Research groups

Sarah Drew

MA, DPhil


Qualitative Researcher (Early Cancer Diagnosis)

Biography and research interests

Sarah is a social researcher by background who applies qualitative research methods to applied health research. Research interests include service delivery, clinical decision-making, treatment-seeking behaviour, patient experiences and using theoretical frameworks to understand the implementation of complex interventions. She has experience of these both within the NHS and in global health settings.

Sarah is working as a Research Associate in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences on a project to understand how GPs develop and use their gut feelings when making decisions about how to treat patients who they suspect may have cancer. Prior to this, she worked as a Senior Research Associate in the Musculoskeletal Research Unit at Bristol University on an NIHR funded project to explore how, and in which ways, the enhanced recovery pathway through hip and knee replacement surgery is implemented across different hospital settings. She also worked on the VFRAC study to produce and evaluate an improved tool to screen older women with back pain for osteoporotic vertebral fractures. 

Her DPhil was based in the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford and explored the organisation and delivery of clubfoot treatment services in Malawi using ethnographic research methods.

Methodological expertise includes ethnography, participant observation, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and case studies. Qualitative analysis techniques are thematic analysis, framework approach, grounded theory and abductive analyses. She also has experience in using established techniques to conduct systematic syntheses of existing qualitative research.

She retains an interest in musculoskeletal global health research and is currently involved in helping to set up the Sub-Saharan African MuSculOskeletal Network (SAMSON) programme, a research partnership across West, East and Southern Africa which underpins a programme of musculoskeletal health research in the region.