I am an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Doctoral Researcher based in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, working towards a PhD via the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership (a Brunel, Oxford, and the Open University collaboration). I have also held posts as a Research Associate in the School of Psychology and Counselling at the Open University, and as a Research Assistant with the Behavioural Insights Team.
My work within and beyond academia sits around my passion for supporting the emotional wellbeing of families during the critical period from the conception of pregnancy to the infant's second birthday (the perinatal period).
My research focuses on perinatal mental health including anxiety, depression, and subclinical psychological distress, and is heavily influenced by my work with experts by experience. I thrive on collaboration, whether that is with other researchers, community stakeholders, or experts by experience, and I aim to coproduce accessible research with members of the population under investigation.
My doctoral research includes a cross-sectional online survey, systematic review, and longitudinal mixed-methods online survey which should produce a comprehensive picture of postpartum anxiety risk factors and triggers. The project is guided by NHS and third sector stakeholders and people with lived experience of postpartum anxiety who contribute to the research design, recruitment, analysis, and dissemination. It aims to inform preventative and supportive intervention programmes seeking to reduce the prevalence, severity, and long-term implications of postnatal anxiety.
Beyond my doctoral research, I have co-authored quantitative and qualitative research investigating maternal mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a review of the relationship between repetitive negative thinking and anxiety and depression during the perinatal period.
I engage with NHS and third sector stakeholders to seek input on my research design, disseminate research findings, and raise awareness of opportunities to support perinatal families. I sit on several NHS co-production and steering groups to champion perinatal mental health service improvements and am a member of the National team for perinatal mental health in Policing. As well as presenting research outputs to groups of Midwives and Health Visitors, I work closely with Chester Maternity Voices Partnership and Silver Birch Maternal Mental Health Hubs to support the expert-by-experience-led coproduction of local evidence-based information and resources to improve perinatal emotional wellbeing.
In 2021/2, I worked with an Australian-based research team on a review of the association between repetitive negative thinking and anxiety and depression during the perinatal period. I have also brought together a group of researchers and experts by experience from across the UK with an interest in Perinatal Mental Health in Policing with view to developing a new collaborative research project.
I am a core member of the Society of Reproductive and Infant Psychology (SRIP) Early Career Researcher (ECR) subgroup, coordinating their Twitter page (@SRIP_ECR) and monthly virtual social meetings attended by ECRs from across Europe and Australia. I also assist with the delivery of their quarterly ECR workshops and recently led a workshop on using Twitter to promote research.
Building on connections with the SRIP ECR group, I was able to expand my systematic review to include co-researchers from Switzerland and the UK, increasing the reliability of the data extraction and analysis.
Finally, I collaborated with Chester Maternity Voices Partnership when working on a recent grant application to ensure public voice was at the heart of the research protocol.
Repetitive negative thinking in the perinatal period and its relationship with anxiety and depression (2022-08-15)
Moulds, Michelle L; Bisby, Madelyne A; Black, Melissa J; Jones, Katie; Harrison, Virginia; Hirsch, Colette R and Newby, Jill M
Journal of Affective Disorders, 311 (pp. 446-462)
Perceived social support and prenatal wellbeing; The mediating effects of loneliness and repetitive negative thinking on anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic (2022-04-29)
Harrison, Virginia; Moulds, Michelle and Jones, Katie
Women and Birth, 35(3) (pp. 232-241)
A qualitative analysis of feelings and experiences associated with perinatal distress during the COVID-19 pandemic (2022)
Jones, Katie; Harrison, Virginia; Moulds, Michelle L. and Lazard, Lisa
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 22, Article 572(1)
Support from friends moderates the relationship between repetitive negative thinking and postnatal wellbeing during COVID-19 (2021)
Harrison, Virginia; Moulds, Michelle L. and Jones, Katie
Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology ((Early access))