Dr Lyn Brierley-Jones

I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Research Methods and Evidence Based Practice in the department of Health and Social Care at the University of Teesside. My involvement in the EMULSION project began early on when Gemma asked me to help design the study, advising on the best method of data collection and analysis. At the time I was a Research Fellow at the University of Sunderland and had already been involved in conducting qualitative research analysing qualitative data sets around other areas of health including middle class alcohol consumption and the stigma of stillbirth.

Also, the idea of unlicensed medicine’s use fascinated me as, in a world where the development and use of pharmaceutical drugs is tightly regulated, I wondered how the use of drugs outside of ‘license’ was understood and legitimated. Until I got involved in EMULSION it was a practice I was completely unaware of.

Professional and lay understandings and practices around pharmacological drug use also relate to my PhD at the University of Durham which investigated 19th century arguments around the nature of drugs and their action in the human body. This debate was particularly fierce between ‘regular’ medicine and homoeopathy and was closely related to epistemological differences about what constituted ‘scientific’ medicine.

It will be interesting to analyse the data from the EMULSION project, to see what themes emerge from practitioners and patients and where unlicensed medicines use sits in our understandings of science, health and medicine.

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