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Dr Maggie kate Donovan-Hall BSc, MSc, PhD

Associate Professor in Health Psychology

Dr Maggie kate Donovan-Hall's photo

Maggie has a background in Health Psychology and is an Associate Professor within the School of Health Sciences.  Her research aims to understand a wider range of psychosocial issues relation to rehabilitation and disability focusing around the promotion of a person-centered approach.

Gaining an in-depth understanding of the patient’ views and experience is fundamental in delivering holistic healthcare that takes into account both physical and psychological aspects of health and rehabilitation.

Research interests

Maggie has a background in Health Psychology and is an Associate Professor within the School of Health Sciences.  Her research aims to understand psychosocial issues relating to rehabilitation and disability into to promote a person-centered and user-led approaches.  She has a particular interest in 1) the use and development of health technologies in rehabilitation (such as prosthetics and orthotics, functional electrical stimulation and cochlear implants), 2) understanding and fostering adherence to rehabilitation treatments, 3) improving and widening access to health and rehabilitation, which includes research in Lower and Middle Income Countries (LMIC).  In collaboration with a wide range of multidisciplinary teams in the UK and Internationally, her work often involves the use of flexible and creative methods with both adults and children.

Her research and education activities are closely linked as she is the Programme Lead for a multidisciplinary MSc programme in 'Amputation and Prosthetic Rehabilitation' and supervisors UG, MSc and doctoral projects within this field.

PhD Supervision

Maggie has Supervised as primary or second supervisor 13 students to successful doctoral award and 34 students to successful MSc and pre-registration MSc awards.  Her current PhD students are:

  • Chantel Ostler who is exploring the most important outcome measures for individuals with lower limb amputations
  • Veena Agarwal who is exploring the Impact of Fatigue in Parkinson’s
  • Suzanne O’gara who is looking at the ‘expectations of pre-lingual deafened adults and their families of cochlear implants.
  • Rob Shannon who is exploring the feasibility of motivational interviewing as an adjunct to pulmonary rehabilitation.
  • Nikky Godfrey who is exploring the relationship between Pilates teachers and clients with persistent low back pain
  • Rhiannon Joslin who is exploring which outcomes are the most important to young people and their parents when receiving treatment for presistent pain
  • Francine O’Malley who is exploring the clinical appropriateness and what influences antibiotic prescribing by nurse independent prescribers in clinical practice.

Research group

Active Living for Health

Research theme

Active Living

Affiliated research group(s)

  • ‘People Powered Prosthetics Group’, School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton
  • ‘Active Living and Rehabilitation’ Group, School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton
  • Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Wessex Qualitative Research Group, University of Southampton
  • Institute for Life Sciences, University of Southampton
  • FortisNet, Institute for Life Sciences, University of Southampton

External research group(s)

Affiliated research project(s)

  • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Fit-for-purpose, affordable body-powered prostheses. £1,390,143.97
  • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). A step change in LMIC prosthetic provision through Computer Aided Design, Actimetry and Database Technologies. £894,934.64
  • Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB). The effectiveness of peroneal nerve functional electrical STimulation (FES) for the reduction of bradykinesia. £250,000.
  • Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme: People with Stroke and Parkinson's disease: Home and outdoor shoes. £249,439
  • University of Southampton Adventure in Research Scheme: Iterative Unser-Centred Design of Paediatric Upper Limb. £19,993
  • Faculty of Health Sciences PhD Studentship. Exploring the views and needs of children with upper limb deficiency to inform the development of user-led prosthetics: a mixed methods design. £52,668
  • INSPIRE. A systematic Exploration of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation in SCI: Stage 2, An International Questionnaire Study. £29,602
  • The Big Lottery Fund. Supporting the positive development and well-being of children and young people with prostheses: the influence of the appearance of the prosthesis and individual choice. £71,110

Research project(s)

A systematic Exploration of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation in Spinal Cord Injury: Stage 2, An International Questionnaire Study, INSPIRE

Study to find out the opinions of the spinal cord injury community about Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (ES) so that the knowledge can be used to direct research, technical development, and clinical and service provision.

Does Behaviour Change Counselling increase levels of physical activity in patients with asthma? - Dormant

A study to assess the feasibility and patient acceptability of Behaviour Change Counselling in negotiating the role of physical activity in the management of asthma (2009-2010).

The experiences and expectations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients referred to Pulmonary Rehabilitation programmes

A PhD programme of qualitative work exploring patients perceptions of pulmonary rehabilitation and their COPD (2008-2012)

Iterative User-Centred Design of a Paediatric Upper Limb Prosthetic Device

The objective of this project was to investigate the views of the child with regard to their prostheses and to provide an insight into the potential improvements that could be made to existing designs to make them more acceptable to children.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Prosthetics & Orthotics

Current roles:

  • ‘Equality Diversity and Inclusion’ Champion and member of the management board for the ‘Centre for Doctoral Training’ in Prosthetics and Orthotics led by the University of Salford.
  • Lead for ‘end-user research’ within the ‘People Powered Prosthetics Group’
  • ‘National Institute for Health Research’ (NIHR) Research Collaboration on child Prosthetics
  • Reviewer for NIHR library journal for reports
  • Reviewer for UK Research Innovation (UKRI) for Global Challenges Research Group (GCRF) for Covid Projects.

Previous key responsibilities:

  • MPhil/PhD programme lead for Health Sciences from January 2012 to April 2016
  • Deputy chair of Faculty of Health Sciences Ethics committee from 2008 to 2012
  • Scientific member of INSPIRE foundation (Integrated Spinal Rehabilitation) from 2010 to 2018

Maggie is the programme lead for the MSc programme in 'Amputation and Prosthetic Rehabilitation' and module co-ordinator for the ‘Prosthetic Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Use’ (HLTH6061) within this programme, which closely aligns her research and education interests.  She takes a lead role in managing research education within the Occupational Therapy Undergraduate programme and is current module co-ordinator for the ‘Research in Occupation Therapy’ (OCCT3031) module.

With a background in Health Psychology and being a mixed methods researcher, she also contributes to a wide range of programmes and modules across the School of Health Sciences at doctoral, MSc and Undergraduate level.

Dr Maggie kate Donovan-Hall
Health Sciences Student Office University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ


Room Number : 67/4003

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