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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Megan Wainwright, PhD

Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology

(email at

I completed my PhD in Medical Anthropology at Durham University in 2013 and subsequently became an Honorary Fellow in the department. Since the PhD I have completed postdoctoral work and fellowships in the Centre for Medical Humanities at Durham University and the Division of Social and Behavioural Sciences, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town (2014-2018). I currently work for Dr. Myra Piat at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal as a member of the review team undertaking a mixed-studies systematic review of the implementation of the recovery approach into mental health services and as a researcher on an pan-Canadian implementation study.

My main areas of work are the anthropology of chronic illness, the intersection of public health and medical anthropology, evidence synthesis/systematic reviews and the GRADE-CERQual approach, NVivo software for qualitative data-management and analysis, experiential pedagogy, and global health diplomacy. 

The research I carried-out while a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town was entitled “Using, providing and producing home oxygen therapy: A comparative ethnographic study”. The research involved fieldwork in Cape Town and Montevideo on the day to day practices and experiences surrounding the use of medicinal oxygen across public and private healthcare. In addition to investigating policy in practice, I am focused on how oxygen is conceptualized and experienced by health workers and patients. This work builds upon my PhD thesis on living-with and caring for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Uruguay (examined by Prof. Mark Nichter and Prof. Bob Simpson).

At Durham I am actively involved in global health diplomacy research with Dr Andrew Russell and am an international collaborator on the Life of Breath project in the Centre for Medical Humanities for which I have made regular visits to Durham. I was a co-investigator on the “AIR (Air Pollution Interdisciplinary Research) Network” project lead by Dr. Sarah West at the University of York, funded by a AHRC-MRC GCRF Global Public Health Partnership grant. This project aimed to build a transdisciplinary team and programme of work for developing innovative, participatory solutions to air pollution and its effects on human health in low-resource settings in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Research Interests

  • Applied anthropology
  • Chronic disease
  • Encounters in healthcare
  • Ethical Dilemmas and the Political Economy of Health
  • Ethnography and qualitative methods
  • Experiential pedagogy
  • Medical anthropology
  • Public health
  • Qualitative Evidence Synthesis
  • Sensorial Anthropology
  • Socio-cultural anthropology

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Wainwright, M (2016). Rebellion and Co-Morbidity. In The Routledge Handbook of Medical Anthropology. Manderson,L, Hardon, A & Cartwright, E Routledge.

Journal Article

  • Wainwright, Megan, Sicwebu, N., Colvin, C. Gong, E. Henderson, R. & Swartz, A. (2019). Exploring community residents’ motivations for interacting with American field school students in South Africa. Journal of Experiential Education 42(2): 171-184.
  • Lewin, Simon, Booth, Andrew, Glenton, Claire, Munthe-Kaas, Heather, Rashidian, Arash, Wainwright, Megan, Bohren, Meghan A., Tunçalp, Özge, Colvin, Christopher J., Garside, Ruth, Carlsen, Benedicte, Langlois, Etienne V. & Noyes, Jane (2018). Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings: introduction to the series. Implementation Science 13(S1): 2.
  • Noyes, Jane, Booth, Andrew, Lewin, Simon, Carlsen, Benedicte, Glenton, Claire, Colvin, Christopher J., Garside, Ruth, Bohren, Meghan A., Rashidian, Arash, Wainwright, Megan, Tunςalp, Özge, Chandler, Jacqueline, Flottorp, Signe, Pantoja, Tomas, Tucker, Joseph D. & Munthe-Kaas, Heather (2018). Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings–paper 6: how to assess relevance of the data. Implementation Science 13(S1): 4.
  • Lewin, Simon, Bohren, Meghan, Rashidian, Arash, Munthe-Kaas, Heather, Glenton, Claire, Colvin, Christopher J., Garside, Ruth, Noyes, Jane, Booth, Andrew, Tunçalp, Özge, Wainwright, Megan, Flottorp, Signe, Tucker, Joseph D. & Carlsen, Benedicte (2018). Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings—paper 2: how to make an overall CERQual assessment of confidence and create a Summary of Qualitative Findings table. Implementation Science 13(S1): 10.
  • Munthe-Kaas, Heather, Bohren, Meghan A., Glenton, Claire, Lewin, Simon, Noyes, Jane, Tunçalp, Özge, Booth, Andrew, Garside, Ruth, Colvin, Christopher J., Wainwright, Megan, Rashidian, Arash, Flottorp, Signe & Carlsen, Benedicte (2018). Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings—paper 3: how to assess methodological limitations. Implementation Science 13(S1): 9.
  • Colvin, Christopher J., Garside, Ruth, Wainwright, Megan, Munthe-Kaas, Heather, Glenton, Claire, Bohren, Meghan A., Carlsen, Benedicte, Tunçalp, Özge, Noyes, Jane, Booth, Andrew, Rashidian, Arash, Flottorp, Signe & Lewin, Simon (2018). Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings—paper 4: how to assess coherence. Implementation Science 13(S1): 13.
  • Glenton, Claire, Carlsen, Benedicte, Lewin, Simon, Munthe-Kaas, Heather, Colvin, Christopher J., Tunçalp, Özge, Bohren, Meghan A., Noyes, Jane, Booth, Andrew, Garside, Ruth, Rashidian, Arash, Flottorp, Signe & Wainwright, Megan (2018). Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings—paper 5: how to assess adequacy of data. Implementation Science 13(S1): 14.
  • Pentecost, M., Gerber, B., Wainwright, M. & Cousins, T. (2018). Critical orientations for humanising health sciences education in South Africa. Medical Humanities 44(4): 221-229.
  • Wainwright, M. (2018). Exploring ambivalent oxygen machine–people–world relations through the lens of postphenomenology. Journal of material culture 23(4): 426-447.
  • Wainwright, M. (2018). Imaging and imagining chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Uruguayans draw their lungs. Disability and Rehabilitation 40(26): 3094-3103.
  • Russell, A., Wainwright, M. & Tilson, M. (2018). Means and ENDS – e-cigarettes, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and global health diplomacy in action. Global Public Health 13(1): 83-98.
  • Hume, V.J. & Wainwright, M. (2018). Reflections on a field across time and space: the emergent medical and health humanities in South Africa. Medical Humanities 44(4): 263-269.
  • Wainwright, M., Bingham, S. & Sicwebu, N. (2017). Photovoice and photodocumentary for enhancing community partner engagement and student learning in a public health field school in Cape Town. Journal of Experiential Education 40(4): 409-424.
  • Wainwright, M. (2017). Sensing the Airs: The Cultural Context for Breathing and Breathlessness in Uruguay. Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness 36(4): 332-347.
  • Wainwright, M., Colvin, C.J., Swartz, A. & Leon, N. (2016). Self-management of medical abortion: A qualitative evidence synthesis. Reproductive Health Matters 24(47): 155-167.
  • Russell, A.J., Wainwright, M. & Mamudu, H.M. (2015). A chilling example? Uruguay, Phillip Morris International, and WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 29(2): 256-277.
  • Wainwright, M & Macnaughton, J (2013). Is a qualitative perspective missing from COPD guidelines? The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 1(6): 441-442.
  • Wainwright, M., Russell, A. & Yiannakou, Y. (2011). Challenging the Biopsychosocial Model in a Chronic Constipation Clinic. Qualitative Health Research 21(12): 1643-1657.
  • Allen, D., Wainwright, M. & Hutchinson, T. (2011). Non-compliance as illness management: Hemodialysis patients' descriptions of adversarial patient-clinician interactions. Social Science and Medicine 73: 129-134.
  • Wainwright, M. & Russell, A. (2010). Using NVivo Audio-Coding: Practical, Sensorial and Epistemological Considerations. Social Research Update (60): 1-4.
  • Arnaert, A., Seller, R. & Wainwright M. (2009). Homecare Nurses’ Attitudes to Palliative Care in a Rural Community of Western Quebec. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing 11(4).
  • Arnaert, A. & Wainwright, M. (2009). Providing care and sharing expertise: reflections of nurse-specialists in palliative homecare. Palliative & Supportive Care 7(357-364).
  • Arnaert, A. & Wainwright, M. (2008). Designing and Implementing a Home Telecare Service for Elderly Patients with COPD: Steps and Challenges. The Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics 3(2): 49-83.
  • Allen, D., Wainwright, M., Hutchinson, T. & Mount, B. (2008). The wounding path to becoming healers: Medical students’ apprenticeship experiences. Medical Teacher 30(3): 260-65.

Conference Paper

  • Wainwright, M. (2012), Perspectivas y Investigaciones Antropologicas en Salud y Enfermedad, 10: Seminario de Extension, Casa de la Universidad Tacuarembo. Tacuarembo, Anuario de Antropologia Social y Cultural en Uruguay, Tacuarembo, 245-248.

Conference Proceeding

  • Arnaert, A. & Wainwright, M. (2008). Preliminary Results of a Home Telecare Project for Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Canadian Respiratory Conference: A Breath of Fresh Air:, Montreal, Canada, Candian Respiratory Journal.

Doctoral Thesis

  • Wainwright, M. (2013). Breathing and Breathlessness: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Uruguay. Durham University. PhD: 333.

Edited Journal

  • Toma, Tereza Setsuki, Barreto, Jorge, de Sousa, Sharmila A., Lewin, Simon, Glenton, Claire, Wainwright, Megan & Soares, Cassia Baldini (2019). Qualitative Evidence Synthesis to Inform Health Policy. Boletim do Instituto de Saúde - BIS, 20 (2): Institute of Health.
  • Setsuko Toma, Tereza Barreto, Jorge de Sousa, Maria Sharmila A. Lewin, Simon, Glenton, Claire Wainwright, Megan & Soares, Cassia Baldini (2019). Síntese de evidências qualitativas para informar políticas de saúde. Boletim do Instituto de Saúde – BIS, 20 (2): Instituto de Saúde de São Paulo.

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Waweru, Dennis Wainwright, Megan & Air Network (2019). Air Pollution in Mukuru: Dennis' Story
  • Wainwright, M., Bingham, S., Sicwebu, N., Ndlani, L., Mocha, A., Mzuzwana, V. & Maqogi, M. (2016). Life in Town Two: A Photodocumentary -
  • Wainwright, M (2014). Podcast: EPOC al Aire: Historias de la Enfermedad Pulmonar Obstructiva Cronica [COPD on the Air: Stories of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease] - 16 minutes.
  • Allen, D., Hutchinson T. & Wainwright M. (2009). Living with Kidney Failure: A Three-Part Film.

Other (Print)

  • Colvin, C., Wainwright, M., Noyes, J., Munthe-Kaas, H., Garside, R., Carlsen, B., Rashidian, A., Booth, A., Glenton,C., Bohren, M., Lewin, S. & Tuncalp, O. (2015). Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research (CERQual): Development and Future Directions of a Novel Approach. Cochrane Methods (Suppl 1): 45-47.
  • Wainwright, M. (2013). Faltar el aire. Enfermedad pulmonar obstructiva cronica en Uruguay. Anuario de Antropologia Social y Cultural en Uruguay 11: 275-278.

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