Psychological Medicine focuses on the interface between medical and psychological disorders with projects focusing on aetiological mechanisms and on developing interventions that improve outcome and quality of life.
Our work is aimed at improving understanding of:
- the epidemiology of both functional somatic syndromes (FSS),
- the pathophysiology of FSS,
- the role of psychosocial factors on treatment outcome and quality of life following surgery for cancer and trauma and in long-term cancer survivors and in developing effective and safe interventions to improve the quality of life in these patients.
Psychological Medicine focuses on the interface between medical and psychological disorders.
The studies of the epidemiology of functional somatic syndromes showed a fashion change in the use of functional somatic syndromes (FSS) diagnostic labels in UK primary care. The particular labels chosen by GPs also influenced prognosis. Common risk factors preceded a diagnosis of any FSS, whereas uncommon risks determined the onset of different FSS. Studies of pathophysiology of FSS showed that both biological and psychosocial factors are important in these disorders. We are currently exploring the neurophysiology of pain in different FSS.
The main trial of our group has been the PACE trial (www.pacetrial.org), which showed that both graded exercise therapy (GET) and cognitive behaviour therapy are safe and effective treatments of CFS. We are currently engaged in testing the efficacy and safety of guided self-managed GET for CFS.
Studies of cancer survivors suggested that quality of life is a problem for a significant minority, particularly related to fatigue, psychological distress and medical comorbidity. We are about to develop an intervention to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors.
Our current projects include:
- Pace Trial (White, Clark)
- GETSET trial (Guided exercise therapy for CFS) (White, Clark, Tims)
- SURECAN (Developing an intervention for cancer survivors) (White, Korszun, Bhui)
- Psychological and Cultural Predictors of Treatment Outcome and Quality of Life in Cancer and Trauma Patients (Korszun, Bhui)
- Development of digital technology to improve wellbeing and reduce violence in young victims of violence attending The Trauma Centre. (Korszun)
- Psychosocial Factors and quality of life in long term cancer survivors (Korszun, White)
- Brain in Pain II – The quantitative assessment of pain phenotypes in chronic fatigue syndrome (Bourke, White)
- Brain in Pain III – The neurophysiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (Bourke, White)
- Brain in Pain IV – The neurophysiology of chronic idiopathic pain (Bourke, White)
Our national collaborators include the universities of Aberdeen, Bristol, Manchester, Oxford, and Imperial, Kings and University Colleges in London. Our international collaborators include the Centers for Disease Control, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, Duke Cancer Institute, North Carolina, USA, and Nijmegen University.