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Intensive care: patients' experiences

Intensive care: experiences of relatives and friends

Urinary catheters - trigger film for service improvement

What is it like to have a urinary catheter?

Young people's experiences of seeing the GP

Suman Prinjha

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, MBACP

Senior Qualitative Researcher

I am a qualitative researcher and a psychotherapist (BACP registered). My research focuses on patients' experiences of illness and healthcare, and how these perspectives can be used to improve care, services, and medical education. I am also interested in the inclusion of ethnic minority communities in research, and the translation of research findings into accessible resources for patients, public and health professionals. 

I joined the Department in 2001, shortly after completing my PhD in anthropology at the London School of Economics. I have extensive experience in qualitative research methods, including semi-structured interviews, illness narratives, focus groups, and ethnographic fieldwork. This includes interviews and focus groups in English, Punjabi and Urdu with participants from ‘hard-to-reach’ groups. Current research involves working with British South Asian communities, including studies on developing culturally appropriate health information; experiences of type 2 diabetes; and a digital health text messaging system for people living with diabetes:      

Prior to this, I conducted 11 studies published on the award winning, a health website that presents academic research findings to a general audience. This included conducting around 450 face-to-face interviews across the UK, analysing the data, and writing lay summaries and academic papers on patients' experiences of:

  • cancer and cancer screening (breast screening; breast cancer; ductal carcinoma in situ; cervical abnormalities CIN3 and CGIN)

  • intensive care (patients’ and relatives’ experiences; organ donation)

  • long-term conditions (epilepsy in adults; living with an indwelling urinary catheter)

  • orthopaedic surgery (partial knee replacement; keyhole shoulder surgery)

  • young people’s use and experiences of primary care  

The findings were also used to produce teaching and learning resources, and short films (see examples).

I supervise doctoral students with an interest in qualitative methods, psychosocial health experiences, and health inequalities. International work includes European Commission funded 'MOCHA' (Models Of Child Health Appraised), an interdisciplinary study of primary healthcare for children in 30 European countries:

As a psychotherapist, I have worked in the NHS (primary care) and in private practice, providing counselling on a range of issues including anxiety, depression, living with illness, and work-related stress. I am also Chair of a community counselling service, a BACP member organisation that provides free counselling to adults.