Gail Mountain DipCOT, MPhil, PHD

Professor of Health Services Research (assisted living research)

Picture of Gail Mountain

University of Sheffield,
Regent Court,
30 Regent Street,
S1 4DA

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 2982+44 (0) 114 222 2982
Fax: +44 (0) 114 272 4095 (Not confidential)
Room: 1.06, First Floor, The Innovation Centre


Gail is Professor of Health Services Research (assisted living research) within the Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Group and member of the CLAHRC YH Telehealth and Care Technologies (TaCT) theme and Frail and Elderly theme. She also has an honorary chair in Occupational Therapy research at Sheffield Hallam University, is Research Associate in the Lab4living design and health collaboration ( and is also visiting Professor at the University of Ulster.

Gail was Director of the EPSRC funded Knowledge Transfer Consortium for extending quality life of older and disabled people (KT-EQUAL) and successfully led the project to completion in July 2013. Examples from her current portfolio include leadership of the MRC funded Lifestyle Matters programme which includes a randomised controlled trial of an intervention to promote health and wellbeing in later life. She is also Sheffield lead for a National Institute for Health Research funded programme of dementia research (VALID; valuing active life in dementia) and is Workstream lead for the TSB funded Mainstreaming Assisted Living Technologies Project.

Gail worked as an occupational therapist for over 13 years before commencing a research career at the University of Leeds. In 2001 she moved to Sheffield Hallam University as Head of Research in the School of Health and Social Care; becoming the Director of the newly created Centre for Health and Social Care Research in 2003 and subsequently moved to the University of Sheffield in 2009.

From September 2015 Gail’s substantive post moved to the University of Bradford, as Chair of Applied Dementia Research. She will also remain employed at Sheffield on a fixed term contract to complete projects including Valuing Active Life in Dementia (VALID) and Lifestyle Matters; and to supervise existing registered PhD students.

Research Interests

Gail's research interests are focussed upon improving the quality of life of older people through provision of appropriate interventions, good design and by facilitating participation. I am particularly interested in improving the lived experiences of people at all stages of the dementia trajectory.

PhD Students

Gail supervises a number of PhD Students.

Gail's main teaching involvement is with research students. I am currently supervising three PhD students based in Scharr and a further two who are cross faculty. I am the lead for the PIPIN (promoting independence through personalised interactive technologies) studentship network funded through the Digital World initiative at the University of Sheffield; and have also recently obtained funding for a studentship from Abbeyfield Trust.

Professional Activities

Gail a member of the College of Occupational Therapists and honorary member of the Specialist Section for Older People. She also had membership of the Society for Research into Rehabilitation, the British Society of Gerontology and the International Society of Gerontechnology.

Current & Recent Projects

  • Dementia Outcome Measures: charting new territory. Joint programme for Neurodegenerative Disease Research; working groups to inform cohort studies in neurodegenerative research, 49,462.00 euro (PI).
  • What services can support people with early stage dementia? :evidence and knowledge review and survey to inform local service development. Additional funding via CLAHRC, £27,495.72 (PI).
  • Dementia, Cognition and Care Collaboration. White Rose Network funding, £10,910 (lead)
  • Promoting independence in dementia PRIDE, ESRC/NIHR dementia initiative, £3,6000,000 (Co-I).
  • Interventions to promote or maintain physical activity during and after the transition to retirement: evidence synthesis to inform recommendations for policy and practice. NIHR Public Health Board, £205,532 (Co-I).
  • NIHR Collaboration for applied health research and care Yorkshire and Humber. £10M (Co-I for technology and frailty themes).
  • ICT leisure activities for people with dementia (DigIT). Social Care Institute for Excellence, £30,000 (Co-I).
  • Service evaluation of PARO seal robot. Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust: £10,000 (PI).
  • Abbeyfield Trust PhD studentship to research Telemedicine in care homes.
  • White Rose ESRC funded network MARWEN.
  • Lead for PIPIN (Promoting independence through personalised interactive technologies) PhD student network University of Sheffield Digital World cross cutting initiative.
  • Valuing active life in dementia (VALID). National Institute for Health Research Programme Grant: £2,300,000 (Co-Investigator). This project will commence in 2012. It is concerned with the transferability of a well reported Dutch occupational therapy intervention into a UK context and the clinical and cost effectiveness of delivery.
  • Lifestyle Matters: Randomised controlled trial. MRC Lifelong Health and Wellbeing: £1,131,276.80 (Principal Investigator). The Lifestyle Matters project commenced in 2011 with duration of over four years. Project partners are at Bangor University. The aim is to examine the impact of the Lifestyle Matters intervention upon the mental well being of volunteer participants aged 65 years and over six months after cessation of delivery and two years later.
  • Putting Life in Years (PLINY). Randomised controlled trial of telephone friendship groups for people aged 75 years and over. National Institute for Health Research Public Health Board: £813,000.00 (Principal Investigator). This three year project started in 2011. It involves examining the benefits of telephone conferencing with older people with the intervention being delivered through the charitable sector. Our third sector partners AgeUK National, AgeUK Sheffield and the Community Network are working alongside the research team to introduce and deliver this intervention.
  • The Script project; (supervised care and rehabilitation involving personal telerobotics). EU STREP: 3,311,998 euro (Co-Investigator). The project is being led by University of Hertfordshire and also includes partners in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. The aim is to develop and test two robotic systems to facilitate in-home upper limb rehabilitation following stroke.
  • Overcoming barriers to mainstreaming Assisted Living Technologies ESRC and TSB ALIP programme: £1,800,000 (Co-Investigator). My role is to work with commissioners, health care practitioners, providers, end users of service and their carers to understand barriers to adoption and introduce and evaluate interventions to try and overcome them.
  • Richard project: regional ICT based clusters for healthcare applications and R&D integration. EU FP7: 2,749,999.68 euro (Named Collaborator). This project with partners in Italy and Poland involves mapping Telehealth / Telecare initiatives and identifying future research agendas.
  • K-T Equal: Bringing ageing and disability research into practice. EPSRC: 1,833,000 (Principle Director). The Consortium is working to ensure that the products from research on ageing are implemented in practice and also that the views of older people are incorporated into new research agendas The Consortium has a membership of around 3,000 individuals and organisations.
  • South Yorkshire Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care; Technologies for management of long term conditions – fitness for purpose, evidence and potential for the future. NIHR: £1,900,000 (Co-theme lead with Professor Mark Hawley). This programme of translational research involves research and implementation themes spanning topics concerned with people with long term conditions. The technology theme (TaCT) is exploring new innovations as well as the effectiveness of established technologies in practice.
  • The Future Bathroom: a study of design issues for people with age related disability. EPSRC: £450,000 (Co Investigator). This project is being led by the Design Research Centre, Sheffield HallamUniversity and has involved older people as co-researchers. It has resulted in a number of innovative prototypes that are now under evaluation.
  • SMART2: self management assisted by rehabilitation and telecare technologies. EPSRC EQUAL5: £2,300,000 (Consortium Director). The SMART2 project is concerned with integrating and developing commonly encountered technologies into a common, intelligent platform to assist people with stroke, congestive heart failure and chronic pain to self manage.

Key Publications

  • Mountain GA & Craig CL (2011) The lived experience of redesigning lifestyle post-retirement in the UK. Occupational Therapy International 18 (1): 48-58.
  • Rosser B, McCullagh P, Davies R, Mountain G A, McCracken L, Eccleston C (2011) Adapting therapy for technology: identifying and modifying therapeutic strategies for the SMART2 technology-based intervention for chronic pain. The Journal of Pain 12 (4), 75.
  • Mountain G & Craig CL (2012) What should be in a self management programme for people with early dementia? Ageing and mental health. 16 (5): 576-538 2012.
  • Mountain G & Craig CL (2012) What should be in a self management programme for people with early stage dementia? Aging and Mental Health. Online 24 Feb DOI:10.1080/13607863.2011.651430
  • Mountain G, Mawson S, Ware T, Eccleston C, Black N, Harris N & Hu, H (2010) Exploring the usability of a prototype technology for upper limb rehabilitation following stroke. Journal of Engineering Design, 21(Issues 2&3), 223-236.
  • Rosser BA, Vowles KE, Keogh E, Eccleston C, Mountain GA (2009) Technologically-assisted behaviour change: a systematic review of studies of novel technologies for the management of chronic illness. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 15(7):327-338.
  • Moniz-Cook E, Vernooij-Dassen M, Woods R, Verhey F, Chattat R, De Vught M, Mountain G, Lavalle S, Droes R & Orrell M (2008) A European Consensus on outcome measures for psychosocial measures for psychosocial intervention research in dementia care. Aging and Mental Health, 12:1, 14-29
  • Mountain G (2006) Self management and Dementia: an exploration of concepts and evidence Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice 5(3), 429 – 447
  • Full list of publications


Gail Mountain is based within the Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Group, Health Services Research Section.