School of Sociology and Social Policy

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Brenda Poku

ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr Brenda Poku holds a ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Nottingham, School of Sociology and Social Policy. Her fellowship will focus on consolidating her PhD work on sickle cell disease-related fatigue in adolescence through publications based on the concepts of fatigue, adolescence, gender and the body. She will also undertake research dissemination, engagement and impact activities in the UK and Ghana. Prior to this, she was a Research Fellow on a Health Education England-funded systematic review at the University of Nottingham School of Health Sciences.

Following several years of nursing practice in Ghana, Brenda moved into research, firstly as a doctoral student at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Professor Susan Kirk (2015-2019). During this time, she developed interest in the life and transition experiences, and self-management practices of children and adolescents with chronic conditions.

Expertise Summary

Dr Brenda Poku is interested in the transition experiences of children and young people with chronic conditions, encompassing health, developmental, educational and social transitions. Her main research interests relate to the experiences, self-management and support needs of children and young people with life-long/life-limiting conditions. Issues examined include lived experiences of children and young people with chronic conditions; self-management and self-care; and transition experiences. In addition to work focused on experiences of children and young people with chronic conditions, her research interests extend into examining sociological concepts such as belonging, 'normality', identity, gender and culture in the context of childhood chronic conditions.

Brenda has research expertise in qualitative research, art-based research methods and involving children and young people in research. Aside from expertise in primary research methodology, She has expertise in secondary research methods: systematic and scoping reviews.

Teaching Summary

  • Qualitative Research
  • Art-based Research
  • Children ad Young People Research
  • Disability and Chronic Illness
  • Migration and Social Justice
  • Systematic and Scoping Review

These teaching and learning interests are based on her research experience and interests.

Research Summary

Analysing the influence of gender and culture on sickle cell disease (SCD)-related fatigue in adolescence, as well as the impact of SCD-related fatigue on the concept of the body among adolescents.

Selected Publications

Past Research

  • Characterised the evidence base for advanced clinical practice in the UK
  • Reviewed the evidence on hospital discharge interventions for older adults
  • Explored the life experiences and self-care practices of adolescents in the context of sickle cell disease-related fatigue
  • Reviewed the evidence on the how adolescents experience life with sickle cell disease
  • Reviewed the effectiveness of interventions targeting reductions in paediatric emergency department attendance for non-urgent care

Future Research

Explore post-migration and healthcare experiences of migrant African young people with sickle cell disease.

School of Sociology and Social Policy

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