Health and Psychology

Care and community health

This line of research explores, in a broad and interdisciplinary way, the social dimension of health, especially in areas related to community care and health such as:

  • Aging, technology and society
  • Critical studies of disability and independent living
  • Community mental health
  • Emergencies, disasters and community resilience
  • Feminism and care ethics
  • Precarity, gender, job market and subjectivities
  • Social studies on personal and community health
  • Reconciliation of work-personal life, sustainability and community health

Specific thesis projects offered inside of this line of research include the following:                            


Thesis Proposals
Researchers Researcher Group

Caring communities in times of crisis

In recent years, communities, groups and online networks of care have proliferated throughout Europe. Their aim is to construct alternatives to state-, market- and family-based care solutions where the focus is on the community. As a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially during the lockdown, these initiatives have gained much attention as a form of self-organized and grassroots emergency response. 

The CareNet group has researched examples of self-organized caring communities of older people. The research has covered senior co-housing initiatives, independent living initiatives that provide self-managed services for disabled people, disaster-affected communities building up their resilience, and patients' associations and health-activist groups looking to increase their condition's visibility, demand better health interventions and provide support. Last but not least, the group has also studied digital media platforms that seek to strengthen the mutual support provided. 

We welcome thesis proposals aimed at understanding how these networks and communities produce and experiment with new care practices, knowledge and notions of citizenship. We are also interested in exploring the psychosocial impact of these caring communities in terms of social support, identity, health and quality of life.



Precarious lives and social inequality: sociopsychological effects 

The low-income working population is growing in Europe. This phenomenon can be attributed to salary reductions, lower job quality and jobs that do not provide sufficient hours of adequately paid work, among other factors. This is happening within a job market whose productive and occupational structures are undergoing important changes and in which precarious work appears as a generalized problem, but one which greatly affects the most vulnerable groups (young people, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, etc.). This is also due to the fact that traditional rules governing the regulation and protection of salaried work are disappearing in the face of new forms of employment. However, this precarity is not limited to the workplace. It appears in and interferes with other areas of our daily lives, determining, for instance, the construction of our biographies.

We aim to understand the relationship between social inequality and precarity, focusing on the sociopsychological effects it has on people and their quality of life, with the aim of contributing to the transformation towards a more quality, inclusive and sustainable world of work.

We are interested in qualitative research proposals analysing aspects such as how precarity is defining people's daily lives; how people in precarious situations make sense of and take meaning from their work and personal situation; how they are able evaluate themselves and their social identity; how they plan their lives, projects and future actions, and finally, what kinds of health effects could lead to precarious living conditions. 


Dr Anna Gálvez Mozo


Dr Elsa Santamaría López


TRAGSO: Work, Gender and Society

1. Work-life balance, sustainability and community health
The concept of work–life balance has recently established itself as a key component on route maps drawn up in the pursuit of social sustainability, both on a local scale, represented by individual organizations, and on a more general one, represented by global institutions such as the United Nations.
There is broad consensus on the fact that work–life balance is of vital importance in industrialized nations and that it is becoming a pressing issue in developing countries as well. In the former case, the massive incorporation of women into the workplace, the rise in the number of single‐parent families, and the increase in dependency as a result of ageing populations are some of the factors that explain why the issue of work–life balance has become a key item on the agendas of a number of European Union states.
We aim to understand, from a gender perspective, the relationship between work-life balance, social sustainability and community health, focusing on the sociopsychological effects it has, on the one hand, on people and their wellbeing and mental health and, on the other hand, on organizations and the dynamics they produce to guarantee sustainability and inclusivity.  
We are interested in qualitative research proposals analysing aspects such as: 
- How the work dimension of people's lives affects the personal dimension and vice versa.
- How the relationship between the different dimensions affects and influences people's health and well-being.
- How organisations' measures related to WLB impact on the well-being and health of workers.
- How WLB influences sustainability, inclusiveness and equity of organisations.
2. Organizations, telework and social sustainability
Telework has appeared in the world of work and organizations as a great solution, especially since the beginning of the pandemic of COVID-19. 
Telework has been analysed from a wide variety of viewpoints, receiving both great support and harsh criticism. Supporters underline telework’s great potential to harmonize the different facets of people’s lives, however, other authors reveal its more controversial and negative ramifications. 
Our research aims to analyse the relationship between telework and social sustainability. We focus on analysing the different organisational, social, personal and cultural dimensions that influence and determine how teleworking becomes a way of working that promotes well-being and contributes to social sustainability. 
We are interested in qualitative research proposals analysing aspects such as: 
- Telework as a work-life balance measure and its effects and implications on people's health and well-being.
- The conditions and premises to implement telework in order to contribute to the improvement labour conditions in organisations and the increase of workers' quality of life. 
- How telework can contribute to social sustainability and the integration of organisations in their community. 
- How telework can contribute to eliminate gender inequalities and promoting equality.


Dr Anna Gálvez Mozo



TRAGSO: Work, Gender and Society

Long-term care after COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely hit the long-term care system and made even more visible the dramatic consequences of the long-standing care crisis. As a result, the transformation of long-term care has turned into an urgent political matter that is boosting innovation in the design of care homes and home care services and the implementation of new technologies.

However, the will to learn from what has happened is not as strong as the will to move forward. Our understanding of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on care recipients and caregivers is still limited to standardised health records and outcomes. We do not know much about the social transformations in the living and working conditions of the most severely hit and less heard (residents and caregivers of long-term care facilities, family, and migrant care-workers, etc.).

Most long-term care innovations after the pandemic claim to provide solutions without incorporating a nuanced understanding of the living experiences of long-term care-recipients and caregivers during and after the pandemic and without involving them in their co-production. Thus, more, and better qualitative, participatory, and engaged research on the impact of the pandemic and the social distancing measures is still very much needed. 

We welcome PhD students interested in exploring the impact of COVID-19 in long-term care recipients and caregivers, either in institutions or in the community, and in co-producing with them other possible long-term care arrangements and infrastructures for the future.


Dr.Daniel López