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Personal profile

Research interests

My background is in Public Health, Health Services Research and Health Promotion. My research interests include sexual health, e-health at the interface with patients and the public (i.e. for the delivery of healthcare and for health promotion), and the development and evaluation of complex interventions.

I'm experienced in co-ordinating multi-institutional research projects, and have used a wide range of methods and methodological approaches.

Current and recent projects include:

Living Well with Frailty Experiences (LiFE) Study (Co-designing person-centred frailty interventions with community-dwelling older people and health professionals), funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing

Experiences of living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and receiving services in Sussex

Systematic reviews of interactive digital interventions for sexual health promotion and HIV prevention (at UCL)

An investigation of the use of simulated training to enhance clinical leadership skills within the residential care sector (funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing - completed)

Investigating ethnic inequalities in sexually transmitted infections (at the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Blood-Borne and Sexually Transmitted Infections, at UCL and Public Health England)

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising postgraduate students in qualitative and mixed methods research projects, in all areas of Public Health and Health Promotion. I have particular interest in the following areas:

  • sexual health (broadly conceived, i.e. may include sexual wellbeing as well as STIs/HIV or contraception);
  • development and/or evaluation of complex interventions, e.g. health promotion interventions, e-health interventions;
  • breastfeeding;
  • e-health at the interface with patients and the public;
  • the (patient) experience of living with long-term conditions, e.g. motor neurone disease, frailty.

I'm happy to work with prospective postgraduate research (PhD) students to develop research proposals.


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University College London

Award Date: 28 Apr 2017

Master, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Award Date: 31 Aug 2005

Bachelor, University College London

Award Date: 31 Aug 2002

External positions

Honorary Research Fellow, University College London

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Research Output

Interactive digital interventions for sexual health promotion among young people: systematic review

Aicken, C., Bailey, J., Wayal, S., Webster, R., Mercer, C. H., Morris, R., Nazareth, I., Rait, G., Peacock, R. & Murray, E., 2020.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Open Access

Interactive digital interventions for the prevention of sexually transmitted HIV: systematic review and meta-analyses

Bailey, J., Wayal, S., Aicken, C., Webster, R., Mercer, C., Nazareth, I., Rait, G., Peacock, R. & Murray, E., 11 Mar 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : AIDS.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Open Access
  • Pathways to, and use of, sexual healthcare among Black Caribbean sexual health clinic attendees in England: evidence from cross-sectional bio-behavioural surveys

    Aicken, C., Wayal, S., Blomquist, P., Fabiane, S., Gerressu, M., Hughes, G. & Mercer, C., 18 Sep 2019, In : BMC Health Services Research. 19, 1, 668.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access
  • The caring values of student nurses, and their development during educational programmes

    Wright, C., Aicken, C., Laurenson, M. & Galvin, K., 12 Nov 2019, (Accepted/In press).

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

    Open Access
  • Activities

    Relationships under lockdown

    Catherine Aicken (Consultant)

    1 Sep 20207 Oct 2020

    Activity: Consultancy


    Catherine Aicken (Consultant)

    Apr 2020Aug 2020

    Activity: Consultancy

    Qualitative Methods in Health Research (...not just 25 interviews and Framework!)

    Catherine Aicken (Presenter)

    30 Oct 2018

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    eSexual Health Research Symposium

    Catherine Aicken (Organiser)

    1 Oct 2018

    Activity: EventsWorkshop

    BMC Public Health (Journal)

    Catherine Aicken (Member of editorial board)

    9 May 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work