Professor Peter Bath

Professor of Health Informatics, Head of School

BSc (Technical) (University of Wales), MSc (Sheffield), PhD (Sheffield)

Peter Bath 2014

+44 (0)114 222 2636

My research interests are in Health Informatics and include the following areas:

  • The use of e-Health resources by different consumer groups.
  • Health information needs and information behaviours of patients, their families, carers and the general public.
  • Evaluation of information systems within health care organisations.
  • Applications of artificial intelligence and data mining techniques to analysing health information.
  • Analysing health information in relation to the health and well-being of older people.

I am particularly interested in how patients, carers and health professionals seek, obtain and share information and advice in relation to their health and well-being through online digital resources, e.g., the Web, online discussion groups. I am developing an interest in how different groups develop trust and empathy online in life-threatening and traumatic conditions. I have experience of researching the quality of online information resources that patients, carers and the public use in relation to their health.
I have undertaken collaborative research with a range of organisations, including NHS Direct, the World Health Organisation, Macmillan Cancer Support and have been involved in a wide range of inter-disciplinary funded projects, including with colleagues from computer science, geriatric medicine, nursing, palliative care, biomedical engineering, psychiatry, public health medicine, epidemiology, health economics, statistics.

I also coordinate the ISHIMR conference series. The most recent International Symposium for Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR 2013) took place in Halifax, NS, Canada in June 2013 and the 17th International Symposium for Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR 2013) will take place in York in 2015.

I am interested in supervising PhDs in the following areas:

  • Use of social media by patients, carers and family members
  • Health information needs and information behaviours of patients, their families, carers and the general public.
  • Understanding and evaluating the importance of e-Health systems to support patient care.
  • Applications of statistical methods, and artificial intelligence and data mining techniques to analysing health data, particularly in relation to the health and well-being of older people

I am head of the Health Informatics Research Group


Current PhD Students

Abdulaziz Almanea: The Social Media Usage by Patients and the Public to Share Information Concerning Breast Cancer.

Adelina Basholli: Wireless monitoring systems for enhancing health services in developing regions.

Daisy Da Moura Semedo: Mining health information on the Social Web: towards an understanding of the influence of social media on public healthcare

Suzanne Duffin: A study of information needs and information sharing amongst people on the autism spectrum, using online support and discussion groups

Muntaha Nafisa: Evaluating health information systems Research Title : Evaluating the quality of the existing EHR Systems of Govt. Healthcare facilities of Bangladesh: Journey Towards National Shared Health Record

Emily Nunn: Open access and the non-academic reader: Investigating the potential impact outside the academic community of open access to medical and education research.

Thomas Poulter: Requirements and benefits of electronic patient record (EPR) systems in cancer treatment services.

Sally Sanger: Alcohol online support groups: the role of discussion forums in constructing users' understanding of their condition/disease.

Liliana Sepulveda Garcia: Nonintrusive monitoring of the aging population in rural Mexico through mobile technologies.

Yuhua Wang: Developing a better understanding of the factors that influence digital inclusion for active and healthy ageing among older people.


Visiting PhD Students

Noora Hirvonen: Information Behavior in Stages of Exercise Behavior Change

Kalpana Chandrasekar: Comparison of Notifiable Disease Surveillance Systems in Sri Lanka and the UK. Completion date: November 2013

Paolo Melillo: Use of data mining methods to analyse data on health in older people Completion date: February 2012

Leandro Pecchia: Economy and Management of Healthcare Services and Organizations. Completion date: January 2009


Completed PhD Students

Jennifer Salter: Understanding health changes through the analysis of electricity consumption data.

Jean Stevenson-Agren: Documentation of vital signs in electronic health records: a patient safety issue.

Simon Read: Methods for the improved implementation of the spatial scan statistic when applied to binary labelled point data.

Rabiah Ahmad: Cox Proportional Hazard Regression and Genetic Algorithms (CoRGA) for Analysing Risk Factors for All-Cause Mortality in Community-Dwelling Older People.

Haleh Ayatollahi: Factors influencing attitudes towards the use of information technology in the emergency department.

Catherine Beverley: The Health and Social Care Information Needs and Behaviour of People with a Visual Impairment.

Louise Guillaume: The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine scare: the information needs and information sources of parents.

Juliet Harland: Making Sense of Dementia.

Wen-Chin Hsu: Older people's use of the NHS Direct telephone advice and information service.

Chih-Ping Li: Quality of Life Among Older People in the UK and Taiwan.

Jacqueline Macdonald: The Information Sharing Behaviour of Health Service Managers: a three-part study.

Joel Minion: The Information World of Gay Men Living with HIV.

Robinah Namuleme: Information seeking in Ugandan universities.

Reza Rabiei: Perceptions of, and Satisfaction with, the NHS Choose and Book Service in England.

Theocharis Stavroulakis: The information needs and behaviours of women in relation to osteoporosis: Implications for health promotion.

Kyeung Mi Oh: Priorities for the development of older people' services in South Korea-lessons from the United Kingdom.


Research Projects

Monitoring the transition to Open Access in the UK

Universities UK Investigator £10,800 2 January 2015 5 months

Monitoring the transition to open access in the UK is a project sponsored by Universities UK analysing the various strands of evidence of the take-up of open-access publishing and dissemination by UK researchers. The project is investigating the availability of different open-access options, evidence of their take-up, usage of open-access materials, and the financial sustainability of open-access approaches. Partners in the project are the Research Information Network, University of Sheffield, Research Consulting and Elsevier.


A Shared Space and a Space for Sharing: A Transdisciplinary Exploration of Online Trust and Empathy

Economic and Social Research Council Principal Investigator £1,137,516 30 June 2014 30 months

This two and a half year trans-disciplinary project is funded by the ESRC Emoticon (Empathy and Trust in Communicating Online) call. The project involves the Universities of Birmingham, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Kings College London and the University of Kent at Canterbury. The aim of the project is to develop a better understanding of how people in extreme circumstances (ranging from dangerous and addictive drug use, life-threatening illness, to suicidal ideation and natural disasters) share information, emotion and resources in online environments.


Systematic Review of the effects of telephone assessment on OOH care

NHS Direct Principal Investigator £4,111 1 September 2012 13 months


A feasibility study of a holistic needs assessment questionnaire in a supportive and palliative care

MacMillan Cancer Support Investigator £141,265 1 January 2010 30 months


Predictive models of Suicide, Self-Harm and Violence in Psychosis

Sheffield Health and Social Research Consortium Investigator £10,000 26 February 2007 12 months


An intervention to help patients understand their symptoms of acute chest pain

The Health Foundation Investigator £60,627 1 November 2005 24 months


Medical Records Review Methods

Department of Health Investigator £472,176 1 May 2004 33 months


Use of graph-theoretical methods in computation chemistry for pattern identification

Medical Research Council Principal Investigator £49,392 1 May 2001 36 months