Research Practitioner

Division: Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Sylwia Górska (MSc OT, M.A. Psych) is a Research Practitioner in the Firefly Research Unit  in the Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies Division. She is also a affiliate member of Centre for Applied Social Sciences.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Activities & Awards

Sylwia holds two master degrees (an MA in Psychology from Warsaw University and MSc in Occupational Therapy from Queen Margaret University). In both she was awarded the highest achievable grades. Currently, she is working towards completion of her doctoral studies. She has extensive experience working with people of various ages with chronic conditions (physical disability, learning disability, and mental health challenges).

Sylwia joined QMU’s Division of Occupational Therapy and Arts Therapies in 2011 to undertake a research role. Since then she has lead research initiatives for and with older people inclusive of narrative research to understand the experience of living with dementia, evaluation Family Group Conferencing for people with dementia and their families, and evaluation of mental health services for older people. Currently she is co-leading “Making it CLEAR” (Community Living, Enablement and Resilience) (MiC) - a research initiative focused on resilience in older people. Sylwia has been active in national and international collaborations inclusive of the Mary Collaborative which developed assessment and intervention protocols for people with moderate to severe dementia and the Alzheimer’s Scotland AHP Dementia expert group. These initiatives both focus on building capacity for academic-practice partnership to promote excellence in Dementia care.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Health and Care Professions Council: November 2010 - present
  • British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists: November 2008 - present

Professional Social Media:

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

  • Affiliate member of Centre for Applied Social Sciences

Sylvia’s research is focused on research with older adults and their ability to participate in daily activity to support their health. Currently, Sylwia is leading a study focused on the validation of a resilience measure for older people. This aims to investigate whether the concept of resilience, questionnaire at discharge from the Medicine of the Elderly wards, is predictive of hospital readmissions. It is also anticipated that the research will allow the profiling of resilience needs at the point of discharge from acute care to inform development of future community based services with the view of enhancing older people’s resilience. Sylvia is also exploring the experience of living with dementia from the occupational perspective utilizing qualitative research methods.

Active Research Interests:

  • Bio-psycho-social determinants of older people’s health and wellbeing.
  • Experience of older adult’s chronic illness and its impact upon their ability to participate in daily activity.
  • Dynamic interactions between personal and environmental factors that influence and determine older people’s ability to adapt to ongoing changes.
  • Model of Human Occupation as a theoretical framework to support systematic investigation into how environments support people with complex illness to participate i.e., engage in everyday activities that are meaningful to them.

Research Methods:

  • Qualitative methods including Framework Analysis
  • Metasynthesis
  • Quantitative methods including: Psychometric analysis of measurement tools; Linear Mixed Effects Model with random intercepts for subjects (due to repeated measures)


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

Sylwia has the experience teaching at post graduate level. This includes sharing experience of post-graduate level education, research methods and research informed service development. Sylwia also routinely shares learning and development with her colleagues within the research team and with multi-professional teams in her practice context.

Highly Commended Award: Poster presentation. College of Occupational Therapists 37th Annual Conference 2013