1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Egenis · People

Dr. Hannah Farrimond

Egenis Research Fellow


BA, BSc, MSc, PhD


01392 725128


01392 724676






Byrne House, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter


Key research areas: Psycho-social approaches to health and illness, family histories and genetic tests, qualitative methods, research ethics

I take a psycho-social approach to studying health, illness and medicine. I am focusing on how choices around health behaviours (e.g. smoking or lifestyle change) are reinforced by social contexts, including small groups such as social or family networks or between couples. I am currently designing a novel family network method as part of a seed funding grant from the Richard Benjamin Trust to investigate .

Other topics include: genetic and familial approaches to common and complex diseases (heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, prediabetes), public attitudes towards new genetic technologies such as non-invasive prenatal testing, masculinity and help-seeking behaviour, stigma and the 'morality' of health. I am also writing about qualitative/quantitative methodologies (e.g. Q-methodology, family network methods).

I design and convene (with Dr Kelly) the third-year Sociology undergraduate course 'Illness, bodies and medicine in contemporary society', as well as teaching on 'Research methods in sociology' and 'Genomics in society' at Masters level. I co-supervise Daniele Carrieri, a PhD student studying the meanings of Neurofibromatosis amongst family networks and mentor several other PhD students.

I continue to be the representative for Sociology/Philosophy/Egenis on the SSIS Ethics Committee, as well as running Research Ethics training for the College. I am writing a book 'Doing ethical research' on this topic for Palgrave Macmillan.

I co-organised a symposium, 'New developments in prenatal genetic testing: Ethical, legal and social implications' at the Brocher Foundation on 10-11 November 2011.



Farrimond, H., Doing Ethical Research, Basingtoke: Palgrave Macmillan, December 2012.


Saukko, P.S., Farrimond, H.R., Qureshi, N. & Evans, P.E., 'Beyond beliefs: Risk assessment technologies shaping patient experiences of heart disease prevention', Sociology of Health and Illness 34 (5) (in press).

Farrimond, H.R. and Kelly, S.E., 'Public viewpoints on new non-invasive prenatal genetic tests', Public Understanding of Science (in press).

Kelly, S.E. and Farrimond, H., 'Non-invasive prenatal genetic testing: a study of public attitudes', Public Health Genomics (in press).

Farrimond, H., 'Beyond the caveman: Rethinking masculinity in relation to men’s help-seeking', Health (online and in press).

Farrimond, H., Joffe, H., & Stenner, P., 'A Q-methodology study of 'smoking identities'', Psychology and Health, 2010, 25 (8) pp.979-998.

Farrimond, H., Saukko, P.M., Evans, P.H. and Qureshi, N., 'Making sense of being at ‘high risk’ of coronary heart disease', Psychology and Health, 2010, 25 (3) pp. 289-304.

Qureshi N., Armstrong S., Saukko P., Sach T., Middlemass J., Evans P.H., Kai J., Farrimond H. and Humphries S.E., 'Realising the potential of the family history in risk assessment and primary prevention of coronary heart disease in primary care: ADDFAM study protocol', BMC Health Services Research, 2009, pp. 9-184.Farrimond, H. and Joffe, H., 'Pollution, peril and poverty: The stigmatisation of British smokers', Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 16 (6), 2006, pp. 481-491.

Wardle, J., Jarvis, M.J., Steggles, N., Sutton, S., Williamson, S., Farrimond, H., Cartwright, M. and Simon, A.E., 'Socioeconomic disparities in cancer-risk behaviors in adolescence: baseline results from the Health and Behaviour in Teenagers Study (HABITS)', Preventive Medicine, 36, 2003, pp. 721-730.


Farrimond, H., review of Dolly Mixtures, the remaking of genealogy by Sarah Franklin, in Metascience, 18 (1), 2009, p99.

Farrimond, H., review of Health: The Foundations for Achievement by D.Seedhouse, in Journal of Health Psychology, 8 (2), 2003, pp. 280-282.

Conferences and workshops

Farrimond, H., 'Understandings of Type 2 diabetes in 'at risk' families', British Psychological Society, Health Psychology Division Annual Conference, Liverpool, 5-7 September 2012.

Farrimond, H.R and Kelly, S.E., ‘It made me think’: Using Q-methodology to investigate public viewpoints of emerging pre-natal genetic technologies', 7th International Mixed Methods Conference, University of Leeds, 29 June - 30 June 2011.

Farrimond, H., 'Teaching ethics relating to research with human participants', Centre for Bioscience, University of Leicester, 5 May 2011.

Farrimond, H., 'Conceptualizing non-invasiveness in new prenatal testing technologies', Concepts of Health and Illness conference, Bristol, UK, 2-4 September 2010.

Kelly, S.E. and Farrimond, H. 'Non-invasive prenatal genetic testing: A study of public attitudes', International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis, 15th International conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 11-14 July 2010.

Farrimond, H. and Kelly, S.E., 'Interrogating the concept of non-invasiveness in new reproductive testing technologies', Humanities at the Cutting Edge - Association of Medical Humanities Annual Conference, Peninsula Medical School, Truro, 5-7 July 2010.

Farrimond, H. and Kelly, S.E., 'New non-invasive prenatal genetic technologies: Public understandings and concerns', European Meeting on Psychosocial Aspects of Genetics, Gothenburg, Sweden, 12-15 June 2010.

Carrieri D., Farrimond, H., Kelly S. and Turnpenny P., 'Fragmented Biosociality: Familial Meanings of Neurofibromatosis Type 1' (poster presentation), British Human Genetics Conference, University of Warwick, 6 - 8 September 2010.

Kelly, S.E. and Farrimond, H., 'Public attitudes to non-invasive prenatal testing', ESRC Genomics Network Conference, ‘Mapping the Genomic Era: Measurements and Meanings’, Cardiff, 7-9 October 2009.

Farrimond, H., Saukko, P.M., Qureshi, N. and Evans, P.H., 'Lifestyle, life-stage and social context: Patient perceptions of being at ‘high risk’ of heart disease', British Psychological Society Health Division Annual Conference, Bath, 9-12 September 2008, poster abstract in Psychology and Health 23, Suppl 1/2008, p. 117.

Saukko, P. Farrimond, H., Evans, P. & Qureshi, N., 'Clinicians‘ views on using family history in primary prevention of heart disease: A qualitative focus-group study', Society of Academic Primary Care (SAPC) 37th Annual Meeting, Galway, Ireland, 9-11 July, 2008.

Saukko, P., Farrimond, H., Qureshi, N. & Evans, P., 'Managing behavioural and biochemical notions of heart disease: Patients‘ and clinicians‘ accounts of statin use in primary prevention', Digital poster presentation, Society of Academic Primary Care (SAPC) 37th Annual Meeting, Galway, Ireland, 9-11 July, 2008.

Farrimond, H.,‘Visual representations of smokers’, workshop presentation in From Ethno-methodology to Cyborg Sociology - Discussing qualitative methods to grasp material/human performance, University of Exeter, ESRC Seminar series, 18 July 2008.

Farrimond H., Commentary on genetic variation in health and illness, Human Nature and Variation workshop, University of Exeter, 22 April 2008.

Farrimond, H., Saukko, P., Evans, P.H. and Qureshi, N, (2007), 'Adding family history to coronary heart disease risk assessments: A qualitative study', poster at Genomics in Society, 1st International Conference, Westminster, London, 26-27 October 2007.

Farrimond, H., Saukko, P., Evans, P.H. and Qureshi, N., 'The use of family history in risk assessment and primary prevention of heart disease', poster at Governing Genomics conference, University of Exeter, 25-27 January, 2007.


Research Interests

At Egenis I am involved with these research projects:

I am PI on this pilot study funded by the Richard Benjamin Memorial trust. Little research has studied how lay people understand or respond to familial diabetes risk. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with ‘at risk’ individuals and their first-degree relatives. Thematic analysis will identify within-group (intra-family) and between-group (inter-family) differences in social representations of diabetes risk. The study will produce a theoretically grounded psychological ‘underpinning’ for the design of interventions with ‘at risk’ families in the future.

This core-funded ESRC project I designed (with co-investigator Susan Kelly) to investigate public responses to new non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) technologies. It uses Q-methodology to identify lay viewpoints about novel genetic tests. We are in the writing up and dissemination stage of this project.

I am continuing to analyse interviews from the ADDFAM Department of Health funded study of patients at 'high risk' of heart disease who had had risk assessments within primary care. I am focusing on how patients make sense of their risk, and of how couples/families form familial norms around preventive behaviour.

  • Smoking

My PhD, completed in 2007 at UCL, looked at why smoking continues to be associated with lower socio-conomic status, taking a social identity approach. Publications from this have focused on: smoking identities, stigmatization of smokers, and smoking as a loss of control. I have clinical experience of working as a trainer and advisor on Smoking Cessation.