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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Dr Ivaylo Vassilev PhD

Associate Professor

Dr Ivaylo Vassilev's photo

Ivaylo Vassilev is Associate Professor within Health Sciences at the University of Southampton. Ivo’s background is in sociology and his current research is focused on the political economy of chronic illness and using networks methodologies for the study of chronic illness management.

A network perspective offers an opportunity to redress the balance of an exclusively individual focus on self-management because it addresses the broader set of contributions and resources available to people in need of chronic illness management and support.

Ivo received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Lancaster, where he looked at trust and the development of market institutions in Bulgaria. After that he worked on three EU funded projects at the University of Northampton, the University of Aberdeen, and University of Manchester where he looked at global value chains in labour intensive industries, the role of informal networks in negotiating childcare and employment arrangements, and social networks and chronic illness management. Ivo joined University of Southampton in 2013. His current research is primarily focused on the political economy of chronic illness, health inequalities, and using networks methodologies for the study of chronic illness management. His broader research interests include the capabilities approach and critical realism as applied to health and healthcare.

Research interests

PhD supervision

  • Jack Gillham, Exploring the effects of social network dynamics on patients receiving ‘hospital at home’ care in rural areas (co-supervised with Dr Becky Band)
  • Lindsay Welch, Examining a social network approach to self-management support in people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (co-supervised with Prof Anne Rogers)
  • Ramji Tiwari, Type 2 Diabetes self-management knowledge, attitudes and practice among Nepalese immigrants in the United Kingdom (co-supervised with Prof Mari Carmen Portillo)
  • Amal Alasmari, An ethnographic study exploring the relationship between the new graduate nurse and preceptor in Saudi Arabian intensive care units (co-supervised with Dr Ellie Monger)
  • Gillian Howard-Jones, The influence of social networks on cancer survivors’ self-management support: A mixed methods study (co-supervised with Prof Alison Richardson and Prof Debbie Fenlon)
  • Chris Allen, Understanding the networks of those using the internet to support self-management and the role of ties mediated online in support of long-term condition management. A parallel mixed methods study (co-supervised with Prof Anne Rogers)

Research projects

The Wessex FRIEND Toolbox (Family Risk IdentificatioN and Decision) (ARC Wessex, NIHR)

The study aims to support families with young children to understand health risks and to engage with existing community members, activities and resources, and develop links with new network members.

EMBOLDEN Trial

Partnering with Older Adults and Communities to Develop and Test a Community-Based Program to Enhance Physical and Community Mobility in Older Adults in Hamilton, Ontario.

What are the factors, relationships, and processes that contribute towards generating research evidence that is of relevance to local public health and shapes its practice? (NIHR Public Health)

The study aims to help developing an infrastructure enabling Local Authorities to become research active. We use two major public health challenges as exemplars which aims to provide insight into public health response in relation to standard practice (childhood obesity) and a crisis (COVID-19). The study aims to identify key mechanisms for generating and using research evidence within a Local Authority environment to support the development of a research system to inform future public health actions. 

A prospective longitudinal cohort study of adults with cancer diagnosis

Working with the Horizons group to explore the role of social networks and collective efficacy for self-management support and quality of life of people with cancer diagnosis.

Implementing the social network tool Genie in Western Australia

Working in partnership with University of Western Australia and local community organisations to tailor the Genie intervention to local needs, and to evaluate its implementation in Perth and the surrounding areas.

Implementing and evaluating a social network tool to improve social engagement and wellbeing in older adults in Sydney

Partnership with University of Sydney and the Australian Red Cross to adapt and implement online and telephone support in a population of older adults to help individuals improve links with members of their personal communities and to create new connections with people, activities, and support. The project is aimed at facilitating the social aspects of holistic care provided by healthcare professional and embedding the use of the intervention into the case managers’ clinical practice.

ConNEct: Co-Adaptation of a Social Network Intervention to Support Recovery for People living with Severe Mental Illness (NIHR RfPB)

The study aims to co-adapt, with service users, professionals and carers, an evidence-based social network intervention for use within mental health care services and to co-produce a strategy and plan for its future evaluation.

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Research group

Health Work

Affiliate research groups

Social Networks Health and Well-Being, Critical Realism

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Conferences

  • Global and Public Health Research Lead
  • Conducting Clinical and Health Research Module Lead
  • Applied Healthcare Research in Policy and Practice
  • Complex Care
  • Coordinating Long-Term Care in Partnership

 

Ivo received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Lancaster, where he looked at trust and the development of market institutions in Bulgaria. After that he worked on three EU funded projects at the University of Northampton, the University of Aberdeen, and University of Manchester where he looked at global value chains in labour intensive industries, the role of informal networks in negotiating childcare and employment arrangements, and social networks and chronic illness management. Ivo joined University of Southampton in 2013. His current research is primarily focused on the political economy of chronic illness, health inequalities, and using networks methodologies for the study of chronic illness management. His broader research interests include ethics, the capabilities approach, and critical realism as applied to health and healthcare.

 

 

Dr Ivaylo Vassilev
Health Sciences Student Office University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 67/4017

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