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Laurie McKibben, RN, BSc

Research Theme: Supportive and Palliative Care

Research Title: Determining the informational needs of family caregivers of people with Learning Disabilities who require Palliative Care: A qualitative Study

Research Interests: Ethics, marginalised groups, palliative care, learning disability

Supervisors: Professor Kevin Brazil, Dr Dorry McLaughlin and Professor Peter Hudson


Personal Bio

I have entered into PhD research as a registered Nurse, prior to nursing I worked within the fields of Pharmacy and Social Services (Child Protection and Homeless Services), with enhanced learning disability and palliative care experience. I chose research to contribute to advancing my profession in areas that have been important to me personally.

Project Summary

The population of people with learning disabilities who require palliative care is increasing. Family caregivers of people with learning disabilities remain under researched, importantly in respect to palliative care. The aim of my study is to explore the information needs of family caregivers of people with learning disabilities who require palliative care, and establish the perceptions of health and social care professionals’ of the information needs which exist for these family caregivers. Utilising the NHS (2009) prescribed evidence based co-design (EBCD) approach a model of supportive care will be co-developed to visually represent the information needs reported and how they can be addressed. Generated recommendations will inform education and policy, further research and service development in this practice area.

My Perfect PhD Day

Being on top of any work in progress 


Teaching for the Evidence Based Nursing module - BSc (Hons) Undergraduate Nursing  (Year 2).

Other Activities

Member of IPCFRC (International Palliative Care Family Carer Research Collaboration), PCPLD (Palliative Care for People with Learning Disabilities), AIIHPC (All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care) and the Northern Ireland Ethics Forum (NIEF).

When I’m not PhDing…

I’m planning my next travel itinerary

Conferences & Publications

McKibben, L., Brazil, K., McLaughlin, D. & Hudson, P. (Nov 2015). Informational Needs of Family Caregivers of People with Learning Disabilities who require Palliative Care: Literature Review. Poster Presentation at the PCPLD Conference ‘Who Cares?’ St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney, London.

Research sharing within the US via colloquial seminars at UC Berkeley, University of Illinois, Chicago and Brown University, Rhode Island (2016).