Dr. Anne Townsend is a Research Associate at the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia. She gained her BA in Sociology and Educational Studies in 1989 at the University of Lancaster, UK, an MA in Women’s Studies at the University of Exeter, UK in 1993, and was awarded a Medical Research Council PhD in the School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 2005. She was a lecturer in Sociology in the UK between 1991-1999. While undertaking her PhD she was Senior Head Warden at the University of Glasgow (head of pastoral care for the student resident population).
Her association with the University of British Columbia began in 2006 as a Post-Doctoral fellow in the Health Policy and Training Program at the Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, which she completed in 2009. She has also taught an Introduction to Qualitative Methods and the Sociology of Health and Illness as an Instructor in the Department of Sociology. Her teaching also includes case-based learning/seminars in ethics to health care trainees.
Dr. Townsend is a qualitative researcher with academic activities in two main areas; the experience of chronic illness and health research ethics. Her work in chronic illness focuses on self-management and issues of identity, shared decision-making, medication use and concordance and consulting behaviour. Her work in ethics includes the ethics of qualitative research to inform an evidence base, the experience of being a health research subject and issues of relational autonomy in the patient/consumer-physician relationship. Her qualitative methodology expertise includes grounded theory, framework analysis and narrative approaches. More recently she has developed an interest in digital health and how they influence patient and physican roles, relationships and responsibilities.