About the Study

What Is The Shame And Medicine Project?

Shame and Medicine is an interdisciplinary research project that is based at the University of Exeter and the University of Birmingham, with a collaboration with a clinical partner at Children’s Health, Ireland, in Dublin.

Why Study Shame And Medicine?

Shame is a powerful force in the everyday experiences of patients, medical students, doctors and other healthcare professionals. For patients, shame can lead to avoiding treatment, concealing illness and worse experiences of illness. Shame influences how doctors interact with their patients, and their colleagues, and is related to burn out, suicide and mental health problems. Despite repeated suggestions that shame plays a significant role in medicine, there remains significant gaps in our understanding and knowledge of the role shame plays in medicine.

What Does This Project Seek To Do?

The Shame and Medicine Project will investigate how to understand shame in the context(s) of contemporary medicine, what role it plays, and how the experience of shame impacts on the delivery of healthcare.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for patients who would like to tell us about their experiences of being self-conscious in relation to their medical care

We are looking for hospital doctors and GPs to tell us about their experiences of being self-conscious in relation to their work

We are looking for medical students to tell us about their experiences of being self-conscious in relation to their learning, medical programme, or placements.

What will taking part involve?

Some patients will complete a report on an experience of shame relating to their medical care and some patients will complete a report on their experiences of being self-conscious during their last encounter with a medical professional. The report can be completed online, on a computer, on paper, or it can be audio recorded. We will provide you with questions to consider in writing your report and instructions on how to send this to us securely so it remains confidential.

Doctors will complete a report at the end of each day for 2 weeks on a self-conscious experience they had that day. We will then interview the doctors a few weeks later about their reports. We will provide the framework for the report, and it should take between 15 to 30 minutes each day to complete, and the interview will last about 45 minutes to 1 hour. We will also provide instructions on how to send these reports to us securely so they remain confidential.

Medical students will complete a report on their experiences of shame or self-conscious experiences once or twice a month for one academic year. The report can be completed online, on a computer, on paper, or it can be audio recorded. We will provide you with questions to consider in writing your report and instructions on how to send this to us securely so it remains confidential.

What If I Want to Know More?

Farina Kokab is a researcher on the project and can answer any questions and provide any details you need to help you make a decision about taking part. You can email her at f.kokab@bham.ac.uk and she will arrange a phone call to discuss it with you.

You can also visit our website for the research at www.shameandmedicine.org which has lots of information about the project, researchers, and the topic of shame and medicine.

How do I take part?

Register your interest to take part here

We will contact you with more details about participating in the study and arrange a telephone call to discuss it with you.

Take part in this study