Profession: Nurse and Family Therapist
Supervisor: Professor Ivan Eisler, Professor Peter Fonagy
Project title: Attachment and mentalization as predictors of treatment outcome in family therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa
What help have you received from the BRC?
I was awarded a six-month research secondment and then a one-year Preparatory Fellowship, both of which were for one day a week. The BRC also helped me in other ways, such as providing funding for training, and helping me to prepare for the NIHR interview.
What did you achieve during the secondment and Preparatory Fellowship?
I used my time to prepare an application to the NIHR for a Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship. I also completed a systematic review related to the proposed study, and met with patients and parents to seek their advice on my proposal.
What are you doing next?
I will be starting my NIHR Fellowship in March 2015. My study will recruit adolescents with anorexia nervosa and their parents as they begin family therapy at the Maudsley Hospital. I will then follow up the adolescents as they progress through treatment. The main aim of the study is to gain a better understanding of what predicts outcome for family therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa. This will help services to identify at assessment those families at risk of poor outcome. The study will also inform new adaptations to treatment in the future.
What would you say to other people thinking of applying?
I would strongly recommend applying for a research secondment or Preparatory Fellowship to anyone who is interested in getting involved in research. My experience has been that there is a lot of support available to people who want to apply for fellowships. Applying for a Doctoral Fellowship is a large undertaking, and it would be hard to do this successfully whilst working full-time in a clinical role. The BRC can provide you with the time you need to develop your ideas into a focussed research proposal.