Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Eliazar Luna

Luna photo

My PhD Title: Social Determinants of Depression: Evidence from the Chilean National Health Survey (ENS) 2003-2017.
Supervisor: Dr. Anne Peasey, Prof. Hynek Pickhart

Lay summary: Depression is a worldwide public health issue with a high prevalence and major losses in health across the different life stages. The consequences, risk and protective factors of depression are not solely focused on the person with the condition, but also their environment. My PhD projects focuses on the examination of individual-level and area-level variables that have an influence over depressive symptoms in the Chilean population. The project also assesses the effect that depressive symptoms on all-cause mortality in the Chilean population.  The main data sources for this project are the three national health surveys of the country, nationally representative surveys of socioeconomic characterization and data on mortality acquired from the Chilean Division of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health.

My Background
After obtaining my undergraduate degree, I worked with multiple vulnerable populations in Santiago, Chile’s capital. During this period, I observed that mental health was always an issue among this type of population and the large role that social determinants play in this regard. This experience motivated me to continue my education on a program with an emphasis on social aspects but also with a strong quantitative aspect. On the Social Epidemiology MSc, I found a good balance of the mentioned aspect. My dissertation focused on the effect of social networks on quality of life, and a possible mediator effect of depression among older population. For this project, I worked with the HAPIEE data from Eastern Europe, however, I wanted to work with Latin American population. That is why, after finishing my MSc I started a PhD at the Department of Epidemiology at UCL with a project that focuses on mental health of Chilean population.

University College London. Epidemiology and Public Health (PhD) 2019-2023
University College London. Health and Society: Social Epidemiology (MSc) 2017 – 2018 
University of Chile. Biostatistics and Applied Epidemiology (Diploma) 2016-2017
University of Chile. Occupational Therapy (BA & Professional degree) 2009-2013

Becas Chile Doctorado Extranjero Convocatoria 2018: Scholarship for funding PhD studies abroad.
Becas Chile Magíster Extranjero Convocatoria 2017: Scholarship for funding MSc studies abroad.
Buenas Prácticas”. Metropolitan Health Service, Santiago, Chile, 2017: Fund to finance community interventions at primary-care level in highly deprived contexts.
University StudentsUnion Fund, University of Chile, 2011: Fund to finance a project of healthy use of leisure time among university students and to facilitate tools for health-interventions in clinical rotations.

Publication. Luna, E. et al. The prospective association between frequency of contact with friends and relatives and quality of life in older adults from Central and Eastern Europe. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-020-01834-8

Conference Presentation. Gutiérrez, P., Bustos, J., Luna, E., Morrison, R., Frías, C., Díaz, C. P. & Galaz, C. Facilitadores y Obstaculizadores de la autonomía progresiva en las ocupaciones cotidianas en niños, niñas y adolescentes con discapacidad intelectual, residentes en instituciones dependientes del Servicio Nacional de Menores (SENAME) de la región Metropolitana de Chile. Actas III Bienal Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Infancias y Juventudes. 2018, 30 of July – 03 of August.

Book Chapter. Desigualdades, Desafíos a las democracias, memorias y Re-existencias / Compiled by Sara Victoria Alvarado and Pablo A. Vommaro. Manizales: Editorial CINDE. University of Manizales; Buenos Aires, Argentina: CLACSO, 2018. ISBN 978-958-8045-94-8. P. 624-632. Available in: http://bienal-clacso-redinju-umz.cinde.org.co/IIIBienal/Publicacion/III_Bienal_Eje_1.pdf

Poster. Luna E, Valverde V. Buenas Prácticas. Talleres de huerto, literatura y manualidades para adultos mayores. Congreso APS, Construyendo Valor Social. 2017. Santiago, Chile

Conference Presentation. Luna E, Valverde V. Entre Canas y Ganas. Jornada de Buenas Prácticas SSMSO. 2017. Santiago, Chile.

Publication. Gutiérrez P, Tabilo E, Luna E, Catoni S, Nilo G, Bartolomé C. Configuración de subjetividad en mujeres en situación de discapacidad: un abordaje desde discapacidad, cuerpo y género. Revista Chilena de Terapia Ocupacional. 2015; 15(1) https://doi.org/10.5354/.2015.37128

Conference Presentation. Luna E., Gutiérrez P, Tabilo E. Producciones Narrativas en la configuración de subjetividad en las mujeres en situación de discapacidad: un abordaje desde discapacidad, cuerpo y género. IV Congreso de Metodología Cuantitativa de la Investigación. 2014. Chillán, Chile

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant (PGTA) in the modules of Basic Statistics, Epidemiology, Governance of Emerging technologies, Regression Modelling and Advanced Statistics (2019-present).

Lead Department Representative for the Social Epidemiology MSc, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL (2017 –2018).

Assistant Researcher: Progressive autonomy evaluation among children and teenagers with intellectual disability living in the social services network in Santiago, Chile (2016-2019).

Delegate:  Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Chile (2009 –2010).

Member:  Committee for Curricular Innovation, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Chile (2011).

Contact details
Email: Eliazar.luna.16@ucl.ac.uk

Twitter: @Elo__luna