UCL Anthropology


Paula Bronson

Paula Bronson

UCL Email: paula.bronson.10@ucl.ac.uk
Year of start: 2015
Supervisors: Dr Joe Calabrese, Dr Aaron Parkhurst
Subject: Medical Anthropology. Resilience and coping  for chronic musculoskeletal pain in rural Nepal
Fieldsite: Sindupalchok, Nepal

PhD Research

Living with chronic pain in rural Nepal: a clinical ethnography on resilience

I am undertaking a clinical ethnography, attached to a remote Health Outreach Center, affiliated with Dhulikhel Hospital, working as a physiotherapist conducting visits and interviews in villager’s homes. I will explore the lived experience of the those whose quality of life is marked by pain and disability as well as their family members, biomedical health care providers, and traditional healers. Central to my inquiry is the role that self-reliance plays in coping.  I place this within a framework of medical anthropologies of hope and resiliency. I will explore the relations between the provision of biomedical health care and the larger context of the community to understand the translation of medical concepts of self-efficacy and empowerment and community values of health and disability.

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of hope and resilience
  • Chronic pain
  • Post earthquake Nepal
  • Bhutan

Presentations & Conferences

  • September 2018: British Pain Society Annual Pain Management Programme Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University. A Qualitative Study of Women’s Concepts of Self- Management following an 8 Week Pain Management Group in East London. Invited speaker
  • 2017 19 August: Institute of Advanced Studies UCL: Chronic Pain in the UK Today: Medical, Academic, and Political Perspectives. Understanding the Role of the Sociocultural Contexts of Pain in the Clinic. Invited Speaker.
  • 2016 July: European Association of Social Anthropologists ( EASA) Biennial Conference, University of Milan Bicocca: The Paradox of Pain in a Bengali Women’s Pain Management Group.
  • 2014 Oct: Referral Hospital & 2nd presentation, The Traditional Hospital, Thimpu, Bhutan: Models of Chronic Pain & Illness

Education History

  • 2011 MSc Medical Anthropology UCL
  • 1988 BSc Physical Therapy University of Maryland, USA

Honours, Awards & Funding

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy International Education Project in a Developing Country 2018 for doctoral research