Dr Kirstie Coxon
Kirstie is a Reader in Maternity Care in our Research in Childbirth and Health (ReaCH) group. A midwife and nurse by background, Kirstie undertakes applied health services and social science research. She has expertise in qualitative narrative methods, mixed methods and evidence synthesis. Her key research interests include informed or shared decision-making, risk theory and risk communication. Kirstie has also undertaken evaluation of complex interventions, knowledge mobilisation and implementation science projects.
Kirstie is an experienced researcher and currently supervises a range of masters and doctoral research projects. Over the past fifteen years, Kirstie has undertaken research addressing a range of maternity care-related questions. Her focal interest is in women's informed decision-making, initially through her PhD on 'Birth Place Decisions'. An NIHR post-doctoral Knowledge Mobilisation fellowship provided time for development of decision-aids, infographics and evidence briefings, using a participatory approach. This involved working alongside women, birth partners, midwives, obstetricians and antenatal teachers to develop and test resources. During this project, Kirstie also worked with organisations representing women, NHS trusts and commissioners and with statisticians and designers to generate some of the first 'icon arrays' used in maternity care, and she continues to work closely with service user groups and representatives.
Recent research collaborations include a process evaluation for the DESiGN trial (Detection of the Small for Gestational Age Neonate) and a qualitative study within the POPPIE pilot RCT of continuity of midwifery care for women at risk of preterm birth.
Kirstie is an associate editor for 'Midwifery' journal and has also been guest editor for special issues of 'Health, Risk and Society' and 'Midwifery'. She brings together research into understandings of risk in maternity care and application of this knowledge to maternity care practice. She is currently working on an updated edited book on risk in maternity care using cross-national perspectives.
Having been fortunate enough to receive research career funding and training support through personal NIHR fellowships, Kirstie is really keen to support others in developing their research careers. She has worked in research capacity development as an NIHR advocate for research careers in midwifery, and for Nursing and Allied Health Professionals within NIHR ARCs, providing mentorship to aspiring clinical academics.
Kirstie received her PhD in 2012 from King’s College London. Her studies were funded through an NIHR Doctoral Training Fellowship, supervised by Professors Jane Sandall and Naomi Fulop. Her doctoral research explored how women and partners decide where to give birth, and how socio-cultural concepts of risk and risk perception influenced those decisions. She subsequently received a post-doctoral NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Fellowship to identify ways of communicating findings from the ‘Birthplace in England’ research with women, partners and stakeholders, such as NHS managers and service commissioners. During this Fellowship, Kirstie created the ‘Birth Place Decisions guide’, which has had 5000+ downloads, and which is used widely by maternity services in the UK and abroad. Kirstie continues to work closely with service user representing groups, organisations and charities.
Kirstie has since developed a portfolio of applied research in maternity care, using a range of methodologies. These include systematic reviews and a qualitative evidence syntheses. She has undertaken three collaborative process evaluations and implementation sciences studies within the 'UPBEAT’ Trial (UK Pregnancies Better Eating and Activity), the 'POPPIE' trial (Pilot study Of midwifery Practice and Preterm birth Including women’s Experiences), and the 'DESiGN' trial (Detection of Small for Gestational Age Fetus).
Kirstie is also an experienced teacher and postgraduate supervisor and examiner. She has extensive experience in teaching research methods, implementation science, social science and risk, maternity policy and global health at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She has also led postgraduate taught programmes including being a course director for an MRes in Clinical Research, and has been a Faculty Director for Postgraduate Research Degrees. In both teaching and research, Kirstie has sought to foster diversity, equity and equality in academic life through working on Athena Swan gender equality projects and within an anti-racism workgroup in midwifery education and practice. She has a particular interest in the implications of these inequalities for those in postgraduate studies and research.
- PhD in Health Studies Research, King's College London, 2012
- MA in Health Studies, University of Kent, 2005
- BSc (Hons) Midwifery, Canterbury Christ Church University, 1999
- Dip (H Ed) Nursing Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University, 1995
- Royal College of Midwives (member)
- Registered Nurse (Adult) (NMC)
- Registered Midwife (NMC)
- NMC Registered Teacher
Kirstie's current research is focused on the challenges of providing safe, high-quality maternity care both in the UK and internationally. She also focuses on the development of innovations to support informed decision-making and personalised care in maternity.
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- Research in Childbirth and Health (REACH)
- THRIVE Reseach Centre
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