Dr Sarah Drabble CPsychol, PhD, MSc, BSc, BA

Research Associate

Medical Care Research UnitSarah Drabble
Health Services Research
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
University of Sheffield
Regent Court, 30 Regent Street
Sheffield S1 4DA

Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 2987
Fax: (+44) (0)114 22 20749
Email: s.j.drabble@sheffield.ac.uk

Room: 3013


I joined the University of Sheffield in 2004 to complete an MSc and PhD in Occupational Psychology at the Institute of Work Psychology. I worked on an SDO-funded project looking at the role of culture change in care of older people in acute hospital settings. Prior to that, I worked as a financial analyst for Ford Motor Company and Visteon Automotive Ltd (automotive supplier) for a number of years.

I moved to ScHARR in July 2010 to work on the QUART project looking at the role of qualitative research in randomised controlled trials, funded by the Medical Research Council. I went on to work on a qualitative process evaluation of the Healthlines trial. I am currently working on the ACTIF project which is developing an intervention to help adult Cystic Fibrosis patients improve their adherence to their nebuliser treatment, undertaking interviews with CF patients to inform development of an intervention.

Research Interests

  • Self-management of long-term conditions such as depression, raised cardiovascular risk, endometriosis, cystic fibrosis
  • Process evaluations of trials using qualitative and mixed methods
  • The use of qualitative research with trials
  • Qualitative research methods and practice including framework analysis, discourse analysis, rhetorical analysis and the language-in-use approach
  • The role of emotions and identity and in particular language about emotions and identity in organizational and healthcare settings

Teaching Interests

I am interested in organisational psychology, qualitative research methods, MSc dissertation supervision and PhD supervision.

Professional Activities

I am a chartered psychologist of the British Psychological Society.

Current Projects

ACTIF: improving adherence to nebulisers in adults with Cystic Fibrosis.

Key Publications

  1. Drabble SJ & O’Cathain A. (2015). Chapter 23. Moving from randomised controlled trials to mixed methods intervention evaluations in Hesse-Biber SN & R Burke Johnson (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Multi- and Mixed-Methods Research Inquiry. Oxford Library of Psychology. Oxford University Press
  2. O'Cathain A, Thomas KJ, Drabble SJ, Rudolph A, Goode J, Hewison J. Maximising the value of combining qualitative research and randomised controlled trials in health research: the QUAlitative Research in Trials (QUART) study a mixed methods study. Health Technol Assess 2014;18(38) doi:10.3310/hta18380
  3. O’Cathain, A., Goode, J., Drabble, S. J., Thomas, K. J., Rudolph, A. & Hewison, (2014). Getting added value from using qualitative research with randomised controlled trials: A qualitative interview study. Trials, 15:215. doi.org/10.1186/1745-6215-15-215
  4. Drabble, S. J., O'Cathain, A., Thomas, K. J., Rudolph, A., & Hewison, J. (2014). Describing qualitative research undertaken with randomised controlled trials in grant proposals: A documentary analysis. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 14(1). doi:10.1186/1471-2288-14-24
  5. O'Cathain, A., Thomas, K. J., Drabble, S. J., Rudolph, A., & Hewison, J.
    What can qualitative research do for randomised controlled trials? A systematic mapping review. BMJ Open, 3(6). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002889
  6. Drabble, S. J. (2010). The role of emotional language and identity in accounts of organisational change. PhD Thesis. University of Sheffield.


Sarah Drabble is based in the Medical Care Research Unit in Health Services Research