Research Training Fellow
Joanna’s research combines her passion for understanding the dynamics of poverty and social disadvantage with her commitment to improving access to good quality palliative and end of life care for the growing number of people who live into old age and suffer from illness. The Dunhill Medical Trust are funding Joanna to complete her PhD, entitled ‘Understanding the social determinants of outcomes important to older people at the end of life: reducing social inequality in palliative care’. Good palliative and end of life care has much to offer older people, everyone has the right to a pain free and dignified death and for improved independence and quality of life earlier in their illness trajectory. Unequal access to good services and good outcomes at the end of life due to socio-economic differences are deeply unjust and a major source of health inequality for older adults.
Joanna’s project aims to advance our understanding of the relationship between old age, social disadvantage and health outcomes at the end of life, in order to inform effective health policies and interventions targeted at reducing social inequality in palliative and end of life care. The core component of Joanna’s research uses analysis of longitudinal cohort data to unpick the inter-relationships between different aspects of individual, household and area-based aspects of socio-economic position, and indicators of quality of care towards the end of life, including place of care, place of death and transitions between home and health care settings. Joanna’s training will help to build capacity in the field of palliative care research through her development as a skilled researcher and future leader of work in this often neglected area.
Joanna will be completing her PhD training fellowship at the world leading Cicely Saunders Institute for palliative care research at King’s College London. She is supported by colleagues at the Institute including the director Professor Irene Higginson, and her supervisors Dr Fliss Murtagh, Dr Matthew Maddocks and Dr Katherine Sleeman. Joanna is a sociologist with an MSc in Research Methods from Bristol University and a BA in Criminology and Sociology from Liverpool University. She has worked extensively with large routinely collected administrative datasets, including contributing to building the 2010 version of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD 2010) whilst working as a research assistant at Oxford University.