Audrey Stephen
Title: Dr
First Name: Audrey
Surname: Stephen
Position: Lecturer
Telephone: +44 (0) 1224 263150

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Key duties and responsibilities

  • Research Fellow at the School of Nursing and Midwifery 
  • Member of the Institute for Health and Wellbeing Research. 

Key research interests

Dr Stephen's key research interest is in bereavement and bereavement care, and she has built up a track record in this area. 

Initial work was a scoping of bereavement care practice in health and social care services in Scotland.  Following on from this she was awarded a Research Training Fellowship from the Scottish Government to study bereavement care for older people.  This work constituted her PhD study and she used qualitative methodology to explore experiences of bereaved older people, and professionals who have contact with bereaved relatives as part of their day to day work.  The outcome of the study was a set of guidelines for bereavement care for use in clinical and social care settings.   More recent studies explored education and training for bereavement care, bereaved relatives’ experiences around post mortem, and the socio-economic costs of bereavement in Scotland. 

Dr Stephen also has research interests in other areas and has recently carried out a systematic review of competencies and skills of multidisciplinary team members to care for bariatric surgery patients, and a case study design analysis of student nurse and student midwife selection for undergraduate programmes.  Audrey’s next funded research project (beginning later in 2014), in partnership with Dr Mary Addo and a practice colleague, is a study of mental health nurses’ perspectives on taking part in special observation and its effect on their health and well being. 


Addo, M., Stephen, A.I., Gibb, J. Nurses' perspectives of special observation, its use and impact on the mental health and well-being of nurses working in acute mental healthcare settings: a pilot qualitative study.  NHS Grampian Endowments. £10,431

Bermano, G., Stephen, A.I., Bruce, D. Competencies and standard for the management of severe and complex obesity.  Severe and Complex Obesity Treatment Service (SCOTS) and Experts in Severe and Complex Obesity (ESCO). £10,000

Birrell, J., Corden, A., Macduff, C., Newsom, C., Petrie, D.J., Schut, H., Skår, S., Stephen, A.I., Tseng F-M., Wang, S., Wilson, S. 2012. Socio-Economic Costs of Bereavement (Year 2) Scottish Government. £27,864

Stephen, A.I., Macduff, C. March-October 2011. Scoping of Education and Training for Bereavement Care. NHS Education for Scotland. £15,000

Sheach-Leith, V., Stephen, A.I., Macduff, C., Christie, S. 2011-2012. Bereaved relatives experiences in relation to authorised and procurator fiscal postmortems: a qualitative study. £6,021

Stephen, A.I., Leslie, A., Oldroyd, L., 2011. Shaping Bereavement Care: Awareness raising and promotion with NHS Grampian staff.  Scottish Government. £2,000

Stephen, A.I., Wilcock S.E., Wimpenny P.  September 2007 – August 2010.  Development of bereavement care for older people using NHS services.  The Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates (CSO).  £129,230

Wimpenny P., Stephen A.I., Unwin R., Work F., Macduff C., Dempster P., Wilcock S.E., Brown A.M.  Bereavement and Bereavement Care, Phase 2; Identifying Best Practice.  NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (NHS QIS) March – August 2006. £28,495


Peer reviewed publications   

  1. Stephen, A.I., Macduff, C., Petrie, D.J., Tseng F-M., Schut, H., Skår, S., Corden, A., Birrell, J., Wang, S., Newsom, C., Wilson, S. (In press) The Economic Cost of Bereavement in Scotland, Death Studies
  2. Taylor, R., Macduff, C. & Stephen, A.I. (2014) A national study of selection processes for student nurses and midwives, Nurse Education Today, 34, 1155-1160
  3. Stephen, A.I., Wilcock, S.E. & Wimpenny, P. (2013) Bereavement care for older people in healthcare settings: qualitative study of experiences, International Journal of Older People Nursing, 8 (4), 279-289
  4. Stephen A.I., Wimpenny P. (2009) Bereavement and Bereavement Care in Health and Social Care: Provision and practice in Scotland.  Death Studies, 33, 239-261
  5. Stephen A.I., Wimpenny P. (2008) Bereavement Care: Mapping practice against outcomes of a literature review and considering this in relation to self care for the bereaved.  Nursing Times, 104 (17), 32-33.

Book chapter

  1. Stephen, A.I., (2011) Bereavement and Older People. In: P. Wimpenny and J. Costello, eds. Grief, Loss and Bereavement: Evidence based practice for health and social care practitioners. London: Routledge. pp. 55-68
  2. Stephen, A. I. (2011) Exploration and development of bereavement care for older people. Available from OpenAIR@RGU. [online].


  1. Birrell, J., Corden, A., Macduff, C., Newsom, C., Petrie, D., Schut, H., Skår, S., Stephen, A.I., Tseng, F., Wang, s. and Wilson, S., 2013. Socio-economic Costs of Bereavement in Scotland.  Dundee: Scottish Grief and Bereavement Hub.
  2. Taylor, R., Macduff, C., Stephen, A.I. (2012) Evaluation of face-to-face interviewing and related selection processes as reliable and valid selection tools for recruitment of student nurses and midwives.  NHS Education for Scotland.
  3. Stephen, A.I. and Macduff, C., 2012. Scoping of Education and Training for Bereavement Care: Final report for NHS Education for Scotland.  Edinburgh: NHS Education for Scotland.
  4. Stephen A.I., Wimpenny P., Unwin R., Work F., Macduff C., Dempster P., Wilcock S.E., Brown A.M. (2006) Bereavement and bereavement care: Consultation and mapping of practice (phase 2). Aberdeen: The Robert Gordon University.
  5. Stephen A.I., Chesson, R., (2006) Creating Capacity: Evaluating Macmillan Carer Support Schemes.  The Health Services Research Group, The Robert Gordon University.

Published abstracts

  1. Stephen, A.I., Sting in the Dragon Tale: Socio-Economic Cost of Bereavement. ADEC 36th Annual Conference.  Concurrent Session, 26th April 2014, p28.
  2. Stephen, A.I., Bereaved relatives’ experiences in relation to post mortem.  ADEC 36th Annual Conference.  Poster Presentation, 24th April 2011, #31.
  3. Stephen, A.I., National scoping of education provision for bereavement care.  ADEC 36th Annual Conference.  Poster Presentation, 25th April 2011, #24.
  4. Stephen, A.I., Theorising and informing post-mortem practice: a qualitative study of bereaved relatives’ experiences. The 11th international Death, Dying and Disposal conference.  Concurrent Session, 6th September 2013, p48.
  5. Stephen, A.I., Development of Bereavement Care for Older People.  9th International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society; ADEC 33rd Annual Conference.  Poster Presentation, 24th June 2011, #17.
  6. Stephen, A.I., Developing practice guidelines for bereavement care for older people.  The Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom Research Society: The 2010 International Nursing Research Conference; Concurrent session 5.4.4; P56.
  7. Wimpenny P., Stephen A.I., Unwin R., Developing Evidence Based Policy in Bereavement Care.  The Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom Research Society: The 2007 International Nursing Research Conference; Symposium 8; P116.