Social and Epidemiological Psychiatry Overview

The Social & Epidemiological Psychiatry Research Group consists of two interrelated research areas in adult mental health and disability (Professor Brugha), and in the psychiatry of older people (Dr Velayudhan and Emeritus Professor Lindesay). The group conducts substantive, applied and methodological research. The Group is closely allied with other research groups within the Department of Health Sciences with growing links with the Department of Psychology. The group also makes a substantial contribution to survey Secondary Analysis Collaborations with strong links to other academic institutions throughout the world. Long-term collaborations are maintained with the following universities: Cambridge (England); the Institute of Psychiatry (London), Bristol, Sheffield, Groningen, Harvard.

The group has been able to lead on the solution to substantive research questions with its collaborations with external and world class expertise in survey methods and instrument development and evaluation, developmental psychopathology and social care, adult psychopathology and social influences on health, mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention, developmental psychology, criminology and the psychology of delinquency, drug misuse and crime, ageing and memory, suicide and deliberate self harm; and across the group long standing relationships and firsthand experience in policy information research in British and EU Government settings. 

The group also offers a SCAN (Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry Version 2.1) Training Course twice a year in collaboration with local NHS partners.

Professor Terry Brugha is presently the lead investigator on the first ever-large scale epidemiological survey of autism spectrum disorders in adults, is chair of the WHO Advisory Committee of SCAN, and leads a programme of observational and experimental research into the prevention of depression in women in the context of child birth. He is associate editor of Psychological Medicine. Previous positions have included joint co-ordinator of the WHO World Mental Health Survey initiative in Europe (ESEMED) and Secretary General of the International Federation for Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Members of the group are currently carrying out research on the prevalence of autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) in adults living in communal care establishments and those with learning disabilities, funded by the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care. Results from this study will be combined with information from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey [1] to estimate the overall prevalence of ASC in adults living in England.  Please click here for a copy of the protocol  and here for an easy read version

[1] Brugha, T., McManus, S., Meltzer, H. et al (2007) Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults living in households throughout England. Report from the adult psychiatric morbidity survey 2007. The NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care, England.

Dr Latha Velayudhan’s current research involves establishing biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease conversion, progression and treatment response using different approaches: clinical test using smell identification test and laboratory based tests for plasma protein markers. She is associate editor of Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

 Further research activity is carried out in the psychopathological and psychosocial aspects of mental disorders in late life, particularly the dementias, depression and anxiety; suicide and self-harm; screening for depression in palliative care; assistive technologies for dementia (with the Trent Dementia Services Development Centre); and clinical trials of service developments in collaboration with the NHS, in particular Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

The group are also part of a collaboration of UK centres involved in the design and execution of large-scale independent clinical trials in dementia (MADE, RADAR, AFFECT ).

 Together with the Department of Genetics, and colleagues from Loughborough, Warwick and Aston, this research area forms part of the recently-established Midlands Centre of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust’s national Network of dementia research groups. 

The Group’s staff includes two senior research fellows, two statisticians and is closely linked with a lecturer in the CLAHRC project and a clinical lecturer in psychiatry.   




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