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Carly Reagon

Carly Reagon


Senior Lecturer: Occupational Therapy

School of Healthcare Sciences

Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a senior lecturer in occupational therapy with a background in physical health rehabilitation. Before commencing my PhD in Cardiff, I was an occupational therapist working in Southampton Primary Care Trust. I currently teach on the BSc, PgDip, and MSc occupational therapy programmes within the School and manage the MSc in Occupational Therapy (post registration). I also supervise a number of PhD students. My research interests lie predominantly in arts and wellbeing, specifically how music and literature can be used to promote healthy and meaningful lives.






















My PhD was a qualitative exploration of evidence-based practice using a case study design. My thesis focused upon the ways in which therapists construct their knowledge base and how this, in turn, influences their practice. Following this, I have developed research projects looking at various aspects of healthcare, specifically around organisation of services. This includes acting as principal and co-investigator on the following funded studies: investigating the effectiveness of a vocational rehabilitation programme; developing an outcome measure for mental health service users; evaluating a mental health service; investigating the unique focus and future development of a cancer charity.

I have a particular interest in the arts and how these contribute to improved health and wellbeing. I have led the qualitative phase of two related mixed methods investigations of choir singing for people affected by cancer. This research was presented as part of a Channel 4 documentary and radio broadcast. As a fiction author, published by Little, Brown, I am currently exploring the wellbeing effects of creative writing. I am interested in supervising PhD students who are interested in exploring these (or related) areas.

  • 2019 – 2021 (Co-investigator): Tenovus Unique Contribution Study. Funded by Tenovus 
  • 2015-2016 (Co-investigator): Extended study to investigate choir singing on quality of life for people affected by cancer. Funded by Tenovus
  • 2012-2015 (Co-Investigator): A study to investigate the effect of choral singing on quality of life, self-esteem and empowerment and the factors which underlie these effects in both patients previously diagnosed with cancer, and their carers. Funded by Tenovus.
  • 2012-2013 (Principal Investigator): An action research study to identify and pilot an outcome measure for an occupation and recovery based service for people with mental health conditions. Funded by UK Occupational Therapists Research Foundation, Institute of Social Psychiatry Scholarship
  • 2011-2012 (Co-investifator): An evaluation of Mind Monmouthshire's Hiway Service.  Funded by Mind Monmouthshire.
  • 2008-2010 (Principal Investigator) Condition Management Programme research: a mixed-method evaluation of NHS Condition Management Programmes which aim to enable those claiming incapacity benefits to better understand and manage their health condition. This research combined interviews with managers, healthcare professionals, and clients with analysis of outcome measure data (SF36v2, GSES, and HADS). Funded by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Cwm Taf and Hywel Dda Health Boards.
  • 2006-2008 (Research officer) Demand management - a comparative, multi-method study of referral management centres: an evaluation of three comparative systems of GP referral to secondary care using interviews, observation, and analysis of routine data. Funded by AWARD.
  • 2003-2006 (PhD Student) Reconfiguring Evidence Based Practice for use by Occupational Therapists. Funded by the School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University.


I hold a Postgraduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching and teach across the range of occupational therapy programmes within the School of Healthcare Sciences. I also supervise PhD students and co-manage the MSc Occupational Therapy (post registration) programme. 


After studying for degrees in theology (Lampeter University, 1998) and occupational therapy (Essex School of Occupational Therapy, 2000), I worked as an occupational therapist in orthopaedic rehabilitation. In 2003 I undertook a postgraduate diploma in social science research methods and commenced my PhD at Cardiff University. My doctoral thesis was an investigation of the concept of evidence-based practice in an occupational therapy setting.

I took up my current teaching position in the School of Healthcare Sciences in March 2008 after working as a research officer in the School of Medicine. I teach on BSc, PgDip and MSc level courses and undertake a range of research activities including supervision of postgraduate research students.


I am interested in supervising PhD students with the following interests:

  • Qualitative research
  • Mixed methods research
  • Experience of health, wellbeing and illness
  • Arts and health

Current supervision

Francis Myerscough

Francis Myerscough

Research student