Health Inequalities theme, Efficient and equitable health systems theme
University College London (UCL)
What has been your career journey so far?
Prior to starting my PhD, I completed a Clinical Mental Health Sciences MSc at UCL (2018) and a Neuroscience (BA) at the University of Oxford (2016). Whilst studying, I worked as a Research Assistant on various projects implementing interventions to improve mental health and educational outcomes.
Why did you choose to do a PhD in public health research?
I have always been interested in public health research, in particular understanding how we can better prevent the development of ill-health and its complications. A PhD with the NIHR School for Public Health Research was a natural fit for me.
What is your research focused on?
My research focuses on understanding how we can use linked health and Local Authority resident records to examine how multimorbidity (the co-occurrence of multiple long-term conditions) clusters within households and how people’s social circumstances are associated with multimorbidity. My research also focuses on how we can better use these kinds of data to inform service provision.
Why is it important?
Multimorbidity is a major public health challenge. Despite this, many typically consider multimorbidity in a biomedical sense even though social factors greatly influencing its extent and nature. Local Authorities hold an array of information describing the social circumstances of their residents. Linking these data to health information could help senior decision makers better understand multimorbidity in their area and plan services accordingly.
What do you like about being a part of the NIHR School for Public Health Research?
I enjoy the opportunities to collaborate with public health researchers from across the UK, to learn about the breadth of research being conducted across the school and I enjoy the support the school offers early career researchers like myself.
What skills have you learnt and/or are hoping to learn as part of your PhD?
As part of my PhD I have learnt how to conduct mixed methods research, in particular how to conduct semi-structured qualitative interviews, and I have learnt how to analyse large datasets. I have also improved my ability to communicate research findings to a range of audiences through disseminating my findings at various conferences and events.
What do you hope to do after completing your PhD?
I hope to continue using large, linked datasets to improve our understanding of the social determinants of multimorbidity. I hope to continue working with health and Local Authority partners on this work. I would also like to extend this to examine social factors influencing care provision for those with multimorbidity.