Exciting new research project to explore why people who live in poverty are less likely to die at home

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Exciting news! We have been awarded a substantial grant by the UK Economic and Social Research Council to explore the meaning and experience of ‘home’ to dying people and their families who experience socio-economic hardship. The grant is led by  Dr Naomi Richards, who is a member of the End of Life Studies Group at the University of Glasgow, and named investigators include Merryn and Dr Emma Carduff, Research Lead at Marie Curie Hospice, Glasgow.

The project is set in Scotland, within the context of growing government austerity impacting on communities up and down the UK. Our main aim is to examine barriers to, and experiences of, home dying for people living in poverty in the UK in both urban (Glasgow) and rural (Dumfries & Galloway) areas. Recent research has established that nearly half of children living in inner city Glasgow, and nearly a quarter of children in Dumfries and Galloway, are living in poverty.

Previous research has established that people from more socio-economically deprived areas in the UK are less likely to die at home compared to patients from less socio-economically deprived areas. People from socio-economically deprived areas are also less likely to die in a hospice and to access specialist palliative care. Jackie’s work here in Aotearoa, NZ, has also shown that people living in deprivation are more likely to prefer, and experience benefit from, hospital admission at the end of life. However, the reasons for these observed patterns in service use and experience are not known.

We have deliberately selected creative research methods with the potential to foster participation among disenfranchised groups, including: photo-voice; digital storytelling; professional photography; interviews; focus groups and observation. The project will end with an exhibition of all of the images taken as part of the project. Our hope is that this approach will prove effective in conveying the lived reality of living and dying in poverty from a strengths-based perspective. We’ll keep you posted on the project as we progress.


For more information please contact Merryn: m.gott@auckland.ac.nz



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