Behaviour and Health

  • Strategic research questions
    1. How do emergent home-based medical technologies contribute to engagement with health and prevention?
    2. Can we improve response to severe illness through linked social interventions at primary and community level?
    3. How can we optimise ethical practice and community engagement across the MLW programme through research and evaluation?
    Cross-cutting sub-themes:
    1. How does acceptability affect health and research engagement and what are the requisites to promote empirical acceptability across different interventions? (Lead on acceptability: Kate Gooding)
    2. How do gender and masculinity affect treatment seeking behaviour? (Lead on masculinity: Moses Kumwenda)
  • Strategic areas:
      • Home-based technologies are increasingly empowering patients in self-care and prevention.
      • Late presentation at tertiary impacts on disease outcome for adults and children.
      • Bioethics of practice & effective community engagement are increasingly important in global research.
      • Acceptability is a multi-dimensional concept and affects access and engagement across different research and intervention settings.
      • Male engagement in research, interventions and healthcare is suboptimal across disease categories.
  • Strategic areas:
    1. 1a. Understand social and ethical dimensions, including social harms, of introducing HIV self-testing in key andgeneral populations and couples.
      1b. Explore concepts of ‘patient-hood’, risk, and responsibility as ‘biological citizens’ through access to home-based technologies.
    2. 2a. Develop and measure the impact of community- and primary health service-based interventions to improve recognition of and response to severe illness 
      2b. Explore key social determinants of engagement in health interventions. 
    3. 3a. Improve medical research practice through research in bioethics & community engagement. 
      3b. Evaluate the impact of science communication activities. 
    1. 4a. Examine the concept of ‘acceptability’ and links to principles of equity, ethics, human rights and people-centred care.
      4b. Explore the practical application of these concepts in designing and assessing health services and interventions, linked to strategic programme areas 1 and 2.  
    2. 5a.  Address issues around masculinity and gender as a factor impacting on access to and uptake of healthcare.  
      5b. Explore the impact of gender on engagement with new biomedical intervention models.
    Recent publications:
    Kumwenda, M, Desmond, N, Hart, G, Choko, A, Chipungu, G A, Nyirenda, D, Shand, T, Corbett, EL, Chikovore, J. (2016) Treatment-Seeking for Tuberculosis-Suggestive Symptoms: A Reflection on the Role of Human Agency in the Context of Universal Health Coverage in Malawi. PlosOne.
    1. Nyirenda, D, Chipasula, T, Chapita, G, O’Byrne, T, Heyderman, R. Desmond, N. (2016) Public engagement in Malawi through a pilot health-talk radio programme ‘Umoyo nkukambirana’: A mixed methods evaluation. Public Understanding of Science.
    3. Ardrey, J, Desmond, N, Tolhurst, R, Mortimer, K. (2016) The cooking and pneumonia study (CAPS) in Malawi: A nested pilot of Photovoice participatory research methodology. PlosOne.
    Desmond, N. (2015) Engaging with risk in non-western settings, Health Risk and Society Journal, Invited Editorial.
    Sambakunsi, R, Kumwenda, M, Choko, A, Corbett, EL, Desmond, N. (2015) ‘Whose failure counts?’ A critical reflection on definitions of failure for community health volunteers providing HIV self-testing in a community based HIV/TB intervention study in urban Malawi. Anthropology & Medicine.
    Recent grants (2015)Wellcome Trust International Engagement Award - £30,000; CDC Investigating vaccine acceptability and hesitancy in response to inactivated influenza vaccine $283,000; Meningitis Research Foundation Triage and treatment, training and engagement: A package for sustainable healthcare improvement in Malawi’s primary health clinics £678,332.