Managing finances and multiple long-term health

Fair credit, health and well-being: eliciting the perspectives of low-income individuals Dates: May 2015 –April 2017 Funder: Chief Scientist Office

This study seeks to establish whether there is a perceived link between people’s financial lives (including the use of microcredit initiatives) and their health (focusing on the progression of long-term conditions) and the mediating mechanisms that might facilitate this association. The project takes a mixed method approach using financial diaries, in-depth interviews and Q methodology.  


  • To better understand how low-income individuals, particularly those with long-term conditions, manage their finances.
  • To assess the specific financial issues that they encounter and the strategies they use to ameliorate them, including the role of microfinance, and how these strategies link to their health.
  • To explore the subjective views of low-income individuals and expert stakeholders on the role of different types of fair credit and advice services in enhancing health and wellbeing, relative to other types of public health initiatives. ‌


  • Biosca, O., McHugh, N., Ibrahim, F., Baker, R., Laxton, T., & Donaldson, C. (2020). Walking a Tightrope: Using Financial Diaries to Investigate Day-to-Day Financial Decisions and the Social Safety Net of the Financially Excluded. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 689(1), 46–64.
  • McHugh N, Baker R, Biosca O, Ibrahim F, Donaldson C (2019). Who knows best? A Q methodology study to explore perspectives of professional stakeholders and community participants on health in low-income communities BMC Health Services Research 19, 35
  • McHugh N, Biosca O, Donaldson C. From wealth to health: evaluating microfinance as a complex intervention. Evaluation 2017; 23(2):209-225.

Project Lead: Dr Olga Biosca

Project Team: Dr Neil McHugh, Professor Cam Donaldson, Professor Rachel Baker, Professor Antony Morgan, Dr Gregory White, Marta Mojarrieta, Dr Ahalya Bala, Enrico Bellazzecca

Sustainable Development Goals