Prof. Alison Twycross

Dr Alison Twycross, Head of Department for Children’s Nursing and Reader in Children’s Pain Management

Head of Children’s Nursing and Professor of Children's Nursing

  • Email:
  • Telephone:
    020 7815 8419
  • School/Division:
    Health and Social Care / Children's Nursing

In September 2013 Prof. Twycross joined LSBU as Head of Children's Nursing and Reader in Children's Pain Management. She has a particular interest in promoting the use of evidence in practice, particularly in relation to children's pain management.

Alison qualified as a RGN and RMN in 1987 having completed an integrated course at the Princess Alexandra School of Nursing in London. Since then Alison has worked in children's nursing in a variety of settings in London, the Midlands and Scotland. She completed her RSCN course in 1990 at Enfield and Haringey School of Nursing. Alison then completed her MSc in Nursing Studies at City University in 1993, a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies in 1996, a CertEd(HE) in 1997 and went on to complete her PhD at the University of Central Lancashire in 2004. 

Alison's first academic appointment was at the University of Central England in 1996 where she was a member of the children's nursing team and in 1998 she moved to the University of Nottingham. In 2002 Alison took up a joint appointment between Glasgow Caledonian University and Yorkhill Hospital. From 2005 to 2013 she worked within the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University and St George's, University of London where she led the children's nursing team as well as holding a number of other roles. In 2011 she spent a six-month sabbatical at the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research at IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Alison is an experienced researcher who is recognised internationally in the area of acute pain in children and has published widely in this area. Alison has also written a series of papers aiming to demystify research. Since August 2010 Alison has been the editor of Evidence-Based Nursing. Alison is also secretary of the British Pain Society's Education in Pain Special Interest Group.

Alison is an expert on ethical issues relating to involving children and young people in research. She undertook a review of current ethical guidelines outlining the key issues that need addressing in this context (published in 2009). Alison has organised several workshops and given a number of conference presentations in this area, as well as being part of a group that developed an ethical road map for qualitative research for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Alison teaches across a range of modules about pain management and research methods. She also supervises Masters and PhD students.

Alison's programme of research focuses on the management of acute, post-operative and cancer-related pain in children. Studies fall into three categories:

  • Exploring paediatric pain management practices
  • Improving paediatric pain management practices
  • Educating healthcare professionals about paediatric pain

Current studies include:

  • A rapid review of the literature focusing on the sources, prevalence and the experiences of children and parents with cancer
  • A systematic review of the literature looking at how nurses' manage postoperative pain in children
  • An interview study exploring parents' experiences of managing their child's pain at home following day surgery in the UK (with a similar study being carried out concurrently in Canada)
  • A study exploring parents information and support needs in managing their child's cancer-related pain at home (funding currently being sought)
  • A study looking at the knowledge and attitudes of paediatric staff at one teaching hospital in the UK

Previous studies include:

  • Two observational studies exploring how nurses manage children's pain in the UK and Canada
  • Interviewing surgeons about their views relating to pain assessment and pain management
  • Exploring nurses' aims when managing postoperative pain
  • Exploring parents' attitudes to pain and pain medications in the UK
  • Exploring children and parents' views about how well their pain is managed

Alison is also interested in exploring the concept of mismanaged pain as an adverse healthcare event. Alison conducted a Delphi study to identify adverse event indicators for paediatric post-operative and procedural pain with colleagues in Canada. These indicators need further development and testing. (See: Twycross, A., Chorney. J., McGrath, P.J., Finley, G.A., Boliver, D. and Mifflin, K. (2013) A Delphi study to identify adverse event indicators for pediatric post-operative and procedural pain, Pain Research and Management. 18(5): e68-74.)

Alison has additionally edited three textbooks bringing together the research evidence for children's pain management and published a large number of journal articles in this area.

Most recent publications

Twycross, AM and Parker, R and McKeever, S and Wiseman, T An integrative review of interventions to support parents when managing their child’s pain at home. Pain Management Nursing,

Twycross, AM Guidelines, strategies and tools for pain assessment in children. Nursing Times, 113. 18-21.

Twycross, AM and Smith, J Perspectives on current child health issues. Evidence-Based Nursing, 19. 107-109. DOI 10.1136/eb-2016-102462

Twycross, AM and Longard, J and Williams, AM and Hong, P and Chorney, J Parents’ experiences of managing their child’s postoperative pain at home: An exploratory qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25. 2619-2635. DOI 10.1111/jocn.13307

McKeever, S and Twycross, AM and Whiting, L and Anderson, D and Anderson, D Causes of ATtrition in CHIldren’s NursinG (CATCHING) study. project_report. Health Education England North Central and East London local office,

Twycross, AM and Longard, J and Williams, A and Hong, P and Chorney, J Parents’ experiences of managing their child’s postoperative pain at home: an exploratory qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25. 2619-2628. DOI 10.1111/jocn.13307

Twycross, AM and Shorten, A Using observational research to obtain a picture of nursing practice. Evidence Based Nursing, DOI 10.1136/eb-2016-102393

Twycross, AM and Forgeron, P and Chorne, J and Blackman, C and Finley, GA Pain as the neglected patient safety concern: Five years on.. Journal of Child Health Care, DOI 10.1177/1367493516643422

O'Neill, N and Mitchell, G and Twycross, AM The expert patient. Evidence Based Nursing, 19. 41 - 42. DOI 10.1136/eb-2016-102325

Twycross, AM Changes to student nurse financing in the UK: A good or a bad thing?. Evidence-Based Nursing, 19. DOI 10.1136/eb-2015-102274

More publications at LSBU Research Open
  • Royal College of Nursing (RCN): Member since September 1983
  • RCN Pain in Children Group: Member of Core Group 1995 – 1999, Member of group 1995 – present
  • RCN Research Society: Member since 1998
  • RCN Research in Child Health (RiCH) Group: Chair 1999 – 2005, Member of steering committee 1997- 2006, Facilitator for London group January 2006 onwards.
  • RCN Children and Young People's Field of Practice Advisory Panel: Member of Advisory Panel 2000 – 2008, Chair of Advisory Panel 2005 –2008.
  • RCN General Children's Nursing Forum: Inaugural Chair 2002 – 2009
  • Higher Education Academy: Member since 2002
  • International Association for the Study of Pain: Member since 2006
  • British Pain Society: Member since January 2012
  • October 2012 onwards: Secretary for British Pain Society Pain Education Special Interest Group
  • 2012 onwards: Committee member British Pain Society Pain Education Special Interest Group.
  • 2012: Reviewer for Ethical Research Involving Children: International Charterand Guidelines.
  • 2011-2012: Member of advisory group for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's Ethical Road Map For Qualitative Studies. For more information please see the Royal College of Nursing website.
  • 2010 onwards: Member of the Royal College of Nursing's Research Governance Group.
  • August 2010 onwards: Editor of Evidence Based Nursing.
  • 2010-2012: Member of British Medical Journal editorial board.
  • 2010-2011: Member of a taskforce to review and update the International Association for the Study of Pain's Curriculum on Pain for Schools of Nursing.
  • 2009 onwards: Member of panel of peer reviewers for the National Institute for Health Research Service Delivery Organisation Programme.
  • 2009-2010: Member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council's wider reference group for the review of pre-registration nurse education.
  • 2008 onwards: Member of Nurse Researcher editorial board.
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