Robust and Varied Research Programme Robust and Varied Research Programme

We have a robust and varied research programme. Members of the Department of Psychological Sciences have a variety of professional backgrounds including clinical psychology, academic psychology, psychiatry, and nursing. 

 
We undertake studies which underpin the development and evaluation of psychological interventions and aim to address the personal, economic and social impacts of severe mental illness. Psychological theory informs our research which ranges from focused hypothesis testing experimental research in the laboratory, through to confirming or rejecting hypotheses about the influence of key factors in cohort studies in both clinical and non-clinical populations, to the development of new interventions in single case experiments, open trials and randomised controlled trials.
 
We draw from our collaborations with world leading experts in related fields including health services research, health economics and epidemiology. We also work closely with other national centres, in addition to our international links.

 
We have attracted funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), including the Health Technology Assessment Programme, as well as their Research for Patient Benefit Funding Programme and work closely with local NHS trusts. We currently have two research fellows funded by the NIHR fellowship Programme for four years, and have hosted a previous NIHR Research Fellowship. We have studies funded by the British Academy, Wellcome Trust, and the Medical Research Council, as well as the Department of Health.
 
Our work involves children with brain injury, and people with depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, trauma and postraumatic stress disorder, intellectual and developmental disabilities, forensic mental health problems, dementia and neurodegenerative disease, as well as psychosis. Our staff have NHS posts, in addition to their university appointments, and work within clinical services within Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
 
Recent highlights from some of our work include:
  • Completion of a large definitive randomised controlled trial of relapse in psychosis, leading elements developing novel approaches to assessment and adherence and mediating effects of emotions and beliefs about self and others.
  • Completion of large definitive randomised controlled trial of CBT in At Risk Mental States
  • Developing a novel CBT intervention to address social disability in psychosis from MRC funded feasibility and pilot randomised trials through to an ongoing definitive HTA funded large scale trial.
  • Leading the development of a novel assessment of social disability using time use in a national programme grant on the evaluation of services for early intervention. Developing the use of this tool as primary outcome now used in several UK and international trials and large scale cohort and service evaluations, and applying this work to be used as a screening tool for detection of early social disability in NHS services.
  • Developing a novel intervention to address social anxiety in early psychosis, from feasibility studies through to establishing its efficacy by completion of a randomised trial.
  • Developing novel computer based elements of therapy translating experimental paradigms of cognitive bias modification and virtual environments into clinical tools and showing their clinical feasibility.
  • Developing and evaluating novel interventions for people with anxiety disorders and aspergers syndrome and establishing their efficacy in an RCT.
  • Developing and evaluating novel interventions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have forensic mental health problems based on moral reasoning theory within an RCT.
  • Developing and evaluating novel cognitive and emotional interventions for young people with brain injury  and undertaking feasibility studies and an RCT.

Training

We host a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology training programme. The University of East Anglia clinical psychology doctoral course is a partnership between the University, the NHS, and practising clinical psychologists in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. We value the support of practising clinical psychologists highly, and they are involved in all aspects of the course organisation and teaching, and have many links with University. We offer supervisor training, study days, and a highly valued series of masterclasses in cognitive behavioural therapy. Currently, there are nine PhD/MD students studying within our Department.