Research Summary

DPhil Supervision

Interested in projects using qualitative research methods to understand health and illness experiences, and the use of these experiences to develop more patient-centred policy and
practice, including service improvement and commissioning decisions. Current D Phils I am supervising focus on patient-centred care, use of personal health narratives for peer support and how people use front-of-pack food labelling.

Louise Locock

BA, MPhil, PhD

Associate Professor and Director of Applied Research, Health Experiences Research Group

  • Health Experiences Fellow, Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
  • Research Fellow, Green Templeton College

I specialise in qualitative interview research into people's experiences of health and illness, having joined the Health Experiences Research Group (HERG) in 2003. Understanding what it is like to face serious health issues and what matters to people when they are ill is essential if we are to develop truly person-centred care. As well as publishing in clinical and social science journals, we use the findings from our research to support other people going through the same thing: every condition or topic we cover forms the basis of a new section on the health information website where patients, family and friends can see and hear people talk about what it was like for them.

During my time at HERG I have worked on experiences of antenatal screening, pregnancy, screening for sickle cell and thalassaemia, and motor neurone disease. For the last few years I have specialised in experiences of research participation, including clinical trials, biobanking and cohort studies. My current project is on the experiences of patient and public involvement (PPI) in research, including perspectives of researchers as well as patients and members of the public.

Making a difference with our research is crucial. I was principal investigator of a study funded by NIHR HS&DR examining how we can use the narratives we have collected to stimulate local service redesign, working in partnership with two NHS trusts and colleagues from King's College London. The final report has recently been published. I have recently been awarded ESRC funding to extend this work, using secondary analysis of further sets of narrative interviews. With colleagues I am also researching how patient experience narratives can inform NICE guidelines and quality standards, and NHS Commissioning. I am closely involved in the Oxford Health Experiences Institute, which focuses especially on how we can use patient experience research from a range of sources to improve care.

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