Dr Emma Wolverson

Dr Emma Wolverson

Reader in Ageing and Dementia. Research Lead for Dementia UK.

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • School of Psychology and Social Work

Qualifications

  • BSc (University of Hull)
  • ClinPsyD (University of Hull)

Summary

Emma Wolverson is a Clinical Psychologist and Reader in Ageing and Dementia within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull. She is Research Lead for Dementia UK. Emma is a member of the British Psychological Society and a registered practitioner with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

In 2018, Emma was awarded the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Research Leaders award for Outstanding Early Career Contribution to Dementia Research. She is a member of the multi-disciplinary international research group INTERDEM, a peer reviewer for the World Health Organizations Global Dementia Observatory Knowledge Exchange Platform and a Clinical Policy Advisor for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Emma has over 17 years’ experience of working in the NHS with people living with dementia and uses her clinical experience to guide evidence based practice and to deliver research that explores issues that matter for people with dementia, their families and healthcare professionals.

As a clinical academic, Emma’s body of work is focused on delivering clinical innovation and seeks to bring meaningful changes to current practices. Emma’s research programme responds to the urgent need to improve post-diagnostic support for people with dementia and their families. Emma is particularly interested in times when people and families need greater support, such as during a mental health crisis or as a person reaches the end of their life.

Emma is a co-investigator on a number of NIHR funded studies within mental health services, social care and community settings. Her research portfolio includes studies examining:

•The mental health care needs of people with dementia and their families

•The provision of psychosocial interventions to improve wellbeing and enhance enjoyment for people with dementia and their families

•The application of positive psychology interventions and outcome measures to dementia care

Her projects employ a wide range of research methodologies and Emma has particular skills in stakeholder engagement and qualitative research methods. A key focus of Emma’s research is to empower people with dementia in their carers to become partners in research and she is Chair of two patient and public involvement groups for people with dementia and their carers.

Emma is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is also a member of the Higher Education Dementia Network, a national group of academics who look to improve the delivery of dementia education within higher education institutions. Emma co-designed and co-wrote the MSc Dementia programme at the University of Hull. The programme was co-created and is co-delivered by people living with dementia and their carers. This online programme has attracted students from all over the world (incl. Canada, America, Bermuda and Australia) and from a range of professional backgrounds. The programmes most highly rated module is a module of Dying Well with Dementia and was co-created with Dove House Hospice in Hull.

Emma also delivers education on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme at Hull.

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Journal Article

Predicting patients with dementia most at risk of needing psychiatric inpatient or enhanced community care using routinely collected clinical data: a retrospective multi-site cohort study

London, S., Chen, S., Sidhom, E., Lewis, J., Wolverson, E., Cardinal, R., …Underwood, B. (in press). Predicting patients with dementia most at risk of needing psychiatric inpatient or enhanced community care using routinely collected clinical data: a retrospective multi-site cohort study. British Journal of Psychiatry, https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.2024.14

Characteristics, outcomes, facilitators and barriers for psychosocial interventions on inpatient mental health dementia wards: a systematic review

Thompson, N., Hsu, M., Odell-Miller, H., Underwood, B., & Wolverson, E. (2024). Characteristics, outcomes, facilitators and barriers for psychosocial interventions on inpatient mental health dementia wards: a systematic review. BMC Geriatrics, 24(1), Article 364. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-024-04965-8

Social prescribing for people living with dementia (PLWD) and their carers: what works, for whom, under what circumstances and why – protocol for a complex intervention systematic review

Marshall, J., Papavasiliou, E., Fox, C., Hawkes, M., Irvine, A., Moniz-Cook, E., …Cross, J. L. (2024). Social prescribing for people living with dementia (PLWD) and their carers: what works, for whom, under what circumstances and why – protocol for a complex intervention systematic review. BMJ open, 14(4), Article e080551. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2023-080551

A participatory approach to understand what might be most meaningful to people living with dementia in a positive psychology intervention

Jackman, V., Wolverson, E., Clarke, C., & Quinn, C. (in press). A participatory approach to understand what might be most meaningful to people living with dementia in a positive psychology intervention. Dementia, https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2023.2299967

Predicting patients with dementia most at risk of needing psychiatric inpatient or enhanced community care using routinely collected clinical data: a retrospective multi-site cohort study

London, S., Chen, S., Lewis, J., Wolverson, E., Cardinal, R., Mueller, C., & Underwood, B. (in press). Predicting patients with dementia most at risk of needing psychiatric inpatient or enhanced community care using routinely collected clinical data: a retrospective multi-site cohort study. British Journal of Psychology,

Research interests

Current funded research projects:

2022-2024 - Post-Diagnostic Dementia Support within the ReCOVERY College Model: A Realist Evaluation (DiSCOVERY). NIHR HSDR.

Role: Stakeholder collaboration and qualitative research expertise, co-lead work package on the development and delivery of a national online survey.

2022-2024 - The Cognitive Daisy (COG-D) for improving care of residents with dementia in care homes: A feasibility RCT. NIHR RfPB.

Role: Co-ordinate and lead patient and public involvement.

2021-2023- Implementation of evidence-based cost-effective training for care home staff to improve wellbeing and mental health for care home residents with dementia and reduce unnecessary sedative medications: WHELD into Practice. NIHR-ARC (Healthy Ageing, Dementia & Frailty).

Role: lead recruitment of care homes in Yorkshire and Humber and support dissemination.

2019-2023 “Let’s have fun learning from each other”: Empowering people living with dementia to take the lead through person-led, creative engagement. The Ideas Fund (Wellcome/British Sciences Association).

Role: co-lead and support the evaluation of the project.

Lead investigator

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

Co-developing and piloting a whole-ward music therapy intervention to reduce agitation and related physical assaults on inpatient psychiatric wards for people with dementia: The MELODIC Study (Music therapy Embedded in the Life Of Dementia Inpatient Care)

Funder

NIHR National Institute for Health Research

Grant

£2,884.00

Started

1 September 2023

Status

Ongoing

Project

Ideas Fund Butterflies Hull

Funder

Wellcome Trust

Grant

£16,002.00

Started

1 November 2021

Status

Complete

Co-investigator

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

DiSCOVERY: Post-Diagnostic Dementia Support within the ReCOVERY College Model: A Realist Evaluation

Funder

NIHR National Institute for Health Research

Grant

£26,355.00

Started

1 January 2022

Status

Ongoing

Project

SPLENDID study Application SECOND Stage

Funder

NIHR National Institute for Health Research

Grant

£55,931.00

Started

1 October 2022

Status

Ongoing

Project

H2020 SC HEALTH CAREGIVERSPRO-MMD

Funder

EC European Commission

Grant

£243,373.00

Started

1 January 2016

Status

Complete

Project

The Cognitive Daisy (COG-D) for improving care for residents with dementia in care homes: A feasibility RCT

Funder

NIHR National Institute for Health Research

Grant

£39,856.00

Started

1 April 2022

Status

Complete

Postgraduate supervision

Supervising and Supporting Post-Graduate Research

Emma supervises MSc Dementia dissertations, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology thesis projects and PhD Students. To date she has supervised 18 students successfully to completion.

PhD / DClinPysch students supervised to completion (all from the University of Hull)

Chapman, D. (2011). Hope and Stigma in Early Dementia. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Harris, Y. (2012). An exploration of illness representations in older age. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Marklew, H. (2013). An exploration of the motherhood decision. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Patterson, K. (2014). Positive experiences whilst living with dementia: A qualitative exploration of growth in older adults. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Irwin, H. (2014). Exploring the shared experience of humour in people living with dementia and their partners. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Vince, A, (2014). An exploration into psychiatrists understanding of what it means to live well with dementia, and experiences of engaging in discussions about positive wellbeing when sharing a diagnosis. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Dearden, R. (2014). Defining an authentic patient-neurosurgeon relationship within the awake craniotomy context: A qualitative study. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Cowell, C. (2016). An exploration of the impact of the care home transition on love in dementia relationships. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Heap, C. (2016). Intensive Interaction in severe dementia: Making meaning with staff caregivers. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Buggins, S. (2016). Resilience in older adults with a diagnosis of dementia. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Smithson-Evans, F. (2016). Illness perceptions and quality of life in brain tumors: Does diagnostic communication have an impact? Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Pearson, M. (2017) The experience of gratitude in dementia: A pilot study of a gratitude intervention Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Bartels, L. (2017) The role of hope in sustaining caregiving in dementia. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Conway, L (2018) Resilience in people with dementia and their caregivers. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Adams, J. (2018) Mindfulness and Meditation Interventions in Dementia: Experiences, Adaptations and Effects on Well-being. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Sweeny, L. (2019) Shared experiences of making digital life stories in dementia dyads. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Lowe, S. (2021). Dark Humour in dementia. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Amponsem, S. (2022). The Meaning and Experience of Hope for people living with dementia as experienced through poetry. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Current students:

Wood, C. (due for completion 2024). Dementia, Death and Dying: Can a death café approach help with future care planning conversations. PhD Health Care Studies.

Dunn, R. (due for completion 2023). “She’s my memory; he’s my legs!” An interpretive phenomenological exploration of couples’ experiences living with dementia and multiple health conditions. PhD Health Care Studies.

Walton, J. (due for completion 2022). Enhancing Experiences of Hope in Caregivers of People Living with Dementia. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Baggaley, J. (due for completion 2023). Measuring Self-Compassion in People Living with Dementia. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Jackman, V. (due for completion in 2023). Co-design of a Positive Psychology Intervention for People with Dementia. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Emma has experience as an internal and external examiner:

•Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme, University of East Anglia (2016 to 2020- 10 theses).

•Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme, University of Leeds (2017 - 2 theses).

•Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme, University of Manchester (2019- 2021- 5 theses).

•Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme, University of Hull University (2010-2022 18 doctoral theses).

Awards and prizes

Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Research Leaders Award

2018

Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Research Leaders Award: Outstanding Early Career Contribution to Dementia Research 2018

Charity role

Member of the Dove House Hospice board of trustees, Hull.

2019 - 2022

Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) clinical policy advisor

2018

Committee/Steering group role

Member of the Y&H CRN Clinical Specialty Group (Dementia)

2022 - 2023

Consultancy/Industry advisory role

Peer reviewer for the World Health Organization (WHO) Global dementia observatory knowledge exchange platform

2021

Journal editorial role

Editorial Board Member Dementia: the international journal of social research and practice

2023

National/International learned society/body role

Member of the Quality Network for Older Adults Mental Health Service Advisory Group

2023

Board Member of the Yorkshire and Humber Faculty of Psychology for Older People (FPOP).

2019 - 2022

Member of the multi-disciplinary international research group INTERDEM

2019

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