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Dr Carrie Purcell

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Professional biography

Carrie has a background in medical sociology and qualitative methods. Her main research interests are around reproductive health, stigma, self-management, and access to healthcare. She has led a range of studies of abortion care in Scotland and, from 2018-21 Carrie was PI on the Wellcome Trust-funded Sexuality and Abortion Stigma Study (SASS). SASS explored the potential for qualitative secondary analysis of a range of abortion-related UK datasets to inform understanding of abortion stigma and normalisation. Carrie is a collaborator on the award-winning Open University engagement project My Body, My Life and was a co-investigator on the Abortion During COVID-19 study. 

In her time at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Herlath Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, Carrie worked on a variety of mixed-method projects relating to health and wellbeing, ranging from process evaluations, to qualitative secondary analysis, to feasibility and implementation studies. As such, Carrie has a broad range of topical, methodological, and practical research expertise.

Carrie is a member of the steering group for the Scottish Interdisciplinary Research in Sexual Health Network (IRESH) and the editorial board for BJOG: An International Journal of Obstertics and Gynaecology. She is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School for Heath and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow. 

ResearchGate: Carrie Purcell

Research interests

  • sexual and reproductive health
  • reproductive justice
  • abortion
  • embodiment
  • experiences of health professionals
  • access to healthcare
  • self-management
  • medical sociology
  • qualitative methods
  • evaluation methodologies 
  • narrative research 


Home-based cardiac rehabilitation for people with heart failure and their caregivers: a mixed-methods analysis of the roll out an evidence-based programme in Scotland (SCOT:REACH-HF study) (2023)
Purcell, Carrie; Purvis, Anthony; Cleland, John G F; Cowie, Aynsley; Dalal, Hasnain M; Ibbotson, Tracy; Murphy, Clare and Taylor, Rod S
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing ((Early Access))

Feasibility study of peer-led and school-based social network Intervention (STASH) to promote adolescent sexual health (2021-06-14)
Mitchell, Kirstin R.; Purcell, Carrie; Simpson, Sharon A.; Broccatelli, Chiara; Bailey, Julia V.; Barry, Sarah J. E.; Elliott, Lawrie; Forsyth, Ross; Hunter, Rachael; McCann, Mark; McDaid, Lisa; Wetherall, Kirsty and Moore, Laurence
Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 7, Article 125

Effectiveness of social network interventions to support cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention in the management of people with heart disease (2021-01-05)
Purcell, Carrie; Smillie, Susie; Hilton Boon, Michele; Simpson, Sharon A and Taylor, Rod S
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Article CD013820

Peer-to-Peer Sharing of Social Media Messages on Sexual Health in a School-Based Intervention: Opportunities and Challenges Identified in the STASH Feasibility Trial (2021)
Hirvonen, Maija; Purcell, Carrie; Elliott, Lawrie; Bailey, Julia V; Simpson, Sharon Anne; McDaid, Lisa; Moore, Laurence; Mitchell, Kirstin Rebecca and The STASH Study Team,
Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23(2) (e20898)

Toward normalising abortion: Findings from a qualitative secondary analysis study (2020)
Purcell, Carrie; Maxwell, Karen; Bloomer, Fiona; Rowlands, Sam and Hoggart, Lesley
Culture, Health and Sexuality, 22(12) (pp. 1349-1364)

Normalising abortion: what role can health professionals play? (2020)
Maxwell, Karen J.; Hoggart, Lesley; Bloomer, Fiona; Rowlands, Sam and Purcell, Carrie
BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health, 47(1) (pp. 32-36)

Protocol for an implementation study of an evidence-based home cardiac rehabilitation programme for people with heart failure and their caregivers in Scotland (SCOT:REACH-HF) (2020)
Purcell, Carrie; Daw, Paulina; Kerr, Claire; Cleland, J; Cowie, Aynsley; Dalal, Hasnain M; Ibbotson, Tracy; Murphy, Clare and Taylor, Rod
BMJ Open, 10, Article e040771(12)

A peer-led intervention to promote sexual health in secondary schools: the STASH feasibility study (2020)
Mitchell, Kirstin R; Purcell, Carrie; Forsyth, Ross; Barry, Sarah; Hunter, Rachael; Simpson, Sharon A; McDaid, Lisa; Elliot, Lawrie; McCann, Mark; Wetherall, Kirsty; Broccatelli, Chiara; Bailey, Julia V and Moore, Laurence
Public Health Research, 8(15) (pp. 1-152)

Conducting sexualities research: an outline of emergent issues and case studies from ten Wellcome-funded projects (2019)
Kneale, Dylan; French, Robert; Spandler, Helen; Young, Ingrid; Purcell, Carrie; Boden, Zoë; Brown, Steve D.; Callwood, Dan; Carr, Sarah; Dymock, Alex; Eastham, Rachael; Gabb, Jacqui; Henley, Josie; Jones, Charlotte; McDermott, Elizabeth; Mkhwanazi, Nolwazi; Ravenhill, James; Reavey, Paula; Scott, Rachel; Smith, Clarissa; Smith, Matthew; Thomas, James and Tingay, Karen
Wellcome Open Research, 4, Article 137

Peer-led intervention to prevent and reduce STI transmission and improve sexual health in secondary schools (STASH): protocol for a feasibility study (2018)
Forsyth, Ross; Purcell, Carrie; Barry, Sarah; Simpson, Sharon; Hunter, Rachael; McDaid, Lisa; Elliot, Lawrie; Bailey, Julia; Wetherall, Kirsty; McCann, Mark; Broccatelli, Chiara; Moore, Laurence and Mitchell, Kirstin
Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 4, Article 180(1)

Self-management of first trimester medical termination of pregnancy: a qualitative study of women's experiences (2017-12)
Purcell, C.; Cameron, S.; Lawton, J.; Glasier, A. and Harden, J.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 124(13) (pp. 2001-2008)

Women's experiences of more than one termination of pregnancy within two years: a mixed-methods study (2017-12)
Purcell, C; Riddell, J; Brown, A; Cameron, ST; Melville, C; Flett, G; Bhushan, Y and McDaid, L
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 124(13) (pp. 1983-1992)

Women’s embodied experiences of second trimester medical abortion (2017)
Purcell, Carrie; Brown, Audrey; Melville, Catriona and McDaid, Lisa M
Feminism & Psychology, 27(2) (pp. 163-185)

The changing body work of abortion: a qualitative study of the experiences of health professionals (2017)
Purcell, Carrie; Cameron, Sharon; Lawton, Julia; Glasier, Anna and Harden, Jeni
Sociology of Health & Illness, 39(1) (pp. 78-94)

Barriers to accessing termination of pregnancy in a remote and rural setting: a qualitative study (2016)
Heller, R.; Purcell, C.; Mackay, L.; Caird, L. and Cameron, S. T.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 123(10) (pp. 1684-1691)

Contraceptive care at the time of medical abortion: experiences of women and health professionals in a hospital or community sexual and reproductive health context (2016)
Purcell, Carrie; Cameron, Sharon; Lawton, Julia; Glasier, Anna and Harden, Jeni
Contraception, 93(2) (pp. 170-177)

The Sociology of Women's Abortion Experiences: Recent Research and Future Directions (2015)
Purcell, Carrie
Sociology Compass, 9(7) (pp. 585-596)

Access to later termination of pregnancy in Scotland: the impact of travel (2015)
Melville, C.; Brown, A.; Cameron, S.; Caird, L.; Flett, G; Laird, G.; McDaid, L. and Purcell, C.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 122 (pp. 11-12)

Access to and Experience of Later Abortion: Accounts from Women in Scotland (2014)
Purcell, Carrie; Cameron, Sharon; Caird, Lucy; Flett, Gillian; Laird, George; Melville, Catriona and McDaid, Lisa M.
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 46(2) (pp. 101-108)

The stigmatisation of abortion: a qualitative analysis of print media in Great Britain in 2010 (2014)
Purcell, Carrie; Hilton, Shona and McDaid, Lisa
Culture, Health & Sexuality, 16(9) (pp. 1141-1155)

Phenomenology (2014)
Purcell, C.
In: Cockerham, W. C.; Dingwall, R. and Quah, S. eds. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society (pp. 1825-1829)

Touch in holistic massage: ambiguities and boundaries (2013)
Purcell, Carrie
In: Wolkowitz, Carol; Lara Cohen, Rachel and Sanders, Teela eds. Body/Sex/Work: Intimate, embodied and sexualised labour (pp. 175-190)
ISBN : 9781137021908 | Publisher : Bloomsbury