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Sociology: People


Julie Watson

Julie Watson
Julie Watson
Edinburgh UK


I have a background in palliative care nursing and have worked on research projects developing end of life care in care homes. These were specifically on the evaluation of two end of life care tools: the Gold Standards Framework for Care Homes and the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Last Days of Life.

PhD Title

Caring with Integrity: Developing the conceptual underpinning of relationship-centred palliative dementia care in care homes.

People with advanced dementia struggle to maintain relationships and can ultimately experience social death before their physical death. Understandings of, and assumptions about, the effect of dementia on personhood directly affect the way people with dementia are perceived by others, the quality of their relationships, the quality of their care and the quality of their life. This ethnographic study examined care-giving/ care-receiving relationships in a specialist dementia care home. Findings show that people with advanced dementia continue to experience and respond to the world, and those around them, until they die, particularly in embodied ways. These findings are used to develop thinking on relationship-centred palliative dementia care. Ethic of Care theory is used to argue why a broad understanding of personhood is vital, not only at the frontline, but also in dementia and palliative care policy, care standards, and regulatory approaches, if care is to have integrity.

I am based at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships. Awarded PhD October 2015.


Prof Heather Wilkinson, Dr Marilyn Kendall


ESRC 1+3 Studentship 2010-2014


ICE International Ethics in Care Conference, University of Surrey, July 2015, Oral Presentation: Using Personhood and an Ethic of Care to develop relationship-centred palliative care for people with dementia.

Life with Dementia: Relations Conference, Centre for Dementia Research, Linkoping University, Sweden October 2014, Oral Presentation: Caring for people with dementia towards the end of life: developing an understanding through the lens of the 'body'.

BSA Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference September 2014, Oral Presentation: The caring relationship between people living and dying with dementia and the care staff in a care home: Developing an understanding through the lens of the 'body'.

Scottish Caring and Dementia Congress, April 2013, Poster Presentation: Understanding caring relationships between people living and dying with advanced dementia and care staff in a care home

Polish Gerontological Society, Warsaw, March 2013, Workshop: Palliative Care and Dementia

University of Nottingham, Sue Ryder Care Centre, PhD student conference October 2012, Oral Presentation: Risks and Rights: Gaining and Maintaining Consent in Research with People with Advanced Dementia

BSA Ageing Body and Society Study Group July 2012 Poster Presentation:  A disintegrating mind + a disintegrating body = a disintegrating person?  - The implications for person-centred care of people with dementia at the end of life.

Centre for Research on Families and Relationships New Researchers Conference May 2011 Oral Presentation:The place of emotion in research on relationships with people living and dying with dementia in care homes.


Watson J. What is Dementia? Implications for care at the end of life (2013) End of Life Journal 3(1)

Watson J, Hockley J and Murray S (2010) Evaluating the GSFCH and the LCP in Care Homes End of Life Care 4(3)

Hockley J, Watson J, Oxenham D & Murray S A  (2010) The integrated implementation of two end-of-life care tools in nursing care homes in the UK:  an in-depth evaluation Palliative Medicine 24(8) 828-838

Watson, J. Hockley, J. Dewar B. (2006) Barriers to implementing an integrated care pathway for the last days of life in nursing homes. International Journal of Palliative Nursing Vol. 12, No 5 p243 240

Hockley, J. Dewar, B. Watson, J. (2005) Promoting end of life care in care homes using an integrated care pathway for the last days of life. Journal of research in nursing, Vol. 10(2), 135-152

Book Review: Gott, M. & Ingelton, C. (eds) Living with Ageing and Dying: Palliative and End of Life Care for Older People. Palliative Medicine (2013) 27:94   


Identity and Experience in Health and Society (MA Health Science and Society) - Present

Assistant Supervisor MPH Dissertation (2014)


Researcher, Talking Dementia: Disrupting Assumptions about Living with Dementia, University of Edinburgh/ESRC - Current

Research Assistant, July -October 2013, School of Health in Social Sciences, Life Changes Trust, Longitudinal Panel Study, Scoping Stage

Research Assistant January - April 2014 - School of Health in Social Sciences - Dementia, Arts and Technology Project

Member Primary Palliative Care Research Group, University of Edinburgh

Scottish Dementia Clinical Research Network newsletter feature

Ad hoc reviewer for several journals