Kate Eden is a third year PhD student, supervised by Chris Oliver at the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of Birmingham. Her research is focusing on the association between pain and challenging behaviour in individuals with intellectual disability.
BSc Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience (Hons) (University of Nottingham, 2008)
Kate Eden joined the team at the Cerebra Centre after completing her degree in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Nottingham. She had previously worked as a counselor at a summer camp for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities and also as a care worker for various organisations.
Kate Eden’s work at the Cerebra Centre is looking at the expression of pain in people with intellectual disability. Many of these individuals are unable to self report the discomfort they are experiencing. In order to overcome this problem, researchers have developed observational measures that ask respondents to record the presence of behavioral indicators of pain such as negative facial expressions, vocalisations and changes in activity level. Kate is testing the inter-rater reliability of such measures between parents, teachers and researchers.
Previous research has shown that challenging behaviours such as self injury and aggression are more frequent and more severe when pain is present. Exploring this association between pain and challenging behaviour in children with intellectual disability has become the main focus of Kate’s PhD.
Eden, K., Oliver, C., Richards, C., Nelson, L. & Moss, J. (2010). Gastro-oesophageal disorders and self-injurious behaviour. .Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disability, 23, 431. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-3148.2010.00582.