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Karen Luker, FMedSci PhD BNurs


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Personal profile


Karen obtained a BNurs degree from Manchester. She completed a PhD in Social Science and Nursing at the University of Edinburgh. She is currently the Queen's Nursing Institute Professor of Community  in the School  of Health Sciences. She is also the Deputy Director of the  NIHR  CLAHRC for Greater Manchester NHS Trusts and the University of Manchester.

Karen is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded a fellowship of the Queen’s Nursing Institute in 2003, and in 2010 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Lund Sweden and in 2011 an Honorary DSc from University of Alberta Canada in recognition of her contribution to health care research and research capacity building. She has reviewed on a wide range of national and International research committees including MRC Health Services and Public Health Research Board and three  RAE/REF Panels and equivalent panels in New Zealand (PBRF).From 2017-20 she is a member of the Swedish Research Councils Health Sciences Review panel.  In addition she edits the Journal Health and Social Care in the Community published by Wiley/Blackwell Publishing. She  has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong and University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Research interests

Long term health problems (including cancer) cause a great deal of disability and Karen Luker’s research focuses on the daily living experiences of people in this situation. Living with a chronic disease may reduce physical functioning, work opportunities and quality of life for the individual and their family. Individuals may enjoy a better quality of life if they understand more about their illness and are enabled to take some day to day responsibility for the management of their condition. Similarly as people deteriorate or move towards the end of life, family and friends who provide care in the home may also wish to learn more about the health care services available and to work in partnership with health professionals to provide a good quality of care.

Our work in the cancer area  is methodologically interesting because it utilises a novel approach in developing the research programme from the beginning in partnership with people affected by cancer. This programme reflects the concerns of people with cancer to have some research which focuses on survivorship, rather than the diagnosis and treatment experience. This programme explores: The issues involved in returning to work for people affected by cancer.and in particular looks at the financial impact of cancer on working and family life and compares this with national data on the impact of other chronic conditions.In addition as people near the end of life the District Nurses may become involved in providing care. We are working to identify the elements of district nursing that make a real differnce to patients and families. In additiuon since it is  lay carers who provide the the majority of care for people nearing the end of life we are working to develop interventions with carers that will assist them in providing quality nursing care to patients at home.

My collaborations


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures


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