Liz Lightbody

Dr. Liz Lightbody

Reader in Health Services Research

School of Nursing

Brook Building, BB415

+44 (0) 1772 89 3648

Liz is a nurse and has been an active researcher for over 20 years.  Her research expertise is in applied health research, service improvement and implementation.  Her research focuses on psychological adjustment following a stroke, acute stroke care and workforce.

Full Profile

Liz achieved her BN (Hons) in Nursing at the University of Liverpool in 1995 and was awarded her PhD in 2007, from the University of Central Lancashire. Her PhD examined methods of identifying depression following a stroke.

Liz's main research focus is in the psychological aspects of stroke, particularly the identification, assessment and treatment of mood problems. She had a key oversight management role in a three year, NIHR funded, CLAHRC North West Coast project (ADOPTS). ADOPTS explored the implementation of a stepped-care approach to psychological support and intervention for people following a stroke.

She was one of the counsellors in the first Motivational Interviewing study post-stroke, which was the first study to show a positive impact of a talk-based psychological intervention following stroke.  She is now Chief Investigator on a multicentre randomised controlled trial of Motivational interviewing funded by NIHR CLAHRC - North West Coast (COMMITS trial).  This study aims to recruit 1200 participants across 15 sites in the UK.

She is also the UK Deputy Director on a NIHR Global Health Research Group. The Group is focusing on addressing priorities in stroke care in India by conducting an innovative and co-designed study of stroke care initiated in acute hospital settings.

She is involved in a range of other studies including acute stroke care (e.g. telemedicine, neurological monitoring, nurse education, oral care, and positioning), and workforce development.


  • PhD - University of Central Lancashire. Thesis title: Detecting Depression Following a Stroke
  • MPhil - University of Liverpool. Thesis title: Preventing Functional Decline and Further Falls: The Role of Psychological Factors
  • Bachelor Nursing (Hons) 2.1 - University of Liverpool
  • Registered General Nurse, NMC,
  • PG Cert (Research Supervision)
  • SD2 qualification



Craig L, Middleton S, Hamilton H, Cudlip F, Swatzell V, Alexandrov A, Lightbody E, Watkins C, Philip S, Cadilhac D, McInnes E, Dale S, Alexandrov A (2019) Does the addition of non-approved inclusion and exclusion criteria for rtPA impact treatment rates? Findings in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Interventional Neurology, 8(1):1-12. doi: 10.1159/000493020

Patel K, Watkins CL, Sutton CJ, Holland E-J, Benedetto V, Auton, MF, Barer D, Chatterjee K, Lightbody CE (2018) Motivational interviewing for low mood and adjustment early after stroke: a feasibility randomised trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, (2018) 4:152. doi: 10.1186/s40814-018-0343-z

Lightbody CE, Clegg A, Patel K, Hackett M, Lucas J, Storey H, Watkins CL Psychosocial risk factors for stroke Seminars in Neurology 2017 37 (03)294-306 DOI 10.1055/s-0037-1603758. ISSN 0271-8235

Anderson CS, Arima H, Lavados P, Billot L, Hackett ML, Olavarria VV, Munoz Venturelli P, Brunser A, Peng B, Cui L, Song L, Rogers K, Middleton S, Lim JY, Forshaw D, Lightbody CE, Woodward M, Pontes-Neto O, De Silva HA, Lin R-T, Lee T-H, Pandian JD, Mead GE, Robinson T, Watkins C, for the HeadPoST Investigators and Coordinators (2017) Cluster-Randomized, Crossover Trial of Head Positioning in Acute Stroke. The New England Journal of Medicine, 376(25):2437-2447. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1615715

More publications


  • Chair, National Stroke Nursing Forum
  • Editorial/Advisory board, British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing
  • Chair, Joint UK Stroke Nursing Staffing Guidelines (2015-2016)
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (2013-to date)
  • Member, American Heart Association (2013-to date)
  • Member, Society for Research in Rehabilitation (SRR) (1996-to date)
  • (past Member of Council)
  • Member, OPSYRIS (Organisation for Psychological Research into Stroke) (2008-to date)


Liz has experience of managing programmes of research, randomised controlled trials, longitudinal cohort studies, feasibility studies, before and after studies, and implementation research. These studies have involved the utilisation of a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis.

External Activities

  • Workstream lead (End of Life Care following a stroke) on the National Stroke Plan
  • Workstream member (Life after stroke) on the National Stroke Plan
  • Member of the UK Career Framework for Stroke Nurses Project Group
  • UK Stroke Forum – Scientific Committee Member


Lightbody CE IMPROVISE: NIHR Global Health Research Group on Improving StrokE Care in India. 6th world congress on Nanomedical Sciences. New Delphi Jan 2019 [invited presentation]

Lightbody CE Psychological Support: Hints and tips 13th UK Stroke Forum Conference, 4-6 December 2018, Telford, UK [invited workshop]

Lightbody CE Exercise and Depression 13th UK Stroke Forum Conference, 4-6 December 2018, Telford, UK [invited presentation]

Lightbody CE Psychological Support: Impact of stroke. Essentials of Stroke Care. 17-18th November 2018, Trivandrum, India [invited presentation]

Lightbody CE Mood Assessment and Management. Essentials of Stroke Care. 17-18th November 2018, Trivandrum, India [invited workshop]



  • COMMITS - COnfirming the Mechanism of Motivational Interviewing Therapy after Stroke (Funder: NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health and Care - North West Coast)
  • IMPROVISE IMPROVIng Stroke CarE in India (The National Institute for Health Research Global Health Research Group on improving stroke care in India at The University of Central Lancashire) (Funder: NIHR Global Health Research Group)
  • SNOBSS - Standardised Neurological OBservation Schedule for Stroke (Funder NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship)
  • HEAPS - Holistic Exploration of Anxiety and Post traumatic growth after Stroke (Funder: LIFE)
  • ADOPTS - Accelerating the Delivery of Psychological therapies After Stroke (Funder: NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health and Care - North West Coast)
  • CHIME - Community Holistic Interventions for Multimorbidity in older people: Evaluation of the evidence (Funder: Liverpool CCG)
  • ID-CRYPT - Investigating the Detection of CRYPTogenic stroke (Funder: Liverpool CCG)
  • IDEAS Study - Cochrane Programme Grant for Systematic Reviews on the Diagnosis and IntErventions to MAnage Stroke (Funder: LIFE)
  • NETSMART - Neurovascular Education and Training in Stroke Management and Acute Reperfusion Therapies (Funder: Health Education England)
  • ASTUTE - Acute Stroke Telemedicine: Utility, Training and Evaluation (Funder: NIHR Research for Patient Benefit)