Dr Gemma Unwin BSc

Research Fellow

School of Psychology

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Qualifications

PhD Psychology, University of Birmingham

BSc (Hons) Psychology, Aston University

Research

  • Challenging behaviour and adults with intellectual disabilities
  • Medication to manage behaviour problems in adults with intellectual disabilities
  • People with intellectual disabilities from Black and minority ethnic communities: views and experiences of services
  • Eye movement desensitsation and reprocessing for trauma-related mental health problems in adults with intellectual disabilities

I have been working at the University since May 2005, with the main focus of my research being behavioural and psychiatric problems in adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). I have worked on four main projects, one a guideline development project for the use of medication to manage behavioural problems in adults with ID, another was to develop a series of accessible medication information for people with ID, which was an offshoot from the guideline project. I have recently  completed a longitudinal explorative project investigating aggressive behaviour in adults with ID and am conducting a qualitatvie study of the views and experiences of services of adults with intellectual disabilities from Black and minority ethnic communities. I have also recently started an acceptability study of eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing for trauma-related mental health problems in adults with intellectual disabilities.

Please see our project websites:

Medication for behaviour problems (including easy read medication information)

www.birmingham.ac.uk/LD-Medication

Transition guidelines for young people with learning disabilities and mental health problems and/or challenging behaviour

www.birmingham.ac.uk/LD-Transition

Access to Social Care - Learning Disabilities (ASC-LD), People with Learning Disabilities from Black and Minority Ethnic Communities - their views and experiences of services

www.birmingham.ac.uk/ASC-LD

Other activities

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS:

Guideline for the drug treatment of adults with intellectual disability and behaviour disorders: a clinicians’ consensus questionnaire. Presented at the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence Annual Conference (Birmingham, December 2005). [Poster]

Guideline for the drug treatment of adults with intellectual disability and behaviour disorders: a clinicians’ consensus questionnaire. Presented at the Working Together? Birmingham Primary Care Trust Research and Development Unit Annual Research Conference (Birmingham, April 2006). [Poster]

A multi-centre audit of the use of medication for the management of behaviour problems in adults with learning disabilities. Presented at the Mental Health Research Network Heart of England Hub Conference (Birmingham, May 2006). [Poster]

Using medication to manage behaviour problems in adults with a learning disability: a multi-centre audit. Presented at the Using Medication to Manage Behaviour Problems among Adults with a Learning Disability Guideline Launch Conferences (Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, London & Bristol, September-October 2006).

A multi-centre audit of the use of medication for the management of behaviour problems in adults with learning disabilities. Presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Learning Disability Annual Residential Meeting (Prague, October 2006). [Poster]

Guide to taking medicines for behaviour problems. Presented at the Royal Mencap Society Annual National Assembly (Coventry, February 2007).

A multi-centre audit of the use of medication for the management of behaviour problems in adults with learning disabilities. Presented at the Equalising Health Opportunities through Research, Birmingham Primary Care Trust Research and Development Unit Annual Research Conference (Birmingham, May 2007). [Poster]

Negotiating Ethics Committees. Presented at the West Midlands Academic Learning Disability Research Meeting (Kidderminster, January 2008).

Negotiating Ethics Committees. Presented at the Estia, Munrow Centre Academic Meeting (London, June 2008).

Accessible Information for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Presented at the World Psychiatric Association 2008 Congress (Prague, September 2008). [Poster]

Risk Factors for Aggression in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities (ID): A Systematic Review. Presented at the World Psychiatric Association 2009 Congress (Florence, April 2009). [Poster]

The Effectiveness of Interventions on Aggression in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities (ID): A Naturalistic Observational Study. Presented at the World Psychiatric Association 2009 Congress (Florence, April 2009). [Poster]

Accessible Medication Information. Presented at the Solihull Care Trust Learning Disability Service Meeting (Solihull, July 2009).

Environmental Factors and Aggression in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: A Systematic Review. Presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Learning Disability Annual Residential Meeting (Leeds, October 2010).

Relationships with Severity and Types of Aggression in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Learning Disability Annual Residential Meeting (Leeds, October 2010). [Poster]

Triggers for Aggression in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Learning Disability Annual Residential Meeting (Leeds, October 2010). [Poster]

Carers of People with Intellectual Disabilities and Aggressive Behaviour: Uplift, Burden and Concerns. Presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Learning Disability Annual Residential Meeting (Leeds, October 2010). [Poster]

A Survey of Service & Medication Use in Adults with Intellectual Disability Presenting With Aggression. Presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Learning Disability Annual Residential Meeting (Bristol, October 2011). [Poster]

Specialist Health Service Utilisation for the Management of Aggression in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Presented at the Mental Health Research Network National Scientific Meeting (Birmingham, April 2012). [Poster]

Triggers for Aggression in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Presented at the Mental Health Research Network National Scientific Meeting (Birmingham, April 2012). [Poster]

Stimulation of peripheral nerves for the treatment of chronic refractory pain - a systematic review. Presented at the University of Birmingham, Health and Population Sciences Poster Day (Birmingham, October 2012). [Poster]

Efficacy of atypical antipsychotic medication in the management of behaviour problems in children with intellectual disabilities and borderline intelligence: a systematic review. Presented at the Methodological Basis of Health Technology Assessment Training Course (Birmingham, January 2013).

What is ADHD? Presented at the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Knowledge Exchange Forum (Birmingham, May 2013).

Interventions for ADHD: “Pills Don’t Build Skills”. Presented at the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Knowledge Exchange Forum (Birmingham, May 2013).

Psychopathology in adults with intellectual disabilities with or without epilepsy: A case control study. Presented at the 30th International Epilepsy Congress (Montreal, Canada, June, 2013). [Poster]

Involving minority ethnic groups in health research: generating recommendations from an international systematic narrative review. Workshop convened at the South West Peninsula Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Heath Research and Care, New Developments in Public Involvement in Research Conference (Exeter, November 2013). [Workshop]

Publications

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:

Unwin G & Deb S (under review). Care Giver’s Concerns-Quality of Life Scale (CC-QoLS): Development and evaluation of psychometric properties. Submitted to American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Unwin G (2012). Development of a Community Forensic Service for People with Learning Disabilities (DeCoFS): Project Report. Report prepared for the Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust.

Unwin G & Deb S (2011). Efficacy of atypical antipsychotic medication in the management of behaviour problems in children with intellectual disabilities and borderline intelligence: a systematic review. Research in Developmental Disabilities 32 (6): 2121-2133.

Unwin G & Deb S (2011). Family Caregiver Uplift and Burden: Associations with Aggressive Behaviour in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities 4 (3): 186-205.

Unwin G & Deb S (2011). The Use of Medication to Manage Behavioural Problems in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. 101 Recipes for Audit in Psychiatry. Eds. C Oakley, F Coccia, N Masson, I McKinnon & M Simmins. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists. ISBN 978-1-908020-01-7. [Book Chapter]

Unwin G & Deb S (2010). The Use of Medication to Manage Behaviour Problems in Adults with an Intellectual Disability: A National Guideline. Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities 4 (3): 4-11.

Unwin G & Deb S (2008). The use of medication for the management of behaviour problems in adults with intellectual disabilities: a clinicians’ consensus survey. American Journal on Mental Retardation 113 (1): 19-31.

Unwin G & Deb S (2008). Psychiatric and behavioural assessment scales for adults with learning disabilities. Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities 2 (4): 37-45.

Unwin G, LeMesurier N, Bathia N, & Deb S (2008). Transition for Adolescents and Young Adults with Learning Disabilities and Mental Health Problems/Challenging Behaviours: The Parent Carers’ views. Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities 2 (1): 22-28.

Unwin G & Deb S (2007). Easy Read Medicine Information Leaflets. Birmingham, UK: University of Birmingham. Available at www.LD-Medication.bham.ac.uk.

Unwin G & Deb S (2007). A multi-centre audit of the use of medication for the management of behaviour problems in adults with intellectual disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities 36: 140-143.

Unwin G, Deb S, & Moss J (2007). Taking medicine for behaviour problems - medicine information recordings. Birmingham, UK: University of Birmingham. Available at www.LD-Medication.bham.ac.uk.

Unwin G & Deb S (2006). Your Guide to Taking Medicine for Behaviour Problems: Easy Read. Birmingham, UK: University of Birmingham, Mencap and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Chen Y-F, Bramley G, Unwin G, Dretzke J, Moore D, et al. (2012). Stimulation of peripheral nerves for the treatment of refractory pain (including peripheral nerve field stimulation) (report). Systematic review referred by the NICE Interventional Procedures Programme on behalf of the NICE Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC). Available at http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/13865/61519/61519.pdf

Deb S, Unwin G & Deb T (accepted). Trajectory of psychotropic medication use and factors influencing antipsychotic medication prescribing among adults with intellectual disabilities who show aggressive behaviour. Submitted to Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.

Deb S, Chaplin R, Sohanpal S, Unwin G, Soni R, & Lenotre L (2008). The effectiveness of mood stabilisers and antiepileptic medication for the management of behaviour problems in adults with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 52 (2): 107-113.

Deb S, Clarke D, & Unwin G (2006). Using medication to manage behaviour problems among adults with a Learning Disability: Quick Reference Guide. Birmingham UK: University of Birmingham, Mencap and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Available at www.LD-Medication.bham.ac.uk.

Deb S, Sohanpal S, Soni R, Lenotre L, & Unwin G (2007). The effectiveness of antipsychotic medication in the management of behavioural problems in adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 51 (10): 766-777.

Deb S & Unwin G (2007). Psychotropic medication for behaviour problems in people with intellectual disability: a review of the current literature. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 20: 461-466.

Deb S & Unwin G (2007). Guide to Using Psychotropic Medication to Manage Behaviour Problems among Adults with Intellectual Disability: Technical Document.  Birmingham, UK: University of Birmingham, Mencap and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Available at www.LD-Medication.bham.ac.uk.

Farmah BK, Deb S, Arshad E, Deb T, Unwin GL & Roy M (accepted). The effectiveness of aripiprazole in the management of problem behaviour in people with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities and/or autistic spectrum disorder: A systematic review. Research in Developmental Disabilities.

LeMesurier N, Bathia N, Deb S, & Unwin G (2007). Guide to Services for Young People with Learning Difficulties/Disabilities and Mental Health Problems/Challenging Behaviour: Technical Document. Birmingham, UK: University of Birmingham. Available at www.LDTransitionGuide.bham.ac.uk.

Roy A, Roy A, Roy M, Deb S & Unwin G (accepted). Are opioid antagonists effective in reducing self injury in adults with Intellectual Disability? A systematic review. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.

Sohanpal S, Deb S, Thomas C, Soni R, Lenotre L, & Unwin G (2007). The effectiveness of antidepressant medication in the management of behavioural problems in adults with intellectual disabilities: a systematic review. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 51 (10): 750-765.

Taylor A, Deb S, & Unwin G (2011). Scales for the identification of adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A systematic review. Research in Developmental Disabilities 32: 924-938.

Ward F, Tharian P, Roy M, Deb S & Unwin GL (2013). Efficacy beta blockers in the management of problem behaviours in people with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review. Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 34 (12): 4293-4303.

 

GRANTS OBTAINED:

Naturalistic observational study of global effectiveness of interventions on aggression (£119,000), The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund (2007-2011), Deb S & Unwin G.

Flexibility and Sustainability Funding (£12,292), Mental Health Research Network Heart of England Hub (2011-2012), Unwin G & Deb S.

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