Dr Alison Bravington

BA, BSc, MSc, PhD

Research Fellow

Role at Hull York Medical School

Principal investigator on The EPOC Study: Exploring pathways to optimise care in malignant bowel obstruction.

The EPOC Study integrates realist synthesis, visual interviewing methods, stakeholder consultation and patient and public engagement to explore and map pathways of care around malignant bowel obstruction. Its aim is to develop theory-driven interventions addressing the uncertainties surrounding the management of MBO, with a firm focus on the perspective of the patient.


I originally qualified in English literature and worked in book publishing as a writer and editor for fifteen years. I requalified in psychology in 2008 and subsequently took a Masters degree in social research and evaluation. My research career began at the University of Huddersfield within an applied psychology team using innovative approaches to theory-driven qualitative research. This focused on multidisciplinary collaborative working and patient and caregiver experiences in specialist palliative care evaluation, health care students’ experiences of multidisciplinary care during practice placements, and assets-based approaches to the evaluation of community health initiatives. At Huddersfield, I took an active role in the development of the Pictor technique – a diagramming method for qualitative interviews which facilitates in-depth reflection on health and social care practice.

This experience created a drive to develop expertise in diverse qualitative methodologies, with a particular focus on visual methods. I joined Hull York Medical School in 2012 to undertake my PhD, using photo-elicitation, situational analysis and constructivist grounded theory to explore how social context mediates recovery from primary cancer treatment. After four years working on cancer-related multi-site studies for the Academy of Primary Care using interviewing, stakeholder consultation, observational and survey methods, I moved to the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre in 2019.

My current work is with practitioners, patients and caregivers experiencing and managing malignant bowel obstruction (MBO), working with Dr Jason Boland and collaborators at the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre at Cardiff University to develop a patient-relevant core outcome set, and with Professor Miriam Johnson to explore person-centred decision-making in MBO treatment.


My research brings psychological and sociological perspectives to patient, caregiver and practitioner interactions and experiences in applied health care, and works towards theory-driven intervention development.

Funded Research Projects:

2021-2024: Bravington A, Johnson M, Boland J, Lind M, Murtagh F, Pearson M, Patterson M. Improving shared decision-making in malignant bowel obstruction: An exploration of context-specific treatment pathways and experiences to inform intervention development for person-centred care. Yorkshire Cancer Research TRANSFORM endowment fund. £210,701.

2022-2024: Chatwin J, Ludwin K, Jones D & Bravington, A. Understanding interaction in problematic dementia and social care encounters. NIHR Research for Patient Benefit. £143,060.

2022-2025: Walker E, Johnson M, Manthorpe G, Wray J, White C, Bravington A, Pearson M, Taylor P, Roberts H, Hussain J, Bothma J. Supporting, enabling and sustaining homecare workers to deliver end-of-life carea multiple methods community based case study. NIHR. £745,903.59.


MBBS (undergraduate):

  • Professionalism and ethics
  • Reflective practice


  • Implementation Science for Advanced and Chronic Care

View Dr Bravington's publications on the ORCID.

Books/Book chapters:

Bravington, A. (in press) Experience in the abstract: Exploring the potential of graphic elicitation. In Roulston, K. (Ed) Quests for Questioners: Inventive approaches to qualitative interviews. Maine: Myers Education Press.

Brooks, J., King, N., Bravington, A., Hardy, B., Melvin, J. and Wilde, D. (2017) The Pictor technique: Exploring experiences of collaborative working from the perspectives of generalist and specialist nurses. In Brooks, J. and King, N., Applied qualitative research in psychology. London: Palgrave.

King, N., Brooks, J. and Bravington, A. (2014) The Pictor technique: Exploring collaborative working in nursing, in Sage Research Methods Case Series. London: Sage Publications. 

  • Campus Working Partner at the University of Huddersfield (visual methods in qualitative research)
Postgraduate research supervision
  • Palliative care
  • Qualitative/visual methods 
External roles
  • 2012-2019: Campus Working Partner at the University of Huddersfield.