Liz is a part-time PhD student studying the health and independence of Thalidomide-affected people as they age. She began her career as manager in the NHS, primarily in community and mental health services. She has been working as an independent researcher for the past 15 years.
Liz’s main research interests are in the fields of long term conditions and self-management, disability, older people and family carers. Her PhD project focuses on the health and independence of Thalidomide-affected people as they age. The first generation of Thalidomide-affected people have now been living with the consequences of the drug’s damage for over 50 years. There is, however, little research into ageing with Thalidomide embryopathy and in the public discourse Thalidomide is often still seen as an historical tragedy, rather than a contemporary disability issue. Her thesis aims to establish a much fuller understanding than currently exists, of the health problems and deterioration Thalidomide-affected people are experiencing as they age; the implications for peoples’ independence and quality of life; and the strategies they are using to manage these new health problems in the context of their life-long impairments.