Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Iris van der Scheer

Iris's photo

My PhD Title: Discussion of mental health concerns in GP consultations

Supervisor: Prof. Fiona Stevenson (UCL), Prof. Geraldine Leydon (UoS), Dr. Jamie Ross (UCL) & Dr. Shoba Poduval (UCL)

Lay summary: Mental health concerns are a significant element of the GP’s workload. Many patients only receive help from their GP, but little is known about whether, when and how help is actually requested and provided. The project investigates how the discussion of mental health concerns unfolds in GP consultations. The project comprises of a literature review, Conversation Analytical (CA) study and another qualitative study.
First, the literature on the discussion of mental health concerns will be reviewed. Second, a CA study will reuse the Harnessing resources from the internet to maximise outcomes from GP consultations (HaRI) data which consists of 281 primary care consultations and additional surveys/interviews. The results of the second study will be used to develop the third study. Based on the CA findings, clinicians and patients will be asked about their opinion and experience regarding mental health concerns. An intervention or guidelines will be developed, based on the findings, which can be implemented in primary care. It is a 3-year project, and it is funded by the NIHR ARC North Thames.

My Background
Iris van der Scheer is a PhD candidate within the Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health (PCPH) at UCL. During her bachelor’s, she became fascinated by CA and the way it is used to discover the regularities that exist in human interaction. In her second year, she conducted research in a medical context for the first time and since then has been passionate about medical interaction. 

She has completed a Research Master’s in Linguistics from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). As part of fulfilment of this degree, she did a research internship at the University of Bristol (UK). This experience confirmed that an academic career is the right path for her. Her broader research interests include health communication, innovation, and implementation.

Bachelor Communication and Information Sciences, 2018, University of Groningen
Research Master Linguistics, 2020, University of Groningen

, R.K. & van der Scheer, I.Z. (2021) Chapter 2 Conversation Analysis: Questioning Patients About Prior Self-Treatment. In Brookes, G. & Hunt, D. (Eds.), Analysing Health Communication: Discourse Approaches. London, UK: Palgrave MacMillan. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-68184-5_2

Contact details iris.vanderscheer.20@ucl.ac.uk

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