Psychotic disorders are severe mental illnesses characterised by disturbance in thoughts, feelings, and mood. Onset of psychosis typically occurs when people are young during their studies or starting work and it affects 1 in 50 of the population. Research has shown that people living in cities and those from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups have higher rates of psychotic disorders and poorer outcomes, after first diagnosis. There is evidence that some neighbourhood characteristics including higher urban density, deprivation, and lower relative numbers of minorities (low ethnic density) within a given neighbourhood are associated with higher incidence of psychosis. At present, it is unclear to what extent evidence from city areas can be replicated in rural areas or whether these neighbourhood characteristics determine the risk of long-term poor social and clinical prognosis.
This epidemiologically informed cohort study aims to utilise de-identified electronic health records of people with first episode of psychosis to understand the influence of neighbourhood factors on long-term (ten-years) outcomes of psychosis by ethnicity to a much greater degree than has been previously possible. You will work with large clinical data on cohorts of people with first episode psychosis in catchment areas consisting of rural and urban populations. This work will provide valuable evidence underlying differences in treatment, service use, and social functioning in rural and urban areas and why some ethnic groups might be at increased risk of poor outcome.
This PhD programme will provide robust training in systematic reviews, advanced quantitative methods, and clinical informatics, including:
- Multi-level and Longitudinal Modelling
- Machine Learning for Health
- Natural Language Processing
This interdisciplinary study will also enable you to work with leading experts in social and psychiatric epidemiology at the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, King’s College London, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Trust and UCL.