Medical Sociology & Health Experiences Research Group
- +44 (0)1865 289328
Our group includes researchers from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds, including medical sociology, anthropology, psychology, political sciences, and bio-medical sciences. We do applied research directed to making a positive difference to health and care.
We study experiences of health and illness, interviewing people about what it’s like to live with conditions such as dementia, cancer or COVID-19. We have a particular interest in the experiences of neglected and/or minoritised groups – conducting, for example, studies of the experiences of care leavers, and of people with HIV. We highlight how personal narratives can inform policy and improve services.
We also do research about the organisation and delivery of care, especially primary and urgent health services, and social care. A key strand of this work includes projects examining the use of digital health technologies in the delivery of care services.
The group has an international reputation as a centre of excellence in qualitative research methods. Our qualitative research on experiences of health and illness uses in-depth interviews with people about what it’s like to live with different health issues – mostly recorded on video. These studies are often disseminated on Healthtalk.org (so far over 110 different conditions have been covered on this website which is owned and run by the DIPEx charity).
Group members also have expertise in conversational analysis, ethnography and qualitative evidence synthesis. We undertake case studies, process evaluations and implementation science embedded in randomised controlled trials, and qualitative evidence reviews. Findings from our studies are published in social science and clinical journals and on www.healthtalk.org
In addition to our research, members of the group lead and teach on the new MSc in Applied Digital Health and teach on other MSc courses in the University of Oxford, including Translational Health Sciences and CEBM courses. Our short courses on qualitative research methods are internationally renowned
“I started the course as a novice in qualitative research methods but I now understand the core methods used in qualitative health research and methods for qualitative analysis”
- OQC attendee 2022
We collaborate with numerous universities including Aberdeen, Bristol, Cambridge, Imperial, LSHTM, Southampton, University College London, Warwick, York and with research centres, including the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Oxford and Thames Valley, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, and institutes such as The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute (THIS) and The Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI). Our project partners include general practices (in the UK and Denmark), ambulance services, NHS hospitals, government bodies such as NHS England and NHS Digital and a range of third sector organisations.
Link to Healthtalk.org
Information on the HERG Data Archive
Professor of Medical Sociology and Co-Director of MS&HERG
+44 (0)1865 289302