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Intensive care: patients' experiences

Intensive care: experiences of relatives and friends

Urinary catheters - trigger film for service improvement

Suman Prinjha

BSc, MSc, PhD

Senior Qualitative Researcher

I am an anthropologist specialising in qualitative research into people’s experiences of health, illness, and healthcare. I joined the Health Experiences Research Group (HERG) in 2001, shortly after my PhD at the London School of Economics, and have completed 11 studies for the award winning website

HERG use qualitative research methods to understand people’s health experiences. The findings contribute to experience-based health information, medical education, and service improvement. My interests lie in using qualitative research to help improve patient care and health services, and to include seldom heard people and communities in research. Since 2001, I have conducted around 450 in-depth interviews across the UK, including illness narratives with participants from ‘hard-to-reach’ groups and interviews in Punjabi with British Asian participants.

I have conducted qualitative studies in:

  • cancer and cancer screening (breast screening, breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ, precancerous cervical conditions CIN3 and CGIN)

  • intensive care (patients’ and relatives’ experiences; organ donation)

  • chronic conditions (adult experiences of epilepsy; living with an indwelling urinary catheter)

  • orthopaedic surgery (experiences of partial knee replacement and keyhole shoulder surgery)

  • young people’s use and experiences of primary care

Collaborations include work with Keele and Stirling universities, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, and currently with Imperial College. European Commission funded 'MOCHA' (Models Of Child Health Appraised) is a study of primary healthcare in 30 European countries. It aims to explore primary care for children in these countries and identify the optimal models:

My research has been published on, in medical and nursing journals, and in patient and professional newsletters. The findings have also been used to produce learning resources for medical students and health professionals:



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