Michelle Holmes

BSc (Hons), MRes
PhD Student, University of Southampton, UK; Lecturer AECC University College, UK; Senior Research Assistant, University of Southampton, UK


Michelle Holmes has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Therapeutics from the University of Westminster and completed a Masters in Clinical and Health Research at the University of Southampton. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Southampton and a lecturer at AECC University College. Her PhD is funded by both institutions, and the Royal College of Chiropractors and the Southampton Complementary Medicine Research Trust. Her PhD examines the use of Patient Reported Outcome Measures within clinical practice. She also works as a senior research assistant for the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit. 

Research interests:

  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Contextual mechanisms of care
  • Self-management
  • Chronic conditions and multimorbidity
  • Patient experience of care
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Pedagogy of research methods

Ongoing research

Reconceptualising Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (R-PROMs) – This research project aims to answer the question: how does the frequency of PROM use in specialist musculoskeletal care affect patients with low back pain and through what mechanisms? A series of studies have been conducted including: a systematic review, theoretical review, feasibility study. The next element of this project is a mixed methods cluster-randomised controlled trial and process evaluation.

INSTEP – A mixed method feasibility study on Individualised Placement Support for people with unemployment due to chronic pain. This study involves conducting qualitative interviews with chronic pain patients and employment support workers, and focus groups with primary care teams to explore the views surrounding IPS as an intervention and the acceptability of a trial.

Web-Based Back pain Support (WeBBS) – Conducting a qualitative needs analysis with patients with back pain and staff from musculoskeletal services. This project aims to understand the information and support needs of patients when making decisions about back pain therapies, and explore preferences to receiving information on the internet. This qualitative work and an ongoing systematic review are being used to prepare a bid for NIHR funding to develop a patient-centered website for back pain patients.

Mapping of the chiropractic curriculum - A content analysis of the curriculums of chiropractic courses at higher education institutions.


Research publications

  • Holmes, M.M., Bishop, F.L., Calman, L. (2017). “I just googled and read everything”: exploring breast cancer survivors’ use of the internet to find information on complementary medicine. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 33 p78-84. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2017.06.007
  • Bishop, F., Coghlan, B., Geraghty, A., Everitt, H., Little, P., Holmes, M.M., Seretis, D., Lewith, G.T. (2017). What techniques might be used to harness placebo effects in non-malignant pain? A literature review and survey to develop a taxonomy. BMJ Open. 7 (6). DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015516 [Download here]
  • Holmes, M. M., Lewith, G. T., Newell, D., Field, J., & Bishop, F. L. (2016). The impact of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in clinical practice for pain: a systematic review. Quality of Life Research. DOI: 10.1007/s11136-016-1449-5 [Download here]
  • Holmes, M.M., Bishop, F.L., Field, J. (2016). Reconceptualising Patient-Reported Outcome Measures: what could they mean for your clinical practice? Pain News. 14 (2) p79-82. [Download here]
  • Bishop, F.L., Holmes, M.M., (2013). Mixed Methods in CAM Research:  A Systematic Review of Studies Published in 2012. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013. DOI: 10.1155/2013/187365