• Room 03.310 - Medical Biology Centre

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of: - Cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation - Health-related quality of life measurement - Psychological and social interventions in cardiovascular disease

1978 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile



I have been a full professor since 1994 working in university nursing, health and medical schools in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia. As well as professional qualifications in orthopaedic, general and mental health nursing I possess degrees in nursing, psychology, policy, medical social anthroplogy and management. Some of my key achievements are:

  • Second UK nurse to be elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (2008)
  • First study of prolonged effect of a home-based intervention for chronic illness (2006)
  • First Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis of cardiac rehabilitation (2001)
  • Second nurse to be elected a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (1998)
  • First UK national guidelines on cardiac rehabilitation (1997)
  • First study of a weekly variation in the onset of chest pain in MI (1992)
  • First trial of an in-hospital psychological treatment for MI patients and partners (1990)
  • First study of a circadian variation in the onset of chest pain in MI (1985)
  • First nurse to be elected a member of the British Cardiac Society (1983)


Scientific and literary biographies; SE Asia travel; contemporary Chinese art

Research Interests

I have a background in nursing practice, research, education and management in the health service and universities in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia. My work has been concerned primarily with developing research and clinical practice, particularly in the field of cardiac rehabilitation and chronic cardiovascular disease management, and using it to inform education and policy. Much of my research is clinical in nature, as I believe practice to be the raison d'etre of nursing. This work, focused on preventing diseases and disability, and enhancing quality of life, has yielded publications in the nursing, medical and psychological press. In addition, I have: written books and chapters in edited books; held editorial appointments for prestigious nursing and medical journals; acted as external examiner and served on validation and appointment panels for university departments; and served on various local, regional and national policy and research committees

I am recognised as an international leading authority in cardiovascular nursing and cardiac rehabilitation and have made significant contributions in: synthesising and evaluating the evidence for cardiac rehabilitation; designing and evaluating novel early brief psychosocial interventions for cardiac patients/partners; and developing and validating disease-specific patient-reported outcome measures for cardiac patients. I held the only chair in cardiovascular nursing in the UK. I hold four international honorary/visiting professorships and have developed research collaborations, including supervision, with nursing and medical colleagues there. I have given around 60 major invited plenary lectures and chaired various international meeting sessions. I am an editor of the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (rated 2 out of 116 in nursing (SCI) journals) and an editorial board member of Heart & Lung. As of January 2019, my Google Scholar h-index is 70 (Web of Science 43; Scopus 54), high for a nurse researcher with significant administrative and teaching and supervision loads, and one of the highest among professors of nursing in the world. I have over 600 publications, including >300 original research papers (12 cited >200 and 2>2000, with >22000 citations on Google Scholar; >13000 citations on Scopus with an average of >19 cites per paper)

I have written over 110 invited editorials and 30 commentaries. I contribute to my profession by speaking at and attending conferences, mentoring young researchers and post-doctorates and supervising PhD students (10 to completion, all of whom have gone on to hold full professorships). I have mentored many of the leading cardiovascular nurse scientists in the UK and some in Europe, Canada and Australia, pioneered cardiovascular nursing research in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia, initiated a European-wide cardiovascular nursing research collaboration and advised a national Canadian cardiovascular nurse scientist programme. I have provided high level policy advice on nursing research to the UK government (holding the first part-time position as Professor of Nursing Research) and have held membership of the last two UK Higher Education Funding Council Research Assessment Exercise Nursing and Midwifery Panels 2001 and 2008

I have a strong commitment to interdisciplinary research and development, particularly in the fields of health service delivery models and health outcomes. I have initiated and directed collaboration with a variety of health professionals and academics and have experience in using a range of research methods. I completed my degrees, including a PhD (entitled: Efficacy of Counselling Coronary Patients and their Partners) in less than three years, on a part-time basis whilst working full-time in a clinical or academic capacity. I feel I offer creativity, enthusiasm and drive which, together with a great capacity for work, I would regard as my chief assets


I have been involved in curriculum design and programme delivery (at undergraduate and postgraduate level) using a variety of modes, methods and skills underpinned by a sound eclectic understanding of different levels of teaching and learning. My teaching and learning philosophy is based around creativity and interaction and focuses on facilitating learners’ continuing development and independence in the belief that students have the potential to be self-directed, are highly motivated and interested in integrating their experience into their learning. I hope to promote the growth of mature people with inquiring, analytical and critical minds. I believe the teacher-learner relationship is professional, interdependent and should reflect mutual respect and trust and I aim to develop learners’ cognitive, affective and psychomotor knowledge and skills in order that students can provide safe, competent and holistic nursing care. I see teaching and learning as a dynamic, life-long process that will produce practitioners with well developed critical and analytical abilities to accept greater responsibility and accountability in the delivery of high quality care. To me, education should be motivating, challenging and self-developing

I have instigated major programme reviews and curricular changes to a number of Bachelor and Masters nursing degree programmes in order to integrate much more clinical practice and research, and have introduced clinical block systems whereby students spend sustained periods in clinical areas as well as clinical mentorship programmes to draw on the expertise of practising nurses. I believe in using tutorial and seminar systems where appropriate because this allows personalized, student-centred, self-paced learning and mastery through the building of a cooperative relationship between teacher/supervisor and student. At a large group level I strive to make teaching and learning interactive and meaningful by incorporating a variety of modes and methods such as conducting research exercises to systematically identify and critically appraise literature through a formal lecture, tutorial and group work in the classroom and computer laboratory. My lectures have been assessed (by students completing an evaluation form on a scale of 1-6, with my mean scores of at least 5) as comparing favourably with those of my peers

I have extensive experience in attempting to integrate clinical practice and research into nursing programmes to help students’ bridge the theory-practice gap, and in identifying and attempting to overcome barriers and facilitate learning. I believe in drawing from a range of teaching strategies from lecture to seminar/tutorial, to innovations such as computer technology and simulated patients, and on my own personal clinical and research expertise. I have instigated a teaching and learning governance framework as well as teaching and learning seminars and forums for academic staff, drawing upon the expertise of educationalists. I have conducted two collaborative studies pertinent to teaching and learning experiences of students: to examine graduate and employer evaluations of an undergraduate nursing programme; and to examine burnout and attrition in nursing students.  I have also authored papers on research supervision in nursing

Finally, I have taught in nursing and medical schools on research methods on a variety of Master degree programmes (e.g. MSc Health Services Research, University of Leicester) and also cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation (e.g. MSc Preventive Cardiology, Imperial College)

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Research Output

A psychosocial intervention for stroke survivors and carers: 12 month outcomes of a randomized controlled trial

Minshall, C., Castle, D. J., Thompson, D. R., Pascoe, M., Cameron, J., Apputhurai, P., Knowles, S. R., Jenkins, Z. & Ski, C., 19 Mar 2020, In : Topics in stroke rehabilitation.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Cardiovascular and other health problems in men: overlap with mental health

    Ski, C. & Thompson, D. R., 01 Jan 2020, (Accepted) Comprehensive Men's Mental Health. Cambridge University Press

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    Celebrating the bicentenary of Nightingale’s birth and her legacy

    Thompson, D. R., 28 Jul 2020, (Accepted) In : Journal of Advanced Nursing.

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

    Open Access
    4 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    123 Downloads (Pure)


    Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing

    Thompson, David (Recipient), 2008

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Fellow of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand

    Thompson, David (Recipient), 2013

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology

    Thompson, David (Recipient), 1998

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Fellow of the Florence Nightingale Foundation

    Thompson, David (Recipient), 1997

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing

    Thompson, David (Recipient), 1992

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively


    Patient reported outcome measures - a day at the PROMs

    David Thompson (Advisor)

    10 Feb 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Why and how to publish your work.

    David Thompson (Advisor)

    21 Jul 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Evidence-based cardiac rehabilitation: the changing face of usual care

    David Thompson (Keynote speaker)

    24 May 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

    The role of the family in physical activity post-myocardial infarction

    David Thompson (Examiner)

    10 Oct 2019

    Activity: Examination typesPhD external examination