Peri Ballantyne

Academic Co-Lead, Health Theme

Dr. Ballantyne is a health sociologist, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Peri has on-going affiliations with the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto; and with the Institute for Work and Health. She currently teaches sociology research methods and the sociology of health and illness to undergraduate students at Trent University. She has previously taught courses on aging and the life course, on the health professions, and on Canadian health and social policy.

Dr. Ballantyne's research interests include the social determinants of health, aging and the life course and lay experience of illness, with an emphasis on public access to and use of pharmaceuticals. In qualitative research, she has used primarily in-depth interviewing and focus group methods to examine how social context influences the meaning of human phenomenon such as illness, disability, health, work and non-work, poverty, social support, and medication use. She also conducts survey research. In an on-going project with the Research Action Alliance on the Consequences of Work Injury (RAACWI), she has led the development of a health and health care utilization survey of Ontario injured workers with permanent impairments. Her group is documenting post-injury health status changes (including changes in mental health status), and examining the extent to which workplace injury is associated with heightened need for health care services of various kinds. In this project, they have a particular interest in how injured workers view medications for the management of chronic conditions and pain, and for some, anxiety and depression.

In a recent qualitative research project, Dr. Ballantyne and her colleagues examined the relationship between perceptions of health and health-care decision-making and use by older adults. They placed a particular focus on the participants' views of the appropriateness of medicinal drugs in their everyday health practices; and of their selection of or rejection of drugs for gaining or maintaining health, or for treating illness. In this work, they are learning about the structural constraints of language and culture entrenched in evolving practices of everyday living as well as the constraints of health system organization and access on health care practices and lay-perceptions of health. They are also beginning to understand how life-course migration and immigration influences definitions of health and expectations for health care as described by the 'global' aged citizen.

Related Research

Ballantyne, P., Vienneau, P., O'Hagan, F., Casey, B. (2009-2011) Poverty and near poverty of injured worker respondents to the RAACWI Injured Worker Health Survey. Cycle 1: Health and social status comparisons to non-poor injured workers. Funded by RAACWI.

Related Grants

Tompa, E., Scott-Marshall, H., Ballantyne, P., Mustard, C., Saunders, R., Hogg-Johnson, S. Work disability and poverty. Submitted to SSHRC standard research grants program, October 15, 2010.

Peri Ballantyne