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Dr Sara A Morgan (nee Afshar) BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Research Fellow

Dr Sara A Morgan (nee Afshar)'s photo

Dr Sara A Morgan (nee Afshar) is a Research Fellow, based within the unit of Primary Care and Population Health, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton.

My work is guided by a desire to discover, and understand ways to improve, the causes and consequences of health inequalities, primarily during adolescence but also later into the life-course.

Sara initially trained in Biomedical Science and in Global Health & Development at UCL, which led to work as a Program Manager for a donor-funded program at the National Cancer Institute in Sri Lanka and as a Health Advisor for an international charity.

She recently completed her PhD in Epidemiology and International Public Health. Her thesis examined the prevalence and impact of multi-morbidity in middle-income countries: for which she undertook mixed methods research, including qualitative fieldwork in Ghana. In parallel she undertook research Consultancies with the World Health Organisation in Geneva and Cairo, and held responsibilities as a Trustee for a local charity.

Currently, she has joined the CLAHRC team as a Research Fellow to undertake a mixed methods evaluation of a complex domestic abuse intervention; and to evaluate a region-wide alcohol prevention strategy, working across Hampshire and within sexual health clinics.


BSc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences, University of Southampton (2009)

MSc Global Health & Development, University College London (2010)

PhD Epidemiology and International Public Health, University of Southampton (2017)


Research interests

Sara has a special interest in the ‘toxic trio’ of domestic abuse, substance abuse and mental health. Using a life-course perspective, she aims to investigate how early community-based interventions, particularly for adolescents exposed to childhood adversity, can reduce risky lifestyle behaviours and the early onset of chronic disease.

To improve health outcomes for adolescents, her interests are in:

  • Applying health systems research to understand and address social inequalities.
  • Evaluating complex public health interventions in the community.
  • Examining risky behaviour, such as alcohol consumption, over the life-course and its influence on chronic disease.
  • Engagement with health services and rehabilitation of adolescents and youths in contact with the criminal justice system.
  • Working directly with young vulnerable populations, particularly those affected by adverse childhood experiences.

PhD Research

PhD Title.

Multimorbidity: its prevalence and impact in middle-income countries. A multi-country comparison using household surveys and qualitative methods

Sara’s PhD used quantitative methods to examine evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, the World Health Survey and the Study of Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE). Her thesis estimated the global prevalence and impact of multimorbidity across LMICs. As part of her research, she undertook qualitative field work in Accra (Ghana) to develop an in-depth understanding of the impact of multimorbidity amongst women within a LMIC. The implications of the study are wide-reaching and consider evidence for better health planning, policy, and community interventions; particularly for LMICs facing a rising multimorbidity burden.

Supervisors: Professor Paul J Roderick (Medicine), Professor Allan Hill (Social Sciences), Associate Professor Borislav Dimitrov (Medicine); Dr Caroline Eyles (Medicine)

Current research projects

Evaluation of the Domestic Abuse Prevention Partnership (DAPP) in Hampshire, UK
The DAPP is a community-based perpetrator programme led by Hampton Trust, a third sector organisation. The Partnership seeks to engage all types of perpetrators of domestic abuse, independent of their needs, with the aim of reducing harm to victims and their families. The University of Southampton are undertaking a mixed methods evaluation of the DAPP; in order to examine both its process and outcomes. The findings from this study will inform providers, policy makers, and commissioners about the feasibility and effectiveness of the new DAPP model within this study population; how the intended outcomes are achieved, and how unanticipated consequences may emerge. This will seek to inform potential stakeholders about its generalisability and replicability outside of Hampshire. (Principal Investigator - Julie Parkes; Lead Researcher - Sara A Morgan)

Evaluation of alcohol misuse screening and very brief intervention in a sexual health clinic, and region-wide alcohol strategy
The aims of the research project are to explore the feasibility, and evaluate the implementation, of an alcohol screening and brief intervention at the sexual health clinic in Portsmouth (with screening and intervention), comparing it to the sexual clinic in Southampton (without screening and intervention); and the uptake of the web-based support both in the clinic and through a region-wide promotional campaign. 

An evaluation of an out-of-court community-based Gateway intervention programme
(Co-applicant; NIHR Public Health Research Programme: £1.4M)
The research study aims to evaluate a novel court diversion scheme that provides health and social care for 18-24 year olds committing low level crime (such as possession of drugs or public disorder offences) within the Southampton Policing District; and is the first randomised control trial to-date addressing health and health-related outcomes of young offenders within a police setting. The Gateway intervention model was conceived by Hampshire Constabulary (HC) as a ‘culture changing initiative’ that seeks to address the complex needs of young adults aged 18-24 years. Central to this, the belief that transitions into adulthood are not linear and that court diversion, and pro social schemes, can support desistence amongst this vulnerable population, thereby keeping communities safer.


Research group

Primary Care & Population Sciences

Affiliate research groups

Population Health Sciences Research group, Human Development and Health, Global Health Research Institute, CLAHRC, Wessex

  • Steering Committee member for organising Educational events in Global Health.
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Book Chapter




  • Teaching on MSc Public Health Modules: “Health Service, Organisation and Evaluation” and “Epidemiology: Concepts, Analysis and Application
  • Supervision and mentoring of MSc Public Health and MSc Global Health students
  • Facilitator for SSU Module – Health Improvement (BM5)
  • Undertaking appraisals/marking for MSc students in Public Health and students BM4/BM5 

Available for PhD supervision.

Dr Sara A Morgan (nee Afshar)
Faculty of Medicine
Primary Care and Population Sciences
Room AB230
Level B, South Academic Block
Southampton General Hospital
Tremona Road, Southampton
SO16 6YD

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