Lecturer, Occupational Therapy


Dr Sylwia Górska is a Lecturer in the Occupational and Arts Therapies division of Queen Margaret University.

Through her doctoral research Sylwia explored the experience of dementia from the complexity theory perspective, focusing on issues of participation and adaptation. Professionally, Sylwia’s background is in Occupational Therapy (MSc, Queen Margaret University 2010) and in Psychology (MA, Warsaw University 2002). She has extensive experience working with people of various ages, living 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 led a number of research initiatives inclusive of narrative research to understand the experience of older people living with dementia, evaluation of Family Group Conferencing for people with dementia and their families, evaluation of mental health services for older people living in the community and investigation of the relationship between levels of older people’s resilience and their risk of readmission to hospital care. Sylwia’s current research activity focuses on resilience of older people living in the community. 

In 2020, Sylwia joined the teaching team within the Division of Occupational Therapy and Art Therapies. Since then she has been contributing to teaching and learning activities across all levels of undergraduate MSc courses in Occupational Therapy. Sylwia is a personal academic tutor, masters dissertation supervisor and a member of the divisional Research and Development Shared governance group. She is also a REaD assessor within QMU Graduate School. 


Affiliations (including memberships) to other organisations:   

  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • British Association of Occupational Therapists
  • Royal College of Occupational Therapists

Complex bio-psycho-social determinants of health and wellbeing and in particular people’s experience of chronic illness and its impact on participation and adaptation. 

Active research interests:  

  • Bio-psycho-social determinants of health and wellbeing
  • Experience of chronic illness and its impact on participation
  • Determinants of resilience and adaptation: complexity theory
  • Communitymobilisationapproaches 
  • Getting research evidence into practice
  • Person-centredpractice

Research Methods: 

  • Narrative research
  • Participatory research
  • Implementation science
  • Practice development
  • Realist synthesis and theory building
  • Meta-analysis and meta-synthesis


Full Member of Centre for Applied Social Sciences.

Sylwia teaches across all levels of undergraduate MSc courses in occupational therapy. 

Her primary areas of teaching include bio-psycho-social determinants of health, wellbeing and participation, theory and practice of occupational therapy, research methods, critical thinking, information literacy, clinical decision making, intervention planning, philosophy for enquiry and project planning and management. 

She supervises masters students and PhD candidates.