Dr. Spiers’ research program explores the nature of chronic and often invisible illness and how this is constructed and understood in health professional-client interactions.
She is interested in exploring experts nurse communication approaches and ways to resolve dys-synchrony between clients and health professionals understanding of what it is like to live with chronic illness. Her research approaches are primarily qualitative, with a strong interest in the use of visual media, such as video, in understanding life with chronic illness.
The quality of the nursing work environment impacts how nurses go about offering nursing services and “being with” their clients. Dr. Spiers works with Dr. Greta Cummings to explore the relationships between leadership practices and styles, job satisfaction, stress, and quality of work environments and patient safety.
Dr. Spiers is also interested in the empirical support for the use of Context/Problem based learning, the approach used in our Collaborative Baccalaureate of Nursing program. She is working with Dr. Beverly Williams and a team of educators to explore the contribution CBL education has on the long term development of nursing practice.
Dr. Spiers started her research work as a postdoctoral scholar at the International Institute of Qualitative Methodology, and remains closely associated with it as an Affiliate Scholar. She has served as Co-Chair of the Qualitative Health Research Conference 2008-2012 and the 2013 Advances in Qualitative Methods Conference. She served as Editor for the International Journal of Qualitative Methods (2004-2006) and is now an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Nursing Studies.