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Dumfries academic to lead end of life study

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FASCINATING new research into why poorer people are less likely to die at home is being led by an academic from the University of Glasgow’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies in Dumfries.

Dr Naomi Richards is the principal investigator on the project and, thanks to a grant worth almost half a million pounds from the prestigious Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), she will work with colleagues from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and Glasgow’s Marie Curie Hospice. The team will use digital storytelling, photography and face-to-face interviews to examine the experiences of people dying in poverty in urban and rural locations in Glasgow and Dumfries and Galloway.

Dr Richards said: “This project provides us with a real opportunity to learn about the experiences of people who are dying in severely financially constrained circumstances. We know that poverty and inequality are increasing across the UK, but there is no research into how experiences of poverty also impact on the end of life. “We will work closely with people reaching the end of their lives in Dumfries and Galloway and in Glasgow to help them document their experiences in the form of images. Images are incredibly powerful tools for initiating change, and we will harness their power in order to reduce persistent inequalities.”

The team also includes Professor Merryn Gott from the University of Auckland, who is also director of the Te Arai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group, the world’s only bicultural palliative care research group. Dr Emma Carduff completes the trio. Dr Carduff trained as a nurse, working in London and Washington DC, before embarking on an academic career.

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