Mental Health and Employment: context, concepts and complexity: A substantive and methodological contribution to knowledge, grounded in a common data set

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This integrative chapter presents a synopsis of selected work completed during my time as a Research Fellow in the Social Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of York. The doctoral submission is formed of two linked strands of published work: a substantive strand based on commissioned research on the interplay of mental health and employment; and a methodological strand which arose from the substantive work and investigated the effects of interview mode on researcher-participant interactions in qualitative research interviews.
The substantive strand of work comprises the reports of two commissioned research projects which examined employment transitions and job retention in the context of mental ill health, and a number of ensuing publications. The initial studies contributed to government understanding at a time when mental health and employment was high on the agenda, whilst the ensuing academic articles added to conceptual understandings of the complexities, contingencies and contextual dependencies surrounding how individuals and those around them manage mental ill health in the workplace.
The methodological component offers one of few robust, systematic comparisons of telephone and face-to-face interview modes in qualitative social research. The study applied the method of Conversation Analysis to research interview data in a novel way and, through a varied range of publications, has informed scholarly discussions about the conduct of qualitative research interviews in academic and applied contexts.
The chapter also considers policy and research implications arising from this body of work and details the associated scholarly activities undertaken which have contributed to the impact of the research.
In sum, this submission aims to demonstrate how my work has made an original contribution to substantive and methodological knowledge, alongside evidence of the acquisition and application of the range of skills and attributes expected of a doctoral level candidate.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of York
  • Sainsbury, Roy Derek, Supervisor
Award date15 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

Cite this