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School of Geography

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Health, place and population

Research in this area is informing healthcare priority setting, pioneering the use of Bayesian and spatial statistical approaches to the analysis of small area health data (Peter Congdon) and developing novel ways of visualizing health data using GIS. This involves multiple collaborations, such as with public health agencies in NE London in analysing health variation and primary care indicators; and with a US charity, the National Minority Quality Forum, in the development of the D-Atlas mapping disease prevalence for zip codes. Alongside this work, research examining the nature of health inequalities in society uses census microdata to evaluate the complex relationships between internal migration, social mobility and health for different ethnic groups (Fran Darlington-Pollock). On-going work in this area explores the inter-play between migrant status, ethnicity, health and place.  

This quantitative work is complemented by qualitative approaches to the study of health. Work in the theme explores expanded notions of emotional health and wellbeing through research around the body, embodiment and technology across the life course. This includes the everyday use of fertility and pregnancy apps that encourage the management of reproductive and maternal health through education and self-tracking (Josie Hamper, ESRC) through to the emotional and spatial dimensions of communication technology use among older adults in contemporary London and the impact on the ways in which older adults ‘do’ their ageing bodies (Alexandra Boyle, QMUL Principal’s Studentship). Historical research has also enhanced our understanding of public health in nineteenth-century London through analysis of environmental interventions (Tim Brown). Future research in this area will continue to focus on the development and evaluation of healthcare priorities and interventions, both past and present, including a collaborative project with Homerton University Hospital and the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine to evaluate a cancer prevention DVD targeted at black women in City and Hackney (Tim Brown and colleagues, funded by Barts and the London Charity Trust); and a collaboration with the Ragged School Museum looking at the environmental and health-related practices associated with the Barnardos children’s charity in nineteenth-century East London (Tim Brown, Alastair Owens and Oliver Gibson, AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award).

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