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Avril Cassell

PhD student

About Research



Avril graduated from St Mary’s University with a First Class BSc (Hons) degree in Nutrition Science.

Following her undergraduate degree, Avril remained at St Mary’s to complete an MSc in Chronic Disease Management, graduating with a Distinction. Her MSc project used qualitative methods to explore the experiences of UK based Caribbean populations in relation to interactions with healthcare professionals and healthcare services and the extent to which the experiences of interactions and adoption of healthcare messages may contribute to low engagement and reported health inequalities.

Avril commenced her full time PhD at St Mary’s, alongside developing her social enterprise aiming to help reduce ethnic health inequalities through research, education, private practice and tailored public health interventions.


Research profile

PhD Title: Exploration of the experiences of UK-based Caribbean populations to understand social and health determinants that intersect with race in relation to health inequalities.

Avril’s research seeks to understand and unpick the various social and health determinants that intersect with race, utilising an intersectional theoretical framework to adequately contextualise, fully elucidate, delineate underlying causes, motivations, and stakeholder perspectives.

A series of 3 key multi-disciplinary studies will engage mixed methodologies designed to inform the design of a culturally adapted Tier 2 weight management and lifestyle intervention and a blueprint for a “tool-kit” for use by primary health care practitioners to reduce the impact of unconscious bias, increase equitable access to and engagement with health services and improve treatment adherence.

The impact of this work is increased engagement with health services in black, minority, ethnic populations and improved health and weight management outcomes due to implementation of an evidence informed culturally adapted intervention prototype.

Her research interests include ethnic health inequalities, culturally adapted weight management and lifestyle interventions, cultural foods promotion, chronic disease prevention, functional medicine and climacteric health.


  • Anne Majumder
  • Jade Salim
  • Lubna Ahmed

Conference presentations

Nutrition Society Nutrition Futures Conference Summer Studentship award & presentation, September 2019: Impact of cultural ethnic norms, body image and health perceptions on views and practices relating to healthcare messages of Black British Caribbean UK population

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