Institute of Health & Society

Life-Course, Development & Ageing

Life-Course, Development and Ageing


This multidisciplinary theme brings together a wide range of academics and clinicians to conduct applied health research across the lifespan.

This theme includes academic expertise in mixed methods research with representation from health psychology, medical sociology and social gerontology and clinical expertise from both primary and secondary care (including primary care, paediatrics, child psychology, geriatrics and old age psychiatry).

Our research explores the whole spectrum of healthy ageing, from development in childhood and the consequences of disability, to the health and wellbeing of those aged 85 years and over.

The primary aim of this research theme is to develop and deliver internationally recognised multidisciplinary, empirical research that contributes to our understanding of development, ageing and health across the life course, from childhood into old age, and improves an individual’s quality of life and the quality of care they receive.

The theme conducts research into:

  • factors that influence health across the life course, from childhood through to old age, with a focus on promoting independence, enhancing function and reducing disability
  • how new knowledge, technologies and interventions can improve individuals’ wellbeing, participation and quality of life across the lifespan, and the quality of healthcare they receive
  • understanding the experience of health, impairment and disability across the life course, and within the family, with a particular focus on childhood development/disability, cognitive impairment and dementia in later life and the health of the old

Research strands

This theme incorporates six research strands:

  • ageing and health
  • transitions in health and disability
  • understanding child disability
  • improving quality of life
  • technologies and the environment
  • cognitive impairment and dementia

The theme also hosts the Newcastle University Care Home Interest Group

Ageing Research

A key interest of the Institute is how people respond to and cope with chronic diseases, especially dementia, and how care services and technology can improve people's lives when coping with these diseases.

We are particularly interested how the impact of chronic disease varies with income and how diet and alcohol consumption affect the health of older people.

Current work is outlined below.

Member of staffResearch interest
Professor Ashley Adamson Nutritional aspects of ageing and interventions to enhance health and wellbeing in later life.
Dr Vera Araujo-Soares Self-care and self-management of chronic conditions (pain, cardiovascular rehabilitation and obesity) as well as on the promotion of health behaviours (eg sun protective behaviours, healthy diet and physical activity).
Ms Claire Bamford Dementia care and food services for vulnerable older patients.
Dr Katie Brittain Impact of ill health on older people and carers, particularly with reference to continence management and also how physical, social and technological environment pose challenges and opportunities for older people.
Dr Claire Dickinson Applied health services focusing especially on ageing and dementia.
Dr Rachel Duncan Incidence and clinical causes of joint pain in older people.
Dr Catherine Exley Conducting research with those living with chronic or terminal illness and enhancing the availability and delivery of palliative care services to different patient groups.
Dr Tracy Finch Assistive technologies and cognitive behavioural therapy-based intervention to reduce fear of falling in older people.
Dr Katie Haighton  Alcohol use in later life and welfare rights advice for socio-economically disadvantaged older people.
Professor Eileen Kaner Alcohol use in older people. Excessive drinking is known to be harmful to health but, in moderation, can also be beneficial to health, so the picture is complex.
Professor Fiona Matthews Understanding ageing from a population perspective, including how to model longitudinal data from cohort studies and the impact of health, lifestyle and risk on the ageing outcomes.
Dr Suzanne Moffatt Health and well-being of older people and tackling poverty and social exclusion in later life.  Also tackling health and social inequalities and applying research to policy and practice.
Dr Richard McNally Lifecourse epidemiology of chronic diseases.  Work on ageing includes evaluation of treatment outcomes for people aged over 60 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Dr Dorothy Newbury-Birch Alcohol research across the age spectrum.  Interventions designed to examine alcohol use and monitor alcohol intake and how alcohol affects the use of NHS services and on criminality.
Dr Mark Pearce Health, lifestyle and socio-economic status to inform what factors across the life-course are influential in determining a wide range of health and behaviours in later life.
Ms Marie Poole Exploring the experiences of people with dementia and their carers in relation to health care and services accessed.
Professor Louise Robinson How community-based services can better work together in dementia care and also in developing training for GPs and other NHS staff to create a more skilled and caring workforce.
Dr Falko Sniehotta Developing and testing the theory of behaviour change and interventions to change behaviours relevant to health and health care such as engaging in exercise for sedentary older women.
Dr Blossom Stephan  Integrating risk factor research across multiple disciplines (eg genetics, metabolic, nutrition, cardiovascular, cognition and lifestyle) to identify not only those individuals at risk of cognitive decline and dementia, but to determine how different risk and protective factors interact to promote health in older age.
Professor Richard Thomson Risk communication and shared decision making, much of which is undertaken with clinical settings and patient groups that include, or are almost exclusively, old people. Also work on stroke and treatment and care across all ages including the oldest old.


Current research projects within the Life-Course, Development and Ageing research theme.


The following members of staff work within the Life-Course, Development and Ageing research theme.

The theme leads are Lindsay Pennington and Louise Robinson.

Dr Clare Abley
Nurse Consultant Vulnerable Older Adults & Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 191 208 3802

Professor Joy Adamson
Prof of Applied Health Research & Ageing

Dr Hayley Alderson
Research Associate (SOLID Trial)

Claire Bamford
Senior Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7047

Dr Lynn Barron-Millar
Research Associate


Dr Dorothy Coe
Research Associate

Dr Rachel Duncan
Clinical Senior Lecturer

Telephone: 0191 2085668

Dr Holly Fisher
Biostatistician (Research Associate)

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7976

Dr Anna Goulding
Research Associate

Telephone: 0191 208 5399

Jessica Graham
Research Assistant

Professor Barbara Hanratty
Prof of Primary Care & Public Health

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1121

Professor Carol Jagger
AXA Prof of Epidemiology of Ageing

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1117

Dr Andrew Kingston
Research Associate

Telephone: +44(0)191 208 1124

Professor Ann Le Couteur
Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Telephone: +44 (0)191 2821398/2821384

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 282 3044

David Mason
Research Assistant (Interviewer)

Telephone: 0191 2821379

Professor Fiona Matthews
Professor of Epidemiology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1120

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 282 1396

Emma McLellan
Research Assistant


Dr Suzanne Moffatt
Reader in Social Gerontology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5005

Dr Heather Moore
Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0)191 282 5963

Dr Lisa Newton
Clinical Research Fellow

Dr Lindsay Pennington
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 282 1360

Marie Poole
Research Assistant

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7215

Professor Louise Robinson
Director, Newcastle University Institute for Ageing and Professor of Primary Care and Ageing; Regius Professor of Ageing

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7013

Professor Thomas Scharf
Prof of Social Gerontology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5329

Dr Blossom Stephan
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3811

Dr Rachel Stocker
Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 2057

Daniel Stow
Research assistant

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1202