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Dr Karen Coulman

Dr Karen Coulman

Dr Karen Coulman
B.Sc.(Saskatchewan), M.Sc.(Toronto), PhD (Bristol)

Senior Research Associate in Outcome Methods for Randomised Controlled Trials

Senior Research Associate in Trials Methodology

Area of research

Psychosocial aspects of bariatric surgery and surgical research

Office Room G.04
Canynge Hall,
39 Whatley Road, Bristol BS8 2PS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 33 14531


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 am currently undertaking post-doctoral work in the CONDUCT-II Hub, looking at 'core measures' to evaluate bariatric surgery, and weight maintenance interventions post-bariatric surgery. I also work for the Feasibility and Conduct of Trials (FACT) theme within the Hub where we are undertaking a qualitative study on surgeon engagement in trials.

I am very interested in the psychosocial aspects of living with obesity and bariatric surgery in the long-term. I am particularly interested in looking at how the patient’s perspective can be used to improve interventions for obesity and other chronic diseases involving significant lifestyle change, in both primary and secondary care.


I completed a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Saskatchewan and a research-based MSc in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. My MSc research investigated the health benefits of flaxseed and sesame seed in post-menopausal women.  I then undertook a dietetic internship at Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, and qualified as a Registered Dietitian in 2003.  I moved to the UK in 2004, working as a clinical dietitian in the NHS, and a research dietitian at the University of Bristol, where I was involved in a large RCT investigating an intensive diet and exercise intervention in people newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in primary care. My clinical areas of interest include obesity, bariatric surgery, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  In 2016, I completed an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship investigating the patient's perspective of obesity surgery, including the development of a core outcome set, and ways to improve follow-up care in the NHS. I used both qualitative and quantitative research methods to undertake my PhD research.


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


  • Obesity
  • diabetes


  • Qualitative research methods
  • questionnaire survey
  • quantitative research

Selected publications

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Networks & contacts

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

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