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Dr Judith Sleney

Research Fellow and Postgraduate researcher



Judith Sleney is a Research Fellow and PhD student in the Department of Sociology. She has worked as a researcher for 20 years. She has a particular interest in researching 'difficult to tell' stories. More recently, her work has been located within the sociology of health and illness and more specifically recovery from injury and illness. She is also interested in qualitative research methodologies. Judith completed her BSc Sociology and MSc Social Research Methodology at the University of Surrey and has worked on more than fifteen different research projects at the University since 2001.

Research interests

Current research

Judith is currently working with Professor Hilary Thomas and Elaine McNeilly (University of Hertfordshire) and Dr Sarah Earthy (University of Surrey) on the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). funded research project “Getting back to normal?; Patients' perceptions and experiences of recovery”. ( . The project runs from 1st May 2013 - 30th April 2015 and involves secondary analysis, using thematic and narrative approaches, of 165 qualitative interviews conducted with patients recovering from heart attack, leukaemia, serious injury or a critical state of health requiring admission to intensive care).

Recent research projects include:

  • The Impact of Injuries study, a multi-centre NIHR funded CLAHRC project involving the University of Nottingham (lead), University of Surrey, University of the West of England and Loughborough University. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Researchers recruited 668 participants in total. Each participant completed a baseline questionnaire and SCID (research version of the DSM 4). A questionnaire was completed at 4 further time points over the course of 12 months. 45 of the patients took part in qualitative interviews; 18 carers and 40 service providers were also interviewed. The aims of the project were to explore the psychological, social, economic and functional impacts of unintended injury and experiences of service provision (2009 - 2013).
  • Exploring Patient Perceptions of Barriers and Facilitators of Recovery Following Trauma - collaborative research with Monash University, Australia. (Completed 2012).
  • UK Burden of Injury (BOI) study - a multi centre study funded by the Department of Health and conducted by the University of Swansea, University of Surrey, University of Nottingham, University of the West of England and the Child Accident Prevention Trust. (2005 - 2008)
  • Qualitative evaluation with the Child Accident Prevention Trust of a national programme of work to help improve partnership working amongst local agencies and groups (2009 - 2011)

Judith is also working part time on her PhD. Her research, “Negotiating post injury life: Patients' experiences of recovering from injury”, uses patient interview data from the Impact of Injuries study to explore how patients negotiate their lives after an unintended injury, what recovering means for them and how patients view their body post- injury.

PhD supervisors: Dr Sarah Earthy (Surrey), Dr Nicola Christie (UCL) and Professor Sara Arber (Surrey)