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Health and social consequences of the 2001 foot and mouth disease epidemic: an action research project

Project: Non-funded ProjectProjects

1/11/011/03/03

The 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak had enormous effects on the economic, social and political life of rural areas in the UK. This research project, which was funded by the Department of Health, produced evidence about the human health and social consequences of the epidemic.

In a large scale ethnography, a standing panel of 54 local people from the worst affected area (North Cumbria) was recruited. This panel wrote weekly diaries over a period of 18 months describing how their lives had been affected by the crisis and the process of recovery they observed around them. This community-based approach cast the panel members as the 'experts' in the study. They contributed more than 3,000 weekly diaries which form part of the anonymised archive held at the ESDS Qualidata. The paper copies are archived with consent at Lancaster University Rare Book Archive. The findings and other material can be seen at the project website http://www.footandmouthstudy.org.uk/

The research findings are relevant for understanding what forms of support people need both in disaster situations and in the recovery period. They are also relevant for the development of rural health policy more generally.

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