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 Georgina Wren

Georgina Wren

Research student, School of Psychology

Email
wreng@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Overview

I am a PhD student working within the Behavioural Genetics Group in the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. I am currently conducting research to better understand the psychosocial impact of long-term dermatological conditions, with a particular focus on X-linked ichthyosis. My research interests also include the application of Health Psychology to better understand decision-making and treatment choices for those with complex conditions. I also have a keen interest in translational research within a healthcare setting.


Undergraduate Education


BSc Psychology (First Class Hons) Cardiff Metropolitan University 2016-2019


Postgraduate Education


MSc Health Psychology (Distinction) Cardiff Metropolitan University 2019-2020


External Committees


CAWR (Cardiff Metropolitan University) Early Career Community - Steering Group member


Cardiff University’s Wellcome Trust Institutional Translation Partnership Award (ITPA) Management Group - ECR representative


Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committe at Cardiff University - Postgraduate representative


SkinCare Cymru - Volunteer

Research

Research interests

I am interested in researching the psychological effects of living with visible skin conditions, and my current work is focused on the prevalence and underlying factors related to mood and neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly for those affected by X-linked ichthyosis. I am conducting a mixed-methods project to investigate the relationship between XLI-associated genetic deletions and psychological issues, as well as using qualitative data to explore the impact of these factors. I am also interested in further understanding the experiences of XLI-patients, with reference to a potential increased risk of atrial fibrillation and attitudes towards heart screenings.


My previous postgraduate research investigated young women’s experiences of an endometriosis diagnosis and subsequent support, exploring how clinical practices can be improved and the role of complex care structures within this journey. I have also conducted research into the importance of multi-faceted support for high-performance athletes, and future improvements to the workings of multi-disciplinary teams within this setting, with assistance from British Rowing.


Conferences/Funding:


Health Psychology Symposium, City Unity College, Athens: Oral Presentation


European Society of Dermotology and Psychiatry Congress 2021: Oral Presentation


European Health Psychology Society Conference 2021: Oral Presentation 

Teaching

Graduate Teaching Assistant – School of Psychology


Cardiff University


2020-2024


Cardiff University Enriching Student Life Awards PGR Graduate Tutor - Shortlisted (2021)


Experience:


STEM Ambassador (ongoing)


Teaching Assistant (supply)  - Additional Learning Needs bases across Wales (19/20)


I am really passionate about engaging students from Years 7-13 in Psychology, and I often deliver careers based talks to schools and colleges across the UK about the range of careers in this field. I am particulary interested in involving students who feel excluded from STEM based subjects based on their background, experience or gender, and I actively encourage pupils to get involved with opportunties to understand more about their potential future career in these areas. 

Thesis

Psychological issues in congenital skin disorders

This research project will consist of three main studies, each investigating a different aspect of the psychological issues in congenital skin disorders. The first of these studies, employed an online Qualtrics survey to compare mood symptoms and associated risk factors in adults diagnosed with X-linked ichthyosis (XLI), Ichthyosis Vulgaris (IV) and Psoriasis.The survey will include a combination demographic questions, of six well-validated psychological questionnairres, and a custom-designed questionnaire to rate underlying factors related to mood. This study will: a) allow for quantification and comparison of mood disorders/traits within and between disorders for male and female participants, and b) allow us to determine which factors may contribute the most to these symptoms for each condition and to investigate whether these contributory factors differ by condition. As such, this work should help to identify the best targets for intervention/therapy to minimise the occurrence of mood problems associated with these skin conditions


The second part of this research project, will use survey-based measures to explore the experiences of males with XLI, female XLI carriers, and parents of male children diagnosed with XLI, of cardiac arrhythmias and attitudes towards cardiac screening. Previous work has suggested an elevated rate of atrial fibrillation in male deletion carriers, and current research suggests that early cardiac screening procedures may reduce the risk of later complications, including stroke and heart failure. The goal of this study is to examine in detail the onset, treatment and severity of any heart problems (including arrhythmias) in both males and females affected by XLI, as well as trying to identify risk factors which commonly precipitated arrhythmic episodes. We hope that by understanding the characteristics, severity and potential risk factors contributing to heart arrhythmias in individuals affected by XLI, as well as attitudes towards the feasibility and usefulness of heart screenings, we can learn more about how heart issues develop in XLI, and how best they may be addressed clinically.


A potential third study, likely to commence mid-2022, would involve an online cognition survey and/or qualitative interviews, although the specific nature of this study is yet to be decided upon.

Supervisors

alt

Dr William Davies

Senior Lecturer, Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences

Andrew Thompson

Professor Andrew Thompson

Professor of Clinical Psychology (Hons.), Programme Director (DClinPsy)