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Dr Karen Coulman

Investigating barriers to accessing specialist obesity care, including bariatric surgery, for people with severe and complex obesity

In 2016 I completed an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship investigating the patient's perspective of obesity (bariatric) surgery, including the development of a core outcome set for bariatric surgery. My PhD research also used qualitative methods to investigate patients' experiences life after bariatric surgery including experiences of NHS follow-up care. I was recently awarded an HEE/NIHR Clinical Lectureship which I began in April 2019, where my research will focus on investigating barriers to accessing specialist care for people with severe and complex obesity. I am also currently collaborating on a study to develop core quality of life measures for bariatric surgery. 

I am also involved in trial methodology projects through the CONDUCT-II Hub including a project on understanding how clinicians engage with trials, and how patient and public involvement (PPI) functions in trial oversight committees. 

My research interests include the psychosocial aspects of living with obesity, bariatric surgery, and other chronic diseases, trials of behavioural interventions, and how health professionals engage with trials and research.

Research keywords

  • obesity
  • bariatric surgery
  • quality of life
  • Patient experience of health care
  • Nutrition
  • primary care
  • secondary care

Diseases related to this field of research

  • Obesity
  • diabetes


  • Dr Amanda Owen-Smith
  • Dr Fiona MacKichan
  • Prof JM Blazeby