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World Health Day – spotlight on OU research

As we mark World Health Day on the 7 April, The Open University’s Research Team takes a look at the research that has shaped and influenced the health sector.

Removing stigma about abortion

Research by Professor Lesley Hoggart, led to the creation of the MyBodyMyLife exhibition, a space in which anyone could share their stories. This has contributed to opening up conversations about real experiences of abortion, to enable all to speak, to listen, and to understand without judgment.

Talking about … sex and relationships

Sometimes sex can be difficult to talk about, especially for a young person with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition.

Dr Sarah Earle, founding member of The Open University Sexuality Alliance, is leading Talking about … sex and relationships: Young people speak out, which speaks out for all children and young people who are expected to have short lives.

Read more about OU research in Sexuality and Reproductive Health

Making decisions about end of life care

Death is a reality for everyone, but do you know what you would do if faced with a life or death decision?

This is why Dr Erica Borgstrom has developed a  Life or Death Decisions interactive, which draws on her research about advance care planning, with input from colleagues Dr Rebecca Jones and Dr Mathijs Lucassen about same-sex relationships in later life.

Let’s talk about death

Death can also be one of those subjects that people tiptoe around which is why Dr Erica Borgstrom has also focused on the language used.

Watch the video to hear what Dr Borgstrom’s research has revealed:

Find out more about OU research into Death and Dying

Improving outcomes along the way

The stresses of life can take their toll between birth and death.

STEM researchers, Dr Duncan Banks and Dr Mohamed Bennasar are addressing this through a new research project with Professor Kardos Risk from Milton Keynes University Hospital. The project “prediction model in patients with suspected coronary artery disease based on contemporary stress echocardiography data using artificial intelligence” hopes to use clinical databases and machine learning techniques for improving patients’ outcome with chest pain.

Using virtual assistants for end-of-life care

OU Health and Wellbeing Priority Research Area Research Fellow, Dr Hannah R. Marston and independent researcher Julie Samuels have published a paper, Creating Age-Friendly Communities: Housing and Technology, which examines the national and international age-friendly frameworks for older adults who are carers of dependents with disabilities. The central theme of the paper is how the use of virtual/personal assistants (like Google Home, Amazon Echo and Alexa) can enhance the quality of end-of-life care.

Find out more

About OU research into Digital Health and Wellbeing

About OU Research in Health and Wellbeing

About Author

Hannah is part of the Media Relations Team at The Open University, working with the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. With experience both agency and in-house, Hannah has worked on campaigns for a number of large corporate companies and brands, including RBS, NatWest, Travelodge, Audible, AA and the Royal Academy of Dance. She has completed a Masters in Publishing Studies from Oxford Brookes and is currently studying towards a DipHE in Computer, IT and Design. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading and going to the theatre.

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