IMPACT is a research centre based within Psychological Services in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT)
Post COVID-19 health and social care staff wellbeing
The IMPACT Research Centre was awarded £68,274 under the HSC R&D Division COVID-19 funding call to run a longitudinal staff wellbeing survey in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey was open to all staff working in health and social care in Northern Ireland and aimed to find out how our staff were doing and what supports were helpful.
This research theme has a long history within the Trust and focuses on the origins and treatment of psychotic experiences. The research strand focuses on the links between psychotic experiences and adversity and has developed alongside innovative service provision in the area (psychosis prevention services). The research is beginning to explore the use of digital technologies in mental health services (supported by a successful Small Business Research Initiative scheme in the area) as well as more traditional treatment approaches
Child, Adolescent, and Youth Mental Health
The Centre has a history and is beginning to focus more on the area of child, adolescent and young people’s psychological and mental health. We have published clinical trials of psychological interventions with young people and are developing research on digital technologies and on sleep interventions in order to support services such as CAMHS and Paediatric ASD. There is huge potential to develop this strand and we are committed to working with our partners and with young people themselves to develop this.
The IMPACT Centre has multiple strands of research examining psychological trauma. These include (1) Complex PTSD phenomenology, theory, and interventions; (2) the role of “Troubles”-related trauma in mental health issues of the Northern Ireland population; (3) factors influencing the therapeutic alliance and post-traumatic growth in individuals who have experienced psychological trauma; and (4) the development of innovative intervention techniques for posttraumatic stress that incorporate cutting edge technology (e.g., virtual reality, eye-tracking paradigms). Our Senior Researcher, Dr Claire McCartan, works with the Regional Trauma Network (RTN) to undertake high quality research and support clinicians and practitioners to build research capacity within the field of trauma.
A number of key research projects in the IMPACT Centre have focussed on understanding the cognitive processes in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder such as attentional biases, evoked related potentials, and client beliefs about their obsessions and compulsions. This research programme spans both qualitative and quantitative projects.
Forensic Managed Care Network (FMCN)
Our Senior Researcher, Dr Julie-Ann Jordan works with the Forensic Managed Care Network to facilitate research in this area. Working across Health and Social Care services and Criminal Justice Agencies, the Forensic Managed Care Network aims to positively shape future service planning and delivery by, promoting collaboration, good practice examples, informing commissioners of priority areas of need and sharing learning and research to make evidence-based service improvements across the region.