Project ID iCASE2023_06


Co Supervisor 1A Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience Psychological Medicine Academic PsychiatryWebsite

Co Supervisor 1B Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine School of Life Course & Population Sciences Occupational Health Department at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS TrustWebsite

Understanding what works in supporting people to remain or return to work when experiencing common mental disorders: a data linkage project combined with an consultancy firm placement

You will join a multidisciplinary team who led the creation of a linked dataset using electronic mental healthcare records of patients accessing Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services at SLaM with benefit records from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (n=400,000). With 18 million working days being lost annually due to mental ill health, and one in five working-age adults suffering from common mental disorders at some point in their lives, research into the welfare and treatment needs of patients is required thereby exploring whether IAPT services supports ceasing of receiving unemployment related benefits or enables patients to remain in employment.

The overarching aim is to increase our understanding about the mental health and benefit profile of patients accessing IAPT, how Work Capability Assessments (WCA) impact on patient outcomes and whether IAPT predicts (earlier) ceasing of receiving unemployment related benefits compared to other interventions.

The student will receive training in systematic reviewing, data linkage, statistical analyses techniques for longitudinal data, managing big datasets in STATA and MPlus. This will be complemented by on-the-job training at KCL and Cordell Health.

Findings will provide knowledge around what is required and most appropriate to help people affected by mental disorders to gain and maintain work or find suitable alternatives, thereby feeding into the DWP areas of research interest. Together with an already established PPI group, the student will be able to develop practical recommendations based on the findings to improve upon policies relating to benefit receipt and mental health service delivery.

Year 1
Conduct scoping review around benefit receipt, mental ill health and interventions to support people in work
Refine research questions with help from Department for Work and Pensions, supervisors and Cordell Health
Submit application to access the linked data and receive data for analysis purposes

Year 2
Submit review for publication
Write statistical analysis plan
Start data analysis

Year 3
3-month placement at Cordell Health
Finalise data analysis

Year 4
Writing up thesis
Preparing manuscripts for publication
Dissemination of results on conferences, events

One representative publication from each co-supervisor:

Stevelink SAM, Pollitt A, Madan I (2019). Mental health and work: what’s next? Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Dorrington S, Carr E, Stevelink SAM…., Madan I, Hatch S, Hotopf M (2020). Multimorbidity and fit note receipt in working age adults with long term health conditions. Psychological Medicine.