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Dr Emma Harris

Profile summary

Professional biography

Emma is a Research Fellow in Applied Health Research in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care and co-lead of the Nursing Research Group. She is the Faculty of WELS Impact and Engagement lead for Nursing and Allied Health Professions for REF 2029.

Emma is Joint Lead of a National Institue for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded project: Feasibility, Practicality and Acceptability of a Patient Decision Aid (CONNECT) to Improve SharedDecision-Making for Planned Coronary Angioplasty.

Career History

  • 2023-present: Research Fellow in Applied Health Research, Open University 
  • 2016-2023: Research Fellow in Patient Education and Communication, University of Huddersfield
  • 2014-2016: Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Leeds 


Research interests

Emma has experience of research across different disciplines, having transitioned from quantitative and basic science research in exercise sciences, to qualitative research in applied health research. Her current research interests centre on the theme of improving shared decision-making and patient communication.

A full list of publications can be accessed here Emma Harris (0000-0002-7649-9763) - ORCID and ‪Emma Harris‬ - ‪Google Scholar‬. Web of Science Researcher ID is AAJ-8194-2020: Harris, Emma - Web of Science Core Collection.

Teaching interests

Supervision of Research Degree Students:

One successful PhD completion as co-supervisor, and currently supervising one PhD student (external) on the communication of benefits and harms for planned coronary angioplasty, which is an invasive heart procedure.

Impact and engagement

External collaborations

External examining:

2023-present   Imperial College London (National Heart and Lung Institute), Postgraduate taught MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare.

Externally funded projects

Feasibility, Practicality and Acceptability of a Patient Decision Aid (CONNECT) to Improve Shared Decision-Making for Planned Coronary Angioplasty
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01 May 202330 Apr 2025NIHR National Institute for Health Research

Background: Questionnaires sent to over 70,000 NHS patients in 2020 show that people do not feel fully involved in making decisions about their healthcare. Patients should be at the centre of decision-making about their treatments, but often they are not. Patients with angina (chest pain/discomfort), are one group that face a tricky decision. They are already treated with medications but may have the option of planned coronary angioplasty treatment as well. This treatment may improve their chest pain/discomfort but has more serious complications than treatment with medicines alone. So, patients should fully understand their options, so they can make a decision that is right for them. Earlier work we have done showed that almost half of patients treated with planned coronary angioplasty are not fully involved in decision-making, do not understand the information they are given, and misunderstood the risks and benefits of coronary angioplasty treatment. Something we want to change. Patient decision aids (PtDAs) are more than just educational ‘tools’. When used by patients and health professionals they improve the ‘quality’ of: 1) The decisions made, and 2) The decision-making process. There are no good quality UK 'coronary angioplasty' PtDAs available. So, we co-created a web-based one, called ‘CONNECT’ which shows 'promise'. Aim: We want to test CONNECT, in a larger study (trial), to see if it improves the quality of shared decision-making. But trials are expensive, so we need to do some groundwork first to know what works best. In this preliminary fact-finding study, run over 24-months, we will ask 8 NHS Cardiac Centres, and 320 of their angina patients, about what approaches will work best to run a future trial and how they felt about being involved in the study. Design/methods: We will evaluate 1) our plans for the future trial design; and 2) the acceptability and practicality of CONNECT to users. We will collect information (using forms, questionnaires and interviews), to understand who will take part and whether enough people and Cardiac Centres agree to try CONNECT. We will also see if our plan for the future trial will work, whether patients and NHS staff like CONNECT, and how it might fit within NHS cardiology services. Patient and Public Involvement (PPI): We have worked with 121 expert patients and 65 health professionals, over a 2-year period, to understand their priorities and help us to co-create CONNECT to meet their needs. An expert patient/co-applicant and an experienced PPI lead will coordinate involvement throughout our study. Dissemination: To get our research ‘out there’ to benefit others, we will share findings through our established international network of expert patients and health professionals to influence policy and practice. We will publish and present findings and run a national conference.


Patient Decision Aids for Aortic Stenosis and Chronic Coronary Artery Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2023)
Harris, Emma; Benham, Alex; Stephenson, John; Conway, Dwayne; Chong, Aun-Yeong; Curtis, Helen and Astin, Felicity
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, Article zvad138 ((Early access))

Efficacy of interval exercise training to improve vascular health in sedentary postmenopausal females (2022-08)
Lyall, Gemma K.; Birk, Gurpreet K.; Harris, Emma; Ferguson, Carrie; Riches‐Suman, Kirsten; Kearney, Mark T.; Porter, Karen E. and Birch, Karen M.
Physiological Reports, 10, Article e15441(16)

Development and user-testing of a digital patient decision aid to facilitate shared decision-making for people with stable angina (2022)
Harris, Emma; Conway, Dwayne; Jimenez-Aranda, Angel; Butts, Jeremy; Hedley-Takhar, Philippa; Thomson, Richard and Astin, Felicity
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 22, Article 143

Self-management support activities in primary care: A qualitative study to compare provision across common health problems (2020-12)
Harris, Emma; Barker, Caroline; Burton, Kim; Lucock, Mike and Astin, Felicity
Patient Education and Counseling, 103(12) (pp. 2532-2539)

Patients’ Experiences of Cardiovascular Health Education and Risk Communication: A Qualitative Synthesis (2020-01)
Mentrup, Stefanie; Harris, Emma; Gomersall, Tim; Köpke, Sascha and Astin, Felicity
Qualitative Health Research, 30(1) (pp. 88-104)

Night-time Noise Levels and Patients’ Sleep Experiences in a Medical Assessment Unit in Northern England (2020)
Astin, Felicity; Stephenson, John; Wakefield, Jonathan; Evans, Ben; Rob, Priyanka; Joanna, Garside and Harris, Emma
The Open Nursing Journal, 14(1) (pp. 80-91)

Design to improve patients' sleep experience in NHS hospital wards: involving students in solving 'real world' problems (2020)
Zitkus, Emilene; Harris, Emma; Miles, Gary and Astin, Felicity
Design for Health, 4(3) (pp. 345-364)

Association between glucocorticoid therapy and incidence of diabetes mellitus in polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis (2017)
Lai, Lana Yin Hui; Harris, Emma; West, Robert M and Mackie, Sarah Louise
RMD Open, 4(1) (e000521)