centre Temporary Fund, September 2014.

Burton, A. E., & Clark-Carter, D. “Understanding the barriers and facilitators to exercise in older people with visual impairment”, Staffordshire University Faculty of Health Sciences – Scholarship Support Fund, March, 2014.

Shaw, R. L., Gibson, J. M., Bennion, A. E., and Marsden, R. “Managing general health – research into the experiences of people with sight loss”, Thomas Pocklington Trust, June 2012.

Selected Publications

Hughes, M., Burton A. E., & Dempsey, R. C. (2017). ‘I am free in my wheelchair but pain does have a say in it though’: The meaning and experience of quality of life when living with paraplegia and chronic pain. Journal of Health Psychology, doi:  10.1177/1359105317750254

Byrne-Davis, L. M. T., Bull, E. R., Burton, A., Sharni, N., Gillison, F., Maltinski, W., Mason, C., Sharma, N., Armitage, C., Johnston, M., Byrne, G., & Hart, J. (2017). How behavioural science can contribute to health partnerships: the case of The Change Exchange. Globalisation and Health.

Burton A. E., Hughes, M., & Dempsey, R. C. (2017). Quality of life research: A case for combining photo-elicitation with interpretative phenomenological analysis. Qualitative Research in Psychology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2017.1322650. [Epub ahead of print]  

Burton, A. E., Clancy, L., Cowap, L. (2017). Exploring the facilitators and barriers to physical activity in older people with sight loss. Journal of Ageing and Physical Activity, Mar 24:1-29. doi: 10.1123/japa.2016-0123. [Epub ahead of print]

Byrne-Davis, L., Bull, E., Burton, A., Dharni, N., Gillison, F., Maltinsky, W., Mason, C., Sharma, N. and Hart, J., (2017). Global Health Psychology: Research, Volunteering & Consultancy. The European Health Psychologist, 19 (2), pp. 321-325.

Fleet, D., Burton, A. E., Reeves, A., Das Gupta, M. (2016). A case for taking the dual role of counsellor-researcher in qualitative research. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 13(4), 328-346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2016.1205694

Burton, A. E., Burgess, C., Dean, S., Koutsopoulou, G., & Hugh-Jones, S. (2016). How effective are mindfulness-based interventions for reducing stress among healthcare professionals? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Stress and Health. 33(1):3-13. doi: 10.1002/smi.2673. Epub 2016 Feb 25.

Burton, A. E., Priest, H. M., Dent, H. R., Dempsey, R. C., Hutton, S., & McGarry, S. (2016). Wellbeing: How is it conceptualised by psychology students? Psych-Talk, 83, 31-33.

Burton, A. E., & Gibson, J., & Shaw, R.L. (2016). How do older people with sight loss manage their general health? A Qualitative Study. Disability & Rehabilitation. 38(23):2277-85. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1123310. Epub 2016 Jan 14.

Burton, A. E., Shaw, R. L., & Gibson, J. M. (2015). Living together with age related macular degeneration: A qualitative analysis of sense making within a dyadic relationship. Journal of Health Psychology, 20, 1285-1295. DOI: 1359105313511134

Burton, A. E. (2015). Lecturers’ experiences of using wikis to support student group work. Innovative Practice in Higher Education, 2, 2. Available from: http://journals.staffs.ac.uk/index.php/ipihe/article/view/73

Burton, A. E., & Shaw, R. L. (2015). Pain management programmes for non-English speaking people with long term or chronic pain. Musculoskeletal Care. Dec;13(4):187-203. doi: 10.1002/msc.1099. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Gibson, J. M., Shaw, R. L. & Burton, A. E. (2014). Patients’ perceptions of an AMD service: What they won’t tell their ophthalmologist. Digest, Journal of the Macular Society, 66-67.

Burton, A. E., Shaw, R. L., Gibson, J. M. (2013) 'I'd like to know what causes it, you know, anything I've done?' Are we meeting the information and support needs of patients with macular degeneration? A qualitative study. BMJ Open, 3(11):e003306

Burton, A. E., Shaw, R. L., Gibson, J. M. (2013) Experiences of patients with age-related macular degeneration receiving anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy: A qualitative study. British Journal of Vision Impairment, 31(3), 178-188

Craven O, Hughes C. A., Burton A. E., Molassiotis, A. (2013). Is a nurse-led telephone intervention a viable alternative to home care and standard care for patients receiving at home chemotherapy treatment? European Journal of Cancer Care, 22 (3), 413-419. DOI 10.1111/ecc.12047

Bennion, A. E., & Molassioitis, A. (2012). Qualitative research into the symptom experiences of adult cancer patients after treatments: a systematic review and meta-synthesis. Supportive Care in Cancer. 21(1):9-25. doi: 10.1007/s00520-012-1573-x. Epub 2012 Sep 13.

Bennion, A. E., Shaw, R.L., Gibson, J. M. (2012). What do we know about the experience of living with macular degeneration? A systematic review and meta-synthesis. Social Science and Medicine, 75, 976-985.

Bennion, A. E., & Forshaw, M. J. (2012). Insights from the experiences of older people with hearing impairment in the United Kingdom: recommendations for nurse-led rehabilitation, International Journal of Older People Nursing. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-3743.2012.00318.x.

Maslin-Prothero, S. E. & Bennion, A. E. (2010).  Integrated team working: a literature review. International Journal of Integrated Care, 10, 1-11.

Current Teaching


  • • Teaching: Foundations of Psychology, Perspectives in Psychology, Typical and Atypical Development, Introduction to Research Methods, Psychological Interventions, Health Psychology and Undergraduate Project Supervision


  • Module leader: Communication Issues in Health Care Settings (MSc Health Psychology)

  • Teaching: Core Issues in Health Psychology, Communication Issues in Health Care Settings, Psychology Research Methods (MSc Health Psychology), and Advanced Research Methods in Health Psychology (Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology)


  • MSc Health Psychology Projects, BSc Psychology Projects

PhD Students

  • Doreen Fleet: “Establishing the Dimensions of Phenomenological Shift using Sand-Tray in Short-Term Therapy”, 2013-Present (Co-Supervisor with Dr Mani Das Gupta and Dr Andrew Reeves)


Dr Amy Burton
School of Psychology, Sport & Exercise
Faculty of Health Sciences
Science Centre
Leek Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294661
e: amy.burton@staffs.ac.uk