Miranda Thurston

Professor of Public Health Director, Centre for Public Health Research
Miranda joined the Centre for Public Health Research as Director, in October 1998, having previously been Deputy Head of Department and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Health and Community Studies at Chester.

Qualifications

BSc, PhD, MSc, MBA, PGCE, CBiol, MIBiol

Overview

Prior to working at the University of Chester, Miranda worked as a research assistant at St Bartholomew's Medical College, University of London, where she gained her PhD for work on the cell kinetics of human bone growth.  Miranda then went on to complete a PGCE and briefly taught in the secondary education sector.  She has taught extensively at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the areas of public health, epidemiology and research methods. She continues to teach on both of the Centre's Masters Programmes alongside her research and consultancy role. She is also programme leader for the Centre's MSc in Public Health. Since 2008 she has been a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Health and Sport at University College Hedmark in Norway.

Research

Miranda's research interests are both methodological and issue based. In terms of the former, she has a specific interest in evaluation methodology, developed through her involvement in a number of commissioned evaluation studies concerned with the implementation of national policy initiatives at a local level. This has involved designing evaluation strategies for complex community-based interventions such as Sure Start and Children's Fund local programmes, as well as for specific interventions such as exercise on prescription schemes. Miranda also has an interest in participatory research and has undertaken work with disabled parents and other potentially marginalised groups, focusing on establishing ‘lay' views of support needs.

Miranda has a broad range of research interests concerned with the influence of settings - family, school, community - in the early development and maintenance of predispositions towards certain forms of behaviour, such as eating and physical activity, as well as involvement and achievement at school. She is also interested in understanding organisational and professional responses to specific public health issues such as domestic violence.

Since joining the Centre, Miranda has developed an interest in research ethics and was the Chair of the Faculty of Applied and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee in 2005-2006.

Published work

Recent publications

Hanstad, D. V., Skille, E., A., & Thurston, M. (2009). Elite athletes' perspectives on providing whereabouts information: A survey of athletes in the Norwegian Registered Testing Pool. Sport and Society, 6, 30-46.
Smith, A., Green, K., & Thurston, M. (2009). ‘Activity choice' and physical education in England and Wales. Sport, Education and Society, 14, 203-222.
Green, K., Smith, A., & Thurston, M. (2009). Busy doing nothing? Physical education teachers' perceptions of young people's participation in leisure-sport. Sport, Education & Society, 14, 401-420.
Ames, J., & Thurston, M. (2008). Trials and treatments: some reflections on informed consent and the role of research ethics committees. Research Ethics Review, 4, 95-100.
Perry, C., & Thurston, M. (2008). Introduction of the primary care cancer nursing role in a GP practice. British Journal of Community Nursing, 13, 367-372.
Perry, C., Thurston, M., & Osborn, T. (2008). Time for Me: The arts as therapy in postnatal depression. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 14, 38-45.
Perry, C., & Thurston, M. (2007). Meeting the sexual health care needs of young people: a model that works? Child: Care, Health and Development, 34, 98-103.
Artaraz, K., Thurston, M., & Davies, S. (2007). Understanding family support provision within the context of prevention: a critical analysis of a voluntary sector project. Child and Family Social Work. 12, 306-315.
Smith, A., Thurston, M., Green, K. & Lamb, K. (2007). Young People's Participation in Extra-Curricular Physical Education: A Study of 15-16-year-olds in the North-West of England and North-East of Wales. European Physical Education Review, 13, 339-368.
Smith, A., Thurston, M., Green, K., & Lamb, K. (2007). Young people's participation in National Curriculum Physical Education a study of 15-16 year olds in North-West England and North-East Wales. European Physical Education Review, 13, 165-194.
Thurston, M. (2007). Understanding family support within a Sure Start local programme. In M. Avis, J. Schneider, & P. Leighton (Eds.). The Sure Start Experience: Learning from local evaluations. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Green, K. Smith, A., Thurston, M., & Lamb, K. (2007). Physical education, gender and the leisure lives of 15-16 year-olds. In Ian Wellard & Richard Bailey (Eds.). Gender and Physical Education. London: Routledge.
Pearson, C., & Thurston, M. (2006). Understanding mothers' engagement with antenatal parent education services: A critical analysis of a local Sure Start service. Children & Society, 20, 348-359.
Davies, S., & Thurston, M. (2005). Establishing a learning mentor service within a cluster of primary schools: learning from evaluation. Journal of Pastoral Care, 32, 37-43.
Kearney, M., Bradbury, C., Ellahi, B., Hodgson, M., & Thurston, M. (2005). Mainstreaming prevention: prescribing fruit and vegetables as a brief intervention in primary care. Public Health, 119, 981-986.
Perry, C., Thurston, M., Killey, M., & Miller, J. (2005). The nurse practitioner in primary care: alleviating problems of access? British Journal of Nursing, 14, 255-259.
Thurston, M. (2005, March). An evaluation of the Living with Cancer Project. Some reflections on research. NLP News, 10, 26-27.
Thurston, M., & Green, K. (2004). Adherence to exercise in later life: how can exercise on prescription schemes be made more effective? Health Promotion International, 19, 379 - 387.
Green, K., Smith, A., & Thurston, M. (2004). Tackling the "couch potato" culture amongst children and young people. Journal of the National Obesity Forum, 8, 5-6.
Perry, C., Thurston, M., & Green, K. (2004). Involvement and detachment in researching sexuality: reflections on the process of semi-structured interviewing. Qualitative Health Research, 14, 135-148.
Green, K., & Thurston M. (2002). Physical Education and health promotion: a qualitative study of teachers' perceptions. Health Education, 102, 113-123.
Ames, J. C., Thompson S., & Thurston, M. N. (2001). Difficulties in negotiating research access. Bulletin of Medical Ethics, 165, 15-17.

Externally commissioned research

Hughes, D., Perry, C., & Thurston, M. (2010). A qualitative evaluation of the Western Cheshire community weight management programme - Step by Step healthy weight and lifestyle programme. Interim report. Chester, United Kingdom: Centre for Public Health Research, University of Chester.

Thurston, M., Alford, S., & Hughes, D. (2010). An evaluation of the Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Network 'Drink a Little Less, See a Better You' social marketing campaign. Chester, United Kingdom: Centre for Public Health Research, University Of Chester. 

McKay, J., & Thurston, M. (2010). Evaluation of the Cheshire and Merseyside public health network continuing professional development programme 2009. Chester, United Kingdom: Centre for Public Health Research, University of Chester. 

Ward, F., Goldthorpe, J., Alford, S., Thurston, M. & Perry, C. (2009). Mapping and gapping services for children, young people and families in Blacon. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F. & Thurston, M. (2009). RESPECT: a personal development programme for young people at risk of social exclusion - Option One: Social Return on Investment. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F., Thurston, M. & Alford, S. (2009). RESPECT: a personal development programme for young people at risk of social exclusion - Final Report. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Thurston, M. (2009). Integrated care pathways for alcohol services: from guidance to delivery. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Thurston, M. & Arch, B. (2009). An assessment of the impact of the introduction of home safety assessments in Cheshire. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F., Powell, K. & Thurston, M. (2009). RESPECT: a personal development programme for young people at risk of social exclusion - ‘On the Streets' Impact Report. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Alford, S. & Thurston, M. (2008). Cheshire NHS Information and Communication Technology Service customer satisfaction survey. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F. & Thurston, M. (2008). RESPECT: a personal development programme for young people at risk of social exclusion - Option Two Impact Report. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Powell, K. & Thurston, M. (2008). Commissioning training for behaviour change interventions: evidence and best practice in delivery. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Perry, C., Ward, F. & Thurston, M. (2008). Parents as sex and relationship educators: a local evaluation of ‘Speakeasy 4 Parents'. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F., Powell, K., Thurston, M. & Cleary, P. (2008). Use and experiences of front-line health services amongst Black and Minority Ethnic residents of western Cheshire. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F., Thurston, M. & Collier, K. (2008). RESPECT: a personal development programme for young people at risk of social exclusion - Option One Impact Report. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Powell, K., Perry, C. & Thurston, M. (2008). The National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in Cheshire and Merseyside: perspectives of people with a sensory impairment. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Alford, S. & Thurston, M. (2008). Establishing the reach of Cheshire Children's Fund: April 2006 - March 2007. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F., Collier, K. & Thurston, M. (2008). RESPECT: a personal development programme for young people at risk of social exclusion - Phase Two evaluation report. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F., Powell, K. & Thurston, M. (2007). Understanding the impact of the Cheshire Children's Fund: findings from 11 family case studies. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Mann, F., Alford, S. & Thurston, M. (2007). Warrington Community Alcohol Service: final evaluation report. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F., Collier, K. & Thurston, M. (2007). RESPECT: a personal development programme for young people at risk of social exclusion. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Caiels, J. & Thurston, M. (2007). A small-scale study of disabled parents' experiences of local services in Cheshire. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Artaraz, K. & Thurston, M. (2006). Implementing a Webster-Stratton parent and child programme in a school setting: an evaluation of a pilot project. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F. & Thurston, M. (2006). Understanding risk and protective factors: findings from a sample of vulnerable children and young people in Crewe. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Caiels, J., Newall, T. & Thurston, M. (2006). Preliminary work to inform the RESPECT project. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Thurston, M. (2006). The National Healthy Schools Programme: a vehicle for school improvement? Case studies from Cheshire. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Alford, S. & Thurston, M. (2006). Establishing the reach of Cheshire Children's Fund, April 2005- March 2006: database development and implementation. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F. & Thurston, M. (2006). Sure Start Blacon: engaging with families who are ‘hard to reach'. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Perry, C. & Thurston, M. (2006). Evaluating the role of the Primary Care Cancer Nurse: a qualitative study of local implementation in Runcorn. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Alford, S. & Thurston, M. (2006). Sure Start Ellesmere Port reach report: May 2005 - December 2005. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Artaraz, K. & Thurston, M. (2006). A review of family support provision in three Sure Start local programmes. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Davies, S. & Thurston, M. (2006). An evaluation of the parent and child groups provided by Winsford Youth Forum and commissioned by Sure Start Winsford. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Davies, S. & Thurston, M. (2006). Consulting with children under 5: a literature review. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F., Alford, S., Thurston, M. & Pearson, C. (2006). Sure Start Blacon reach report: April 2004 - March 2005. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Davies, S. & Thurston, M. (2006). Making sense of the ways in which children and families access, move through and exit services: an appraisal of care pathways in three services funded by Cheshire Children's Fund. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Thurston, M. & Alexander, D. (2006). Sexual health in Cheshire and Merseyside: a review of the available evidence. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Artaraz, K. & Thurston, M. (2006). Halton Children's Fund: an evaluation of the Halton Transition Project. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Samuels, T., Thurston, M. & Perry, C. (2006). Review of sexual health services in central Cheshire: perspectives of service providers. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Ward, F. & Thurston, M. (2005). Sure Start Hollinwood outreach survey. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Caiels, J. & Thurston, M. (2005). Wheelchair users' satisfaction survey. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Pearson, C. & Thurston, M. (2005). Understanding the concept of family support provided by integrated multi-disciplinary teams. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Caiels, J. & Thurston, M. (2005). Evaluation of the Warrington Falls Management and Prevention service. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Barrow, M. & Thurston, M. (2005). Sure Start Ellesmere Port - An evaluation of PEEPO: a programme to support parents and carers as their child's first educator. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Barrow, M. & Thurston, M. (2005). Sure Start Ellesmere Port - The unit costs of PEEPO: a programme to support parents and carers as their child's first educator. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Perry, C., Thurston, M. & Killey, M. (2005). An evaluation of the Cheshire sexual health promotion project. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Davies, S. & Thurston, M. ( 2005). An evaluation of Pennies and Pounds: a financial literacy service commissioned by Sure Start Winsford. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Thurston, M. & May, S. (2005). Emergency life support training for school children: exploring local implementation and outcomes of the HeartStart UK school programme, within the context of the National Healthy School Standard. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Artaraz, K. & Thurston, M. (2005). Evaluation of the Branches project: a family support service in Halton. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Artaraz, K. & Thurston, M. (2005). A strategic analysis of Halton Children's Fund. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Pearson, C. & Thurston, M. (2005). Evaluation of the ‘Pop-In' service in the Sure Start Blacon area. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Thurston, M., Manning, R. & Killey, M. (2005). The Boys and Girls Welfare Society's family group meeting service: an evaluation for Cheshire Children's Fund. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Pearson, C. & Thurston, M. (2005). Cost-effectiveness evaluation of the pop-in service in the Sure Start Blacon area. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Samuels, T. & Thurston, M. (2005). Evaluation of the Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Network Continuing Professional Development Programme. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Davies, S. & Thurston, M. (2005). Sure Start Winsford parent satisfaction survey. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Caiels, J. & Thurston, M. (2005). Evaluation of the Warrington District CAB GP outreach project. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Pearson, C. & Thurston, M. (2004). Sure Start Blacon parent satisfaction survey - conducted as part of the evaluation of Sure Start Blacon. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Davies, S., Thurston, M. & Killey, M. (2004). Cheshire Children's Fund: an evaluation of the learning mentor service. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Barrow, M. & Thurston, M. (2004). Ellesmere Port Sure Start: parent satisfaction survey, 2004. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Caiels, J. & Thurston, M. (2004). Evaluation of health and social welfare support services. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Pearson, C. & Thurston, M. (2004). Service evaluation of parent education in the Blacon Sure Start area - conducted as part of the evaluation of Sure Start Blacon. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Perry, C. & Thurston, M. (2004). A survey of antenatal and newborn Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia screening in the North West region. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Barrow, M., Rouse, J. & Thurston, M. (2004). Service evaluation of narrative therapy - conducted as part of the evaluation of Sure Start Ellesmere Port. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Sargent, P., Thurston, M. & Kirby, K. (2004). An evaluation of the ‘Living with Cancer' project: using neuro-linguistic programming techniques to maximise the coping strategies of carers and patients living with cancer in Ellesmere Port. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Barrow, M., Rouse, J. & Thurston, M. (2003). Blacon Sure Start: parent satisfaction survey, 2003. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Barrow, M., Rouse, J. & Thurston, M. (2003). Ellesmere Port Sure Start: parent satisfaction survey, 2003. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Killey, M. & Thurston, M. (2003). Drug and alcohol use in Ellesmere Port and Neston: a study of local needs and service responses. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Jones, J. & Thurston, M. (2003). Widnes Sure Start: patterns of registration and service usage in 2002-2003. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Barrow, M., Jones, J. & Thurston, M. (2003). Widnes Sure Start user satisfaction survey. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Thurston, M., Perry, C. & Kirby, K. (2003). Exploring colorectal cancer patients' perceptions of the quality of their care: a qualitative study in Halton. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Killey, M., Perry, C., Miller, J. & Thurston, M. (2003). An exploration of the role of the nurse clinician in facilitating access to high quality primary care. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Perry, C., Jones, J. & Thurston, M. (2002). An evaluation of Upton Rocks PMS pilot site. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Thurston, M. (2002). The development of the Cheshire Health and Education Partnership: a case study. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Perry, C. & Thurston, M. (2002). Supporting parents in Halton: challenges and opportunities for service development. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.

Perry, C. & Thurston, M. (2002). Personal Medical Services pilot sites in South Cheshire. Chester: University of Chester, Centre for Public Health Research.