Dr Sue Bower

I joined York St John University as a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy (Faculty of Health and Life Sciences) in September 2015.

Prior to working with this university I had worked in a variety of posts in health and social care –as Occupational Therapist practitioner, team leader, practitioner researcher, professional lead for safeguarding adults and senior lecturer in other universities and with other professions, such as social workers, nurses and physiotherapists. Most of my work has been within multi professional and multi-agency teams within mental health services and related academic roles.

My particular interests are in:

  • How occupational therapists work with people living with a dementia
  • Practitioners experience of risk when working with people living with a dementia
  • Practitioners experience of safeguarding when working with people living with a dementia
  • Occupational therapy within safeguarding adults practice
  • Trans-professional learning
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate practice based research

Academic and Professional Qualifications:

  • 2014: MSc modules; Leadership in Adults Safeguarding & Managing Adult Safeguarding (Sheffield Hallam University)
  • 2011: Doctorate in Professional Studies (Health & Social Care) (Sheffield Hallam University)
  • 2002: MSc with Distinction (Health and Professional Studies) (Hull University)
  • 1997: Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Nottingham Trent University)
  • 1991: BSc Hons Psychology (Hull University)
  • 1999-2002: Person Centred Approaches & Dementia Care Mapping [Advanced User Status & Trainer] Bradford University
  • 1979: Diploma in Occupational Therapy (OT) Derby School of Occupational Therapy
  • Registered with Health and Care Professions Council
  • Professional member of the College of Occupational Therapy

Further Information


I am currently part of the module teaching teams for BHSc Occupational Therapy students.


I began my practice based research in 1991, when I undertook an exploration of applications for residence with local MIND supported accommodation.

In 1997, I undertook an action research study with nursing students, using semi-structured interview techniques. The findings contributed to the evaluation and development of some modules within the Diploma in Nursing Studies.

From 2000 to 2006, as part of my role as an Advanced Dementia Care Mapper, I undertook several observation and evaluation reports within health/social care settings that provided residential/nursing care for people living with dementia.

From 2001-2002, I undertook a research project as part of my MSc (Health and Professional Studies). My focus was practitioners’ subjective experiences of being a dementia care mapper. This work was an attempt to develop a better understanding of the role of dementia care mapping within the process of change implied in the changing culture of dementia care

From 2006 to 2011, whilst working as a Team Leader with a Specialists Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy team, I completed a Doctorate in Professional Studies (Health & Social Care) Sheffield Hallam University. My research project was entitled; Taking Risks with Dementia: Exploring Practitioner Accounts of Risks and Decision-Making



Bower, S (2011) Taking risks with dementia : exploring practitioner accounts of risks and decision-making A Doctoral Project Report Sheffield Hallam University. [Access through British Library EThOS e-Thesis on line service]

Bower, S (2006) Exploring lived experiences of Occupational Therapy and Dementia Chapter 9 in Long, C and Cronin-Davis, J (Eds) Occupational Therapy Evidence in Practice for Mental Health Oxford Blackwell

Bower, S (2004) Exploring Sexuality and Dementia' in Therapy Weekly June 10 pp10-13

Bower, S (2004) Understandings of Dementia and Dementia Care in Therapy Weekly June 3 pp10-13

2003; Book reviews (x3) for Journal of Adult Protection

Bower, S (2002) Exploring Sexuality, Dementia and Occupational Therapy': in Warren, A and MacKenzie (Eds) (2002) Occupational Therapy in Dementia Care OCTEP

Conference Presentations:

Bower, S (2009) Taking risks with dementia Paper presented at College of Occupational Therapists (COT) 33rd Annual Conference Brighton

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