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Karen Burnell

Dr Karen Burnell

Senior Lecturer

School of Sport, Health and Social Sciences

Biography

From 2000-2003, Karen read Psychology at the University of Southampton. She was then awarded a 1+3 ESRC postgraduate award to complete an MSc Research Methods in Psychology, followed by a PhD, which she completed in 2007. Her thesis was a narrative inquiry entitled ‘The Reconciliation of Traumatic War Memories throughout the Adult Lifespan: The Relationship between Narrative Coherence and Social Support’.

After a brief stint in the commercial market research sector, followed by a Research Assistant post at the University of Reading, Karen joined University College London as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in 2008. Here she worked as part of a multidisciplinary team to help develop and conduct complex randomised controlled trials testing psychosocial interventions for people with dementia and their carers. She joined the University of Portsmouth, School of Health Sciences and Social Work in 2011 as a lecturer, and in 2015 Karen became a Senior Lecturer. She is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Karen joined Solent University’s School of Sport, Health, and Social Sciences in the summer of 2018. 

Taught courses

Further information

  1. Teaching experience

    Karen has experience of teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and has also supervised MRes, PhD, and Professional Doctoral students.
  2. Research interests

    Karen's research interests include the impact of war experience of formerly serving military personnel and the role of social support in coping with these experiences. Follow the link to find out more.

    Karen's research interests include the impact of war experience of formerly serving military personnel and the role of social support in coping with these experiences. And, more generally, the physical, mental, and emotional changes that occur throughout the adult lifespan, with a particular focus on how events in life challenge perceptions of the self (identity) and world, the impact of these challenges for wellbeing, and how these challenges can be overcome through psychosocial and narrative interventions to improve health and wellbeing in later life.

    In her role Karen continues to work in the area of health and wellbeing in later life, with a particular emphasis on understanding how challenges in life are overcome and how help can be best given.

    Karen is a member of the Forces in Mind Trust Mental Health Research Programme Expert Review Panel, and is part of the Editorial Team for the journal Quality in Ageing and Older Adults. She also serves as a peer reviewer for a number of journals in her area interest.

    Karen has been awarded the followin research funding:

    • Age UK Portsmouth: Evaluation of Age UK Portsmouth (Principal Investigator): £25,000 (17/03/16)
    • Forces in Mind: A Feasibility Study of Veteran Outreach Support (Portsmouth): Evaluating Veteran Outreach Support in Portsmouth for effectiveness and cost-effectiveness (Principal Investigator): £130,058 (05.06.14)
    • Research Development Fund (University of Portsmouth): Developing a peer support model for older veterans (Principal Investigator). £19,544 (21.11.2013)
    • Alzheimer’s Society Innovation Fund: Evaluation of a Creative Arts Service for people with dementia and their carers (PI): £22,339 (03.12.13)
    • Alzheimer’s Society Invited Tender: Kit Bags and Berets – an evaluation of an activity group specifically for veterans with dementia and their carers (PI): £4,000 to subsidise an MRes Project (02.08.13)
  3. Recent publications

    Karen has contributed to a number of publications. Follow the link below to find out more.

    Journal articles:

    Burnell, K. J., Needs, A., & Gordon, K. (2017). Exploring the suitability and acceptability of peer support for older veterans. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 18(2), 120-130.

    Gorczynski, P., Burnell, K., Dewey, A., & Costello, J. (2017). Teaching evidence-based synthesis: an examination of the development and delivery of two innovative methodologies used at the University of Portsmouth. Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine, 10(1), 11-15.

    Charlesworth, G., Burnell, K, Crellin N., Hoare, Z., Hoe, J., Knapp, M., Russell, I. T., Wenborn, J., Woods, B., Orrell, M. (2016). Peer support and reminiscence therapy for people with dementia and their family carers: a factorial pragmatic randomised trial. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 87(11), 1218-1228.

    Burnell, K, Selwood, A., Sullivan, T., Charlesworth, G., Poland, F. and Orrell, M. (2015). Involving service users in the development of the Support at Home: Interventions to Enhance Life in Dementia Carer Supporter Programme for family carers of people with dementia. Health Expectations, 18(1), 95-110. ISSN 1369-6513 10.1111/hex.12012

    Burnell, K., Needs, A., Murdoch, N., & Gordon, K. (2014). Effectiveness of peer support for older veterans of the Armed Forces: an evidence summary. PROSPERO 2014:CRD42014009876 Available from http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.asp?ID=CRD42014009876

    Brooks, A., Farquharson, L., Burnell, K., Charlesworth, G. (2014). A Narrative Enquiry of Experienced Family Carers of People with Dementia Volunteering in a Carer Supporter Programme. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 2.

    Gordon K, Burnell K, Wilson C. (2013). Experiences in the war zone, shared narratives and changing identities: Systematic review of qualitative research. Psychology and Health, 28(S1:1), 222-222

    Charlesworth, G. M., Burnell, K. J., Hoe, J., Russell, I. T., & Orrell, M. (2013). Acceptance Criteria for Clinical Effectiveness Pilot Trials (ACCEPT): Introducing a systematic approach for assessing pilot RCTs. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 13:78 doi:10.1186/1471-2288-13-78

    Toot, S., Hoe, J., Ledgerd, R., Burnell, K, Devine, M. and Orrell, M. (2013) Causes of crises and appropriate interventions: the views of people with dementia, carers and healthcare professionals. Aging & Mental Health, 17 (3). 328.335. ISSN 1360-7863 10.1080/13607863.2012.732037

    Burnell, K, Charlesworth, G., Feast, A., Hoe, J., Poland, F. and Orrell, M. (2012) Peer support interventions for family carers of adults with chronic mental or physical illness who are living at home (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (11). ISSN 1469-493X 10.1002/14651858.CD010231

    Charlesworth, G., Burnell, K., Beecham, J., Hoare, Z., Hoe, J., Knapp, M., Russell, I., Wenborn J., Woods, B., Orrell, M. (2011). Peer support for family carers of people with dementia, alone or in combination with group reminiscence in a factorial design: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 12:205.

    Aguirre E., Spector A., Streater A., Burnell K., Orrell M. (2011). Service users' involvement in the development of a maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) programme: A comparison of the views of people with dementia, staff and family carers. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 10(4), 459-473

    Burnell K., Boyce N., & Hunt N. (2011). A good war? Exploring British veterans’ moral evaluation of deployment. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25(1), 36-42.

    Burnell, K. J., Coleman, P. G., & Hunt, N. (2010). Coping with traumatic memories: WWII veterans’ experiences of social support in relation to narrative coherence of war memories. Ageing and Society, 30(1), 57-78.

    Burnell, K. J., Hunt, N., & Coleman, P. G. (2009). Developing a model of narrative analysis to investigate the role of social support in coping with traumatic war memories. Narrative Inquiry, 19(1), 91-105.

    Burnell, K. J., Hunt, N., & Coleman, P. G. (2006). Using narrative analysis to investigate the role of social support in the reconciliation of traumatic war memories. Health Psychology Update, 15(3), 37-40.

    Burnell, K. J., Coleman, P. G., & Hunt, N. (2006). Falklands War Veterans’ perceptions of social support and the reconciliation of traumatic war memories. Aging and Mental Health, 10(3), 282-289.

    Book chapters:

    Burnell, K. J., Crossland, J., Greenberg, N. (2017). The health and social care of older veterans in the UK: Raising awareness of needs in later life. In J. Hacker Hughes (Ed.). Military Veteran Mental Health and Social Care: Contemporary Perspectives (pp 81-95). London: Routledge.

    Burnell, K. J., & Jones, R. (2011). Public / Private Commemoration of the Falklands War: Mutually Exclusive, or Joint Endeavours? In M. Andrews, C. Bagot Jewitt, & N. Hunt (Eds.), Lest we Forget?: Remembrance & Commemoration (pp 46-49). Gloucestershire: The History Press.

    Burnell, K. J., Coleman, P. G., & Hunt, N. (2011). Achieving narrative coherence following traumatic war experience: the role of social support. In G. Kenyon, E. Bohlmeijer, and W. Randall (Eds.) Storying later life: Perspectives, investigations, and interventions in narrative gerontology (pp 195-212). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Reports:

    Burnell, K., Collins, E., Gordon, K., Hadziosmanovic, E., Leonard. A., & Penney, C. (2018). A Realist Evaluation of a Voluntary Sector Drop In Service for Veterans. Forces in Mind Trust Report. http://www.fim-trust.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/20180524-FINAL-Realist-Evaluation-of-a-community-based-drop-in-service-for-veterans-Burnell-29th-March-2018-Annotated-.pdf

    Conference oral papers:

    Burnell, K. J., Needs, A., & Gordon, K. (03.09.2014). Developing a peer support intervention with older war veterans to meet their unmet social support needs. British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference. Southampton, UK.

    Burnell, K. J., & Udell, J. et al. (September 2013). Access to Information: A collaborative project between university, local authority, and the community to develop a website for community information. British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference. Oxford, UK.

    Burnell, K. J., & Udell, J. et al. (November 2012). The PEOPPLE (Putting Evidence for Older People into Practice in Living Environments) Project: Researching the needs of the older community as identified by the older community themselves. INVOLVE Annual Conference. Nottingham, UK.

    Burnell, K. J. & Udell, J. et al. (July 2012). Involving older people in health and social care research: An example from the PEOPPLE Project. British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference. Keele, UK.

    Burnell, K. J. (23.10.2009). Developing a model of narrative analysis to investigate the role of social support in coping with traumatic war memories. Emerging Researchers in Ageing (ERA) Conference, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

    Burnell, K. J. (22.10.2009). Individual peer supporters for family carers of people with dementia. Industry Skills Council (ISC) Making a Difference Convention, Melbourne, Australia.

    Burnell, K. J. (13.09.2007). WWII to Iraq: Perceptions of social support and relationship to the narrative coherence of war memories. British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology Conference, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.

    Burnell, K. J. (07.07.2007). World War II veterans’ perceptions of social support and relationship to narrative coherence of war memories. VI European Congress International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, St Petersburg, Russia.

    Conference poster presentations:

    Burnell, K. (15.03.2018). Exploring the effectiveness of Veteran Outreach Support Portsmouth: A Realist Evaluation. Veterans’ Mental Health Conference; King’s College London. London, UK.

    Burnell, K. (5.5.2017). Exploring the effectiveness of Veteran Outreach Support Portsmouth: A Realist Evaluation. British Psychological Society Annual Conference. Brighton, UK.

    Burnell, K.J, Need, A., Murdoch, N., Gordon, K. (5-6.11.2014). Developing a peer support intervention with older war veterans to meet their unmet social support needs. BPS Military Psychology Conference 2014, UK Defence Academy Shrivenham.

    Burnell, K.J. (15.11.2012). Developing a peer support intervention with older war veterans to meet their unmet social support needs. BPS Military Psychology Conference 2012, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

    Burnell, K. J., (17- 18.11.2005). War trauma and life review: The case for early life reconciliation. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the International Life Review and Reminiscence Conference, Orlando, Florida, USA.

  4. Work in progress

    Karen continues to pursue research and collaboration in the area of veteran mental health and wellbeing, and is also exploring the area of maternal mental health and wellbeing.