The Institute of Health and Society’s Medical Sociology research discipline is a theoretically and methodologically broad ranging group, whose members work with all research themes within IHS.
We provide subject expertise to a diverse range of applied health research across clinical specialities and health and social care settings.
Our research interests are wide ranging from:
- individual patients’ and carers’ experiences of health and health care
- the organisation of health care work
- the implementation of health care technologies, global health and health policy analysis
As medical sociologists we provide qualitative and quantitative research methodological expertise to different and diverse studies. We apply different theoretical sociological approaches dependent upon the subject under research. We engage in all aspects of the research process:
- protocol development and writing
- the research ethics process
- conducting and overseeing fieldwork
- disseminating findings
As experts in designing and delivering applied qualitative health research we also run CPD training for other researchers and postgraduate students.
Members of the group also participate in, and lead undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and assessment in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Individual members of the group lead the MSc in Public Health and Health Service Research and the MSc in Social Science and Health. In addition, there is a thriving community of postgraduate students drawing on medical sociology perspectives and our supervisory expertise.
IHS leads the Social Science and Health Pathway in the Durham-Newcastle ESRC Doctoral Training Centre and we welcome enquiries from graduates who wish to apply social science perspectives to health research as part of a doctoral training programme.
Current research projects within the Medical Sociology group.
A Study of Donor Ex-vivo Lung Perfusion in UK Lung Transplantation (DEVELOP-UK)
Project Leader(s): Professor Andy Fisher, Dr Catherine Exley (lead qualitative evaluation)
Decision making about implantation of cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and deactivation during end of life care
Project Leader(s): Richard Thomson & Catherine Exley
Project Dates: From May 2013 to April 2015
How can health services contribute most effectively to facilitating successful transition of young people with complex health needs from childhood to adulthood?
Project Leader(s): Professor Allan Colver
Project Dates: From May 2012 to April 2017
How should we educate young people to help them make decisions about biologic therapies?
Project Leader(s): Dr Tim Rapley
Improving the Normalisation of Complex Interventions: Developing quantitative Measures for users based on Normalization Process Theory (NoMAD)
Project Leader(s): Dr Tracy Finch
Project Dates: From March 2012 to March 2015
Supporting Excellence in End of life care in Dementia (SEED programme)
Project Leader(s): Professor Louise Robinson
Project Dates: From October 2013 to September 2018
The Educational Needs of Carers of People with Rheumatoid Arthritis (CARA)
Project Leader(s): Dr Ben Thompson, Dr Tim Rapley
Project Dates: From November 2011 to March 2014
Working together: the role of specialist health care teams during transition to improve employment outcomes in young people with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Project Leader(s): Helen Foster (ICM)
Project Dates: From November 2012 to April 2014
The following members of staff work within the Medical Sociology group.
The group leads are Catherine Exley and Tim Rapley.
Dr Ben Heaven
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3808
Dr Richard Lee
Senior Research Associate
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3816