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Dr Jenny Douglas

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Jenny Douglas is passionate about the health and wellbeing of black women as evidenced through her research and public engagement. She has a PhD in Women’s Studies and completed her doctoral thesis on cigarette smoking and identity among African-Caribbean young women in contemporary British society. This research brought together two divergent research traditions: medical public health and health promotion approaches with sociological approaches to researching cigarette smoking. This interdisciplinary research approach brings together sociology, public health and women’s studies. Her commitment to comparative approaches finds expression not only in working across disciplinary and national boundaries, but also across theoretical and methodological traditions. Her research is both varied and wide ranging spanning 30 years on issues of race, health, gender and ethnicity. The key theme unifying her research and activism is intersectionality – exploring how ‘race’, class and gender affect particular aspects of African - Caribbean women’s health. 

Jenny Douglas established and chairs the Black Women’s Health and Wellbeing Research Network. (www.open.ac.uk/black-womens-health-and-wellbeing) and her ambition is to establish a research institute on the health and wellbeing of black women. She is a contributing author to 'Inside the Ivory Tower'.

Jenny Douglas is a Senior Lecturer in Health Promotion in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at the Open University. She has a PhD in Women’s Studies from the University of York, an MA in Sociological Research in Health Care from the University of Warwick, an MSc in Environmental Pollution Control from the University of Leeds and a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology and Virology from the University of Warwick. She is module lead of the K311 – ‘Promoting Public Health’, is an honorary member of the Faculty of Public Health and is a director of the UK Public Health Register.

Jenny is a Research Affiliate of the Institute for Intersectionality Research and Policy, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Psychology at The George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA.

 

Research interests

Jenny’s research has concentrated on changing policy, practice and approaches to research in health promotion and public health. She has published widely on public health, health promotion and black women’s health. She is a member of the African-Caribbean Women’s Mobility and Self-fashioning in Post-diaspora Contexts Network (Post-diaspora Network) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The network  consists of twelve scholars from the UK, North America and the Caribbean, who come together to investigate how globalisation might work for African-Caribbean women migrants, even while acknowledging and addressing its exclusions and the production of inequalities.

Teaching interests

Health promotion and public health theory, practice and research; sociology of health and illness; ethnicity, ‘race’ and gender; health policy, international health policy, gender and health, global public health; intersectionality and health.

External collaborations

Jenny is member of the African-Caribbean Women’s Mobility and Self-fashioning in Post-diaspora Contexts Network (Post-diaspora Network) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Member of the Caribbean Studies Association.

Research Affiliate of the Institute for Intersectionality Research and Policy, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.

Visiting Scholar in the Department of Psychology at The George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA.

Member of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE)

Member of the African-Caribbean Women’s Mobility and Self-fashioning in Post-diaspora Contexts Network (Post-diaspora Network)

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
OU Public Health and Health Promotion Research GroupResearch GroupFaculty of Health and Social Care

 

Externally funded projects

Understanding and using family experiences of managing long Covid to support self
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead30 Jul 202129 Jan 2023NIHR National Institute for Health Research

The study aims to improve understanding of the experience of long Covid in households with children and young adults, from diverse socio-economic and ethnic minority backgrounds. This understanding will be used to develop public-facing resources to support self-care, co-produce theatre-based workshops for schools, support communications in long Covid consultations and inform policy makers.

Experiences of COVID-19 and recovery: learning from polyphonic voices for communities, policy makers and health and social care providers
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead20 Nov 202031 Dec 2022ESRC Economic and Social Research Council

The study aims to improve understanding of the ways in which patients from diverse communities have experienced COVID-19, provide an online resource as part of Healthtalk.org (to inform and support individuals and their families) and to co-produce flexible resources to support health and social care staff, communities and policy makers to 'build back better'.

Lakes Estate Healthy Homes Pilot Project
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator10 Jan 201430 Jun 2016Milton Keynes Council

Background The Lakes estate in Bletchley was built between 1968 and 1975 and by the time of this project many properties required refurbishment. Parts of the estate, comprising council-owned properties, were refurbished by Milton Keynes Council to create whole house efficiency through works to roofs, windows, doors, cladding and boiler replacements as required. At the same time, the public health team wanted to plan interventions based on the estate’s health needs, and information gathered form the effects of the refurbishments was to inform this planning. The OU team was required to: • Help to identify a purposive sample of households to represent a range of households on the estate. • Carry out a qualitative assessment of health and wellbeing, including people’s views about their housing and its impact upon their health, among a sample of households on the estate whose properties were to undergo refurbishment from early 2014. • Ascertain people’s needs and wants in relation to public health support services and improvements, and their preferences for delivery of these services. • Assess the extent of community capacity and social capital among Lakes estate residents. • Help to identify and then train and support volunteers from the estate to act as interviewers. • Revisit the households to undertake qualitative re-assessment of their health and wellbeing once the renovation works were complete, at least sic months after the completion of work to learn about the longer-term impact. • Report regularly to the reference group and produce reports on findings and recommendations at each stage. The research We aimed for a purposive sample of around 50 households, working with the public health team to to ensure representation from the different communities/social and ethnic groups/family structures living on the estate, as far as possible. We developed a semi-structured questionnaire to use with the households within face-to-face interviews in their homes, drawing on well established qualitative survey questions where possible to ensure that the validity of the questionnaire was commensurate with other comparable tools. The focus was on whole households, involving children as well as adults in groups interviews, where appropriate. We worked through the neighbourhood regeneration and neighbourhood engagement teams already working with residents of the Lakes estate who managed relationships with residents during the refurbishment. The timing of the research meant that stage one (baseline) interviews were carried out by the contracted OU team, but for the second stage (follow-up interviews), a small team of residents from the Lakes estate was recruited, trained and supported to take part in the interviews. They were paid and worked in pairs, usually comprising one academic and one community researcher.

Publications

A national cohort study and confidential enquiry to investigate ethnic disparities in maternal mortality (2022-01-01)
Knight, Marian; Bunch, Kathryn; Vousden, Nicola; Banerjee, Anita; Cox, Philippa; Cross-Sudworth, Fiona; Dhanjal, Mandish K.; Douglas, Jenny; Girling, Joanna; Kenyon, Sara; Kotnis, Rohit; Patel, Roshni; Shakespeare, Judy; Tuffnell, Derek; Wilkinson, Meg and Kurinczuk, Jennifer J.
EClinicalMedicine, 43, Article 101237


Editorial: Special edition ‘Race and Ethnicity’ (2021-12-09)
Douglas, Jenny and Butcher, John
Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 23(3) (pp. 1-8)


Black women's activism and organisation in public health - struggles and strategies for better health and wellbeing (2019-06)
Douglas, Jenny
Caribbean Review of Gender Studies(13) (pp. 51-68)


[Editorial] Resistance, resilience and renewal: the health and well-being of black women in the Atlantic Diaspora- developing an intersectional approach (2013-03-06)
Douglas, Jenny and Watson, Naomi
Critical Public Health, 23(1) (pp. 1-5)


Feminist women's health activism across the globe: tracing the history and impact of Our Bodies Ourselves (2009-11)
Douglas, Jenny
European Journal of Women's Studies, 16(4) (pp. 392-394)


Health promotion: still going strong? (2008-12)
Wills, Jane and Douglas, Jenny
Critical Public Health, 18(4) (pp. 431-434)


Developing appropriate research methodologies with black and minority ethnic communities. Part 1: reflections on the research process (1998-12-01)
Douglas, Jenny
Health Education Journal, 57(4) (pp. 329-338)


Food and diet in a multiracial society: Training in Health and Race, Project. Caribbean food and diet (1987)
Douglas, Jenny
ISBN : 086082 9782 | Publisher : National Extension College for Training in Health and Race | Published : Cambridge


Black Women and Public Health in the UK (2022-03-01)
Douglas, Jenny
In: Evans, Stephanie Y.; Davis, Sarita K.; Hinkson, Leslie R. and Wathington, Deanna J. eds. Black Women and Public Health: Strategies to Name, Locate, and Change Systems of Power. Black Women's Wellness (pp. 181-194)
ISBN : 9781438487311 | Publisher : SUNY Press | Published : New York


Black Women’s Health Still Matters (2021-06-06)
Douglas, Jenny
In: Raymond-Williams, Rianna and El Khamy, Lama eds. More than Talk: Perspectives of Black and People of Colour (BPOC) working in Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) in the United Kingdom (UK) (pp. 32-45)
ISBN : 9798516320347 | Publisher : Kindle Direct Publishing | Published : London


Working effectively with African Caribbean young women: an intersectional approach (2019-06-21)
Douglas, Jenny
In: Robb, Martin; Montgomery, Heather and Thomson, Rachel eds. Critical Practice with Children and Young People (2nd ed) (pp. 91-108)
ISBN : 9781447352822 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol


An Intersectionality based framework for tobacco control (2019-02-02)
Douglas, Jenny
In: Hankivsky, Olena and Jordon-Zachery, Julia S. eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Intersectionality in Public Policy. The Politics of Intersectionality (pp. 309-328)
ISBN : 978-3-319-98472-8 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : London


The Politics of Black Women’s Health in the UK: Intersections of “Race,” Class, and Gender in Policy, Practice, and Research (2018-09-30)
Douglas, Jenny
In: Jordan-Zachery, Julia S. and Alexander-Floyd, Nikol G. eds. Black Women in Politics: Demanding Citizenship, Challenging Power, and Seeking Justice. SUNY series in African American Studies/SUNY series in New Political Science (pp. 49-68)
ISBN : 978-1-4384-7093-1 | Publisher : State University of New York Press | Published : Albany, New York


The struggle to find a voice on Black women's health: from the personal to the political. (2017-11-10)
Douglas, Jenny
In: Gabriel, Deborah and Tate, Shirley Anne eds. Inside the Ivory Tower - Narratives of women of colour surviving and thriving in British academia (pp. 91-107)
ISBN : 978-1-85856-848-5 | Publisher : Trentham Books | Published : London


Using evidence to plan and evaluate public health interventions (2012)
Sidell, Moyra and Douglas, Jenny
In: Jones, Linda and Douglas, Jenny eds. Public Health: Building Innovative Practice. Published in association with The Open University (pp. 246-276)
ISBN : 9781446207734 | Publisher : SAGE Publications | Published : London


The rise of modern multidisciplinary public health (2009)
Douglas, Jenny
In: Douglas, Jenny; Earle, Sarah; Handsley, Stephen; Jones, Linda; Lloyd, Cathy E. and Spurr, Sue eds. A Reader in Promoting Public Health: Challenge and Controversy (2nd edition). Published in association with The Open University (pp. 9-14)
ISBN : 9781849201032 | Publisher : SAGE Publications Ltd. | Published : London


Making and changing healthy public policy (2007)
Beaumont, Kythe; Douglas, Jenny; Heller, Tom and Jones, Linda
In: Lloyd, Cathy E.; Handsley, Stephen; Douglas, Jenny; Earle, Sarah and Spurr, Sue eds. Policy and Practice in Promoting Public Health (pp. 65-93)
ISBN : 9781412930734 | Publisher : Sage/OU | Published : London


Addressing poverty and health (2007)
Heller, Tom; Beaumont, Kythé; Earle, Sarah; Douglas, Jenny and Jones, Linda
In: Lloyd, Cathy E.; Handsley, Stephen; Douglas, Jenny; Earle, Sarah and Spurr, Sue eds. Policy and Pactice in Promoting Public Health (pp. 155-185)
ISBN : 978-1-4129-3072-7 | Publisher : Sage Publications, in association with The Open University | Published : London


Promoting the public health: continuity and change over two centuries (2007)
Douglas, Jenny
In: Douglas, Jenny; Earle, Sarah; Handsley, Stephen; Lloyd, Cathy E. and Spurr, Sue eds. A Reader in Promoting Public Health: Challenge and Controversy (pp. 12-18)
ISBN : 9781412930741 | Publisher : SAGE Publications Ltd. | Published : London


Meeting the health needs of women from black and minority ethnic communities (1998-10-01)
Douglas, Jenny
In: Doyal, Lesley ed. Women and Health Services: An Agenda for Change
ISBN : 978-0335201372 | Publisher : Open University Press | Published : Buckingham


Black Women’s Health Matters (1991-12-05)
Douglas, Jenny
In: Roberts, Helen ed. Women’s Health Matters (pp. 33-46)
ISBN : 9780415048910 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


Public Health: Building Innovative Practice (2012)
Jones, Linda and Douglas, Jenny eds.
Published in association with The Open University
ISBN : 9781446207734 | Publisher : SAGE Publications | Published : London


A Reader in Promoting Public Health: Challenge and Controversy (2nd Edition) (2009)
Douglas, Jenny; Earle, Sarah; Handsley, Stephen; Jones, Linda; Lloyd, Cathy E. and Spurr, Sue eds.
Published in association with The Open University
ISBN : 9781849201032 | Publisher : SAGE Publications Ltd. | Published : London


Policy and Practice in Promoting Public Health (2007)
Lloyd, Cathy; Handsley, Stephen; Douglas, Jenny; Earle, Sarah and Spurr, Sue eds.
ISBN : 978-1-4129-3073-4 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London, UK


A Reader in Promoting Public Health: Challenge and Controversy (2007)
Douglas, Jenny; Earle, Sarah; Handsley, Stephen; Lloyd, Cathy and Spurr, Sue eds.
ISBN : 1-4129-3075-8 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London, UK


Black women and public health in the UK: organisation and activism (2018-07-12)
Douglas, Jenny
In : Caribbean women (post) diaspora: African Caribbean interconnections (12-13 Jul 2018, London South Bank University)


The role of family and community in preventing cigarette smoking (2018-06)
Douglas, Jenny
In : Caribbean Studies Association Annual Conference (4-8 Jun 2018, Havana,Cuba)


Documenting Black Women’s Health Activism (2018-04)
Douglas, Jenny
In : Black and Caribbean Diasporic Feminisms Research Workshop (6-7 Apr 2018, Toronto, Canada)


Black Women’s Health in Europe (2017-09)
Douglas, Jenny
In : 2nd Annual Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe (7 Oct 2017, Amsterdam)


Developing an intersectionality based framework for health promotion (2016-05)
Douglas, Jenny
In : 22nd International Union of Health Promotion and Education World Conference (22-26 May 2016, Curitiba, Brazil)


An Intersectionality based framework for tobacco control (2015-07-01)
Douglas, Jenny
In : International Conference on Public Policy (1-4 Jul 2015, Milan)


Resisting the tobacco economy: cigarette smoking and African-Caribbean young women in the UK: intersections of 'race', ethnicity, gender, class and tobacco (2015-05)
Douglas, Jenny
In : Caribbean Studies Association 40th Annual Conference: The Caribbean in an Age of Global Apartheid: Fences, Boundaries, and Borders - Literal and Imagined (25-29 May 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)


Conducting focus group research with African-Caribbean young women on cigarette smoking (2015-01-10)
Douglas, Jenny
In : The Qualitative Report 6th Annual Conference (TQR2015) (8-10 Jan 2015, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA)


Cigarette smoking and African Caribbean young women in the UK: intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, class and tobacco. (2014-04-25)
Douglas, Jenny
In : International Intersectionality Conference (24-26 Apr 2014, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver)


The politics of black women’s health in the UK: intersections of ‘race’, class and gender in policy, practice and research (2013-09-12)
Douglas, Jenny
In : Blackness in Britain Conference (12 Sep 2013, Birmingham, UK)


Cigarette smoking and African Caribbean young women in the UK: intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, class and tobacco (2013-06)
Douglas, Jenny
In : ASH Scotland Conference: Towards a Generation Free From Tobacco (20-21 Jun 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)


Young women, smoking and Caribbean identities (2013-05)
Douglas, Jenny
In : Caribbean Studies Association 38th Annual Conference: Caribbean Spaces and Institutions: Contesting Paradigms of “Development” in the 21st Century (3-7 Jun 2013, Grand Anse, Grenada)


Conducting intersectionality-informed mixed-methods research to explore cigarette smoking among young African-Caribbean women in the UK.
Douglas, Jenny
In : Third Regional Mixed Methods Research Conference (26-28 Mar 2019, The University of the West Indies,Trinidad & Tobago)


Developing intersectionality- informed research methodologies (2020-03)
Douglas, Jenny
Social Research Association