Dr Siobhan O'Connor



Dr Siobhan O'Connor joined the University of Edinburgh as a Lecturer in Nursing Studies in 2019. Prior to this, she was a Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. She has a multidisciplinary background with a BSc Business Information Systems, a BSc Nursing and a PhD in health informatics.


BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems

CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (CBA) 

BSc (Hons) Nursing

Registered Nurse (RN)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Associate Editor, International Journal of Older People Nursing, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/17483743

Treasurer, RSE Young Academy of Scotland, https://www.youngacademyofscotland.org.uk/

Core Team, Centre for Data, Culture and Society, https://www.cdcs.ed.ac.uk

STEM Ambassador, https://www.stem.org.uk/stem-ambassadors

International Judge, Global Undergraduate Awards (Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Panel), https://undergraduateawards.com/

Alumna, Young Forum Gastein, https://www.ehfg.org/young-forum-gastein/

Undergraduate teaching

I teach digital health (eHealth) across a range of subjects to undergraduate students on a Bachelor of Nursing programme.

Postgraduate teaching

I teach digital health (eHealth) across a range of subjects to postgraduate students on a MSc Advanced Nursing programme.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I can supervise Masters and PhD students across a number of digital health (eHealth) research areas including telemedicine / telehealth, mobile health (mHealth), personal electronic health records, wearable devices, assisted living technologies, web-based or online health services (including social media interventions), virtual reality and avatars, gaming, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

I am particularly interested in how these technologies can be used to support patient self-management of chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, cancer and dementia, along with using digital health interventions to promote public health and healthy lifestyles. The application of technology and informatics to learning and teaching is also of interest to improve how nurses and nursing students are educated which is an area of research where I can also provide postgraduate supervision. 

Current PhD students supervised

Doctoral (PhD) students

  • Fatimah Alobayli, University of Edinburgh, Thesis title: "Examining the impact of electronic health records (EHRs) on burnout in nurses in Saudi Arabia"
  • Esra Sinnary, University of Edinburgh, Thesis title: " Perceptions of females with cardiac disease regarding cardiac rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia"
  • Dr Philip Fadahunsi, Imperial College London, Thesis title: "Designing an information quality framework for mobile clinical decision support systems"
  • Dr Benard Bene, Imperial College London, Thesis title: "Evaluating the effectiveness of a mobile app for the management of Type II Diabetes in Nigeria"

Past PhD students supervised

Undergraduate supervision: 

  • Claire Daly, 2nd year undergraduate nursing student who attained a Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland Vacation Scholarship in 2017 (£1,350). Research project: "The life and work of Derek Hoy: a Scottish Nursing Informatician"
  • Council of Deans of Health - Student Leadership Programme, Mentorship Scheme 2018. Supervised Jason Gray (Physiotherapy student) at Queen Margaret University, UK and Kayleigh Young (Nursing student) at the University of Dundee, UK
  • Council of Deans of Health - Student Leadership Programme, Mentorship Scheme 2017. Supervised Matthew Weir (Nursing student), the University of Dundee and Sophie Hibbard (Nursing student), Robert Gordon University, UK

Masters supervision: 

  • Sarah O'Meara, University of Edinburgh, Dissertation title: "Key stakeholders’ perceptions of the organisational and structural barriers to implementing a multicentre randomised controlled trial: a qualitative study using Normalised Process Theory".

Research summary

Dr O'Connor's research interests have a digital health (eHealth) focus and particularly centre on the design, implementation and use of a range of technologies that patients, carers and nurses can use to enable self-management of chronic illness at home. This could be a mobile health (mHealth) application to help someone with diabetes manage their diet, exercise and medication or a telehealth system that remotely monitors patients with heart failure or COPD. Web-based or online health services including social media platforms are also of interest in terms of promoting active and healthy lifestyles and delivering public health interventions.

She also examines how more novel technologies such as wearable and assisted living devices can be used to enable older adults live independently at home or in a residential care home and whether cutting edge digital tools such as virtual reality, avatars, gaming, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) can help people to improve health outcomes and have a better quality of life. 

Technology enhanced learning is another research area she explores as mobile technology, educational apps, social media, chat bots, virtual reality and other electronic tools and software platforms can support nursing students and clinical staff to learn in a range of settings.

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

Current funded research projects:

  • Exploring risk and SafeTy with leArning disabilitY clients in forensic Services: an evAluation oF Talking Mats a visual, Electronic, communications tool (STAY-SAFE), Project team: Dr Siobhan O'Connor (PI), Lois Cameron (Talking Mats), Nicola Braid and Susan Gowland (NHS Fife). Funder: Burdett Trust for Nursing £87,961.75. Dates: 2020 - 2022.
  • Development and feasibility of a virtual reality-based mindfulness application to manage chronic pain (VRinMind), Project Team: Dr Siobhan O'Connor (PI), Beverley Hood. Funder: The University of Edinburgh (CAHSS Challenge Fund) £11,943.90. Dates: 2019 - 2020.
  • Increasing medication adherence among adults with atrial fibrillation: A Medical Research Council complex intervention framework development and feasibility study, Project team: Prof Lis Neubeck (PI), Dr Sahar Konsari, Dr Janet Hanley, Dr Siobhan O'Connor (Co-investigator), Prof Ronan O'Carroll, Dr Terence Quinn, Prof Nick Mills, Prof Brian McKinstry, Dr Fiona Strachan, Prof Robyn Gallagher. Funder: Chief Scientist Office £384,711.00. Dates: 2019 - 2021.

Past project grants

- Review of mobile applications (apps) for people with dementia. Project Team: Siobhan O'Connor (PI), Andrew Brown. Funder: Burdett Trust for Nursing £7,000. Dates: 2018-2019.
- Talking Technology Enabled Care. Project Team: Dr Vikki McCall (PI), Dr Louise Hoyle, Siobhan O'Connor (Co-investigator), Talking Mats (SME). Funder: Innovate UK £75,000. Dates: 2018 - 2019. https://www.talkingmats.com/
- Delivering Assisted Living Lifestyles at Scale (dallas). Project Team: Prof Frances Mair (PI), Prof Catherine O'Donnell, Dr Marilyn Lennon, Dr Matt-Mouley Bouamrane, Dr Alison Devlin, Dr Susan Browne, Siobhan O'Connor (Co-investigator), Ruth Agbakoba. Funder: Innovate UK £250,000. Dates: 2012 - 2015. https://innovateuk.blog.gov.uk/2016/04/15/diving-deeper-into-delivering-...
- Scotland 2030 Vision (Our Future Scotland). Project Team: James Blake (PI), Siobhan O'Connor (Co-PI). Funder: Royal Society of Edinburgh (£2,000), Scotland's Future Forum (£3,000), Edinburgh Napier University (£5,500). Dates: 2017-2018. https://ourfuturescotland.com/
- Building informatics curricula for nursing and midwifery education. Project Team: Siobhan O'Connor (PI), Dr Elizabeth LaRue (Fulbright Specialist). Funder: UK-US Fulbright Commission $5,000. Dates: 2016-2017.
- The life and work of Derek Hoy: a Scottish nursing informatician. Project Team: Siobhan O'Connor (PI), Clare Daly. Funder: RCN Foundation £900 & Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland £1,350. Dates: 2016 - 2017.
- Social media in nursing and midwifery education: a systematic review of the literature. Project Team: Siobhan O'Connor (PI), Dr Laoise Renwick, Dr Emma Stanmore, Dr Richard Booth, Sarah Jolliffe. Funder: Sigma Theta Tau International and the National League for Nursing $10,000. Dates: 2015 - 2016.
- Evaluating the impact of a co-designed mobile application (app) for people with dementia. Project Team: Siobhan O'Connor (PI). Funder: Burdett Trust for Nursing £7,500. Dates: 2015 - 2016.
- Co-designing mobile apps with nursing students to enhance learning. Project Team: Siobhan O'Connor (PI), Dr Tom Andrews. Funder: Sigma Theta Tau International $10,000. Dates: 2013-2014.
- A Technology Enhanced Learning approach to teaching clinical skills to nursing students – are smartphone apps the answer learners want? Project Team: Siobhan O'Connor (PI) & Dr Tom Andrews. Funder: University College Cork €2,000. Dates: 2013 - 2014.

View all 55 publications on Research Explorer