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We research experiences of health and illness, interviewing people about what it’s like to live with medical conditions such as cancer, heart failure and autism. We highlight how personal narratives can inform policy and improve services.

The group has an international reputation as a centre of excellence in qualitative research. We use social science informed, qualitative and mixed methods studies to understand health experiences and use the findings in applied research.  Findings are published in social science and clinical journals and on (which is owned and run by the DIPEx charity).  

We bring a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds to our research, including medical sociology, anthropology, psychology, political sciences, discourse analysis and biological sciences. Many of us are funded to research a specific health condition (so far 94 different conditions have been covered and findings are available at This research is based on in-depth interviews with people about what it’s like to live with different health issues – mostly recorded on video.

The methods used by the Oxford Health Experiences Research Group have set the benchmark for research into health and illness experiences.Sir Muir Gray

We research the use of personal narratives in health policy and practice, including the sharing of personal experiences online, using personal narratives to stimulate local experience-based co-design and to inform NICE quality standards.

In addition to our research, members of the group teach in the University of Oxford Medical School and our courses on qualitative methods research are internationally renowned.

We collaborate with numerous universities including Northumbria, Sussex, Warwick, Glasgow, Kent, Leeds Metropolitan, Hertfordshire, Manchester, King’s College London, the London School of Economics, and research centres, such as QORU and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford, and government bodies such as NHS England.

> Impact Report

Download our Health Experiences Research Group, Annual Report 2018

Our team

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