Dr Sarah Drew

Masters, MA, PhD

  • BS10 5NB

Personal profile

Research interests

Sarah is a Research Fellow based in the Musculoskeletal Research Unit. She is a social researcher by background who uses qualitative research methods in applied health research. Research interests include service delivery, treatment seeking behaviour, patient experiences of musculoskeletal conditions and using theoretical frameworks to understand the implementation of complex interventions. She has experience of these both within the NHS and in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work is focused around musculoskeletal research and the menopause.


She is currently working on several qualitative and interdisciplinary projects. These include a project to understand and characterise care pathways for vertebral fracture diagnosis, funded by the National Institute of Health Research, and a mixed methods study to identify sources of unwarranted variation in the quality of hip fracture care and develop a toolkit to improve service delivery, funded by Versus Arthritis (the REDUCE study). She also provides methodological support for the ethnographic component of mixed methods study to understand and characterise fracture care in sub-Saharan Africa (FRACTURES-E3), funded by the Wellcome Trust. This is a collaboration with researchers across South Africa, The Gambia and Zimbabwe. She also led a project to co-produce contextually relevant information resources on the menopause for women in Zimbabwe and South Africa, in collaboration with clinical stakeholders and non-governmental organisations. Resources have been translated into several Africa languages and endorsed by the Ministry of Health Zimbabwe and South African Menopause Society (SAMS).


Sarah completed her DPhil (PhD) at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford. This explored the organisation and delivery of clubfoot treatment services in Malawi using ethnographic research methods. Among the grants on which Sarah has been a principal or co-applicant include those from the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Versus Arthritis, the Royal Osteoporosis Society and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).


Methodological expertise includes ethnography, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and case studies. Qualitative analysis techniques are thematic analysis, framework approach, grounded theory and abductive analyses. She also has experience in using established techniques to conduct systematic syntheses of existing qualitative research. 



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