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Elaine Wainwright

Personal Statement

I am Senior Lecturer in Applied Psychology with a strong research interest in how work can contribute to our health, especially for people living with ongoing pain.

My work is supported by a range of funders e.g. I am co-investigator on the HOW Social Work Project (Challenge Fund, £235,000) PI Dr Jermaine Ravalier). I am a co-investigator at the Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work (funded by Versus Arthritis and the MRC, PI Professor Karen Walker-Bone). I shortly start research with Centre colleagues into a particular kind of early individualised support for people in pain to assist sustainable return to work. I am an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Pain Research and together with its Director, Professor Christopher Eccleston, am editing a book on the impact of pain on occupation across the lifespan (OUP, forthcoming).

I have three main research strands. The first concerns how we can best enable sustainable working lives for people living with ongoing pain. This includes living with pain and work or occupation in its broadest sense, taking a lifespan perspective which encompasses school at one end at extending working life at the other. I’m also particularly interested in the fit note, having conducted doctoral research in this area and been involved with DWP discussion about fit note reform.

Secondly, I’m interested in developing work as a health outcome, and what “good work” is, particularly for people who live with pain but also for us all. I have researched this might be possible in the micro-interaction between doctor and patient, employer and employee (around fit notes). I am looking at whether this can be done through agencies and communities, including pharmacists, the voluntary sector, and medical workers other than GPs. I am interested in the theoretical underpinning behind these behaviour change possibilities, and intervention development, as well as the medical psychology and sociology that go alongside the lived experience of being a pain patient, doctor and employer as we negotiate the back to work system.

Thirdly, I am also researching medics’ work stress and work satisfaction. For example, the SWeAT project funded by the Association of Anaesthetists and the National Association of Academic Anaesthesia (PI Dr Alex Loosely) researched how to reduce work stress for trainee anaesthetists. We found that having no children, lower levels of exercise, higher rates of sickness absence, and higher levels of non-clinical work (in addition to caring for patients directly), all increased the likelihood of trainees experiencing these issues. This information could help to identify high risk groups, as well as helping to plan and influence the wellbeing support options which are available for UK anaesthetic trainees. Working to reduce the stress associated with non-clinical workloads should also be a priority.

Dr Jermaine Ravalier and I are co-conveners of the Psychology Centre for Health and Cognition (PCHC), a research centre based in the School of Science. I am module leader for Health Psychology.

I am supervising a range of PhD students, including at BSU Paula Wegrzynek and Johnathan Priddle. I am interested in supervising doctoral candidates on the above topics. Please get in touch via email or Twitter.  

Academic qualifications

  • PhD University of Bath
  • MSc University of York
  • BSc(Hons) The Open University
  • PGCE University of York
  • MA Oxford

Professional qualifications

  • FHEA

Professional memberships

  • CPsychol, British Psychological Society
  • Member of the Health Division of the British Psychological Society
  • Member of the British Pain Society

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Work and pain: a lifespan development approach
book

Wainwright, E and Eccleston, C, eds. (2019) Work and pain: a lifespan development approach. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780198828273


The problem of work stress and the need to re-imagine the bio-psycho-social model
book_section

Wainwright, D and Wainwright, E (2019) 'The problem of work stress and the need to re-imagine the bio-psycho-social model.' In: Loriol, M, ed. Stress and suffering at work: the role of culture and society. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 129-154. ISBN 9783030058753


Reconstructing the self and social identity: new interventions for returning long-term incapacity benefit recipients to work
book_section

Wainwright, E, Wainwright, D, Black, R and Kenyon, S (2011) 'Reconstructing the self and social identity: new interventions for returning long-term incapacity benefit recipients to work.' In: Vickerstaff, S, Phillipson, C and Wilkie, R, eds. Work, health and wellbeing: the challenges of managing health at work. Policy Press, Bristol. ISBN 9781847428080


Can the economic and social cost of sickness absence be reduced by improving the quality of working life?
book_section

Wainwright, E and Wainwright, D (2009) 'Can the economic and social cost of sickness absence be reduced by improving the quality of working life?' In: Whitfield, K, ed. Employee well-being and working life: towards an evidence-based policy agenda. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) / Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Swindon, Wiltshire, pp. 37-45.


What influences young doctors in their decision-making about general practice as a possible career? A qualitative study
article

Harris, M, Wainwright, D and Wainwright, E (2019) 'What influences young doctors in their decision-making about general practice as a possible career? A qualitative study.' Education for Primary Care. ISSN 1473-9879 (Forthcoming)


Enablers and barriers to treatment adherence in heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia: a qualitative evidence synthesis
article

Kinnear, F.J, Wainwright, E, Perry, R, Lithander, F.E, Bayly, G, Huntley, A, Cox, J, Shield, J.P.H and Searle, A (2019) 'Enablers and barriers to treatment adherence in heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia: a qualitative evidence synthesis.' BMJ Open, 9 (7). e030290. ISSN 2044-6055


Stress, burnout, depression and work satisfaction among UK anaesthetic trainees: a qualitative analysis of in‐depth participant interviews in the Satisfaction and Wellbeing in Anaesthetic Training study
article

Wainwright, E, Looseley, A, Mouton, R, O’Connor, M, Taylor, G and Cook, T.M (2019) 'Stress, burnout, depression and work satisfaction among UK anaesthetic trainees: a qualitative analysis of in‐depth participant interviews in the Satisfaction and Wellbeing in Anaesthetic Training study.' Anaesthesia. ISSN 0003-2409


Stress, burnout, depression and work-satisfaction amongst UK anaesthetic trainees; a quantitative analysis of the Satisfaction and Wellbeing in Anaesthetic Training study
article

Looseley, A, Wainwright, E, Cook, T.M, Bell, V, Hoskins, S, O’Connor, M, Taylor, G and Mouton, R (2019) 'Stress, burnout, depression and work-satisfaction amongst UK anaesthetic trainees; a quantitative analysis of the Satisfaction and Wellbeing in Anaesthetic Training study.' Anaesthesia. ISSN 0003-2409


How does 'banter' influence trainee doctors' choice of career? A qualitative study
article

Wainwright, D, Harris, M and Wainwright, E (2019) 'How does 'banter' influence trainee doctors' choice of career? A qualitative study.' BMC Medical Education, 19 (104). ISSN 1472-6920


Resilience and return to work pain interventions: systematic review
article

Wainwright, E, Wainwright, D, Coghill, N, Walsh, J and Perry, R (2019) 'Resilience and return to work pain interventions: systematic review.' Occupational Medicine, 69 (3). pp. 163-176. ISSN 0962-7480


Why do people use food banks? A qualitative study of food bank users in an English city
article

Wainwright, D, Buckingham, A and Wainwright, E (2018) 'Why do people use food banks? A qualitative study of food bank users in an English city.' Voluntary Sector Review, 9 (3). pp. 311-329. ISSN 2040-8056


Parenting young people with complex regional pain syndrome: an analysis of the process of parental online communication
article

Navarro, K, Wainwright, E, Rodham, K and Jordan, A (2018) 'Parenting young people with complex regional pain syndrome: an analysis of the process of parental online communication.' PAIN Reports, 3 (7). e681. ISSN 2471-2531


BJP ASM Poster Abstracts 2018 - Tertiary return to work interventions for chronic pain: a systematic literature review
article

Wegrzynek, P, Wainwright, E and Ravalier, J.M (2018) 'BJP ASM Poster Abstracts 2018 - Tertiary return to work interventions for chronic pain: a systematic literature review.' British Journal of Pain, 12 (2 Supp). pp. 24-25. ISSN 2049-4637


Coming back from the edge: a qualitative study of a professional support unit for junior doctors
article

Wainwright, E, Fox, F, Breffni, T, Taylor, G and O’Connor, M (2017) 'Coming back from the edge: a qualitative study of a professional support unit for junior doctors.' BMC Medical Education, 17 (142). ISSN 1472-6920


Support with caveats: advocates’ views of the Theory of Formal Discipline as a reason for the study of advanced mathematics
article

Wainwright, E, Attridge, N, Wainwright, D, Alcock, L and Inglis, M (2017) 'Support with caveats: advocates’ views of the Theory of Formal Discipline as a reason for the study of advanced mathematics.' Research in Mathematics Education, 19 (1). pp. 20-41. ISSN 1479-4802


Headache impairs attentional performance: a conceptual replication and extension
article

Attridge, N, Eccleston, C, Noonan, D, Wainwright, E and Keogh, E (2016) 'Headache impairs attentional performance: a conceptual replication and extension.' The Journal of Pain. ISSN 1526-5900


The social negotiation of fitness for work: tensions in doctor-patient relationships over medical certification of chronic pain
article

Wainwright, E, Wainwright, D, Keogh, E and Eccleston, C (2014) 'The social negotiation of fitness for work: tensions in doctor-patient relationships over medical certification of chronic pain.' Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 19 (1). pp. 17-33. ISSN 1363-4593


Return to work with chronic pain: employers' and employees' views
article

Wainwright, E, Wainwright, D, Keogh, E and Eccleston, C (2013) 'Return to work with chronic pain: employers' and employees' views.' Occupational Medicine, 63 (7). pp. 501-506. ISSN 0962-7480


Fit for purpose? Using the fit note with chronic pain patients: a qualitative study
article

Wainwright, E, Wainwright, D, Keogh, E and Eccleston, C (2011) 'Fit for purpose? Using the fit note with chronic pain patients: a qualitative study.' British Journal of General Practice, 61 (593). pp. 794-800. ISSN 0960-1643


Interpreting the rights in the NHS constitution
article

Wainwright, E and Wainwright, D (2009) 'Interpreting the rights in the NHS constitution.' BMJ, 338. p. 428. ISSN 0959-8138


Differences between placement and non-placement students: a mixed methods approach
conference_item

McGuire-Snieckus, R, Markopoulos, G, Coombs, M, Stevens, D, Vitale, A and Wainwright, E (2014) Differences between placement and non-placement students: a mixed methods approach. In: BPS (British Psychological Society) Mathematical, Statistical and Computing Psychology Section: Scientific Meeting, 13 December 2014, Keele University, Keele, UK.


Successful return to work with chronic pain? Stakeholders' negotiation strategies
conference_item

Wainwright, E (2014) Successful return to work with chronic pain? Stakeholders' negotiation strategies. In: ESRC Seminar Series: 'Sustaining Employee Wellbeing in the 21st Century', 21 November 2014, University of Durham.


Return to work with chronic pain?
conference_item

Wainwright, E (2014) Return to work with chronic pain? In: Society of Occupational Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting, July 2014, University of Nottingham.


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