Dr Suzanne Barrett

Research Psychologist, Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network

Impact ResearchEmail Me Impact Research028 9441 3472

Suzanne is an NICRN Chartered Research Psychologist (CPsychol; BPS No 230326) working in the Impact Research Centre, Northern Health and Social Care Trust (2016 to present). She completed her undergraduate degree in QUB Psychology in 1998, and her PhD in Psychology/Mental Health/Therapeutics & Pharmacology in 2002, spending 6 months working in MDS Harris/Celerion as a clinical trials assistant (eye-tracking) during this time. She has been a postdoctoral research assistant in Queens University Belfast (Medicine -Mental Health – 2002-03), a postdoctoral researcher in Ulster University (2002-06; NI First Episode Psychosis Study), and a lecturer in Queens University Belfast (Medicine – Psychiatry & Neuroscience; Public Health; Psychology – 2006-14), completing a PGCHET at this time and delivering additional training to medics on behalf of NIMDTA. She has also held the post of Senior Executive Officer in CCEA’s Research & Statistics Unit (2015-16), where she worked with Microsoft to examine the effects of a MinecraftEdu intervention on the numeracy & literacy skills of primary school students in Northern Ireland. She has training and experience in all aspects of clinical trial planning, set-up and delivery in Mental Health.

Since joining the NHSCT, she has worked extensively to develop and promote collaborative research in Mental Health within and across Trusts with the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network [NICRN] – Mental Health. She has assisted in the setting up the ASC-UK study in five NI Trusts, two CTIMPs in Antrim area services (Boehringer Ingelheim), has been involved in an SBRI/UKRI [DETECT] for Early Intervention Services in Antrim [Cumulus Neuroscience], assisted with the setting up of a cross-border CHITIN-funded clinical trial of a walking intervention for patients with a Serious Mental Illness [SMI] in NHSCT and WHSCT, and has developed an internally funded (PHA) neurocognitive study examining the effects of trauma on cognitive health in Mental Health patients using CANTAB [UHR/ARMS; FEP; SMI]. She has also secured PHA funding for eye-tracking equipment to stimulate collaborative clinical research in the NHSCT. She assisted with the setting up of the Impact Research Centre, launched in 2019. Suzanne represented NI on the UK’s COVID-19 Urgent Public Health Research task force and worked with clinical academics on the COVID CNS project during the pandemic. She also collaborated on a rapid review of Mental Health for the DoH at this time. She successfully set up the CO-CAT (CAMHS SHSCT & BHSCT) and INTERSECT (Maternity NHSCT) studies with NI clinical services in 2020-23. She completed a consultation with QUB and Oxford academics regarding an NIHR-funded RCT of a psychotherapeutic intervention in PTSD (>£2 million GBP), which has commenced recruitment in 10 NHS/HSC Trusts, in 2023-26.

She is presently responsible for communications and the servicing of the Clinical Management Group – Mental Health, organising pre-CMG meetings, finalising Agendas and recording meetings on behalf of group; she represents the NICRN co-Leads at various meetings (e.g. NIHR LCRN Cluster C Meetings). She was a member of the Encompass implementation advisory group – research workstream 2022-23. She recently achieved certification from the Belfast Feminist Film School and Level 4 Makaton, and represented the NICRN at the ESTSS conference in Belfast in 2023. Suzanne is presently completing analyses comparing historical longitudinal mental health in the UK population from an NI perspective using microdata obtained from the UK Data Service.

Selected publications

Barrett S. and Mulholland C. (2020) Mental Health Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Northern Ireland: Research Register. Impact Research Centre, NHSCT.

Dyer JF, Barbey FM, Barrett SL, Pickering EC, Buick AR, Mulholland C, Shannon C, Murphy B Gamified mobile EEG for early detection of psychotic disorders: identifying needs from clinicians and end-users – British Association for Psychopharmacology 2019 Summer Meeting, Manchester, 14th-17th July 2019.

McGuinness B., Barrett S.L. Fuchs, M. and Johnston J.A. Platelet Membrane β-Secretase Activity in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Conversion to Dementia: a Longitudinal Study. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease, 49(4):1095-103, 2016.

Qualifications Insight Report 2016. Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, UK.

McGuinness B., Barrett S.L., McIlvenna J., Passmore A.P., Shorter G.W. Predicting conversion to dementia in a memory clinic: A standard clinical approach compared with an empirically defined clustering method (latent profile analysis) for mild cognitive impairment subtyping. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring 1, pp 447-454 2015.

Turkington A., Duffy M., Barrett S., McCaul, R. Anderson, R., Cooper S.J., Rushe T. and Mulholland C Exposure to Political Violence in Northern Ireland and Outcome of First Episode Psychosis. pp.1-7, Schizophrenia Bulletin 2015.

O’Brien D, Knapp R.B., Thompson O., Craig D., Barrett S. An exploration of seniors’ motivation to use mobile brain-exercise software. Gerontechnology; 11(3):436-444, 2013.

Neville, C.E., McCourt H.J., McKinley MS, Lowis, C, Barrett SL, McGuiness B, Todd S, Lawlor B., Gibb M., Coen RF, Passmore AP, Woodside JV.  Encouraging lifestyle behaviour change in MCI patients: development of appropriate educational material. Aging and Mental Health,  02, 2013.

Campbell C, Barrett S.L., Shannon C., Hoy K.E., Rushe T., Cooper S.J. Mulholland C.C. The Relationship between Childhood Trauma and Neuropsychological Functioning in First Episode Psychosis. Psychosis, Social, Psychological and Integrative Approaches – Published online March 2012. DOI:10.1080/17522439.2012.660982.

Watson D.R.; Anderson J.M.E.; Feng Bai; Barrett, SL; McGinnity T.M.; Mulholland, CC; Rushe T.M.; Cooper, SJ A voxel based morphometry study investigating brain structural changes in first episode psychosis. Behavioural Brain Research Vol. 227(1), pp. 91-99, 2011.

Watson D.R.; Bai F; Barrett, SL; Turkington A.; Rushe T.M.; Mulholland, CC; Cooper, SJ Structural changes in the hippocampus and amygdala at first episode of psychosis. Brain Imaging and Behavior Vol. Epub, 2011.

Shannon C; Douse K; McCusker C; Feeney L; Barrett, SL; Mulholland, CC. The Association Between Childhood Trauma and Memory Functioning in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, Vol. 37, pp. 531-537, March 2011.

Hoy KE; Barrett, SL; Shannon, CJ; Campbell C; Watson DR; Rushe T; Shevlin M; Feng B; Cooper, SJ; Mulholland, CC. Childhood Trauma and Hippocampal and Amygdalar Volumes in First Episode Psychosis. Schizophrenia Bulletin Epub PMID:21799213, March 2011.

Barrett, SL; Mulholland, CC; Cooper, SJ; Rushe TM Patterns of neurocognitive impairment in first-episode bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The British Journal of Psychiatry: the Journal of Mental Science Vol. 195(1), pp. 67-72, 2009.

Turkington, A; Mulholland, C; Rushe T. M.; Anderson, R; McCaul R; Barrett, SL; Barr R. S.; Cooper, SJ Impact of persistent substance misuse on 1-year outcome in first-episode psychosis The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science Vol. 195(3), pp. 242-248, 2009.

Talbot P. S.; Watson, DR; Barrett, SL; Cooper, SJ Rapid tryptophan depletion improves decision-making cognition in healthy humans without affecting reversal learning or set shifting. Neuropsychopharmacology Vol. 31(7), pp. 1519-1525, July 2006.

Barrett, SL; Kelly, C; Watson, DR; Bell, WR; King D.J. Normal levels of prepulse inhibition in the euthymic phase of bipolar disorder. Psychological Medicine Vol. 35(12), pp. 1737-1746, January 2005.

Barrett, SL; Bell, WR; Watson, DR; Prof D J King Effects of amisulpride, risperidone and chlorpromazine on auditory and visual latent inhibition, prepulse inhibition, executive function and eye movements in healthy volunteers. Journal of Psychopharmacology Vol. 18(2), pp. 156-172, June 2004.

Thampi A.; Campbell C; Clarke M.; Barrett, SL; King D.J. Eye movements and neurocognitive function in treatment resistant schizophrenia: a pilot study. Journal of Psychological Medicine Vol. 20(1). 2003.

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