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BISR Methods Lunch: Social Networks and Infant Mortality

Starts 09 February 2017 - 11:00
Finishes 09 February 2017 - 12:30
Venue Birkbeck, University of London, 30 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DT. Room 101.
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Free entry; booking required
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Event description

BISR Methods Lunch: Social Networks and Infant Mortality

Speaker: Dr Ghazala Mir, University of Leeds

Chair: Dr Karen Wells, Birkbeck, University of London

Free event open to all: Book your place

UK rates of infant mortality for mothers born in the Caribbean, Africa and Pakistan, and for teenage mothers are considerably higher than the national rate (ONS 2016).  Social exclusion is linked to inequalities in infant mortality and risk reduction strategies include addressing environmental stressors, improved services and increased social support for women at risk (Department of Health 2007) .

It is known that the quality and type of support that women receive during maternity significantly affects their health outcomes (Austerberry et al 2007; Sosa et al 1990; Oakley et al, 1994). Ethnic inequalities in maternal health have been linked to substandard care (Knight et al. 2009) and higher spending on maternity services is unlikely to reduce rates of infant mortality unless services are tailored to the needs of the populations they serve (Freemantle et al. 2009). 

This study used social network and narrative interviews to explore the nature of social networks for maternal and child health for women from diverse communities. Findings highlight the extent to which relationships within women’s networks support maternal and child health and empower pregnant women.  Participatory methods also provide evidence about the kind of interventions suggested by women who have experienced an infant death and how effectively these can be translated into practice.

Dr Ghazala Mir has been a health inequalities researcher at the University of Leeds since 1999 and an Associate Professor since 2011, leading the Health and Social Care Research Group between 2008 and 2010.

Her research projects have focused on the experience of people who are underserved by health services and seldom heard in decision making about health policy and practice.  She has led work to highlight key research priorities in her field and is particularly interested in research on interventions that reduce health inequalities.  Her research has been published as a case study for good ethical practice by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Ghazala has substantial experience of translating her research findings into policy and practice through education and training, engagement with policy bodies and participatory research that brings together service users, practitioners and policymakers in order to develop health services. She was a member of the Government Task Force on Learning Disability and co-Chair of the Ethnicity and Learning Disability Subgroup. She has also contributed to Advisory Groups for various national bodies including the Department of Health, Care Quality Commission and Disability Rights Commission. She is currently a member of the National Institute of Health Research HS&DR Research Funding Board, a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disability and Director of the Ethnicity Training Network

‘Methods Lunch’ is a series of lunchtime seminars run by the BISR and designed to interrupt your day with some methodological food for thought. Come along to hear about the latest developments in social research methods and methodologies and bring your lunch!

Contact name
Ghazala Mir Karen Wells
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