Professor Miriam Johnson


Professor of Palliative Medicine

Role at Hull York Medical School

Miriam is Professor of Palliative Medicine and Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at the University of Hull.


Miriam Johnson is Professor of Palliative Medicine at Hull York Medical School, Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at the University of Hull. She is Adjunct Professor of Palliative Medicine at the University Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

She is palliative care specialty joint lead for the Yorkshire and Humber Comprehensive Research Network and academic palliative care lead for the NIHR Integrated Academic Training Programme (and past IAT Director).

For twenty years (2000 to 2020), she also provided consultant palliative physician services to Scarborough General Hospital and Saint Catherine's Hospice, Scarborough where she set up one of the UK’s first integrated palliative care services for people with heart failure.


Miriam's research interests include:

  • mechanisms, management of and services for breathlessness and other neglected symptoms such as delirium;
  • inequalities in palliative care service provision e.g. for people with non-malignant disease such as heart failure and respiratory disease, and the use of needs assessment tools;
  • methods to conduct high quality palliative care research;
  • the social impact of advanced disease on the individual and their family and friends 

Projects employ a wide range of research methodologies (clinical trials of drug or complex interventions, qualitative studies, observational, secondary data analysis, data linkage studies) and collaborative partners are involved across different disciplines and countries. She has published widely and holds grants from a variety of bodies (NIHR, NHMRC, Dunhill Medical Trust, Marie Curie Cancer Care/CRUK, Yorkshire Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation).



  • Phase 1 Scholarship and Special Interest Programmes
  • Phase 2 Scholarship and Special Interest Programmes
  • Phase 2 Scarborough General Hospital students



  • Hull York Medical School/Saint Catherine's GP palliative care course
  • Modern Researcher, University of Hull


Postgraduate research supervision:

Miriam has been primary supervisor for seven successfully awarded PhD student/fellows, and co-supervisor for a further four.

She is currently primary supervisor to one PhD fellow and co-supervisor to one MD and five PhD students.


Ekström M, Johnson MJ, Taylor B, Luszcz M, Wohland P, Ferreira DH, Currow DC. Breathlessness and sexual activity in older adults: the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine 28, 20 (2018)

Campbell RT, Petrie MC, Jackson CE, Jhund PS, Wright A, Gardner RS,  Sonecki P, Pozzi A, McSkimming P, McConnachie A, Finlay F, Davidson P, Denvir MA, Johnson MJ, Hogg KJ, McMurray JJV. Which patients with heart failure should receive specialist palliative care? EJHF 2018 in press DOI - 10.1002/ejhf.1240

Carvajalino S, Reigada C, Johnson MJ, Dzingina M, Bajwah S. Symptom Prevalence of Patients with Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Disease: A Systematic Literature Review. BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2018; 18 (1), 78

Johnson MJ, McSkimming P, McConnachie A, Geue C, Millerick Y, Briggs A, Hogg K.The feasibility of a randomised-controlled trial to compare the cost-effectiveness of palliative cardiology or usual care in people with advanced heart failure: two exploratory prospective cohorts. Palliat Medicine 2018 2018, 32,6:1133-1141. doi: 10.1177/0269216318763225.

Benelhaj N, Hutchinson A, Maraveyas A, Seymour J, Ilyas WM, Johnson MJ. Cancer patients’ experiences of living with venous thromboembolism: A systematic review and qualitative thematic synthesis. Palliative Medicine 2018 First Published February 27, 2018. doi/10.1177/0269216318757133

Hutchinson A, Barclay-Klingle N, Galvin K, Johnson MJ. Living with breathlessness: a systematic literature review and qualitative synthesis. Eur Resp J 2018 Feb 21;51(2). pii: 1701477. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01477-2017.

Johnson MJ, Jamali A, Ross J, Fairhurst C, Boland JW, Reigada C, Hart SP, Grande G, Currow DC, Wells A, Bajwah S, Bland JM, Yorke J. Psychometric validation of the Needs Assessment Tool: Progressive Disease in Interstitial Lung Disease. Thorax Published Online First: 17 November 2017. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2017-210911

Verberkt CA, van den Beuken-van Everdingen MHJ, Schols JMGA, Datla S, Dirksen CD, Johnson MJ, van Kuijk SMJ, Wouters EFM, Janssen DJA. Respiratory adverse effects of opioids for breathlessness: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Respir J 2017 Nov 22;50(5). pii: 1701153

Hussain JA, Bland JM, Langan D, Johnson MJ, Currow DC, White IW. Quality of missing data reporting and handling in palliative care trials demonstrates that further development of the CONSORT missing data reporting guidance is required: a systematic review JCE 2017 88:81-91

Luckett T, Phillips J, Johnson MJ, Farquhar M, Swan F, Assen T, Bhattarai P, Booth S. Contributions of a hand-held fan to self-management of chronic breathlessness. European Respiratory Journal 2017 50: p. 1700262-1700262

Hutchinson A, Pickering A, Williams P, Bland JM, Johnson MJ. Breathlessness and presentation to the emergency department: a survey and clinical record review. BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2017; 17:53 DOI: 10.1186/s12890-017-0396-4

Currow DC, Dal Grande E, Ferreira D, Johnson MJ, McCaffrey N, Ekström M. Chronic breathlessness associated with poorer physical and mental health-related quality of life (SF-12) across all adult age groups. Thorax 2017. 72; 1151-1153

Ekström E, MD, Bajwah S, Bland JM, Currow DC, Hussain J, Johnson MJ, One Evidence Base; Three Stories: Do Opioids Relieve Chronic Breathlessness? Thorax. 2018 Jan;73(1):88-90. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2016-209868

Johnson MJ, Yorke J, Hansen-Flaschen J, Lansing R, Ekström M, Similowski T,Currow DC. Towards an expert consensus to delineate a clinical syndrome of chronic breathlessness. Eur Resp Journal 2017; 0: 1602277 []

.Reigada C, Papadopoulos A, Boland J, Yorke J, Ross J, Currow DC, Bajwah S, Grande G, Wells A, Johnson MJ. Implementation of the Needs Assessment Tool for Interstitial Lung Disease Patients (NAT:ILD): Facilitators and Barriers. Thorax 2017; 72: 1049 – 1051.

Hussain JA, White IR, Langan D, Johnson MJ, Currow DC, Torgerson DJ, Bland JM. Missing data in randomized controlled trials testing palliative interventions pose a significant risk of bias and loss of power: a systematic review and meta-analyses. J Clin Epidemiol. 2016 Jun;74:57-65

Clark AL, Johnson MJ, Fairhurst C, Torgerson D, Cockayne S, Rodgers S et al. Long term oxygen therapy for quality of life for people with chronic heart failure: a pragmatic, mixed-methods randomized controlled trial. Health Technology Assessment 2015; 75:(19)

Johnson MJ, Kanaan M, Richardson G, Nabb S, Torgerson D, English A, Booth S. A randomised controlled trial of three or one breathing technique training sessions for breathlessness in people with malignant lung disease. BMC Medicine 2015, 13:213  doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0453-x

Johnson MJ, Bland JM, Abernethy, A, Currow DC.  Clinically important differences in chronic refractory breathlessness. JPSM 2013, 46: 957-963

Johnson MJ, Bland JM, Oxberry SG, Abernethy AP, Currow DC. Opioids for chronic refractory breathlessness: patient predictors of beneficial response. Eur Resp J 2013 42(3) 758-766, doi: 10.1183/09031936.00139812

Oxberry SG, Torgerson DT, Bland M, Clark AC, Cleland JC, Johnson MJ. Short-term opioids for breathlessness in stable chronic heart failure:  a randomised controlled trial. EJHF (2011) 13(9), 1006–1012

Zacharias H, Raw J, Nunn Anne, Parsons, S, Johnson MJ. Is there a role for subcutaneous furosemide in the community and hospice management of end-stage heart failure? Palliative Medicine. 2011;25(6):658 - 663

Johnson MJ, Oxberry SG, Cleland JFG, Clark A. Measurement of breathlessness in clinical trials in patients with chronic heart failure: the need for a standardised approach. A systematic review. European Journal of Heart Failure. 2010; 12(2): 137-147

Johnson MJ, McDonagh T, Harkness A, MacKay S, Dargie H. Morphine for breathlessness in chronic heart failure. European Journal of Heart Failure. 2002; 4(6): 753–756