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Dr Johanna Spiers

Dr Johanna Spiers

Dr Johanna Spiers

Honorary Senior Research Associate

Area of research

Exploring the barriers and facilitators to help-seeking by GPs: improving access to support

Office 1.01
Canynge Hall,
39 Whatley Road, Bristol BS8 2PS
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+44 (0) 117 3314532


I undertook my PhD at Birkbeck University of London, where I was supervised by Professor Jonathan A Smith. My PhD was about the experience of living with and being treated for renal failure. Since then, I have worked as a researcher on projects at UCL and the University of Hull, before moving to Bristol in January 2016. 

Activities / Findings

Current research: 

I am currently working as a Senior Research Associate on a NIHR SPCR funded qualitative study which aims to identify the barriers and facilitators to support and help seeking amongst GPs with burnout and reduced mental health and well-being.


Research summary:

I have a background in qualitative health psychology. I am experienced with using a range of qualitative methods including Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), thematic analysis and framework analysis. My work has spanned a range of health topics including renal failure, adherence to HIV medication, living with an ileostomy, and GP mental health. I am motivated by providing a voice for people who are voiceless and doing work that has the potential to make a difference to real world health dilemmas. 



Spiers, J., Smith, J.A., Simpson, P. & Nicholls, A.R. (2016) The treatment experiences of people living with ileostomies: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 1-10. (early online)

Spiers, J., Smith, J.A., Poliquin, E., Anderson, J. & Horne, R. (2016) The experience of antiretroviral treatment for Black West African women who are HIV positive and living in London: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Aids and Behavior, 1-13. (early online)

Spiers, J., & Smith, J.A. (2015) Waiting for a kidney from a deceased donor: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 1-9.(early online)

Spiers, J., Smith, J.A. & Drage, M. (2015). A longitudinal interpretative phenomenological analysis of the process of kidney recipients’ resolution of complex ambiguities within relationships with their living donors. Journal of Health Psychology, 1359105315581070. (early online)

Spiers, J. & Smith, J.A. (2012). Using autobiographical poetry as data to investigate the experience of living with end-stage renal disease: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Creative Approaches to Research, 5(2), 119-137.



I have taught a range of undergraduate, masters and PhD students about qualitative research methods, health psychology and data collection. 


  • Qualitative methods
  • Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
  • Mental Health
  • Chronic Illness
  • Transplantation


  • Renal failure
  • Mental health
  • HIV
  • IBD


  • Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis
  • Thematic analysis
  • Framework analysis



Bristol Medical School (PHS)

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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