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Project Title: Managing finances and multiple long-term health conditions: eliciting the perspectives of low-income individuals
Dates: March 2019 – March 2020
Funder: Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity (https://www.gsttcharity.org.uk/)
Project PI: Olga Biosca
Research Team: Neil McHugh, Cam Donaldson, Rachel Baker, Antony Morgan, Gregory White, Marta Mojarrieta and Ahalya Bala
External advisor: Jonathan Morduch

Aims and Objectives:
With the aim of breaking the cycle of illness-leading-to-poverty and poverty-to-illness, the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health launches the ‘FinWell’ project in the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. 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. These issues will be explored with low-income individuals who have long-term conditions, as well as expert stakeholders e.g. health and non-health practitioners, NHS representatives and local and national policymakers.  

With these aims, and using a mixed-methodology approach (financial diaries, interviews and Q methodology), our research seeks to answer the following questions:

1. How do low-income individuals with one or multiple long-term conditions manage their financial portfolios?

  • What are the specific financial issues that they encounter and what strategies do they use to ameliorate them?

2. Do low-income individuals with one or multiple long-term conditions perceive a relationship between income-based initiatives and health and wellbeing and vice versa?

  • If so, how is this relationship mediated by the presence of co-morbidities (one or more diseases co-occurring with a primary condition)?
  • What ‘mechanisms of action’ for health improvement might be implied from this?
  • What are 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?‌

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Full details of the FinWell diaries research case sudy is available at: https://www.gsttcharity.org.uk/what-we-do/our-projects/finwell-exploring-impact-personal-finances-health and download a copy of FinWell Briefing Paper 1

For further information, please contact olga.biosca@gcu.ac.uk