Dr Tom Crocker

Dr Tom Crocker


I am an applied health researcher at Leeds Institute of Health Sciences. I have substantial experience in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods for applied health research, with particular expertise in complex intervention development and evaluation and evidence synthesis. My research interests include the organisation and delivery of post-stroke care, life after stroke, ageing and frailty, care homes, and inequalities. 

My first degree was an MA(Hons) in economics from the University of Edinburgh. I subsequently studied for an MSc at the University of Leeds where I received a distinction in multidisciplinary informatics (specialising in healthcare). I won funding to conduct a follow-on PhD, awarded in 2011, which used an ethnographically informed case study approach with process modelling to explore the way renal anaemia management is organised and provided in local systems and how this impacts on clinical performance. 

I joined the Academic Unit for Ageing and Stroke Research (formerly known as Elderly Care and Rehabilitation) following my PhD where I have led or collaborated on a large number of projects and grant applications. 

My first-author publications have been cited in multiple clinical guidelines, including the Royal College of Physicians’ National clinical guideline for stroke, and other highly cited publications.  I have won awards including the Elizabeth Brown prize for best platform presentation at the British Geriatrics Society spring conference 2023; the Society for Research in Rehabilitation prize for stroke rehabilitation research at the UK Stroke Forum 2019; best poster in the Information Provision to Patients section at UK Stroke Forum 2018; and recognition for patient, carer and public involvement at the UK Stroke Forum 2015.

Research interests

I provide a leadership role within the ASR for systematic reviews and have managed multiple teams of researchers. I am first author of the Cochrane review of information provision for stroke survivors and their carers, and the Cochrane review of physical rehabilitation for older people in longā€term care. I have led systematic reviews into the validity of proxy rating of the WHO brief quality-of-life measure across cultures and the relationship between frailty and quality of life measures. Most recently, I led a large mixed-methods evidence synthesis of community-based complex interventions to sustain independence in older people using network meta-analysis, funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme and published in the BMJ

I have substantial experience in the development and evaluation of complex interventions. This includes a major role in the design, implementation and refinement of a self-management intervention (New Start) to enhance the quality of life of stroke survivors and their carers in the longer term (LoTS-2-Care programme), jointly designing the subsequent process evaluation embedded in a cluster-randomised feasibility trial. 

I supervised Louisa Burton’s PhD, which investigated the challenges of conversations about recovery after stroke, using a range of research methods including an ethnographic study in two stroke rehabilitation wards. We are currently co-producing an intervention to improve the way staff provide this information.


  • PhD School of Medicine, University of Leeds, 2011
  • MSc Multidisciplinary Informatics, University of Leeds, 2005
  • MA (Hons) Economics, University of Edinburgh, 2002

Student education

I teach systematic review methods at postgraduate level.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • Academic Unit for Ageing and Stroke Research
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