Institute for Ageing

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Meet the researcher - Bethany Bareham

This month we meet Bethany Bareham, PhD Student in the Institute for Health and Society.

What is your main area of research?

My NIHR School for Primary Care doctoral study is focused on alcohol use in later life. I am particularly interested in risk perceptions and older people’s views of the consequences of drinking alcohol. I have completed a systematic review of published evidence on the perceptions and experiences of alcohol consumption amongst older people and their health and social care workers. Currently I am conducting interviews to explore how older people and their health and social care workers consider and prioritise the consequences of drinking in later life.

How does your work fit within ageing research?

Alcohol consumption in later life has been a relatively neglected topic in ageing research. Alcohol has been much cheaper and more available over the last few decades, so in the future we will see people moving into retirement with different expectations and experiences of alcohol consumption. Ensuring that they understand the consequences of alcohol at older ages is an important part of promoting healthy ageing. The NIHR School for Primary Care Research in Newcastle has a focus on ageing research, and members who have expertise in alcohol research.

What did you study at undergraduate level and how did this lead you onto your current area of research?

I studied Psychology (BSc Hons) at Newcastle University, and then completed a masters in health psychology at the University of St Andrews. There, I became interested in risk perceptions, and fascinated by how perceptions and health considerations differed by age. I had kept in touch with my undergraduate tutor, a health psychologist here in Newcastle, who alerted me to the opportunity to develop my interests in this area through the School for Primary Care Research. I am really enjoying my time here!

What are your research goals going forward?

Once I have completed my PhD, I would like to develop my work in ageing and alcohol research, and obtain a postdoctoral fellowship. I am interested in developing interventions to combat harm from alcohol use within the older population.

Do you collaborate with different departments within Newcastle University (and outside of the university)? How does this help your research?

My work crosses the public health and ageing research themes within the Institute of Health and Society. This means that I move between the Campus for Ageing and Vitality and main campus, and have got to know many students and staff within Newcastle University Institute for Ageing. I enjoy hearing about their work and ideas, as it helps to shape my own studies. Last year I was PhD student rep, and that gave me an opportunity to network with students across the Institute and beyond. Outside of Newcastle University, I regularly attend conferences across the UK and in my role as School for Primary Care Research student representative, I collaborate with representatives of other member institutions to develop training opportunities for post graduate research students funded by SPCR. At the moment I am working with the engagement team to organise a national training day on ‘developing skills in PPI’, to be held here in Newcastle this summer.

 

published on: 15 June 2017