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Dr Katherine J Hunt PhD, MSc, PGCert, BN(hons), RN, FHEA

Lecturer in Complex and End of Life Care

Dr Katherine J Hunt's photo

Dr Katherine Hunt is Lecturer in Complex and End of Life Care within Health Sciences at the University of Southampton.

I work with passion to expose and reduce inequalities in end of life and palliative care by increasing the visibility, and promoting the needs of people who are marginalised, overlooked or disadvantaged.

With a background in nursing, I work as a Lecturer in Complex and End of Life Care. I am active in research in this field and focus my time and energies on exposing and tackling inequalities in access to end of life care, experiences of care quality, and the appropriateness of care through reasonable adjustments.   

Research interests

I have a particular interest in access to care and the quality of end of life care, taking a public health perspective to research on the end of life and bereavement. Being involved in the development of the VOICES-SF questionnaire and first national survey of end of life care, fuelled this interest and has led me to develop VOICES questionnaires for other, often overlooked groups. For instance, a version for people with intellectual disabilities formed the focus of the first nationally representative survey of end of life care for people with intellectual disabilities. Working with Prof Anne-Sophie Darlington and my PhD student Rawnaq Almahadeen, I am now developing a paediatric version of VOICES, VOICES-Children.

I am fascinated by disease and end of life trajectories for people with conditions other than cancer. This has brought me to research disease and care experiences for people with COPD, heart failure, kidney disease and liver disease as well as anticipation of end of life and end of life trajectories for people with intellectual disabilities.

I have an interest in theory and its role in health research. I recently developed Cognitive Authority Theory which aims to explain how people gain and express authority over their health, and maintain control over the factors that challenge their ability to do so. The theory is particularly helpful in exploring and explaining dynamics and power relations between patients and health professionals and the allocation of responsibility. My work in Burden of Treatment Theory has a complementary fit with Cognitive Authority Theory.  

I have expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research designs and approaches, systematic reviewing, outcome measurement, survey and questionnaire design.

PhD supervision

Rawnaq Almahadeen: Experiences of End of Life care for children with life-limiting conditions reported by bereaved parents’ in two regions in Jordan.

Sarah Mercer: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of Outcomes and Experiences of Older Adults Identified as Being at Risk of Frailty and Attending a Frailty-Prevention Group

Nuno Tavares: Palliative care communication in COPD – patients’ preferences and clinicians’ judgements

Vicky Payne: An investigation into the implementation of a complex intervention aimed at reducing central-line associated bloodstream infections in the neonatal unit

PhD research

Functional status and inflammatory profiles of older people discharged from hospital with ill-defined conditions. 2009.

Supervisors: Dr Bronagh Walsh, Dr David Voegeli, Dr Helen Roberts

Faculty Prize Studentship, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, University of Southampton

Research group

Cancer and Life Limiting Conditions

Research theme

Health Needs

Current projects:

The Paediatric version (VOICES-C) of the Views of Informal Carers Evaluation Survey-Short Form (VOICES-SF): Views of Health Professionals and pilot-testing with bereaved parents

This study is developing the world’s first outcome measure to assess quality of care for children at end of life together with Professor Anne-Sophie Emma Darlington.

Living and dying in non-intellectual disability settings

Funded by Dunhill Trust, this is a collaboration between the University of South Wales, University of Southampton and Lancaster University. Towards the end of their lives, a significant proportion of people with intellectual disability move into care homes. Very little is known about their experiences of care at end of life and as such, they form a hidden population of people. This study is the first to identify this population of people and explore their experiences of care and care quality at end of life.

The Palliative Care Needs of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities and their Access to Palliative Care Services: A Systematic Review

An exploration of the end of life care needs and experiences of people with end stage liver disease and alcohol use disorder.

Research project(s)

A collaborative research study to develop and test a clinical scorecard for St Christopher's Hospice, Sydenham - Dormant

A project to develop and test a clinical scorecard for St Christopher's Hospice, Sydenham, in collaboration with the hospice.

Measuring and evaluating end-of-life care in services for adults with learning disabilities in the UK

This study will, for the first time, explore the epidemiology of deaths and quality of end of life care provision in people with learning disabilities.

Measuring treatment workload, burden and capacity to self-manage heart failure

Exploring how we might measure a person's capacity to self-manage multiple health conditions as end of life approaches  

International Place of Death Study

A collaborative study of place of death based on death certificate data in European and non-European countries.

The IMPROVE study: VOICES redesign and testing project to inform the development of a national survey

The VOICEs survey will provide a mechanism for assessing the quality of care provided to people at the end of life, and their carers with key areas set out in the End of Life Care Strategy, thus addressing the current lack of available information to support service evaluation and improvement in this area. 

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I am the module lead for e-Research Methods, a masters module that provides students with a practical foundation in research and prepares them to undertake research projects or a dissertation.

I am module lead for the Complex Care masters level module.

I have been actively involved in teaching health professionals about palliative and end of life care, clinical leadership, an research and enquiry in their clinical areas.  

Dr Katherine J Hunt
Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 67/4005

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