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Lauren Gray

Award title: SPCR PhD Studentship

Project Title: Preventing anxiety and depression in people diagnosed with inflammatory rheumatological conditions

 Brief Summary: 

People with inflammatory rheumatological conditions (IRCs) such as rheumatoid arthritis are at increased risk of developing depression and anxiety. This can have an adverse impact on physical health outcomes and quality of life.

Currently, NICE guidelines recommend case-finding questions to identify anxiety and depression in people with long term conditions (LTCs) and refer them on to the most appropriate treatment. However, a more pro-active, prevention-based approach may be more effective in reducing prevalence of depression and anxiety and lower disease burden.

There has been some evidence for depression-prevention strategies in other co-morbidity groups such as diabetes, but there is lack of evidence in IRCs. Depression is often co-morbid with anxiety but there is little work on anxiety-prevention strategies in people with LTCs.

The aim of my doctoral research is to examine the current evidence-base for depression and anxiety prevention strategies in people with LTCs and engage with key stakeholders to develop a new prevention intervention for people with IRCs. This will be split into 3 phases:

1. A systematic review to establish effectiveness of preventative interventions for LTCs.

2. Interviews with people with IRCs and healthcare practitioners to explore understandings of anxiety and depression and views on prevention.

3. A stakeholder group to co-design an outline for a brief psychosocial intervention.

Start date: 1-Nov-2021

End date: 31-July-2027

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