Professor Jane Appleton


Jane is a Professor in Primary and Community Care in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. Jane joined Oxford Brookes University in 2000. Prior to this she was a Principal Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire. As a Health Visitor by background she has a long standing professional practice and research interest in child protection issues and work with vulnerable families. Jane has recently completed a 3 year postdoctoral research programme: ‘Safeguarding Children: The Management and Organisation of Child Protection Responsibilities in Primary Care' which was funded by the Health Foundation Consortium.
In 2004, Jane represented the CPHVA (Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association) as a member of the Chief Nursing Officer's Steering Group for the CNO's Review of the Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting Contribution for ‘Every Child Matters'. She is a National Executive Committee member of BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) and recently a member of the National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (NCC-WCH), NICE Clinical Guideline Development group on ‘When to suspect child maltreatment' which was published in July 2009. Jane is also a nurse member of Coventry and Warwickshire Reseaerch Ethics Committee. In June 2012 Jane was a member of a DH task and finish group on Enhancing Safeguarding Professional Practice. Jane leads the Children and Families Research Group.

Research Interests

Jane's doctoral thesis focused on health visitors' professional judgements and use of formal guidelines to identify health needs and prioritise families requiring extra health visiting support. Jane's current research interests include:
  • Safeguarding children and child protection
  • Health visiting assessment
  • Children and young people's emotional health and wellbeing
  • Parenting
  • Childhood obesity



  • Course Leader - MSc in Children, Young People and Family Wellbeing
  • Module Leader - P45000 Risk and Protection
  • Subject Co-ordinator Children and Families
  • MSc Research Supervision
  • Postgraduate Research Tutor (Admissions)
  • PhD Research Supervision


Current Research Grants

  • Appleton, J.V., Pike, N. and Powell, C (2013- 2014) The child sexual exploitation (CSE) knowledge and training needs of health care staff:  an audit study.  Funded by Health Education, Thames Valley.
  • Appleton, J.V. and Powell, C (2013-2014) Professional and organizational responses to children's missed health care appointments: a child protection concern?  Pilot work . Funded by NSPCC.
  • Appleton, J.V. (Aug 2012- Aug 2013) Developing on-line learning resources to develop trainee health visitors' skills in assessing mother-infant interactions. Funded by Higher Education Academy (HEA) Teaching Development Grant.
  • Appleton, J.V. and Coombes, L. (Nov. 2012 - Mar. 2013) Interventions to families who are under the child protection categories of neglect/emotional abuse. Funded by Faculty.
  • Appleton, J.V. and Martin, J. ( 2012-2013) Exploring lifestyles with adolescent patients. Funded by Oxford Brookes.


Recent Research Grants

  • Appleton, J.V. and Powell, C (2012) Children's missed health care appointments: A Scoping Review. Funded by NSPCC.
  • Appleton, J.V. and Coombes, L. (Nov. 2011- Nov. 2012) Evaluation of Action for Children Schools Impact. Funded by Action for Children.
  • Appleton, J.V. and Aveyard, H. (2012) A systematic review of standardised tools for assessing parent-infant interactions. Funded by Faculty.
  • Appleton, J.V., Martin, J. and Kennedy, S. (June 2012- Dec. 2012) A Review of Assessment Tools to Measure Childhood Overweight and Obesity. Funded by British Academy.
  • Appleton, J.V. and Oates, J. (2010) Collaborative working with Children’s Centres: a research and development project. Funded by DH. Collaborative study: with Open University.
  • Appleton, J.V. and Coombes, L. (2009) A pilot study of the Strengthening Families model of child protection conferences to examine interagency working, family and outcomes for children'. Funded by British Council. Collaborative study: with CRIPACC University of Hertfordshire and Kanazawa Medical University, Japan.
  • partnership and outcomes for children at risk. Funded by University Central Research Fund and Oxford County Council.
  • Appleton, J.V. and Ritchie, C. (2009) ‘What works in tackling the effects of child deprivation? A literature review'. Funded by Action for Children
  • Appleton, J.V. and Ritchie, C. (2009) ‘National and international perspectives on the role, process and function of child protection conferences. What works in promoting child wellbeing?'. Funded by Oxford Brookes Central Research Fund.
  • Appleton, J.V., Harris, M. and Oates J. (2008) ‘A Pilot Study To Evaluate The Accuracy of Health Visitor Assessments of The Quality of Mother-Infant Interactions'. Funded by Burdett Trust for Nursing.
  • Appleton, J.V. (2008) ‘Child Abuse Research Development Work'. Funded by Oxford Brookes University Central Research Fund.
  • Kendall, S., Kitaoka, K, Appleton, J.V., Bloomfield, L. and Petrie, J. (2008) ‘A comparative study of the effect of group based parenting support on parental stress
  • Appleton, J.V. (2003-2007) ‘Safeguarding Children: The Management and Organisation of Child Protection Responsibilities in Primary Care', Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Funded by PPP Consortium for Healthcare Research.

Research Degree Students

Bridget Taylor - Sexuality in life-limiting illness: a phenomenological study.
Suzanne Watts - An Exploration of the referral and communication systems between primary health care professionals and children's social care services.
Briony Enser - Alcohol Driven Harm to Others
Jane is co-editor of Child Abuse Review (journal website).

Selected Publications

Peer reviewed publications

  • Appleton J.V., Coombes, L and Terletski E (In press) Implementing the Strengthening Families approach to Child Protection Conferences.  British Journal of Social Work.
  • Appleton J.V., Terletski E and Coombes, L (2013) The use of sociograms to explore collaboration in Child Protection Conferences.  Children and Youth Services Review. 35(12): 2140–2146.
  • Kendall S, Bloomfield L. Appleton J, and Kitaoka K, (2013) Efficacy of a group-based parenting program on stress and self-efficacy among Japanese mothers: A quasi-experimental study Nursing and Health Sciences. Jun 3. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12054.
  • Appleton J.V, Harris, M., Oates, J. and Kelly, C. (2013) Evaluating health visitor assessments of mother-infant interactions: a mixed methods study. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 45: 682-696.
  • Appleton J.V. (2012) Delivering safeguarding children services in primary care – responding to national child protection policy. Primary Health Care: Research and Development. 13 (1): 60-71.
  • Powell C. and Appleton J.V. (2012) Children and young people's missed health care appointments: Reconceptualising 'Did Not Attend' to 'Was Not Brought' - a review of the evidence for practice. Journal of Research in Nursing. 17(2): 181-192.
  • Cowley S, Kemp L, Day C. and Appleton J.V. (2012) Research and the organization of complex provision: conceptualising health visiting services and early years programmes. Journal of Research in Nursing. 17(2): 108-124.
  • Appleton J.V. (2011) Safeguarding and protecting children: where is health visiting now? Community Practitioner. 84(11): 21-25.
  • Coombes L., Appleton J.V., Allen D. and Yerrell P. (2011) Emotional health and well being in schools: Involving young people. Children and Society. Early view DOI: 10.1111/j.1099-0860.2011.00401
  • Mackereth C. and Appleton J.V. (2008) Social networks and health inequalities - the evidence for working with disadvantaged groups. Community Practitioner. 81 (8) 23-26.
  • Appleton J.V. and Cowley S. (2008) Health visiting assessment processes under scrutiny: a case study of knowledge use during family health needs assessments. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 45: 682-696.
  • Wills W.J, Appleton J.V, Magnusson J. and Brooks F. (2008) Exploring the limitations of an adult-led agenda for understanding the health behaviours of young people. Health and Social Care in the Community. 16, 3: 244-252.
  • Appleton J.V. and Cowley S. (2008) Health visiting assessment principles - unpacking critical attributes in health visitor needs assessment practice: a case study. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 45: 232-245.
  • Appleton J.V, Caan W, Cowley S. and Kendall S. (2007) Busting the bureaucracy: lessons from research governance in primary care. Community Practitioner. 80, 2: 29-32.
  • Appleton J.V. and Cowley S. (2004) The guideline contradiction - health visitors use of formal guidelines for identifying and assessing families in need. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 41, 785-797.
  • Goodman-Brown J. and Appleton J.V. (2004) How do health visitors perceive their public health role? Community Practitioner, 77, 9: 333-337.
  • Appleton J.V. and Cowley S. (2003) Valuing professional judgement in health visiting practice. Community Practitioner. 76, 6: 215-220.
  • Appleton J.V. and King L. (2002) Journeying from the philosophical contemplation of constructivism to the methodological pragmatics of health service research. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 40, 6: 641-648.
  • Appleton J.V. (2002) Critiquing approaches to case study design for a constructivist inquiry. Qualitative Research Journal. 2, 2: 80-97.
  • De St Paer A, Appleton J.V. and Williams J. (2001) Nurse referrals of children to Social Services. British Journal of Community Nursing 6, 4: 201-206.
  • King L. and Appleton J.V. (1999) Fourth Generation Evaluation of Health Services: Exploring a methodology which offers equal voice to consumer and professional stakeholders. Qualitative Health Research 9, 5: 698-710.
  • Appleton J.V. and Clemerson J. (1999) Family-based interventions with children in need. Community Practitioner 72, 5: 134-136.
  • Appleton J.V. and King L. (1997) Constructivism: a naturalistic methodology for nursing inquiry. Advances in Nursing Science 20, 2: 13-22.
  • King L. and Appleton J.V. (1997) Intuition: A Critical Review of the Research and Rhetoric. Journal of Advanced Nursing 26: 194-202.
  • Appleton J.V. (1997) Establishing the validity and reliability of clinical practice guidelines used to identify families requiring increased health visitor support. Public Health 111: 107-113.
  • Appleton J.V. and Cowley S. (1997) Analysing clinical practice guidelines. A method of documentary analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing 25: 1008-1017.
  • Appleton J.V. (1996) Working with vulnerable families - a health visiting perspective. Journal of Advanced Nursing 23: 912-918.
  • Appleton J.V. (1995) Analysing qualitative interview data - addressing issues of validity and reliability. Journal of Advanced Nursing 22: 993-997.
  • Appleton J.V. (1995) Health visitor assessment of vulnerability. Health Visitor 68, 6: 228-231.
  • Appleton J.V. (1994) The concept of vulnerability in relation to child protection: health visitors' perceptions. Journal of Advanced Nursing 20: 1132-1140.
  • Appleton J.V. (1994) The role of the health visitor in identifying and working with vulnerable families in relation to child protection: A review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing 20: 167-175.


  • Walliman N. and Appleton J.V. (2009) Your Undergraduate Dissertation in Health and Social Care. London, Sage Publications.
  • Appleton J.V. and Cowley S. (2000) The Search for Health Needs: health visiting research for practice Basingstoke, MacMillan Press Ltd.

Chapters in Books

  • Appleton J.V. (2008) Chapter 2. Starting a new research project. In Neale J. (Ed) Reesrach Methods for Health and Social Care. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Appleton J.V. (2008) Chapter 10. Vulnerable children. In Debell D. Public Health and the School Age Population. London, Hodder.
  • Appleton J.V. and Clemerson-Trew J. (2007) Safeguarding Children. In Cowley S. Public Health in Policy and Practice. A Sourcebook for Health Visitors and Community Nurses. 2nd edition. London. Baillière Tindall Limited.
  • Appleton J.V. and Clemerson J. (2002) Child protection as a public health issue. In Cowley S. Public Health in Policy and Practice. A Sourcebook for Health Visitors and Community Nurses. London, Baillière Tindall Limited.
  • Appleton J.V. (1999) Assessing vulnerability in families. In McIntosh J. Research Issues in Community Nursing Basingstoke. MacMillan Press Ltd.
  • Appleton J.V. and Clemerson J. (1998) Issues for Staff in Health In Calder M.C. and Horwath J. Working for Children on the Child Protection Register: An Inter-agency Practice Guide Arena Publishers. Aldershot.

Other publications

  • Appleton J.V. (2013) Editorial: Safeguarding in Education. Child Abuse Review.  22 (2): 75-79.
  • Appleton J.V. (2012) Editorial: Perspectives on neglect. Child Abuse Review. 21 (2): 77-80.
  • Sidebotham P. and Appleton J.V. (2012) Editorial: Revolutions in safeguarding. Child Abuse Review. 21 (1): 1-6.
  • Appleton J.V. and Stanley N. (2011) Editorial: Physical abuse and corporal punishment. Child Abuse Review. 20 (1): 1-5.
  • Appleton J.V. and Sidebotham P. (2011) Editorial:Making an impact for children. Child Abuse Review. 20 (6): 391-394.
  • Appleton J.V. and Stanley N. (2011) Editorial: Physical abuse and corporal punishment. Child Abuse Review. 20 (1): 1-5.
  • Appleton J.V. and Stanley N. (2011) Editorial: Physical abuse and corporal punishment. Child Abuse Review. 20 (1): 1-5.
  • Appleton J.V. and Stanley N. (2010) Editorial: Looked after children and the care system. Child Abuse Review. 19 (6): 1-5.
  • Appleton J.V. and Stanley N. (2010) Editorial: Communicating with children’s social services and reporting systems. Child Abuse Review. 19 (3): 1-5
  • Appleton J.V. (2010) Editorial: Researching Childhood Harm: Methodological Issues. Child Abuse Review. 19 (1): 1-4.
  • Appleton J.V. (2009) Editorial: Identifying the evidence base for safeguarding practice. Child Abuse Review. 18 (5): 293-296.
  • Appleton J.V. and Glaser D. (2009). Suspecting child maltreatement. Community Practitioner. 82 (9): 34-35.
  • Appleton J.V. and Stanley N. (2009) Editorial: Learning and Training in Safeguarding Work. Child Abuse Review. 18 (3): 1-5.
  • Appleton J.V. and Stanley N. (2009) Editorial: Childhood Outcomes. Child Abuse Review. 18 (1): 1-5.
  • Appleton J.V. and Ratnaike D. (2008) Sharing evidence: community practitioners writing for publication. Community Practitioner. 81 (12): 17-18.
  • Stanley N. and Appleton J.V. (2008) Editorial: International Perspectives on Child Harm. Child Abuse Review. 17, 2: 1-5.
  • Appleton J.V. and Stanley N. (2008) Editorial: Complexity and Evidence in Protecting Children. Child Abuse Review. 17, 4: 211-214.
  • Appleton J.V. and Stanley N. (2008) Editorial: Safeguarding Children- Everyone's Responsibility. Child Abuse Review. 17, 1: 1-5.
  • Appleton J.V. (2006) Safeguarding Children. Community Practitioner 79 (6), 176-177.
  • Bunn F, Brooks F, Appleton J, Mead M, Magnusson J, Norton S, Trivedi D, Wentz R. and Wills W. (2006) Contraceptive advice and provision for the prevention of under 18 conceptions and STIs: a rapid review. August 2006. Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, University of Hertfordshire. On behalf of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
  • Yerrell P, Allen D, Appleton J.V. and Coombes L. (2006) Emotional Health and Well-Being in Buckinghamshire Schools. Research Report No. 24. Oxford Brookes University, School of Health and Social Care, Oxford.
  • Appleton, J.V. and Caan W. (2004) Guidance on research governance, Community Practitioner, 77(8), 303-305.
  • Appleton, J.V. (2003) Book Review: The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues. Qualitative Research Journal, 3(2), 127-128.
  • Appleton J.V. and Foxcroft D. (2002) Developing Core Learning Outcomes for Research and Evidence Based Practice in the Pre-Registration Health Care Curriculum - A School of Health care Strategy. In OBU Linking Teaching and Research at Brookes. February.
Jane Appleton


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