Dr Suman Prinjha

Senior Research Advisor

School/Department: Population Health Sciences, Department of



I am a senior qualitative researcher and a psychotherapist (BACP registered). I joined University of Leicester in January 2022, where I work as a Senior Research Advisor with NIHR Research Design Service East Midlands (RDS) and Centre for Ethnic Health Research (CEHR). At the RDS I provide methodological advice, design support, and advice on ethnic minority inclusion in research. At the CEHR I support the design and delivery of research into health inequalities and ethnic minority health experiences. From 2001-2021, I worked at University of Oxford which I joined shortly after completing my PhD in anthropology at the London School of Economics. I have extensive experience in qualitative research methods including semi-structured interviews, illness narratives, focus groups, and ethnographic fieldwork. This includes interviews and focus groups in English, Punjabi and Urdu. As a psychotherapist I have worked in the NHS (primary care) and am currently in private practice. I am also Chair of a community counselling service, a BACP member organisation that provides free counselling to adults.


My research focuses on patients' experiences of illness and healthcare, and how these perspectives can be used to improve care, services, and medical education. I am also interested in the inclusion of ethnic minority groups in research, and the translation of research findings into accessible resources for patients, public and health professionals. My research with South Asian communities has included studies on developing culturally appropriate health information and experiences of type 2 diabetes. I have conducted 11 studies published on the award-winning, a health website that presents academic research findings to a general audience. This included conducting around 450 face-to-face interviews across the UK, analysing the data, and writing lay summaries and academic papers on patients' experiences of:

  • cancer and cancer screening (breast screening; breast cancer; DCIS; CIN3 and CGIN)
  • intensive care (patients’ and relatives’ experiences; organ donation)
  • long-term conditions (epilepsy; living with an indwelling urinary catheter)
  • orthopaedic surgery (partial knee replacement; keyhole shoulder surgery)
  • young people’s use and experiences of primary care 



Prinjha, S, Miah N, Ali E, Farmer A. (2020). Including seldom heard views in research: challenges, opportunities and recommendations from focus groups with British South Asian people with type 2 diabetes. BMC Medical Research Methodology (2020)20:157.

Prinjha S, Ricci-Cabello I, Newhouse N, Farmer, A. (2020). British South Asian patients perspectives on the relevance and acceptability of mobile health text messaging to support medication adherence for type 2 diabetes: qualitative study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 8(4):e15789.

Prinjha S, Chapple A, Feneley R, Mangnall J. Exploring the information needs of people living with a long-term indwelling urinary catheter: a qualitative study. Journal of Advanced Nursing 2016; 72(6), 1335-1346.

Chapple, A. Prinjha S, Salisbury H. How users of an indwelling urinary catheter talk about sex and sexuality: a qualitative study. British Journal of General Practice. 2014 Jun;64(623):e364-71.

Prinjha S, Chapple A. Research Review: Living with an indwelling catheter. Nursing Times 06.11.13 / Vol 109 No 44, 12-14.

Prinjha S, Evans J, Ziebland S, McPherson A. A mastectomy for something that wasn't even truly invasive cancer: Women's understandings of having a mastectomy for screen-detected DCIS, a qualitative study. Journal of Medical Screening. 2011;18(1):34-40.

Prinjha S, Field K, Rowan K. What patients think about ICU follow-up services: a qualitative study. Critical Care 2009, 2009, 13:R46.

Prinjha S, Evans J, McPherson A. Women's information needs about ductal carcinoma in situ before mammographic screening and after diagnosis: a qualitative study. Journal of Medical Screening 2006; 13:110-114.

Prinjha S, Chapple A, Herheimer A, McPherson A. Many people with epilepsy want to know more: a qualitative study. Family Practice 2005; 22:435-441.

Ziebland S, Chapple C, Dumelow C, Evans J, Prinjha S, Rozmovits L. How the internet affects patients' experience of cancer: a qualitative study. British Medical Journal 2004; 328:564-567.



I am available to supervise doctoral students with an interest in qualitative research methods, patients' experiences, ethnic minority health, and health inequalities. Please feel free to contact me. 


I provide support, advice and guidance to MSc and PhD students, health professionals, and researchers on qualitative research methods, inclusive research, and conducting secondary analyses of qualitative data. I have taught on qualitative research methods in applied health and social care research, and conducting research with ethnic minority groups.

Media coverage

2022: Asian men seek ‘culturally sensitive’ accessible therapy: 

Stories in the national media featuring Healthtalk studies that I conducted:

Spinal Column: I don’t want to injure myself again: If addicts can give up heroin, then I can give up horses. Journalist: Melanie Reid. The Times Magazine 08/06/13 p.13

Spinal Column: My hip has settled down, my nails have stopped rotting, but my hands are depressingly clawed. Journalist: Melanie Reid. The Times Magazine  25/05/13  p. 11

Organ donation study:

Cervical abnormalities: CIN3 and CGIN study: 

DCIS study:

Intensive care study:


Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, University of East London

PhD Social Anthropology, London School of Economics

MSc Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh

BSc Sociology and Social Psychology, University of Bradford

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