Dr Kay Polidano is a medical sociologist with expertise in qualitative research. Her main research interests include health-related stigma, health services, and global health.

In 2015, Kay graduated with a BA (Hons) in Sociology from the University of Malta, her home country. She then completed an MSc in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), graduating with distinction. Her Master’s thesis was awarded a national prize by the Dutch Sociological Association (2016). Straight afterwards, Kay moved to the UK to pursue doctoral research at Keele University, from where she received her PhD in January 2020.

Kay has joined the ECLIPSE research team as a Research Associate in Public Engagement and Global Health. She is based at the Institute of Global Health and School of Primary, Community and Social Care.

Research and scholarship

Dr Kay Polidano is working on ECLIPSE; an NIHR-funded global health project which aims to improve physical and mental health outcomes of people with cutaneous leishmaniasis (a highly stigmatising skin condition) across Brazil, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. She is contributing to the design, implementation and evaluation of community engagement and involvement throughout this project; ensuring that all forms of engagement are conducted in culturally-appropriate and context-bespoke ways.

Her previous research focused on the role of online health communities; lived experiences of people with medically unexplained symptoms; and the psychological support needs of young adults living with a stoma.


Polidano K, Chew-Graham CA, Bartlam B, Farmer AD, Saunders B. 2019. Embracing a 'new normal': the construction of biographical renewal in young adults' narratives of living with a stoma. Sociol Health Illn.

Polidano K, Chew-Graham CA, Farmer AD, Saunders B. 2019. Identification and management of psychological distress after stoma surgery: a qualitative study of patients and healthcare professionals. Journal of Crohn’s & Colitis (vol. 13, pp. S272-S273)

Polidano KP, Farmer ADF, Bartlam BB, Saunders BS. 2018. Supportive care needs of young adults with a stoma: A qualitative study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (vol. 72, p. A72)

Troya MI, Babatunde O, Polidano K, Bartlam B, McCloskey E, Dikomitis L, Chew-Graham CA. 2019. Self-harm in older adults: systematic review. Br J Psychiatry, vol. 214(4), 186-200.