Health Experiences Research Group

The Health Experience Research Group (HERG) at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences are responsible for much of the research that appears on healthtalk.org. 

HERG was set up to collect and analyse health experiences using rigorous qualitative research methods to ensure that the information provided was balanced and accurate. 

The HERG method has been taught to partners in other UK universities and overseas. This has resulted in projects being produced for healthtalk.org and counterpart websites being set up in more than 10 other countries under the umbrella of DIPEx International.

HERG has also produced a significant number of academic papers relating to this research

For each interview our researchers conduct, just a few extracts will be chosen for publications on this website. Full sets of interviews (usually 35-50 per collection) and supporting documents are retained in the Health Experiences Research Group (HERG) archive. In some cases, the original (primary) researcher may use their own data for a different purpose, possibly with external collaborators. Interviews in the archive are all copyrighted to the University of Oxford and available, under license, to qualitative researchers for secondary analysis (subject to approval and administrative costs).

The following sections on healthtalk.org were produced from research by the group:

Acne (young people)

Alopecia (young people)

Alport syndrome

Arthritis (young people)


Atrial fibrillation

Bereavement due to suicide

Bereavement due to traumatic death


Bone surgery

Bowel Screening

Breast cancer in men

Breast cancer in women

Breast screening


Cancer (young people)

Carers of people with dementia

Caring for someone with a terminal illness

Cervical abnormalities: CIN3 CGIN

Cervical cancer

Cervical screening

Chronic pain

Cleft lip and palate

Clinical trials

Clinical trials and medical research (young people)

Clinical trials: Parents' experiences

Colorectal cancer

Conditions that threaten women's lives in childbirth & pregnancy


Depression & low mood (young people)

Diabetes type 1 (young people)

Diabetes type 2

Drugs & alcohol (young people)

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Easting disorders (young people)

Eczema (young people)

Electroconvulsive therapy

Ending a pregnancy for fetel abnormality


Epilepsy in young people

Experiences of antidepressants

Experiences of depression & recovery in Australia

Experiences of nurses, midwives & allied health professionals in research

Experiences of participating in the 100,000 genomes project

Experiences of psychosis

Family experiences of vegetative & minimally concious states

Flu or flu-like illness in chronically or disabled children

Giving up smoking


Having a grandchild on the autism spectrum

Having a sibling on the autism spectrum

Health & weight (young people)

Heart attack

Heart failure



Intensive care: Experiences of family & friends

Intensive care: Patients' experiences

Jewish health

Kidney health


Life on the autism spectrum

Life-changing injuries

Living with a urinary catheter

Living with and beyond cancer

Living with dying

Living with multiple health problems

Long term health conditions (young people)

Losing a baby at 20-24 weeks of pregnancy

Lung cancer


Making decisions about birth after caesarean


Mental health: Ethic minority carers' experiences

Mental health: Ethnic minority experiences

Motor Neurone Disease (MND)

Multiple sclerosis: Friends & family experiences

Organ Donation


Ovarian cancer

Pancreatic cancer

Parents of children on the autism spectrum

Parents of children with congenital heart disease

Parents' experiences of neonatal surgery

Parkinson's disease

Patient & public involvement in research

Penile cancer

Pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure in pregnancy


Prostate cancer

PSA test for prostate cancer

Psoriasis (young people)

Psychosis (young people)

Researchers' experiences of patient & public involvement

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Screening for sickle cell and beta thalassaemia

Screening for unrecognised heart valve disease

Seeing the GP: Advice and tips for young people

Self-harm: Parents' experiences

Sexual Health (young people)

Shared decision making

Sleep problems in later life


Testicular Cancer

TIA and Minor Stroke

Weight change & associated health problems

Women’s experiences of Domestic Violence and Abuse

Young Adults’ Experiences of Depression in the U.S.