We do both qualitative and quantitative research depending on which is the best approach to address the questions that are most important to study. We are interested in doing research that makes a difference to people who live with psychiatric disorders and their families. We have many individual projects that fall into the following broad topic areas:
- Developing evidence-based practice in psychiatric genetic counselling
Our research has led to the development of a new service for people who live with psychiatric disorders and their families, called psychiatric genetic counselling [insert link to the “what is psychiatric genetic counselling?” section]. Our research has shown that psychiatric genetic counselling can make important differences for people who live with psychiatric disorders and their families (see publications section). We continue to explore ways to make psychiatric genetic counselling more effective, and to explore different effects that it might have. For example, we are exploring:
- how best to use psychiatric genetic counselling to help families who are living with 22q11 deletion syndrome, and
- whether psychiatric genetic counselling helps people to improve their own mental health
To find out more about the clinic we established, click here.
- Understanding predictors of Mental Health problems
We are interested in understanding the roles that genetics and environmental factors play in determining whether or not someone develops a mental health problem. We are interested in the factors that contribute to developing mental health problems in the postpartum period (see our publications section), and what sorts of factors contribute to children developing mental health problems.
- Understanding patient and healthcare providers’ perspectives on pharmacogenetic testing for depression
Pharmacogenetics is all about using genetic testing to figure out what medication might work best for a person. Because depression medications can have unpleasant side effects, and these medications don’t work just well for all people, pharmacogenetic testing is of great interest. We are interested in exploring what people know and feel about pharmacogenetic testing - especially if they live with/have experience of depression, and/or have experience as a health professional in providing care for people with depression.
- Integrating GCs into primary care
We are interested in thinking about what the future of genetic counselling services might look like. Historically, genetic counselling has been a service for which patients need a referral to visit a specialist clinic. This might create all sorts of barriers to access for people. So, we are interested in exploring how to integrate genetic counselors into primary care practice settings - we are working on this as part of the bigger GenCOUNSEL project.