Postpartum psychosis (PP) is a severe but treatable form of mental illness that can happen to women after having a baby. PP affects approximately 2 mothers per 1000 deliveries and occurs very rapidly in the days or weeks following birth. Research suggests that whilst the most severe symptoms of PP can remit within 2 to 12 weeks, functional recovery may take longer, with 30% of women reporting difficulties with psychosocial functioning 12 years post-episode. Mothers may experience depression, anxiety and reduced confidence. Current treatment for PP is mainly pharmacological and often involves an inpatient admission in a specialist mother and baby unit. However, there is a need for further development of psychological interventions to support longer-term recovery.
Collaborative Partner: Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Project aims and objectives
This innovative and exciting project aims to use mixed methods to further understand the process of recovery following an episode of PP from a range of different perspectives. This will help to inform the development a psychological model of PP and tailored interventions.
A comprehensive package of training will be agreed in consultation with the supervisors. Elements of training will be provided by the supervisors, University of East Anglia, and by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust as collaborating organisation on this project. Training opportunities include:
- A mental health clinical research placement at NSFT providing an opportunity to learn about the ethical and practical delivery of mental health research
- A clinical placement in a Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service to provide a real-life understanding of clinical care and service delivery
Applicants: essential and/or desirable attributes/skills
The student will have a good undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related field. The student will also have excellent interpersonal skills. Experience of working with vulnerable groups, families or babies, particularly in clinical settings, would be valuable. This PhD would particularly suit someone with an interest in a clinical academic career. The student would need to obtain an enhanced DBS check in order to pursue this project.
- This studentship may be taken as either a 1+3 year award (a one-year MSc followed by a three-year PhD), a +3 award (a three-year PhD)
- It may be taken full-time or part-time
- To be eligible for a full award you must be a Home or International student who satisfies the criteria below:
To be a home student, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
- Have settled status, or
- Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
- Have indefinite leave to remain or enter.
If you do not meet any of the criteria above, you are classed as an international student.
How to apply for this studentship
In order to be considered for this SeNSS studentship, you must first apply for a place to study University of East Anglia, noting that you are applying for the collaborative studentship. Please go to University of East Anglia, How to apply for a PhD for information on how to make your application.
The deadline applying to University of East Anglia for a place is 23:59 GMT on 23 February 2022
You will then need to make a separate application to SeNSS for this collaborative studentship. Please read the SeNSS Collaborative Studentship Application Guidance Notes before completing our online application form. The Guidance Notes are available at the bottom of the following webpage: Applying for a SeNSS collaborative studentship
Starting date: On or about 1 October 2022.
For further enquiries:
For enquiries related to the studentship topic, please email Dr Joanne Hodgekins ([Email Address Removed])
For enquiries related to your eligibility for this studentship, and the application process, please email: [Email Address Removed]