Professor Nikki Cotterill

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About me

I am a registered nurse and a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing. Since 2003 I have worked in the field of Continence research involved in the development, conduct, analysis and dissemination of research with a strong emphasis on the patient experience, self-help and continence promotion. I also collaborate on treatment studies exploring conservative, pharmaceutical and surgical treatment strategies with expertise in the development of validated outcome measures in this field.

Recently completed and published qualitative studies have explored continence care provision in the community (CONNECT) and hospital (ECHO) settings, and the impact of Covid-19 on the provision of bladder and bowel services from a provider (EPICCC-19) and patient perspective (Healthwatch collaboration). I work closely with Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care System, in particular on a current project exploring possibilities for continence promotion in community pharmacies (PRIME).

As the Director of the Bladder and Bowel CONfidence Health Integration Team (BABCON), hosted by Bristol Health Partners, I lead a systemwide team striving to improve the landscape for people with bladder and bowel leakage. Recent projects include an exploration of unmet need in adult social care, contributing to ways forward for the provision of toilets in public places, and the development of the CONfidence self-help app (, providing advice and education for people with bladder and bowel leakage.

I currently supervise three PhD students, who are conducting novel projects in very different settings and populations. The VOICE project, funded by Abbeyfield Research Foundation, is investigating continence care in care homes to devise a framework for improved continence provision. The POTTY project is a partnership PhD with ERIC, The Children's Bowel and Bladder Charity, exploring bladder and bowel health promotion in early years settings. The CoV-LUTS+ project is exploring the impact of Covid on Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms to inform accurate identification and improved management of long term symptoms.

These studies will provide valuable insights into how we can effectively drive improvements in continence care across systems and across the lifecourse.

I am also a Florence Nightingale Foundation Leadership Scholar alumni which provided the opportunity for personal development to lead continence care research and impact into the future, both nationally and internationally.

Follow me on Twitter for all things related to continence care: @NikkiC07

Area of expertise

Three main areas of research activity:

1. Improving the care of invididuals with incontinence to improve symptom and quality of life outcomes, including a focus on inequality.

2. Embedded qualitative studies to explore the patients' perspective within randomised controlled trials to address continence difficulties.

3. Development of patient reported outcome measures for lower pelvic dysfunction.

I lead mixed methodology studies, including qualitative, quantitative, co-production techniques, and have conducted research in primary, secondary and social care among multidisciplinary teams. I also work extensively with patient and public partners to derive the direction of research and to collaborate throughout the research process.


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