Dr Sandi Dheensa

BSc, MSc, PhD

  • BS8 2PS

  • School of Social and Community Medicine
    39 Whatley Road
    Bristol
    BS8 2PS

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research interests

For 15 years, I have co-led interdisciplinary health-related research with healthcare professionals (HCPs), other NHS staff, patients, and their families. My expertise lies in designing and evaluating healthcare-based and multisectoral domestic abuse interventions for underserved groups (e.g., people with addictions/cancer), and leading evidence syntheses and primary research to inform interventions. My methodological expertise is primarily qualitative methods, policy analysis, and survey development.

I lead/led the following projects:

  • PRESSURE (with Dr Alison Gregory), and now PHRIDA, about support-seeking and support needs of healthcare professionals who are experiencing, or have experienced, domestic abuse themselves.
  • A sister project with Dr Gregory and a former medical student, Dr Aimee Wilkinson, exploring domestic abuse, sexual violence and abuse, and childhood maltreatment among medical students.
  • CancerDA, a Macmillan Cancer Support-funded project with STADA, which aimed to enhance the cancer workforce response to domestic abuse.
  • Recording & Sharing Domestic abuse Information in Healthcare (RASDIH), which led to national  good practice recommendations

I also currently work on REPROVIDE, evaluating a domestic abuse perpetrator programme, and a project investigating trauma-informed care in community mental health services. Previously I worked in the following project teams:

  • ADVANCE - an evaluation of an intimate partner violence and substance use disorder integrated programme for men.
  • HERA -  a collaboration between universities in Brazil, Palestine, Sri Lanka, and Nepal on improving the healthcare response to domestic abuse.

Since 2012 I have also freelanced as a domestic abuse and sexual violence and abuse researcher, and have conducted service evaluations on: 

I teach on a range of under- and postgraduate units and was the Deputy Lead for Research Methods on the MSc Public Health 2022-3. I  co-supervise PhD candidate Satya Shrestha, who has explored the response to domestic abuse in outreach centres around Kathmandu within HERA. I also co-led a mapping of decolonising or decolonising-adjacent work around the University.

My broader interests are in mental health, trauma, and health inequalities. I'm particularly keen to build international research partnerships to foster knowledge exchange. If you would like to talk about collaboration or evaluation for your service, please get in touch.

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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