Laura Di Bona [MClinRes PGDip (OT) PGCert BSc]

Laura Di Bona

Research Associate (Honorary)


Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Group, Health Services Research
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
The University of Sheffield
Regent Court
30 Regent Street
Sheffield S1 4DA

email :


I joined the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) in 2012 as a research associate, having completed an NIHR clinical academic training pathway (CATP) fellowship funded MSc in Clinical Research with distinction.

Prior to this I worked clinically as a healthcare assistant, then as an Occupational Therapist. I have experience in a variety of clinical settings and specialisms, but mostly I’ve worked in mental health. Alongside my clinical work, I carried out research into the benefits of leisure and therapeutic activities. I also led on audits and service evaluations focussing on occupational therapy and vocational rehabilitation practice.

I am involved in supervising and teaching occupational therapy, medical and MSc research students. I am a STEM ambassador and regularly facilitate public engagement events relating to the health sciences. Here is a video of an event I was involved in:

Research Interests

I am interested in evaluating and improving clinical practice and outcomes, with particular focus on:
• Mental health of children and adults
• Care of people with dementia
• Service user engagement and involvement
• Health inequalities
• Occupational Therapy
• Vocational Rehabilitation

Current Projects

Valuing Active Life in Dementia (VALID) : This is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded applied research programme. The VALID programme is evaluating occupational therapy for people with mild to moderate dementia and their family caregivers living in the community.

Adopt a Care Home Scheme: This is a collaborative project with Sheffield City Council. We have evaluated the extent to which a pilot of the Adopt a Care Home Scheme increased primary school children’s awareness and knowledge of dementia and contributed to the well-being of people with dementia who are in care homes. We are currently seeking further funding to continue to develop and evaluate the scheme.


Parkinson,S; Di Bona,L; Fletcher,N; Vecsey,T & Wheeler K (In Press) Profession-specific working in mental health: impacts for occupational therapists and service users. New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Hynes,S; Field,B; Ledgerd,R; Swinson,T; Wenborn,J; Di Bona,L; Moniz-Cook,E; Poland,F & Orrell,M (2015): Exploring the need for a new UK occupational therapy intervention for people with dementia and family carers: Community Occupational Therapy in Dementia (COTiD). A focus group study. Aging & Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1037243.

Di Bona,L ; Saxon,D ; Barkham,M; Dent-Brown,K & Parry,G (2014) Predictors of patient non-attendance at Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services demonstration sites. Journal of Affective Disorders, 169, p157-164.

Di Bona,L (2004) What Do They Think of Us? A Satisfaction Survey of Users of Occupational Therapy Services in an Acute Adult Inpatient Unit. Mental Health Occupational Therapy, Vol9, 3, 2004 p77-81.

Di Bona,L and Boyle,K (2001) An exploration of the therapeutic benefits of computing. Mental Health Occupational Therapy, Vol6, 3, November 2001.

Di Bona, L (2000) What are the Benefits of Leisure? An exploration using the Leisure Satisfaction Scale. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63,2,p50-58.