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Dr Alan Blighe

PositionResearch Programme Manager
DepartmentCentre for Applied Dementia Studies
Telephone01274 236284
LinkedInVisit my LinkedIn profile

Research Interests (key words only)

Improving quality of care for older people; health care in care homes; cognitive ageing; perceptual learning; perceptual ageing; memory consolidation / retrieval.

PhD Supervision

Jenny Adams (2013 - ongoing) Part-Time Research focus: The role of admissions assessment in monitoring physical health and in recognising and responding to acute deterioration in the physical health of nursing home residents.


Alan is currently working on an NIHR-funded project investigating ways of improving health and reducing hospitalisations in care homes. He is a mixed methods researcher, with primary interests in healthy ageing, care of vulnerable populations, memory and perception. He has experience of a diverse range of fields and techniques, including wet-lab based neuroscience, human behavioural studies, health economic analysis, project management and provision of statistical support.

Past research includes studies on a novel model of memory consolidation; on perceptual learning in a clinical population; and analysis of behaviour related to misuse of prescription medication. More recently he has spent several years working for the UK and Welsh Governments, providing research and statistical expertise on major economic and social inclusion programs (respectively). 

Study History

PhD (Perceptual plasticity in the peripheral visual system of older adults), University of Nottingham

MSc Cognitive Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin

BA (Hons) Psychology and Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin

Current Projects

(2015-2018) M Downs, B Woodward-Carlton, C Ballard, E Sampson, G Rait, H Gage, J Wright, J Young, K Froggatt, L Robinson, N Freemantle, R Hunter, S Nurock, B McCormack. Reducing rates of avoidable hospital admissions: Optimising an evidence-based intervention to improve care for Ambulatory Care Sensitive conditions in nursing homes. National Institute for Health Research Programme Grant.


Barbosa A, Lord K, Blighe A et al (2017) Dementia care mapping in long-term care settings: a systematic review of the evidence. International Psychogeriatrics. 29(10):1609-18.

Powell, C., Blighe, A., Froggatt, K., McCormack, B., Woodward-Carlton, B., Young, J., Robinson, L. & Downs, M. (2017). Family involvement in timely detection of changes in health of nursing homes residents: a qualitative exploratory study. Journal of Clinical Nursing. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13906.

Astle, A. T., Blighe, A. J., Webb, B. S., & McGraw, P. V. (2015). The effect of normal aging and age-related macular degeneration on perceptual learningJournal of Vision, 15(10), 16-16.

Astle, A.T., Blighe, A.J., Webb, B.S. & McGraw, P.V. (2014). The effect of ageing on crowded letter recognition in the peripheral visual field. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 55, 5039-5045.

Blighe, A. & Taylor, L. (2014). Review of the evidence on inequality in Wales. Cardiff: Welsh Government.

Mylona, S., Cook, N., & Blighe, A. (2013). Tackling hate crimes and incidents consultation: Summary of responses. Cardiff, UK. Welsh Government.

Blighe, A., McGraw, P., & Webb, B. (2011). Perceptual plasticity in the peripheral visual field of older adults (poster). Presented at the European Conference on Visual Perception, Toulouse, France.

Trueman, P., Taylor, D., Lowson, K., Blighe, A., Meszaros, A., Wright, D., Jani, Y. (2010). Evaluation of the scale, causes and costs of waste medicines (pp. 106). York, UK: York Health Economics Consortium and the School of Pharmacy, University of London.

Lowson, K., Cardow, T., Mahon, J., Blighe, A., & Wright, D. (2009). East Midlands Ambulance Services NHS Trust: Needs analysis and market assessment (pp. 69). York, UK: York Health Economics Consortium. 

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