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Katie Jones

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Professional biography

I am a part-time Doctoral Researcher in the School of Health, Wellbeing & Social Care in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies (WELS). Prior to joining WELS as a PhD student, I gained experience as a Research Consultant in the School of Psychology & Counselling in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. 

Research interests

I am passionate about the need to improve experiences and outcomes related to the critical '1001 days' from the conception of pregnancy to the infant's second birthday. 

My doctoral research aims to develop a comprehensive picture of perinatal anxiety (anxiety occurring during pregnancy or within 12 months of childbirth), reveal the associated risk factors, protective factors and triggers, and establish whether there is a predictable pattern of symptom fluctuations during the twelve months postpartum. The association between perinatal anxiety and mother-infant interactions will also be investigated to shed further light on the nature and direction of this relationship. Finally, the utility of two relatively new measures for identifying postnatal anxiety symptoms will be explored alongside existing tools to provide evidence (if appropriate) to promote their uptake in perinatal primary care and improve the identification of women in need of support. 

My research combines qualitative accounts of women’s experiences, standardised quantitative self-report measures, and structured clinical interviews, collected at multiple timepoints during the perinatal period. Together findings should produce a dependable illustration of perinatal anxiety to guide future preventative and supportive intervention programmes and effectively target resources to reduce the prevalence and severity of symptoms.

Beyond my PhD studies I am currently working on a study exploring perinatal mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. I also have experience in educational research and literacy interventions. 

External collaborations

My PhD is funded by the ESRC Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) which brings together a small number of Social Science research students from Brunel University, the Open University and the University of Oxford. Stakeholder collaborations are central to the DTP's commitment to research excellence. As such my research benefits from connections with charities, community organisations and Perinatal Teams across the UK to maximise impact and knowledge exchange.