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School of Health and Society

Dr Michelle Howarth

Senior Lecturer


Michelles PhD explored the meaning and experience of person centred care for people who have chronic back pain. The theme of person centred care has been developed through Michelles current research which focusses on how social prescribing can be used to support asset based person centred approaches to recovery. Michelles recent funded project is exploring the impact of a Therapeutic Mental Health Recovery programme with a local social enterprise. Michelle co-leads the 'Creative Wellbeing' group at the University. The group brings together a collection of academics from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds ranging from nurses and public health researchers to geographers, environmental scientists, psychologists, built environment specialists and many more and are currently working to evaluate the impact of green space on health and wellbeing.


  • Programme leader MSc Nursing
  • Module leader Project Management
  • Teach across a range of disciplines and academic levels
  • Modules include research methods, family & carers, evidence based practice, project management.
  • Supervise PhD candidates
  • Supervise MSc Dissertation students

Teaching interests:

  • project management
  • evidence based practice
  • research methods
  • adult nursing
  • person centred care

Research Interests

Michelle’s research has explored partnership, person centred care and inter-professional working. More recently Michelle is working to develop person centred approaches to care through the use of nature based activities within a social prescribing movement. Michelle is joint lead for the pan-University 'Creative Wellbeing' research group. She is an experienced healthcare practitioner and is best known for her significant experience and expertise in engagement with community groups for example in leading research evaluations of the impact of therapeutic horticulture. She also has significant knowledge of applied ethics. Michelle was awarded the University’s Harold Riley award for community engagement in 2016 for her work with service users and carers and is currently working with local community groups to help develop & establish a Natural Health Service Green Network. The main focus of Michelle's research is on the development of methodologies that can evaluate the impact of green space on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Qualifications and Memberships



Howarth, ML, Warne, AR and Haigh, C (2012) '“Let’s stick together” - a grounded theory exploration of interprofessional working used to provide person centered chronic back pain services' , Journal of Interprofessional Care, 26 (6) , pp. 491-496.

Howarth, ML, Warne, AR and Haigh, C (2013) 'Pain from the inside : understanding the theoretical underpinning of person-centered care delivered by pain teams' , Pain Management Nursing, 15 (1) , pp. 340-348.

Howarth, ML, Withnell, N, McQuarrie, C and Smith, E (2016) 'The influence of therapeutic horticulture on social integration' , Journal of Public Mental Health, 15 (3) , pp. 136-140.

Rushton, MA, Howarth, ML and Grant, MJ (2017) 'Person centred discharge education following coronary artery bypass graft : a critical review', Journal Of Clinical Nursing .

Wu, Y, Howarth, ML, Chunlan, Z, Xue, J, Jiexia, O and Xiaojin, L (2017) 'Reporting of ethical approval and informed consent in clinical trials in 12 nursing journals in China between 2013 and 2016' , Nursing Ethics , pp. 1-11. (In Press)

Postgraduate research

  • Grounded theory
  • Person centred care
  • Social prescribing
  • Asset based approaches
  • Partnership working