Dr. Mary Patricia Sullivan

Dr. Mary Patricia Sullivan
Program Director / Faculty of Education and Professional Studies - School of Social Work - Social Work
Professor / Faculty of Education and Professional Studies - School of Social Work - Social Work
Mary Pat Sullivan is a registered social worker and social gerontologist. She holds an honorary appointment at the Dementia Research Centre, University College London, and is on the Board of Directors for the Alzheimer Society of Ontario.
Dr Sullivan previously headed social work at Brunel University London where she also held a position on the Executive Committee of the British Society of Gerontology. She was awarded the inaugural Tilda Goldberg Social Work Research Fellowship in 2010-11 at the University of Bedfordshire. Prior to her academic career in the UK, Dr Sullivan was a clinical social worker involved in the development, delivery and evaluation of geriatric mental health services in northern and eastern Ontario.
PGCert (Learning and Teaching), Brunel University London
PhD (Gerontology), King’s College London
MSW, Carleton University
BSW, Laurentian University
Areas of Specialization:

​Her principal research interests are focused on the social context of ageing and older age including geriatric mental health, dementia care, social isolation and loneliness, elder abuse, ageing without children and gerontological social work education and practice.

Research Interests:

​The Impact of Multicomponent Support Groups for those Living with Rare Dementias (2019-2024)
Crutch, S. (PI), Stott, J., Camic, P. (University College London), Windle, G., Tudor-Edwards, R., Hoare, Z. (Bangor University), Sullivan, M.P. (Nipissing University) and MacKee-Jackson, R. (National Brain Appeal)
Economic and Social Research Council and National Institute for Health Research, £3.7million

Old and Lonely: The Loneliness Narrative, Moral Regulation and the Media (2018 – 2020)
Sullivan, M.P. (PI) (Nipissing University) and Victor, C. (Brunel University London)
Nipissing University, $5,000

Echoes around the Home (2017)
Firth, N. (PI) (University College London) and Sullivan, M.P. (Nipissing University)
UCL Collaborative Social Science Domain, £4,000

Seeing What They See: Compensating for Cortical Visual Dysfunction in Alzheimer’s Disease (2013-18)
Crutch, S., Tyler, N., Sullivan, M.P., Gilhooly, M., Gilhooly, K., McIntyre, A., Lengyel, I., Tang-Wai, D.F., Lake, A., Frost, C. and Peto, T.
Economic and Social Research Council and National Institute for Health Research, £2.7 million

A Study of the Prevalence and Nature of Financial Abuse of Those Lacking Mental Capacity (2014-16)
Gilhooly, M., Harries, P., Gilhooly, K., and Sullivan, M.P.
Dawes Trust Charity, £83,000

New Perspectives on Loneliness: Developing Theory, Methodology and Evidence (2014-16)
Victor, C., Sullivan, M.P. and Thomas, M.
Economic and Social Research Council, £30,000

Working with Complexity: Social Work with Older People (2015-16)
Ray, M., Richards, S., Milne, A., Sullivan, M.P., Tanner D., Lloyd, L., Phillips, J. 
Department of Health England, £42,260

Making a Case for Gerontological Social Work’s Contribution to Enhancing Health and Well-being in Later Life: Appraising Traditional and Emerging Models of Intervention (2014-15)
Sullivan, M.P., Pokhrel, S., Victor, C. and Milne, A.
Brunel University London, £3500

Use as Abuse: A Feasibility Study of Alcohol-related Elder Abuse (2012-14)
Sullivan, M.P., Gilhooly, M., Victor, C., Wadd, S. and Ellender, N.
Alcohol Research UK, £5000

Ageing without Children: Understanding the Implications in Older Age (2012-14)
Ray, M. and Sullivan, M.P.
British Society of Gerontology, Avril Osborn Award, £3500

Decision-making, Risk and Trust in an Ageing Society (2012-14)
Gilhooly, M., Gilhooly, K., Barnet, J., Gobet, F., Harries, P., Niblock, S., Sullivan, M.P. and Victor, C.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation, £36,000



McIntyre, A., Harding, E., Yong, K.X.X., Sullivan, M.P., Gilhooly, M.L, and Gilhooly, K.J. (2019) An exploration of health and social care practitioners understanding of the problems of people with dementia-related visual impairment. Health and Social Care in the Community. DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12715

Harding, E., Sullivan, M.P., Woodbridge, R., Yong, K.X.X., McIntyre, A., Gilhooly,

M.L., Gilhooly, K.J., and Crutch, S.J. (2018) ‘Because my brain isn’t as active as it should be, my eyes don’t always see’: a qualitative exploration of the stress process for those living with posterior cortical atrophy. BMJ Open; 8:e018663. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2017-018663.

Lloyd, L. and Sullivan, M.P. (2018) Guest Editorial. Special Issue on Ageing, Ethics and Social Welfare. Ethics and Social Welfare, 12 (3), 201-203.

Sullivan, M.P., Victor, C.R., and Thomas M. (2016) Understanding and alleviating loneliness in later life: Perspectives of older people. Quality in Ageing and Older Age, 17 (3), 168-178.

Woodbridge, R., Sullivan, M.P., Harding, E., Crutch, S., Gilhooly, K., Gilhooly, M.L.M., McIntyre, A., Wilson, L. (2016) Use of the physical environment to support everyday activities for people with dementia: A systematic review. Dementia the International Journal of Social Research and Practice, doi: 10.1177/1471301216648670.

Gilhooly, K.J., Gilhooly, M., Sullivan, M.P., McIntyre, A., Wilson, L., Harding, E., Woodbridge, R., and Crutch, S. (2016) A meta-review of stress, coping and interventions in dementia and dementia caregiving. BMC Geriatrics, 16, 106.

Wilson, L., Gilhooly, M., Sullivan, M.P., Gilhooly, K., McIntyre, A., Harding, E., Woodbridge, R., Walton, J., Crutch, S. (2016) PCA: Quality and quantity of information currently available in the U.K. Journal of Dementia Care, 24 (1), 32-34.

Victor, C.R., Sullivan, M.P., Woodbridge, R. and Thomas, M. (2015) Dancing with loneliness in later life: A pilot study mapping seasonal variations. The Open Psychology Journal, 8, 97-104.

Carton, A.M., Walton, J., Henley, S.M.D., Crutch S.J., Sullivan, M.P. (2015) Posterior Cortical Atrophy, Journal of Dementia Care, 23 (6), 22-24.

Victor, C.R. and Sullivan, M.P. (2015) Loneliness and isolation. In J. Twigg and W. Martin (Eds.) Handbook of Cultural Gerontology. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 261-268.

Sullivan, M.P. (2015) Elder care. In J. Wright (ed.) International Encyclopaedia of the Social & Behavioural Sciences, 2nd Edition. Oxford: Elsevier.

Ray, M., Milne, A., Beech, C., Richards, S., Sullivan, M.P., Tanner, D., Phillips, J. and Lloyd, L. (2015) Gerontological social work: Reflections on its role, purpose and value. British Journal of Social Work, 45 (4), 1296-1312.

Richards, S., Sullivan, M.P., Tanner, D., Beech, C., Milne, A., Ray, M., Phillips, J. and Lloyd, L. (2014) On the edge of a new frontier: Is gerontological social work in the UK ready to meet 21st century challenges? British Journal of Social Work, 44 (8), 2307-2324.

Sullivan, M.P., Gilhooly, M., Victor, C., Gilhooly, K., Wadd, S. and Ellender, N. (2014) Use as Abuse: A Feasibility Study of Alcohol-related Elder Abuse. London: Alcohol Research UK.

Al-Makhamreh, S. and Sullivan, M.P. (2013) Social work in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In M. Gray, J. Coates, M. Yellow Bird and T. Hetherington (eds.) Decolonizing Social Work. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 165-182.

Al-Makhamreh, S. and Sullivan, M.P. (2012) Professionalizing social work in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: Processes and implications. European Journal of Social Work, 6 (4), 536-550.

Nelson-Becker, H. and Sullivan, M.P. (2012) Social care and spirituality. In M. Cobb, C. Puchalski and B. Rumbold (eds.) Spirituality in Healthcare. Oxford: Oxford University Press,  409-417.

Sullivan, M.P. (2011) Guest Editorial. Special Issue on Older People. International Social Work, 54 (3), 307-311.

Sullivan, M.P., Pokhrel, S., and Lim, K.H. (2010) Developing and promoting diverse learning environments. Diversity in Health and Care, 7 (4), 271-282.

Sullivan, M.P., Forrester, D. and Al-Makhamreh, S. (2010) What makes for effective trans-national social work collaboration? Reflections on an evaluation of a social work training workshop in Jordan. International Social Work, 53 (2), 217-232.

Cocks, A., Al-Makhamreh, S., Abuieta, S., Al-Aledein, J., Forrester, D. and Sullivan, M.P. (2009) Facilitating the development of social work in the The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: A Jordanian/UK collaboration. International Social Work, 52 (6), 799-810.

Sullivan, M.P. (2009) Social workers in community care practice: Ideologies and interactions with older people. British Journal of Social Work, 39 (7), 1306-1325.