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Afsara Khan

Host university: Newcastle University 

PhD research project: Inequalities in multiple long-term physical and mental health conditions: exploring the experiences of older women living in North-East England

Project summary: The research I am conducting studies ageing with multiple long term physical and mental health conditions (multimorbidity) in women living in the North East of England.

The effect of mental health conditions on physical health is often overlooked, and vice versa. As we get older, we often get diagnosed with multiple health conditions, and this is more common in women. Yet our current health models mean we treat each condition as individual rather than considering all conditions together. By assessing the lived experience and self-management of health by older women I can assess the factors contributing to multimorbidity, but also to the impact that multiple long-term conditions and their management has on the lives of these women.

In addition, the North East is an area of incredibly varying socioeconomic status and geography: by taking a case study approach analysing urban, rural and coastal areas, my work will illustrate better the impact of inequalities experienced across these different geographies. Such concepts will consider the relationship between age, gender, ethnicity and place in investigating women’s experiences. This will all contribute to recommending improvements to existing health intervention models, with the hope of remedying some aspects of women’s health inequalities. I want to understand why the problem arises before becoming part of the system that treats it, to ensure that solutions are beneficial to the women living with these conditions.

Expected PhD completion date: 2024 

Contact: [email protected]