Female nurse speaking to elderly female patient in wheelchair

Patient and user experience research

Explore our work in patient and user experience, one of our areas of research expertise in Health and Care Professions

To provide effective health and social care, we need to understand the needs of every sector of the population.

Our patient and user experience research looks at people’s experiences and perceptions of health, wellbeing and life in general – and by studying the experiences, challenges and needs of under-represented, vulnerable or isolated groups in society, aims to make a positive impact on patients' and users' lives.

Through our in-depth, creative and participatory research work, we're developing a better understanding of how patients, service users and family members experience healthcare services and illness.

Recent projects have seen us explore how the experiences of older people with asthma differ from those of younger people, and how young people excluded from education are reintegrated into the system.

Our work is published in Social Science journals, health journals and academic monographs, such as Social Work Education, Social Science & Medicine, and Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.


Much of our research takes place within the University's Ageing Network and Social Work Inclusion (SWIG) research groups, and makes use of the University's Centre for Simulation in Health and Care (CSH&C) facility – which includes a social work simulation flat where professionals and service users can experience real time simulations of complex social issues.

Partnerships and funders

We're national leaders in service user involvement in social work education and creativity and social pedagogy, and have partnerships with other universities, local community and voluntary organisations, and statutory bodies delivering services across the social care and health spectrums.

We also work with the Portsmouth Trials Technologies Unit to provide the patient perspective on new treatments and approaches – and our work is funded by major organisations such as the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Recent publication highlights include

Discover our areas of expertise

Patient and user experience is one of 3 areas of expertise within our Health and Care Professions research. Explore the others below.

Acute and Emergency Care

We're exploring how new technology – including the use of robots in surgery – can improve patient care in acute (hospital-based) and emergency contexts.

Ambulance paramedic uniform, close-up of badge
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Health, wellbeing and social care

Our research is informing how difficult decisions are made about health and social care in a climate of limited resources for support and treatment of patients.

Female nurse smiling in hospital ward
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Interested in a PhD in Health Sciences?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Health Science & Social Work postgraduate research degrees page.