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Dr Annelieke Driessen

PhD

Honorary Assistant Professor
of Medical Anthropology

Room
110

LSHTM
15-17 Tavistock Place
London
WC1H 9SH
United Kingdom

I am an experienced ethnographer in the field of health care in the Global North. For the past ten years, I have conducted ethnographic research on dementia in the Netherlands, and on end-of-life and intensive care in the UK.

In September 2020 I was awarded a research fellowship, funded by the THIS institute. The study "Learning for improvement from COVID-19 intensive care patient experiences" (September 2020 - August 2022) sought to understand how UK patients who were admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 between March 2020 and April 2021 experienced their stay in intensive care and how they make sense of what happened to them. The study explored accounts of recovery after leaving hospital, and the ways in which patients and their family members organised support and what help they needed to do so). The study also included interviews with family members of ICU survivors and those who did not survive.

Collecting individual accounts allows us to understand disease and treatment not as one-time events but in the context of the everyday life of patients, families and communities. These accounts were analysed and provided a basis for a new section on the patient experiences website Healthtalk.org. Carefully selected clips of the interviews were also used to explore possible improvements for care and service models, following a method known as Accelerated Experienced Based Co-Design (AEBCD).

Before this fellowship, I worked as a post-doc at LSHTM (2018-2021) in the Forms of care project, led by Prof. Simon Cohn (Professor of Medical Anthropology at LSHTM) and Dr. Erica Borgstrom (Medical Anthropologist and Senior Lecturer at the Open University). The Forms of Care project was an ESRC-funded study examining instances where palliative and end-of-life care staff, either individually or collectively, sometimes decide that the most caring thing to do for a patient is to stop or not begin new treatments.

The Forms of Care project involved ethnographic fieldwork with two palliative and end of life care teams in a large NHS hospital and its neighbouring community services. Ethnography is a method of data collection which involves (extensive) observation of, and often participation in, the daily lives and work of the (group of) people it seeks to study. Through shadowing and interviewing palliative care staff, and interviewing patients and their close family members, we will compile detailed case studies of palliative care practices. The project ran from September 2017 to May 2021. The research was funded by the ESRC.

Key publications of the study are:

More information about the project, the research team, and events and publications/other outputs (podcasts and videos) related to the project can be found here.

As part of my PhD project in the Anthropology of Care Research Group at the University of Amsterdam (2013-2019) I conducted ethnographic research in three residential care homes for people with dementia in the Netherlands. My thesis “A good life with dementia: Ethnographic Articulations of Everyday Life and Care in Dutch Nursing Homes” explores ways of living with dementia as they are crafted in everyday life and daily care practices on the dementia ward, and pays particular attention to how good subject positions are brought about. 

Publications from my PhD include:

The full thesis can be found here: https://hdl.handle.net/11245.1/dd0c2b9b-348d-4de8-9747-84363846fdd0

Affiliations

Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Population Health
Department of Health Services Research and Policy

Teaching

I contribute to teaching medical anthropology and methods modules at in the face-to-face teaching for LSHTM students. I am supervisor to PhD candidates Els Roding Louie Lunaria. In the past, I have taught courses and facilitated seminars in sociology, anthropology, medical ethics and methods/methodology.

Research

 

In September 2020 I was awarded a research fellowship, funded by the THIS institute. The study "Learning for improvement from COVID-19 intensive care patient experiences" (September 2020 - August 2022) sought to understand how UK patients who were admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 between March 2020 and April 2021 experienced their stay in intensive care and how they make sense of what happened to them. The study explored accounts of recovery after leaving hospital, and the ways in which patients and their family members organised support and what help they needed to do so). The study also included interviews with family members of ICU survivors and those who did not survive.

Collecting individual accounts allows us to understand disease and treatment not as one-time events but in the context of the everyday life of patients, families and communities. These accounts were analysed and provided a basis for a new section on the patient experiences website Healthtalk.org. Carefully selected clips of the interviews were also used to explore possible improvements for care and service models, following a method known as Accelerated Experienced Based Co-Design (AEBCD).

Before this fellowship, I worked as a post-doc at LSHTM (2018-2021) in the Forms of care project, led by Prof. Simon Cohn (Professor of Medical Anthropology at LSHTM) and Dr. Erica Borgstrom (Medical Anthropologist and Senior Lecturer at the Open University). The Forms of Care project was an ESRC-funded study examining instances where palliative and end-of-life care staff, either individually or collectively, sometimes decide that the most caring thing to do for a patient is to stop or not begin new treatments.

The Forms of Care project involved ethnographic fieldwork with two palliative and end of life care teams in a large NHS hospital and its neighbouring community services. Ethnography is a method of data collection which involves (extensive) observation of, and often participation in, the daily lives and work of the (group of) people it seeks to study. Through shadowing and interviewing palliative care staff, and interviewing patients and their close family members, we will compile detailed case studies of palliative care practices. The project ran from September 2017 to May 2021. The research was funded by the ESRC. More information about the project, the research team, and events and publications related to the project can be found here.

Key publications of the study are:

Driessen, A., Borgstrom, E., Cohn, S. (2021) “Placing death and dying: Making place at the end of life.” Social Science & Medicine.

Driessen, A., Borgstrom, E., Cohn, S. “Ways of ‘being with’: caring for dying patients at the height of the COVID pandemic.” (2021). Anthropology in Action. 28 1) 16-20.

Borgstrom, E., Cohn, S. and Driessen, A. (2020). “We come in as ‘the nothing’: Researching non-intervention in palliative care”. Medicine Anthropology Theory, 7(2).

 

As part of my PhD project in the Anthropology of Care Research Group at the University of Amsterdam (2013-2019) I conducted ethnographic research in three residential care homes for people with dementia in the Netherlands. My thesis “A good life with dementia: Ethnographic Articulations of Everyday Life and Care in Dutch Nursing Homes” explores ways of living with dementia as they are crafted in everyday life and daily care practices on the dementia ward, and pays particular attention to how good subject positions are brought about. 

Publications from my PhD include:

A. Driessen and R. Ibáñez Martín. 2019. "Attending to difference: enacting individuals in food provision for residents with dementia" Sociology of Health and Illness. 1-15

A. Driessen. 2019. "Dementia Matters: User-building interactions Shaping Institutional Life in the Netherlands" Medical Anthropology. 1-14

A. Driessen. 2018. “Pleasure and Dementia: on becoming an appreciating subject
The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 36 (1), 23-39

A. Driessen. 2018.  “Sociomaterial will-work: Aligning Daily Wanting in Dutch Dementia Care” (in Care in Healthcare: Reflections on Theory and practice, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

The full thesis can be found here: https://hdl.handle.net/11245.1/dd0c2b9b-348d-4de8-9747-84363846fdd0



Research Area
Ageing
Clinical care
Primary care
Health workers
Critical care
Ethics
Ethnography
Methodology
Older people's health
Qualitative methods
Discipline
Anthropology
Disease and Health Conditions
Coronavirus
Country
United Kingdom
Netherlands
Region
Euro area