I am an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Doctoral Researcher based in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, working towards a PhD via the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership (a Brunel, Oxford, and the Open University collaboration) and Research Assistant in the School of Psychology and Counselling at the Open University.
My research explores emotional wellbeing, focusing primarily on perinatal mental health including anxiety, depression, and subclinical psychological distress. It is heavily influenced by my work with experts by experience. I thrive on collaboration, whether that is with other researchers, community stakeholders, or experts by experience, and aim to coproduce accessible research with members of the population under investigation.
My doctoral research includes a cross-sectional online survey, systematic review, and longitudinal mixed-methods online survey which should produce a comprehensive picture of postpartum anxiety risk factors and triggers, with particular emphasis on modifiable social and cognitive factors. The project is guided by input from NHS and third sector stakeholders and people with lived experience of postpartum anxiety. These stakeholders contribute to the research design, recruitment, analysis, and dissemination to ensure outputs are applicable in a real-world context. It aims to inform preventative and supportive interventions developed to reduce the prevalence, severity, and long-term implications of postnatal anxiety.
Beyond my doctoral research, I have co-authored quantitative and qualitative research investigating maternal mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a review of the relationship between repetitive negative thinking and anxiety and depression during the perinatal period.
My latest work as a Research Assistant explores the wellbeing needs of people with non-smoking related lung cancer. Though working with a different population to my previous research, this project explores similar underlying modifiable cognitive and social factors that influence emotional wellbeing with view to identifying opportunities to improve emotional wellbeing.
I work collaboratively with NHS and third sector stakeholders to ensure research is applicable and accessible to the UK context, whilst disseminating research findings as they arise to increase awareness of opportunities to support families. I sit on several NHS co-production and steering groups to champion perinatal mental health service improvements and support the expert-by-experience-led coproduction of evidence-based resources.
I am a core member of the Society of Reproductive and Infant Psychology (SRIP) Early Career Researcher (ECR) subgroup, coordinating their Twitter page (@SRIP_ECR) and twice monthly virtual social/peer-support meetings attended by ECRs from across Europe and Australia. I also assist with the delivery of their quarterly ECR workshops. I have utilised connections with the SRIP ECR group to expand my systematic review to include co-researchers from Switzerland and the UK, increasing the reliability of the data extraction and analysis.
Beyond SRIP ECR collaborations, I have worked with an Australian-based research team on a published review of the association between repetitive negative thinking and anxiety and depression during the perinatal period.
Finally, I collaborated with Chester Maternity Voices Partnership when working on a recent grant application to ensure public voice was at the heart of the research design.
Repetitive negative thinking in the perinatal period and its relationship with anxiety and depression (2022-08-15)
Moulds, Michelle L; Bisby, Madelyne A; Black, Melissa J; Jones, Katie; Harrison, Virginia; Hirsch, Colette R and Newby, Jill M
Journal of Affective Disorders, 311 (pp. 446-462)
Perceived social support and prenatal wellbeing; The mediating effects of loneliness and repetitive negative thinking on anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic (2022-04-29)
Harrison, Virginia; Moulds, Michelle and Jones, Katie
Women and Birth, 35(3) (pp. 232-241)
Support from friends moderates the relationship between repetitive negative thinking and postnatal wellbeing during COVID-19 (2022)
Harrison, Virginia; Moulds, Michelle L. and Jones, Katie
Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 40(5) (pp. 516-531)
A qualitative analysis of feelings and experiences associated with perinatal distress during the COVID-19 pandemic (2022)
Jones, Katie; Harrison, Virginia; Moulds, Michelle L. and Lazard, Lisa
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 22, Article 572(1)