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Dr Catherine Topham

Dr Catherine Topham

Dr Catherine Topham

Research Assistant in Health Services Research
T: +44 (0) 1273 641832
Location: Room 321 Watson Building, University of Brighton, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9PH

Area of expertise: Public Health, Intimate Partner Violence, Child Abuse and Neglect, Mental Health Quantitative methods, Qualitative methods 

Research areas: Public Health, Change Management, Co-production, Community Engagement



Catherine Topham is a Research Assistant in Health Services Research. After completing her medical degree at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Catherine completed her foundation years in the South East of England. Catherine then immigrated to New Zealand where she worked clinically in General Hospital Medicine for a number of years. Catherine took a step back from clinical medicine and moved into a National leadership role focused on implementing a programme on Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect to the 20 District Health Boards across the country. Catherine was in this role for 4 years, at which point she took a career break to have her two children. On returning to the UK in 2019 Catherine worked for Mind Brighton and Hove on a primary care quality improvement pilot project funded by Health Education England supporting children and young people with their mental health, with a specific focus on self-harm and suicide. 


Catherine is currently working as part of a team conducting the Scaling-up Packages of Interventions for Cardiovascular disease prevention in selected sites in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa (SPICES) research study. It is an implementation science project funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 research and innovation action. 

The purpose of the project is to empower our most vulnerable/at risk communities in a way that is sustainable and builds trust within the community so that individuals within those communities can start to make small incremental changes to their lifestyle behaviours with the hope to reduce their cardiovascular risk factors. SPICES is a co-production research study working alongside a number of community partner organisations across Sussex.

The intervention will involve training volunteer health champions to deliver a risk assessment and motivational coaching to community peers. This intervention will assess CVD risk and will promote and plan healthy lifestyle changes through peer-to-peer support.



Managed and delivered the National Certificate in Abuse, Neglect and Violence, level 4 New Zealand Qualifications Authority accredited certificate.

Managed and delivered level 6 New Zealand Qualifications Authority Family Violence paper for 3rd year Social Work students at Unitec Institute of Technology Auckland New Zealand.

Selected publications

Contribution to national guideline document acknowledged (p.4): Family Violence Assessment and Intervention Guideline: Child abuse and intimate partner violence, Ministry of Health, Wellington July 2016.

Ritchie M, Topham C, Achieving change: evolution of a multiagency response to child protection and family violence. Australasian Conference Child Abuse and Neglect, March 2015.

Ritchie M, Topham C, Violence Intervention within the health system, using a nationally-consistent, multiagency, comprehensive approach. International Society for the prevention of child abuse and neglect (ISPCAN). Calgary, Canada August 2016 Canada.