UCL Anthropology


Cultural Diversity Issues in Clinical Practice


Key words

culture, health, medicine, science


Research Projects

  • Lancet Commission on Culture and Health (Napier, Littlewood, Calabrese, Gibbon)
  • Cultural Psychiatry and Stigmatisation (Littlewood) Littlewood is co-ordinating a multi-centre study of recourse to treatment and understanding of mental illness in different ethnic groups through developing a multi-cultural rating scale of "stigmatisation" (with S Jadhav, UCL; J. Neehall, Trinidad; A Chakraborty, India; N Mendis, Sri Lanka. Field centres have been established in Post-of-Spain, Calcutta and Colombo, and two thousand responses are currently being analysed: the ease or otherwise with which such a scale can be derived and back-translated will have implications for the more general questions of the universality of recognition of serious mental illness, and by implication the invariant nature of mental illness itself.
  • Jarrard O Brian Bridging the Gap: cultural competency training for New Zealand healthcare workers


  • Bioethics in Developing Country Contexts, Hospital de Clinicas, Porto Alegre, Brazil June 2012. An ongoing collaboration with the Bioethics Department at Hospital de Clinics exploring the bioethical challenges of developing genetic medicine in developing country contexts including questions of consent and privacy in clinical practice and research. A 3 day workshop was organized in June 2012 in Porto Alegre involving researchers from UK, Uruguay, Chile and Canada to explore these issues in further detail and a bilingual publication is being planned.
  • Science, Society and Medicine Network. The Science, Medicine, and Society (SMS) initiative set up by former head of Medical Anthropology department David Napier focuses on pressing and emerging societal issues that require efficient and continuous interdisciplinary collaboration. The SMS Network cultivates UCL's strengths in these areas by creating, facilitating, and supporting diverse societal and public engagement activities. The purpose of the Network is to apply the collective skills of UCL disciplines relevant to Science, Medicine and Society towards achieving concrete, relevant outcomes that enhance the University's position as a global - and local - key-player in an ever-changing world.The Network cements each of its individual projects with specific outcomes (white papers, major publications, programmatic recommendations, etc.). Its first initiative for 2012 will be a Lancet/UCL Commission Report on Culture and Health, which will involve UCL researchers from several key programmes, as well as a group of international advisers." 

Teaching Activities

  • ANTH 3036 Anthropology for Medical Students
  • Seminar on Clinical Ethnography