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About Dr Brooke Swash

Brooke is an active researcher and member of the Chester Research Unit for the Psychology of Health (CRUPH). Her research places a special emphasis on the psychological adjustment of those diagnosed with a life-limiting condition.

In addition to her role at Chester, Brooke is a Visiting Researcher with the Palliative and End of Life Care Group at the University of Cambridge.  Brooke also sits as a member of the Advanced Disease & End of Life Care Workstream of the NCRI Living With and Beyond Cancer Clinical Studies Group.


Brooke contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in the School.  Her teaching is mostly in the areas of health psychology and qualitative research methods.  Brooke also supervises research dissertations at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.


Brooke is an active researcher, with expertise in understanding the psychological impact and support needs of patients and families at the end of life.  Brooke has a particular interest in understanding the patient experience of illness, to better target effective healthcare support and intervention for both patient and family. 

Brooke has received research funding to develop psychological interventions for people with cancer who are receiving palliative care, and is currently working with others to develop this programme of work further to include psychological support for healthcare staff who work in the palliative care setting.

Published Work

Finucane, A, Hulbert-Williams, NJ, Swash, B, Spiller, J, Lydon, B, Milton, L & Gillanders, D (accepted).  Feasibility of RESTORE: an online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy intervention to improve palliative care staff wellbeing.  Palliative Medicine

Finucane, A, Hulbert-Williams, NJ, Swash, B, Spiller, JA, Lydon, B & Gillanders, D. (2021). Research Evaluating Staff Training Online for Resilience (RESTORE):  Protocol for a single-arm feasibility study of an online acceptance and commitment therapy intervention to improve staff wellbeing in palliative care settings.  AMRC Open Research, 3:26.

Hulbert-Williams NJ, Norwood S, Gillanders D, Finucane A, Spiller J, Strachan J, Millington S, Kreft J & Swash B (2021). Brief Engagement and Acceptance Coaching for Hospice Settings (the BEACHeS study): Results from a Phase I study of acceptability and initial effectiveness in people with non- curative cancer. BMC Palliative Care. DOI: 10.1186/s12904-021-00801-7.

Hulbert-Williams, NJ, Pendrous, R, Hulbert-Williams, L & Swash, B (accepted) Recruiting cancer survivors into research studies: piloting online recruitment strategies. eCancer.

Hulbert-Williams, NJ,Norwood, S, Gillanders, D, Finucane, A, Spiller, J, Strachan, J,Millington, S & Swash, B. (2019). Brief Engagement and Acceptance Coaching for Community and Hospice Settings (the BEACHeS Study): Protocol for the development and pilot testing of an evidence-based psychological intervention to enhance wellbeing and aid transition into palliative care.  Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 5:104.

Barclay, S., Moran, E., Boase, S. … Swash, B. (2019). Primary palliative care research: opportunities and challenges.  BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, 9, 468-472. doi:10.1136/bmjspcare-2018-001653

Swash B, Thiemann P, Newman R, et al The role of primary care in providing bereavement support: perspectives from a community sample. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2018;8:A1. Published conference abstract.

Thiemann P, Newman R, Swash B, et al A novel recruitment method for a study of recently bereaved people in the community. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2018;8:A11. Published conference abstract. 

Ozakinci G, Swash B, Humphris G, Rogers S & Hulbert-Williams NJ. (2017). Fear of cancer recurrence in oral and oropharangeal cancer patients: A mixed methods investigation of the clinical encounter. European Journal of Cancer Care, 27(1): e12785. 

Swash, B, Hulbert-Williams, N & Bramwell, R. (2017). The moderating role of psychological flexibility in the relationship between unmet need and psychological wellbeing in haematological cancer survivors.  Journal of Contextual Behavioural Science, 6(2), 187-194.

Hulbert-Williams, N.J., Pilkington, M., Swash, B., Gillanders, D., Lambert, S., MacDonald, F., Patterson, P. & Storey, L. (2016). Psychological transition after primary cancer treatment: component mapping using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for effective intervention development. Psycho-Oncology, 25 (S3), 71.  Published conference abstract.

Swash, B, Hulbert-Williams, N & Bramwell, R (2016).  “Haematological cancers… They’re a funny bunch”: A qualitative study of unmet need in haematological cancer. Journal of Health Psychology. Online First.

Swash, B, Moran, E, Boase, S & Barclay, S (2016). The CAPE study: a qualitative exploration of bereaved carer, GP and district nurse experiences of end of life care in the community. Palliative Medicine 30(4): 19. Published conference abstract.

Barclay, S, Swash, B, Boase, S & Moran, E (2016). The Community Care Pathways at End of Life (CAPE) Study: End of Life Care Provision in the Primary Care Setting. Palliative Medicine 30(4): 34.  Published conference abstract.

Barclay, S, Moran, E, Boase, S & Swash, B (2016) Challenges and opportunities in undertaking Primary Palliative Care research: the experience of the CAPE study.  Palliative Medicine 30(4): 46. Published conference abstract.

Swash, B, Hulbert-Williams, NJ & Bramwell, R (2014) Unmet psychosocial need in haematological cancer: A systematic review.  Supportive Care in Cancer 22 (4): 1131-1141.


Brooke is a Chartered Psychologist.  She began her academic journey studying for an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield, after which Brooke went on to achieve an MEd in Psychology of Education at the University of Manchester.  After a period of clinical work within NHS mental health services, Brooke began her PhD in Psychology at the University of Chester where her PhD thesis focussed on the unmet psychosocial needs of adults with a diagnosis of haematological cancer.  After completing her PhD, Brooke took up her post as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge, working on projects within the Palliative and End of Life Care Group.  Brooke also holds a PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education.