Melanie has been a researcher at the Department of Public Health for 14 years, following an earlier career as an RAF officer. She is currently funded by LUPUS UK and The lupus trust on several research studies. Her PhD was entitled “The impact of patient-clinician interactions on patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases”. She is passionate about equality and consistency of care for all, and all research fully involving patients as equal collaborators. Her research has generated significant media interest, with one study reported on the front page of The Times, and has been described by patients as “life-changing” particularly in highlighting that they are not alone in experiencing these symptoms and medical experiences.
Current Research Interests
Melanie’s research interests are primarily in improving relationships between clinicians and patients, and designing and trialling interventions to improve the lives of patients with systemic autoimmune diseases. Melanie is currently principal investigator/co-PI on the following studies:
INSPIRE (Investigating Neuropsychiatric Symptom Prevalence and Impact in Rheumatology patient Experiences): An international observational study investigating and comparing patient and clinician views and experiences. Sub-studies of INSPIRE include: eliciting and reporting of mental health symptoms; the impact of chronic disease on quality of life; hallucinations and nightmares, and challenges and inequalities faced by patients from ethnic minorities.
ADAPT (Adapting: Disease self-management and Adapting by Psychosocial Trials of remote interventions): A randomised controlled trial investigating acceptability (phase 1), feasibility and effectiveness (phase 2) of several interventions that can be received at home. These currently include: a text message/video information and support programme, The Wren listening therapy, and an online exercise programme.
SEEN (Support, Empower, Empathise, Normalise): A pilot trial to improve the rheumatology consultation and increase eliciting and reporting of mental health symptoms.
Publications in peer-reviewed journals (2014-)
Sloan M, Harwood R, Gordon C, Bosley M, Lever E, Modi R, Blane M, Brimicombe J, Barrere C, Holloway L, Sutton S, D’Cruz D. Will ‘the feeling of abandonment’ remain? Persisting impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on rheumatology patients and clinicians. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2022 Jan 6:keab937. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keab937. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34995345; PMCID: PMC8755362.
Sloan M, Lever E, Harwood R, Gordon C, Wincup C, Blane M, Brimicombe J, Lanyon P, Howard P, Sutton S, D’Cruz D, Naughton F. Telemedicine in rheumatology: A mixed methods study exploring acceptability, preferences and experiences among patients and clinicians. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2021 Oct 26:keab796. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keab796. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34698822; PMCID: PMC8689882.
Sloan M, Lever E, Gordon C, Harwood R, Georgopoulou S, Naughton F, Wincup C, Sutton S, D’Cruz D. Medication decision-making and adherence in lupus: Patient-physician discordance and the impact of previous ‘Adverse Medical Experiences’. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2021 Jul 10:keab534. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keab534. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34247235.
Sloan M, Gordon C, Lever E, Harwood R, Bosley MA, Pilling M, Brimicombe J, Naughton F, Blane M, Walia C, D’Cruz D. COVID-19 and shielding: experiences of UK patients with lupus and related diseases. Rheumatol Adv Pract. 2021 Jan 21;5(1):rkab003. doi: 10.1093/rap/rkab003. PMID: 33728396; PMCID: PMC7928599.
Sloan M, Gordon C, Harwood R, Lever E, Wincup C, Bosley M, Brimicombe J, Pilling M, Sutton S, Holloway L, D’Cruz D. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the medical care and health-care behaviour of patients with lupus and other systemic autoimmune diseases: a mixed methods longitudinal study. Rheumatol Adv Pract. 2020 Dec 14;5(1):rkaa072. doi: 10.1093/rap/rkaa072. PMID: 33604501; PMCID: PMC7798562.
Sloan M, Naughton F, Harwood R, Lever E, D’Cruz D, Sutton S, Walia C, Howard P, Gordon C. Is it me? The impact of patient-physician interactions on lupus patients’ psychological well-being, cognition and health-care-seeking behaviour. Rheumatol Adv Pract. 2020 Jul 22;4(2):rkaa037. doi: 10.1093/rap/rkaa037. PMID: 32974426; PMCID: PMC7498933.
Sloan M, Harwood R, Sutton S, D’Cruz D, Howard P, Wincup C, Brimicombe J, Gordon C. Medically explained symptoms: a mixed methods study of diagnostic, symptom and support experiences of patients with lupus and related systemic autoimmune diseases. Rheumatol Adv Pract. 2020 Feb 26;4(1):rkaa006. doi: 10.1093/rap/rkaa006. PMID: 32373774; PMCID: PMC7197794.
Sloan M, Hopewell S, Coleman T, Cooper S, Naughton F. Smoking Cessation Support by Text Message During Pregnancy: A Qualitative Study of Views and Experiences of the MiQuit Intervention. Nicotine Tob Res. 2017 May 1;19(5):572-577. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntw241. PMID: 28403457; PMCID: PMC5896448.
Sloan M, Campbell KA, Bowker K, Coleman T, Cooper S, Brafman-Price B, Naughton F. Pregnant Women’s Experiences and Views on an “Opt-Out” Referral Pathway to Specialist Smoking Cessation Support: A Qualitative Evaluation. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 May;18(5):900-5. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv273. Epub 2016 Jan 6. PMID: 26743356; PMCID: PMC5896838
Proctor J, Naughton F, Sloan M, Hopewell S, Brimicombe J, Prevost AT, Wilson ECF, Coleman T, Sutton S. Assessment of the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Tailored Web- and Text-Based Smoking Cessation Support in Primary Care (iQuit in Practice II): Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Res Protoc. 2020 Jul 14;9(7):e17160. doi: 10.2196/17160. PMID: 32673255; PMCID: PMC7388034.
Campbell KA, Bowker KA, Naughton F, Sloan M, Cooper S, Coleman T. Antenatal Clinic and Stop Smoking Services Staff Views on “Opt-Out” Referrals for Smoking Cessation in Pregnancy: A Framework Analysis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Oct 12;13(10):1004. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13101004. PMID: 27754352; PMCID: PMC5086743.
Naughton F, Cooper S, Bowker K, Campbell K, Sutton S, Leonardi-Bee J, Sloan M, Coleman T. Adaptation and uptake evaluation of an SMS text message smoking cessation programme (MiQuit) for use in antenatal care. BMJ Open. 2015 Oct 22;5(10):e008871. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008871. Erratum in: BMJ Open. 2015;5(11):e008871corr1. PMID: 26493459; PMCID: PMC4620162.
Faulkner K, Sutton S, Jamison J, Sloan M, Boase S, Naughton F. Are Nurses and Auxiliary Healthcare Workers Equally Effective in Delivering Smoking Cessation Support in Primary Care? Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 May;18(5):1054-60. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv206. Epub 2015 Oct 8. PMID: 26453668; PMCID: PMC4826488.
Naughton F, Jamison J, Boase S, Sloan M, Gilbert H, Prevost AT, Mason D, Smith S, Brimicombe J, Evans R, Sutton S. Randomized controlled trial to assess the short-term effectiveness of tailored web- and text-based facilitation of smoking cessation in primary care (iQuit in practice). Addiction. 2014 Jul;109(7):1184-93. doi: 10.1111/add.12556. Epub 2014 Apr 24. PMID: 24661312; PMCID: PMC4309513.
Sutton S, Smith S, Jamison J, Boase S, Mason D, Prevost AT, Brimicombe J, Sloan M, Gilbert H, Naughton F. Study protocol for iQuit in Practice: a randomised controlled trial to assess the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of tailored web- and text-based facilitation of smoking cessation in primary care. BMC Public Health. 2013 Apr 10;13:324. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-324. PMID: 23575031; PMCID: PMC3641973.