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Dr Jennifer McAnuff

Research Fellow

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

I am an occupational therapist and I am interested in developing, evaluating, and implementing allied health interventions in NHS, social care, and education settings. My work focuses on children, young people, and adults affected by neurodisability or long-term conditions.

I have conducted mixed methods and quantitative evidence synthesis, systematic evidence mapping, semi-structured interviews, go-along interviews, focus groups, secondary qualitative analysis, online surveys, and Delphi methods. I have a strong interest in the ethics, methods, and impact of public and patient involvement and co-production.  

Jennifer McAnuff


Current Projects:


  • BATH-OUT-2: Bathing adaptations in the homes of older adults - A randomised controlled trial, economic evaluation and process evaluation (Chief Investigator: Dr Phillip Whitehead)
  • Timely and successful housing adaptations for older people – exploring the potential of a case study repository (Co-investigator)


Research Projects as Primary Investigator:


  • RAISE: Establishing a strategic research agenda for allied health in schools and education settings (Castang Foundation, £59,880, 01/2019 - 09/2020)
  • Supporting participation in leisure of children and young people with neurodisability: Developing a programme theory for building allied health interventions (NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship, £272,227, 04/2015 - 03/2019)
  • Using creative arts for research involvement with a group of young people with complex neurodisability (Newcastle University, £4,000, 07/2018 - 12/2018)
  • Research Capability Funding (Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, £35,630, 08/2012 - 03/2015)


Research Projects as Co-investigator:


  • Timely and successful housing adaptations for older people – exploring the potential of a case study repository (Northumbria University, £6,165.60, 03/2022 - 07/2022)
  • PERMIT: Paediatric early rehabilitation and mobilisation during intensive care - A feasibility study (NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme, £374,672, 11/2018 - 10/2021)
  • EMPoWER: Evidence synthesis of powered mobility interventions for very young children with mobility limitations to aid participation and positive development (NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme, £251,448, 04/2018 - 06/2019)
  • Enabling self-care in children with developmental disabilities: Pre-protocol research for a cluster randomised controlled trial (United Kingdom Occupational Therapy Research Foundation, £79,716, 10/2018 - 12/2020)
  • Improving therapy interventions for children with neurodisability: Public and patient engagement in preparing a collaborative grant application for national research (Newcastle University, £1,718, 09/2015 - 03/2016)


Involvement and Co-production:


I have a strong interest in the ethics, methods, and impact of public and patient involvement and co-production. My activities in this area include:

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • School-based allied health interventions for children and young people affected by neurodisability: A systematic evidence map, McAnuff, J., Gibson, J., Webster, R., Kaur-Bola, K., Crombie, S., Grayston, A., Pennington, L. 21 Apr 2022, In: Disability and Rehabilitation
  • Improving participation outcomes and interventions in neurodisability: co‐designing future research, McAnuff, J., Brooks, R., Duff, C., Quinn, M., Marshall, J., Kolehmainen, N. 1 Mar 2017, In: Child: Care, Health and Development
  • Specifying current physical therapy practice for paediatric trials: A survey of United Kingdom physical therapists, Duff, C., Kolehmainen, N., McAnuff, J. 22 May 2021, In: Child: Care, Health and Development
  • Powered mobility interventions for very young children with mobility limitations to aid participation and positive development: the EMPoWER evidence synthesis, Bray, N., Kolehmainen, N., McAnuff, J., Tanner, L., Tuersley, L., Beyer, F., Grayston, A., Wilson, D., Tudor Edwards, R., Noyes, J., Craig, D. 1 Oct 2020, In: Health Technology Assessment
  • Family–clinician interactions in children's health services: a secondary analysis of occupational therapists' practice descriptions, McAnuff, J., Boyes, C., Kolehmainen, N. 1 Dec 2015, In: Health Expectations


Professional Roles:


  • Strategic Research Group, British Academy of Childhood Disability (since 2015)
  • Associate Editor, BMJ Paediatrics Open (2016-22)
  • Implementation Manager, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2019-20)
  • Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Topic Identification and Development Panel, NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme (2013-16)
  • Clinical Lead Children's Occupational Therapist, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (2008-19)
  • Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (since 2001)
  • Member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (since 2001)


Personal Awards:


  • Finalist, NHS Leadership Academy National Leadership Recognition Awards (2016)
  • Winner, NHS Leadership Academy North East Emerging Leader of the Year (2016)
  • Winner, York St. John University Post-graduate Prize for Academic Achievement (2011)




I lecture on evidence based practice and research at Salford University and I have previously taught qualitative research methods, including secondary qualitative analysis, at York St. John University.


Professional Engagement:


I have delivered keynote presentations and interactive workshops at multidisciplinary conferences in the UK and internationally:

  • Powered mobility to enable participation and positive development of young children with mobility limitations: the EMPoWER evidence synthesis. (Irwin Mitchell - Movement Matters Conference 2021, keynote)
  • How should NHS occupational therapists support school staff, children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families? (Institute of Education, University of Reading and the Charlie Waller Trust - online conference 2021, keynote)
  • "Six Sixpences" - A parent's vision for collaborative practice. (Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Specialist Section for Children, Young People and Families - Annual Conference 2019, keynote) 
  • Hope and glory or secrets and lies? Measuring outcomes in allied health services for children and young people. (Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists - Annual Conference 2016, workshop)
  • Space to think, time to act! Five ways to implement evidence-based practice, starting Monday. (Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Specialist Section for Children, Young People and Families - Annual Conference 2016, keynote)
  • Changing the environment to enable children and young people's participation - are we all talk and no action? (European Academy of Childhood Disability & International Conference on Cerebral Palsy - Annual Scientific Meeting 2016, workshop)
  • Raising our game and achieving impact in allied health interventions for children, young people and families. (Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists - Annual Conference 2015, keynote)
  • Ready, Steady, Goal! An interactive workshop for parents and clinicians. (Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust - multiagency knowledge translation event 2015, workshop)
  • How can I 'do' family-centred, shared goal-setting? An interactive workshop for service providers and parents. (European Academy of Childhood Disability - Annual Scientific Meeting 2014, workshop)

  • PhD April 27 2020
  • MSc September 16 2011
  • PGCert June 20 2008
  • BSc (Hons) July 20 2001

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