Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Tracy Finch

Senior Lecturer in Psychology of Health Care



I am a research psychologist, drawing on both psychological and sociological approaches to understanding health care practices and organisation. I lead a programme of research on understanding the social and organisational aspects that affect the normalisation of complex interventions in health care, and am co-developer of Normalization Process Theory. As a member of the Decision Making and Organisation of Care (DMOC) Research Theme, my work involves bringing social science perspectives and qualitative methodological expertise to clinical research and teaching. Much of my work aims to advance understanding and improvement in the implementation of complex health interventions, through theory, measurement (NoMAD study) and tool development.

Roles and responsibilities:

·         Degree Program Director, MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research/ Master of Public Health

·         IHS Teaching and Learning Committee

·         Faculty of Medical Sciences Ethics Committee

·         Newcastle Health Psychology Group


1999 PhD (Psychology). Deakin University (Geelong, Australia). Thesis title: ‘Risk perception, risk communication and message framing: Breast cancer and family history’.

1995 B.A. Honours (Psychology). Deakin University (Geelong, Australia). Thesis titled ‘Optimistic Bias in Beliefs about Smoking’.

1994 B.A. (Social Science), Deakin University.



Research Interests

My research interests include understanding the social and psychological aspects of the design, organisation, implementation, use, evaluation and normalisation of new technologies of health care. This includes emphasis on understanding how to best assess multiple user perspectives about the impact of new technologies on the conduct and experience of the different kinds of work that new technologies entail. Instrumental to this, is my ongoing work on developing and testing Normalization Process Theory (NPT), including the ESRC funded NoMAD study to develop process and outcome measures for assessing implementation processes concerning new healthcare interventions. In the EU funded ImpleMentAll study, I am leading a work package to develop tailored implementation interventions which will be evaluated in e-mental health services across Europe and Australia.

My research profile consists of a range of studies that address these issues in relation to both technology-related (eg. telemedicine, telehealth, telecare and e-health) and non-technology related interventions (eg. CBT for Fear of Falling).

Postgraduate Supervision

Current doctoral supervision: 

  • Michael Sykes, IHS, Newcastle University (NIHR Doctoral Fellow)
  • Ashleigh Stamp, Dental Sciences, Newcastle University,
  • Melissa Girling, IHS, Newcastle University (NIHR Doctoral Fellow)
  • Gillian Waller, Teesside University (Fuse funded Studentship)
  • Jan Lecouturier, IHS, Newcastle University
  • Samridh Sharma, Dental Sciences, Newcastle University
  • Katherine Jackson, IHS, Newcastle University

Previous doctoral supervision: 

  • Sara McCafferty, IHS, Newcastle University
  • Teresa Kelly, ICM/IHS, Newcastle University
  • Iain McKinnon, ION, Newcastle University
  • Lorraine Cowley, PEALS, Newcastle University
  • John Steer, ICM, Newcastle University
  • Ben Heaven IHS, Newcastle University

Current Research Funding

NIHR Doctoral Fellowship. Enhancing audit and feedback in Acute Trust dementia care. Awarded to Mr Michael Sykes (co-supervising, with Prof Richard Thomson, Dr Niina Kohlemainen & Dr Louise Allan), Newcastle University.

European Union H2020-SC1-2016-2017. Towards evidence-based tailored implementation strategies for eHealth. Lead partner: University of Southern Denmark. 53 months, start 01/01/17.

NIHR Doctoral Fellowship. Young people who offend: Understanding and meeting health and wellbeing needs using experience based co-design. Awarded to Ms Melissa Girling (primary supervisor, with Prof Ann LeCouter & Prof Dorothy Newbury-Birch), Newcastle University. Nov 2016 – Sep 2019.

Northern Counties Kidney Research.Electronic alerts for acute kidney injury: a multi-centre pilot evaluation of end-user experience framed within Normalisation Process Theory. Kanagasundaram, S (PI), Sheerin N, Sims A, Price A, Yates B, Kilimangalam N, Bevan M, Finch T, Maniatopoulos G. 01/05/16 for 12 months.

Autistica.Adult Autism Spectrum Cohort UK (AASC-UK). Jeremy Parr is PI, Tracy Finch leads qual work: Parr, J., Burn, D., Chinnery, P., Le Couteur, A., McConachie, H., Finch, T. (see: )

NIHR HTA.RATULS: Robot Assisted Training for the Upper Limb after Stroke. Rodgers H, Aird L, Darawil K, Dawson J, Eyre J, Finch T, Ford G, Hogg S, Howel D, Hughes N, Krebs H, Price C, Rochester L, Shaw L, Turner D, Ternent L, Vale L, Warburton E, Wilkes S.

NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research. Improving the diagnosis and management of neurodegenerative dementia of Lewy body type in the NHS (DIAMOND-Lewy). John O'Brien, David Burn, Alan Thomas, Claire Bamford, Ian McKeith, John-Paul Taylor, Louise Allan, Peter James, Mark Deverill, Tracy Finch (Qualitative lead), James Mason, Tim Docking, Derek Forster. 1/10/13 for 60 months.

ESRC Standard Grant. Improving the normalisation of complex interventions: Developing quantitative measures for users based on Normalisation Process Theory. Tracy Finch (PI), Carl May, Tim Rapley, Frances Mair, Elizabeth Murray, Shaun Treweek, Ian Nicholas Steen, Elaine McColl. 2012-15.

Technology Strategy Board (TSB) & ESRC.Designing Scalable Assistive Technologies and Services for Independent Healthy Living and Sustainable Market Development in the Mixed Digital Economy.  With Feng Li (PI). 2011- 14.

NIHR Health Technology Assessment.Cognitive behavioural therapy-based intervention to reduce fear of falling in older fallers attending a community falls service: Therapy development and randomised controlled trial. Lead for ethnographic sub-study. Steve Parry (PI). 2012-15.

NIHR Doctoral Fellowship: Optimising baby to breast attachment (OBBA): a mixed methods study. Fellow: Dr Ms Teresa Kelly. Commenced 2011.

NIHR Doctoral Fellowship:Health Morbidity and Screening in Custody. Fellow: Dr Iain McKinnon. Commenced 2011.

NIHR Doctoral Fellowship: Women, Stress and Alcohol. Fellow: Mrs Katherine Jackson. Commenced 2010.

Cancer UK PhD Training Fellowship: Living with Hereditary non Polyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC): A ten-year retrospective examination of the experiences of a large North of England Family. Fellow: Mrs Lorraine Cowley (co-supervisor).





Postgraduate teaching:

  • I am Degree Program Director for the MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research/ Master of Public Health
  • Session contributor to MSc modules
  • MSc dissertation project supervision

Undergraduate teaching:

  • Healthcare Organisation and Practice for Bioscience (School of Biomedical Sciences)