Psychological Medicine Research

UCL Insitute of Child Health

What do we do?

We are a multi-disciplinary team of researchers with an interest in improving mental health needs in young people with long-term physical illnesses.

All children with long-term physical illness may have mental health needs but children with neurological symptoms and problems are even more likely to often have emotional, behavioural and learning difficulties than children without. Psychological problems often have a significant impact on both the child and their family, and their school experience. These problems are nobody's fault and may be related to the underlying neurological problem, but they are often easily treated.

Our research focuses on better understanding the overlap between neurology and psychiatry/psychology. We are interested in evaluating the psychological treatments that have been shown to work in young people with mental health disorders in those who also have physical health conditions. We are also interested in developing and evaluating new cognitive behavioural interventions for psychopathology such as perfectionism and obsessive compulsive disorder across the age range.

Ensuring that our work can be translated into routine clinical care is a priority and fundamental to the research we conduct.? To both pilot and evaluate treatments we have collaborated in establishing a model Psychological Medicine Intervention Service where research standard measurement is integrated into clinical care.


Current research we are running in 2017

Guided Self-Help for Children with Neurological Conditions

We aim to discover whether standard evidence-based interventions for children and young people (7 - 16 years old) with common mental health difficulties, such as anxiety, depression or behaviour problems, also work for children with neurological conditions. If they do, then we hope that these interventions can be offered more widely in clinical services, so that children and families can access them locally.

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Overcoming Perfectionism

Perfectionism can be a problem for some people. This research aims to see if online self-help with guidance from a supporter is an effective treatment for perfectionism in adults.

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Guided Online Self-Help for Adolescents with Cancer and Depression

The purpose of the study is to improve mental health outcomes for young people (13 - 24 years old) with cancer. We do so by assessing the mental health needs of young people with cancer and depression through interviews to inform the development of a online portal for guided self-help.

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Wellbeing in Young People with Epilepsy

Epilepsy is the most common brain illness in children. Such children are at up to 9 times more risk of emotional and behavioural disorders compared with healthy children and children with non-neurological chronic illnesses. This project monitors young people with epilepsy (age 3 - 18 years old) for 6 months across NHS sites to identify common mental health problems and assess the feasibility of future large scale clinical trials.

Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing Drop-in Centre: The Lucy Project

This is a research project to develop and evaluate a friendly and accessible drop-in clinic for mental health for young people and their families at Great Ormond Street Hospital. We want to provide children and young people aged 0-18 at Great Ormond Street, and their parents/caregivers with the opportunity to talk about any mental health and psychological wellbeing concerns that they might have.

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Cystic Fibrosis Research Project

We are interested in finding out more about what life is like for individuals with Cystic Fibrosis and their families. Through interviewing those with CF who are older than 11 years, their siblings and parents, we hope to get a clearer understanding of the impact of CF on various topics, such as school and work life, family life and mental health among others.

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Meet our Team

  • Professor Roz Shafran

    Principle Investigator

    Roz is Professor of Translational Psychology at the UCL of Child Health. Her clinical research interests include cognitive behavioural theories and treatments for eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and perfectionism.

  • Professor Isobel Heyman

    Consultant Neuropsychiatrist

  • Dr Tara Murphy

    Consultant Neuropsychologist

  • Dr Anna Coughtrey

    Research Coordinator

    Anna is a Clinical Psychologist and works as a post-doctoral research coordinator for the Psychological Medicine Team at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health at UCL. She has a PhD and her research interests include child and adolescent mental health, parent training and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

  • Dr Sophie Bennett

    Clinical Psychologist

  • Manuela Barona

    Honorary Clinical Psychologist

  • Leo Bevilacqua

    PhD Student

  • Mhairi McKenzie

    PhD Student

  • Dr Fiona McFarlane

    Clinical Psychologist

  • Dr Daniel Stark

    Clinical Psychologist

  • Dr Eve McAllister

    Clinical Psychologist

  • Dr Laura Markham

    Clinical Psychologist

  • Anup Kharod

    Assistant Psychologist

  • Harriet Clarkson

    PhD student


Psychological Medicine Research

UCL Institute of Child Health

30 Guilford Street

London WC1N 1EH

0207 905 2232