Health inequalities  

Tackling health inequalities is at the heart of everything we do

In some of our research we work directly with people and groups who are vulnerable, disadvantaged and at risk of experiencing health inequalities. We do this in a variety of ways, with qualitative and participatory research methods featuring strongly across a range of research themes.

Those within the criminal justice system face a disproportionate rates of ill health. 

Colleagues in the Centre for Health Promotion Research (CHPR) have established a portfolio of research and evaluation activity focussing on the offender population and have supervised both MRes and PhDs in this area. Colleagues have particular expertise in peer interventions in prison settings; the policy drive toward a ‘healthy criminal justice system’; prison health from an international perspective; and the needs and support for offender’s families, including children.

Artwork showing two individuals talking to each other

Featured research

Improving health for prisoners and their families

Changing public-health policy and practice within the prison system, improving health outcomes for prisoners and their families in the UK and internationally.

Dr James Woodall

Head of Subject / School Of Health

Dr James Woodall is a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for the MSc Public Health - Health Promotion programme. James's research interest is offender health, particularly health promotion in prison settings.

Evidence: measurement, evaluation and synthesis 

Contact: Professor Anne-Marie Bagnall

Creation and appraisal of robust evidence has always been a strong theme in CHPR, with methodological development and knowledge transfer going hand in hand with our multidisciplinary approach.

Measurement and evaluation methodology

  • South J, Jones RA, Stansfield J, Bagnall AM (2018) WHO HEALTH EVIDENCE NETWORK SYNTHESIS REPORT 60: What quantitative and qualitative methods have been developed to measure health-related community resilience at a national and local level? 22 Oct 2018. WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen. 2227-4316
  • Rippon, S. South, J. (2017) Promoting Asset Based Approaches for Health and Wellbeing: Exploring a Theory of Change and Challenges in Evaluation. Aligned Consulting and Leeds Beckett University. [Online:]
  • South, J. Phillips, G. (2014) Evaluating community engagement as part of the public health system. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68: 692–696.

Contact: Dr Louise Warwick-Booth

  • Cross, R. M., & Warwick-Booth, L. (2016). Using storyboards in participatory research. Nurse researcher, 23(3), 8-12
  • Southby, K. (2017) Reflecting on (the challenge of) conducting participatory research as a research-degree student. Research for All, January.Warwick-Booth, L. Woodcock, D. & All of the Volunteer Listeners (2019) Time to Shine: Volunteer Listeners Report December 2019
  • Warwick-Booth L, Coan S, Bagnall AM (2021) Creating Participatory Research. Bristol: Policy Press

  • Warwick-Booth, L (2021) ‘Using creative methods in evaluating gendered interventions’ Sage Research Methods: Video
  • Warwick-Booth, L. (2021) ‘How to evaluate interventions in health promotion (step by step guide)’ Sage Research Methods: Video
  • Warwick-Booth, L. and Coan, S., (2020) Using Creative Qualitative Methods in Evaluating Gendered Health Promotion Interventions. SAGE Methodological Case Study
  • Lowcock, D., Warwick-Booth, L., Grewal, P. and Underwood, S. (2017) ‘Using Vignettes in Qualitative Research: Examples from Health Promotion Research’ Method in Action Case Study Sage January 2017
  • Warwick-Booth, L and Lowcock, D. (2016) ‘"It's the way I tell 'em!" It is not what we teach but how we do it: using focus group discussions to research student perspectives on threshold concepts in health’ Method in Action Case Study Sage accepted February 2016
  • Warwick-Booth, L et al. (2014) ‘Using the theory of change to support an evaluation of a health promotion initiative’ Sage Methodology Case Study Online available at

Evidence Synthesis Methodology 

Contact: Professor Anne-Marie Bagnall

Evidence synthesis can take many forms, from Cochrane-style systematic reviews and meta-analyses, to more flexible approaches such as mixed-methods systematic reviews, meta-ethnography, realist synthesis, reviews of reviews (meta-reviews), rapid reviews, and systematic mapping reviews. Evidence synthesis is not limited to secondary “desk-based” research but can also involve primary research with a range of stakeholders. In the field of public health, existing synthesis methodology is rapidly evolving to include methods for evaluating complex interventions, process evaluations and effects on health inequalities (for example). We have a programme of research utilising different synthesis approaches to evaluate complex issues in health promotion and health inequalities. Colleagues have expertise in systematic reviews, meta-analysis, mixed-methods reviews, reviews of reviews, systematic mapping reviews, rapid reviews, and practice based case study synthesis.

Groups that we have worked with include migrants, gypsies and travellers, and people with learning disabilities.

Key projects:

  • Evaluation of The Migrant Access Project Plus Project
  • Evaluation of Leeds CCG Vulnerable Populations Health Improvement Projects
  • Evaluation of the Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Health Improvement Project
  • Evaluation of Leeds Autism AIM (Advocacy, Information, Mentoring
  • Befriending as a route to leisure participation for adults with a learning disability

  • Warwick-Booth, L., Coan, S., and Bagnall, AMB. (2019) ‘Personalised housing support to improve health and wellbeing: findings from a local pilot programme in Yorkshire’ Cities and Health  available at
  • Southby, K. and Robinson, O. (2017) Information, Advocacy and Signposting as a Low-Level Support for Adults with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Example from the UK. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, October. View Abstract » Warwick-Booth, L., Trigwell, J., Kinsella, K., Jefferys, K., Sankar, D. and Dolezalova, M (2017) ‘Health within the Leeds migrant Roma community; an exploration of health status and needs within one UK area’ for Health special edition on health promotion, 9,4, pp. 669-684.
  • Southby, K. (2019). An exploration and proposed taxonomy of leisure-befriending for adults with a learning disability. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 47 (4), pp.223-232.
  • Southby, K. (2016) Barriers to non-residential respite care for adults with moderate to complex needs: A UK perspective. Journal of intellectual disabilities : JOID, July.

Dr Louise Warwick-Booth

Reader / School Of Health

Louise is a sociologist with specific interests in health policy and social policy. She is a Reader located in The Centre for Health Promotion Research, which she has co-directed since 2013. Louise joined the University in September 2005 and has taught on a wide range of modules including sociology, health policy, research, community and global policy and health care. She also manages a range of research projects and a team of research staff.