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Personal profile

Research interests

Audrey's research interests stems from her experience as a clinical specialist working in partnership with people with intellectual disabilities (learning disabilites) who have complex needs, and their caregivers.  

Audrey is  particularly concerned about how people with learning disabilities (with a diagnosis of dementia) and their carergivers are supported as it is known that many people with learning disabilities may acquire early onset dementia whereby the prognosis and impact is often aggressive and intense. Her interest lies in the working partnership between occupational therapists and family caregivers, with specific focus on the occupational impact on their lives and how they and their loved ones could be better supported through the ‘dementia trajectory’ process.

Audrey is also interested in the effective use of sensory processing based approaches and the provision of safe, occupationally engaging environments for learning disabled people with complex health and behavioural needs; in particular, the responses of those with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and sensory processing disorder (SPD).


Scholarly biography

Audrey commenced on a full time permanent position with the University of Brighton in April 2018 and has responsibility as a module leader and practice placement tutor on the MSc (Pre-registration) Occupational Therapy programme. She also teaches on this and and on the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy course.

Audrey's occupational therapy career began in mental health where she worked with a diverse adult population (working age and elderly) in Hertfordshire and London. This was in a variety of settings, initially on a rotational post within assessment and treatment services in a hospital (Hertfordshire); and then in a forensic medium secure unit and a community mental health service (West London).

Audrey has then worked for 20 years an occupational therapist with people with learning disabilities in an NHS community team. In this time, she has worked with a range of people with differing and a complex mix of physical and emotional health needs, as well as with their carers and support services. This has given her the opportunity to develop and use a broad range of core and specialist occupational therapy skills, which is unique to this area of practice. This includes the consideration of an individual’s occupational life in terms of occupational justice, balance and engagement; of their environment and related needs; and of their functional performance skills and needs. Audrey is trained in the use of the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) and as a sensory integration practitioner having completed the level 3 post-graduation module with the University of Ulster (in conjunction with the Sensory Integration Network) in 2011. These two areas of training have been significant in the development and defining of the specialist role of OT within the learning disability service in East Sussex.

Audrey uses her clinical skills, knowledge and experience and applies this in her teaching, whether it be by bringing complex case-studies to life with students or by sharing her experiences of  interprofessional working with colleagues and other agencies/stakeholders in practice.       

In 2014, Audrey's work on a systematic review on the human occupational impact of caregiving on dementia caregivers was published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy. She has also completed a follow up qualitative study on the occupational experiences of partner caregivers to those with dementia.

Approach to teaching

Audrey teaches in large and small groups of students and is also a tutor to smaller student groups. Her clinical expertise is in the area of learning disabilities so where appropriate, she shares examples of her clinical knowledge and experience in this area, using current policies, best practice evidence and latest developments to help illuminate and reflect real-life practice. She also teach students on the use of occupational therapy (OT) assessments, namely the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS), which she used in practice frequently. She likes to use a mix of blended learning methods in her teaching, such as online resources, practical approaches, mediastream, real life case studies, service user involvement and call on the expertise of inter-professional work colleagues.

As a tutor,  Audrey fully embraces the problem-based learning (PBL) approach that is embedded across the occupational therapy programme at University of Brighton. This is an interactive and inclusive approach, which facilitates small groups of students to develop their ability to be independent thinkers and lifelong learners. Audrey tries to adopt a ‘just-right’ challenging and supportive approach to illicit a balance of critical as well as reflective and 'deeper' thinking from students. She is, at the same time, welcoming and respectful of what each student might bring from their personal and professional background, which contribute to the overall experience of shared learning and knowledge within the PBL groups.

Supervisory Interests

Audrey supervises MSc students on their research dissertations in her areas of interest such as conducting a systematic review as a research method, qualitative research, learning disability, autism and sensory processing, dementia and caregiving.    

Education/Academic qualification

Master, University of Brighton

Sep 2009Oct 2011

Award Date: 31 Oct 2011

Bachelor, Curtin University of Technology

Award Date: 31 Dec 1991


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