Peter Knapp
Senior Lecturer



Peter Knapp’s role at York spans two departments: the Department of Health Sciences (for research and postgraduate supervision) and the Hull York Medical School (where he leads on evidence-based decision-making and teaches across years 1-4).

He is a very experienced university teacher, having worked in Higher Education since 1993 at the University of Leeds (in the Schools of Psychology, Medicine and Healthcare) and, since 2011, at the University of York and the Hull York Medical School. In 2015 he received a University of York Vice-Chancellor's award for 'Excellence in Teaching'.

Peter's main research interests and activity are in patient engagement with healthcare and information for patients, focused on information to support patient decision-making and behaviour. In particular this work has looked at information to support choice of treatments, the self-management of long-term conditions and decisions on research participation. His aim is to improve the quality and usefulness of information and to make it much more accessible. In other words, to increase patients' opportunities to make informed decisions about their health and healthcare. (For more detail, please click on the 'Research' tab).

He has published almost 100 peer-reviewed articles and is pleased to note an upward curve of productivity since he turned 50. His work is often cited, having a total of more than 5,000 citations. Overall his work has a Hirsch (h) index of 42, meaning it isn’t only read by himself and a few mates.

Peter shares a home with his children, Poppy and Euan, and his partner, Sian. He’s an ageing athlete, having once enjoyed competitive running and triathlon, but now limited by creaking knees and back to commuting cycling (which, on the bad days, can feel like a form of competition). He’s an arts lover, particularly enjoying music (tastes are broad), books (both factual and the ones where they make stuff up) and the visual arts. Truly, he is a renaissance man.


  • RGN (with Distinction), 1986
  • BA (1st class honours), Psychology and Sociology, University of Leeds, 1990
  • PhD Psychology, University of Leeds, 1994

Departmental roles



Peter’s main research activity concerns patient engagement with healthcare, especially information for patients. This work encompasses: the communication of harm and benefit about treatments; information to support consent; health literacy and numeracy; inequalities in access to and use of information; and influences on patient decision making. He also continues to work in the area of psychological aspects of stroke, the subject of his PhD in the early 1990s, and has contributed to all four editions of the RCP-led National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke.

Peter adopts the ‘horses for courses’ approach to research – using whatever method is best suited to the research question. As a result his research has used qualitative methods. 

Funders for Peter's work have included the National Institute for Health Research, the Medical Research Council, the National Lottery Research Grants programme, the Wellcome Trust, and the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Yorkshire Cancer Research.  


  • University of York Research Priming Fund. £15K (2018-19).  Identifying and understanding the most effective ways to inform children and young people (CYP) with long-term health conditions about technology interventions to promote optimum healthcare. (led by Dr Peter Knapp, University of York)
  • RECAP (REporting Clinical trial results Appropriately to Participants) study on trials feedback. (led by University of Aberdeen).
  • The TRECA study (TRials Engagement in Children and Adolescents), funded by the NIHR HS&DR Programme to test the use of multi-media information in the recruitment to trials involving children and adolescents (led by Dr Peter Knapp, University of York)
  • The Two Weet Wait (2WW) Study, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research to investigate patient non-attendance at urgent referral appointments for suspected cancer, (led by Dr Peter Knapp, University of York)
  • START, funded by the MRC Methodology Panel to test different strategies to increase recruitment to trials, (Led by Professor Peter Bower, University of Manchester).
  • The ADOPTS study (Psychological treatments after stroke), funded by NIHR CLAHRC North West Coast, (led by Dr Liz Lightbody, UCLAN)
  • The NoTFAST study (Understanding the nature of the clinical problem and dtermining factors associated with fatigue in stroke patients without depression), funded by the Stroke Association, (led by Prof Avril Drummond, Nottingham University)
  • 'Feedback matters', funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences, to research how trial results should be reported back to participants, (led by Dr Katie Gillies, University of Aberdeen)

Research group(s)



  • Peter teaches undergraduates in years 1-4 of the Hull York Medical School, where he leads on Evidence-Based Decision-Making. The teaching includes work on research design, statistics and the critical appraisal of research.  


  • Peter is a highly experienced research degree supervisor and examiner. He has supervised 14 doctoral students to successful completion and currently supervises two students (Helen Ford and Jenny Sweetman, both at York).   

    He has examined 17 research degrees, including eight as external examiner, at the universities of Bradford, Southampton, Central Lancashire, Nottingham, Sydney, Queen's University Belfast and the Medway School of Pharmacy.

Other teaching

Taught Course External Examining

During 2011-16 Peter has been external examiner on the MSc in Rehabilitation Psychology at the University of Nottingham and, since 2016, on the MSc in Medical Leadership and Advanced Professional Development at De Montfort University.

From 1997 to 2012 he represented the British Psychological Society on the Multi-Collegiate Working Party for Stroke, during which time the group produced four editions of National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke and conducted five National Sentinel Audits of Care in Stroke.


Full publications list

Contact details

Dr Peter Knapp
Senior Lecturer

Tel: 01904 32(1675)


External activities


  • From 1997 to 2012 Peter represented the British Psychological Society on the Multi-Collegiate Working Party for Stroke, during which time the group produced four editions of National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke and conducted five National Sentinel Audits of Care in Stroke.
  • Member of the HRA National Research & Ethics Advisors' Panel (NREAP) since 2016
  • Chair of the Study Steering Committee, OPTIMISM study, University of Nottingham, since 2016

Invited talks and conferences

  • North West Region Consent Working Group: Redesigning and User Testing Consent Forms for Trials, at the University of Liverpool, May 2014.