Dr Cath Quinn

Dr Cath Quinn

Senior Research Fellow

Clinical Trials & Health Research - Institute of Translational & Stratified Medicine (Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry)


Cath Quinn (Weyer Brown) is a qualitative researcher who has developed in interest in mixed methods working, particularly within realistic evaluation frameworks. Cath's research has focused on the mental health of socially marginalised groups, particularly offenders. She co-leads the Offender Health work stream with Professor Richard Byng. Cath has become increasingly interested in promoting mental and emotional wellbeing, rather than 'treating' mental illness, particularly how this might be enacted for socially deprived populations.

Cath joined the Primary Care department in 2008, having previously worked in research positions in Exeter and Plymouth Universities and the NHS, and she began her career in the history of psychiatry.



PhD                 Medical History                                 Exeter University                  2004

 “Include the Mother and Exclude the Lunatic, a social history of puerperal insanity, 1860-1922” was based on extensive qualitative and quantitative research in asylum archives. The study interrogated the role of the disease within a society in which motherhood was becoming increasingly regulated.


M.A.                Cultural History         Distinction      Manchester University          1998

 “Representations of Puerperal Insanity in England and Scotland. 1850-1900” examined the images of the disease in medical journals and photography, and analysed the similarities and contrasts between them within the context of the developing psychiatric profession.


B.A. Hons.      Politics and                 First                Manchester University          1997   

                        Modern History

 “The Manchester Lunatic Hospital and Asylum, 1769-1849” examined the prevailing spirit of ‘philanthropy over psychiatry’ in this institution, the first outside London.


11/2004 –


Project Manager

Specialised Services Commissioning, Exeter Primary Care Trust


Developed and co-ordinated a series of depth-interviews with people living with Multiple Sclerosis and care staff. Produced reports that made recommendations for service development and skills training in terms of Government targets.



Research Analyst

Dr Kate Fisher – Oral History Researcher

Analysed interviews on experiences of intercourse and contraception. Produced report for funding body on progress against original project aims.


10/2003 – 09/2004

Research Fellow

Centre for Medical History, Exeter University

Developed and conducted a series of depth interviews about birth experiences. Produced a report recommending areas for further study.


10/2000 - 09/2003


History Department, Exeter University

Taught undergraduates research skills, including quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Professional membership

Member of Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) since 2009.

Member of British Sociological Association (BSA) since 2012.

Roles on external bodies

Member of scientific panel for SWSAPC conference (2012) and reviewer for this and submissions to SAPC Annual Conference (2012-2015).

NIHR reviewer, for reports and funding applications; Offender Health and qualitative methods.

Teaching interests

PhD Supervisor, Alexandors Georgiadis,  (2nd with Professor Richard Byng and Professor Ross Coomber. 'Offenders with common mental health problems: a multidimensional and multi-perspective study' . PenCLAHRC studentship. 2012-15.

PUPSMD: Research in Action SSU on Health Inequalities.

I am happy to discuss supervising:

  • Qualitative research
  • Offender Health research
  • Mental Health and/or Wellbeing research
  • Social Inequalities research

Research interests

Areas of research interest

  • Mental health and Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
  • Socially marginalised groups, particularly offenders
  • Qualitative research methods, particularly combining within case and cross case analysis
  • Process Evaluations, particularly their role in intervention development and their place in mixed methods teams
  • The involvement of people with lived experience of conditions in research

Current research projects:

  • Engager 2: Developing and evaluating a collaborative care intervention for prisoners, with common mental health problems, near to and after release; applicant and work stream 1 lead, 2013-2018.


Completed research projects:

  • Engaging offenders with common mental health problems (ENGAGER); Study co-ordinator, Research Fellow, applicant. 2010-12. http://clahrc-peninsula.nihr.ac.uk/project/55-engager.php
  • A research evaluation of the South West Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme; Lead for persons with lived experience, applicant. 2009-12.
  • Improving community health networks for people with severe mental illness: a case study investigation; Qualitative researcher. 2011-2013. 

Grants & contracts


Co-Applicant and work stream 1 lead: Engager 2: Developing and Evaluating a collaborative care intervention for prisoners, with common mental health problems, near to and after release. NIHR Programme  Grant. 2013-2018 (£2M).

Co-Applicant: Engaging Offenders with Common Mental Health Problems. NIHR Programme Development Grant. 2010-11. (£100K).

Co-Applicant: A research evaluation of the south west Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme. NHS Southwest. 2009-12. (£300K).

Principal Applicant: Economic and Social Research Council, Social Science Awareness Week – Grant to facilitate and lead workshops and focus groups. June 2004. (£500).

Grant Holder: ESRC ‘Include the Mother and Exclude the Lunatic a Social History of Puerperal Insanity’ PhD award. 1999-2003.

Grant Holder: AHRB ‘Cultural Representations of puerperal insanity’. MA award. 1997-1998.

Trout History Prize (BA  Dissertation), Manchester University. 1997.

Research groups

  • Plymouth Inequalities Group

Key publications are highlighted

Thompson TP, Callaghan L, Hazeldine E, Quinn C, Walker S, Byng R, Wallace G, Creanor S, Green C & Hawton A 2018 'Health trainer -led motivational intervention plus usual care for people under community supervision compared with usual care alone: a study protocol for a parallel-group pilot randomised controlled trial (STRENGTHEN)' BMJ OPEN 8, (6) Author Site , DOI PEARL
Bernardes Delgado M, Burns L, Quinn C, Moles D & Kay E 2018 'Oral Care of Palliative Care Patients - Carers' and Relatives' Experiences. A Qualitative Study' British Dental Journal , DOI PEARL
Annison J, Byng R & Quinn C 2018 'Women Offenders: Promoting a Holistic Approach and Continuity of Care across Criminal Justice and Health Interventions' Criminology and Criminal Justice PEARL
Martyr A, Nelis SM, Quinn C, Wu YT, Lamont RA, Henderson C, Clarke R, Hindle JV, Thom JM & Jones IR 2018 'Living well with dementia: a systematic review and correlational meta-analysis of factors associated with quality of life, well-being and life satisfaction in people with dementia' Psychological Medicine 1-10 , DOI
Hillman A, Jones IR, Quinn C, M. Nelis S & Clare L 2018 'Dualities of dementia illness narratives and their role in a narrative economy' Sociology of Health & Illness 40, (5) 874-891 , DOI
Kirkpatrick T, Lennox C, Taylor R, Anderson R, Maguire M, Haddad M, Michie S, Owens C, Durcan G & Stirzaker A 2018 'Evaluation of a complex intervention (Engager) for prisoners with common mental health problems, near to and after release: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial' BMJ Open 8, (2) e017931-e017931 Author Site , DOI
Quinn C, Denman K, Smithson P, Owens C, Sheaff WR, Campbell J, Porter I, Annison J & Byng R 2018 'General practitioner contributions to achieving sustained healthcare for offenders: a qualitative study' BMC Family Practice 19, Publisher Site , DOI PEARL
Lennox C, Kirkpatrick T, Taylor RS, Todd R, Greenwood C, Haddad M, Stevenson C, Stewart A, Shenton D & Carroll L 2017 'Pilot randomised controlled trial of the ENGAGER collaborative care intervention for prisoners with common mental health problems, near to and after release' Pilot and Feasibility Studies 4, (1) , DOI PEARL
Georgiadis A, Byng R, Coomber R & Quinn C 2016 'The social, relational and mental health characteristics of justice-involved men in the south-west England' The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology 27, (6) 835-852 , DOI PEARL
Ciblis AS, Butler M-L, Quinn C, Clare L, Bokde ALW, Mullins PG & McNulty JP 2016 'Current Practice in the Referral of Individuals with Suspected Dementia for Neuroimaging by General Practitioners in Ireland and Wales' PLOS ONE 11, (3) e0151793-e0151793 , DOI
Clare L, Quinn C, Jones IR & Woods RT 2016 '“I Don’t Think Of It As An Illness”: Illness Representations in Mild to Moderate Dementia' Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 51, (1) 139-150 , DOI
White A, Tough L, Eyre V, Vickery J, Asprey A, Quinn C, Warren F, Pritchard C, Foster NE & Taylor RS 2016 'Western medical acupuncture in a group setting for knee osteoarthritis: results of a pilot randomised controlled trial' Pilot and Feasibility Studies 2, (1) , DOI
Opdebeeck C, Quinn C, Nelis SM & Clare L 2015 'Is cognitive lifestyle associated with depressive thoughts and self-reported depressive symptoms in later life?' European Journal of Ageing 13, (1) 63-73 , DOI
Marshall D, Quinn C, Child S, Shenton D, Pooler J, Forber S & Byng R 2015 'What IAPT services can learn from those who do not attend' Journal of Mental Health , DOI
Pearson M, Brand SL, Quinn C, Shaw J, Maguire M, Michie S, Briscoe S, Lennox C, Stirzaker A & Kirkpatrick T 2015 'Using realist review to inform intervention development: methodological illustration and conceptual platform for collaborative care in offender mental health' Implementation Science 10, (1) , DOI PEARL
Pinfold V, Sweet D, Porter I, Weyer-Brown C, Byng R & Griffiths C 2015 'Improving community health networks for people with severe mental illness: a case study investigation' Health Services and Delivery Research 3, (5)
Clare L, Whitaker CJ, Craik FIM, Bialystok E, Martyr A, Martin-Forbes PA, Bastable AJM, Pye KL, Quinn C & Thomas EM 2014 'Bilingualism, executive control, and age at diagnosis among people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease in Wales' Journal of Neuropsychology 10, (2) 163-185 , DOI
Quinn C, Anderson D, Toms G, Whitaker R, Edwards R, Jones C & Clare L 2014 'Self-management in early-stage dementia: a pilot randomised controlled trial of the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a self-management group intervention (the SMART study)' Trials 15, (1) 74-74 , DOI
Zahra D, Qureshi A, Henley W, Taylor R, Quinn C, Pooler J, Hardy G, Newbold A & Byng R 2013 'The Work and Social Adjustment Scale: Reliability, Sensitivity, and Value' International Journal of Psychiatry in Clincal Practice 18, (2) 131-138 , DOI
Clare L, Whitaker R, Woods RT, Quinn C, Jelley H, Hoare Z, Woods J, Downs M & Wilson BA 2012 'AwareCare: a pilot randomized controlled trial of an awareness-based staff training intervention to improve quality of life for residents with severe dementia in long-term care settings' International Psychogeriatrics 25, (01) 128-139 , DOI
Quinn C, Clare L, McGuinness T & Woods RT 2012 'The impact of relationships, motivations, and meanings on dementia caregiving outcomes' International Psychogeriatrics 24, (11) 1816-1826 , DOI
Quinn C, Clare L, McGuinness T & Woods RT 2012 'Negotiating the balance: The triadic relationship between spousal caregivers, people with dementia and Admiral Nurses' Dementia 12, (5) 588-605 , DOI
Quinn C, Clare L & Woods RT 2012 'What predicts whether caregivers of people with dementia find meaning in their role?' International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 27, (11) 1195-1202 , DOI
Clare L, Whitaker R, Quinn C, Jelley H, Hoare Z, Woods B, Downs M & Wilson B 2012 'AwareCare: Development and validation of an observational measure of awareness in people with severe dementia' Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 22, (1) 113-133 , DOI
Quinn C, Clare L & Woods RT 2009 'The impact of motivations and meanings on the wellbeing of caregivers of people with dementia: a systematic review' International Psychogeriatrics 22, (01) 43-43 , DOI
Quinn C, Clare L & Woods B 2009 'The impact of the quality of relationship on the experiences and wellbeing of caregivers of people with dementia: A systematic review' Aging & Mental Health 13, (2) 143-154 , DOI
Weyer-Brown C 0 'Images and impulses: representations of puerperal insanity and infanticide in late Victorian England' Mark Jackson Ed., Infanticide. Historical perspectives on child murder and concealment, 1550-2000, 2002; 193-215
Conference Papers
Quinn C, Porter I, Pinfold V & Byng R 2016 'Retaining Cross-Case Generalisability and Within-Case Specificity: A Methodological Exploration'
Quinn C, Brand S, Owens C & Byng R 2016 'Synthesizing Multiple Qualitative Data Sets and Refining the Results in Complex Settings: Power and Paradigms'
Byng R, Quinn C & Sheaff R 2014 'A new causal model of access and continuity for marginalised groups'
Qureshi AW, Byng R, Newbold A, Zahra D, Pooler J, Hardy G, Forber S, Weyer-Brown C, Taylor R & Henley W 2012 'Variations in access to therapy for depression and anxiety with the new Improving Access to Psychological Therapy Services' South West Society for Academic Primary Care Torquay 07/03/2012 08/03/2012
Byng R, Newbold A, Qureshi A, Hardy G, Forber S, Pooler J, Zahra D, Weyer-Brown C, Taylor R & Henley W 2011 The South West Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Evaluation Study. Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Quinn C 2006 Listening to Voices and Making them Count! Exeter PCT, Specialised Services Commissioning.
Byng R, Quinn C, Sheaff R, Samele C, Duggan S, Harrison D, Owens C, Smithson P, Wright C & Annison J 0 COCOA: Care for Offenders, Continuity of Access. Final Report.
Weyer-Brown C, Byng R, O'Sullivan S, Harvey M & Barnaby C 0 Women Vulnerable to Offending, Plymouth: Access and Barriers to Services. Devon & Cornwall Probation, Boosting Community Sentences Project.