Alison Phinney, PhD, RN


UBC School of Nursing
T201 2211 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6T 2B5

Dr. Phinney is an expert in dementia and through her research strives to gain a 360-degree view of people’s experiences living with this disease. She has demonstrated the importance of social involvement and creative and physical activity for supporting well-being and personhood in dementia. Her work highlights the potential for people to live well with this disease as active members of their communities, bringing hope and understanding to families and society.


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Selected Publications not Indexed in PubMed

Puurveen, G., Phinney, A., Purves, B. & Cox, S. (2016). The use of video images in dementia end-of-life research: ethical considerations. In  D. Warr, M. Guillemin, S. Cox, & J. Waycott (Eds.). Ethics for Visual Research: Theory, Methodology and Practice. pp. 105-116. Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan.

Phinney, A. (2016). Well being and quality of life in dementia. In C. Clarke & E. Wolverson (Eds.). Positive Psychology Approaches in Dementia. pp. 67-87. London: Jessica Kingsley Press.

Puurveen, G., Phinney, A., Cox, S. & Purves, B. (2015). Ethical issues in the use of video observations with people with advanced dementia and their caregivers in nursing home environments. Visual Methodologies, 3(2), 16-26.

Canning, S. & Phinney, A. (2015). Documenting new relationships with old partners: data collection and knowledge translation through documentary film. Perspectives, 38, 1-13.

Hung, L., Loewen, E., Bindley, B., McLaren, D., Feist, T., & Phinney, A. (2014). The impact of an acute psychiatry environment on patients and families. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 40(9), 50-56.

Phinney, A. (2014). As the body speaks: creative expression in dementia. In Beyond Loss, Dementia, Identity, Personhood (Eds. Hyden, L-C., Lindemann, H. & Brockmeier, J.). pp. 120-134. New York: Oxford University Press..

Baumbusch, J. & Phinney, A. (2014). Invisible hands: The role of families in care work in long term residential care. Journal of Family Nursing, 20(1), 73-97.

Oliffe, J.L., Rasmussen, B., Bottorff, J.L., Kelly, M.T., Galdas, P., Phinney, A., & Ogrodniczuk, J. (2013). Masculinities, work, and retirement among older men who experience depression. Qualitative Health Research, 23 (12), 1626-1637.

Purves, B. & Phinney, A. (2013). Family voices: a family systems approach to understanding communication in dementia. Canadian Journal of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, 36, 284-300.

Donnelly, L., Hurd Clarke, L., Phinney, A. & MacEntee, M. (2011). Body image and social interactions among frail elders. In M. MacAntee, F. Mueller & C. Wyatt, (Eds.) Oral health care and the frail elder: a clinical perspective. pp. 161-172. Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell.

Tang, S., Boschma, G. & Phinney, A. (2011). Residential elder care in British Columbia: Policy development and culture change (1950-2005).Perspectives, 34(4), 5-16.

Phinney, A. & Moody. E. (2011). Leisure Connections: Benefits and challenges of participating in a social recreation group for people with early dementia. Activities, Adaptation and Aging, 35, 111-130.

Phinney, A. (2011). Horizons of meaning in dementia: Retained and shifting narratives. Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging, 23, 254-268.

Purves, B., Savundranayagam, M., Kelson, E., Astell, A. & Phinney, A. (2011). Fostering resilience in dementia through narratives: Contributions of multimedia technology. In: B. Resnick, L. Gwyther, & K. Roberto (Eds.). Resilience in aging: Concepts, research, and outcomes. pp. 231-243. New York: Springer.

O’Connor, D., Phinney, A. & Hulko, W. (2010). Contextualizing the dementia experience: a unique case study exploring social location.Journal of Aging Studies, 24, 30-39.

Phinney, A. (2008). Understanding Experiences of Dementia. In M. Downes & B. Bowers (Eds.) Excellence in Dementia Care. London: McGraw Hill.

Baldwin, C., Chaudhury, H. O’Connor, D., Phinney, A. & Purves, B. (2007). Personhood. In C. Baldwin & A. Capstick (Eds.), Tom Kitwood on dementia: A reader and critical commentary. London: Open University Press.

O’Connor, D. & Phinney, A. et al. (2007). Personhood in dementia care: developing a research agenda for broadening the vision. Dementia, 6, 121-142.

Phinney, A. & Chesla, C. A. (2003). The lived body in dementia. Journal of Aging Studies, 17, 283-299.

Phinney, A. (2002). Fluctuating awareness and the breakdown of the illness narrative in dementia. Dementia: an International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 1, 329-344.

Phinney, A., Wallhagen, M. & Sands, L. P. (2002). Exploring the meaning of symptom awareness and unawareness in dementia. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 34, 79-90.


Supervisor eligibility: 

  • MHLP
  • MN
  • MSN – thesis
  • MSN – non-thesis
  • PhD