Dr Gemma Unwin BSc

School of Psychology
Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
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

Recent publications

Article

Unwin, G, Willott, S, Hendrickson, S & Stenfert Kroese, B 2019, 'Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for adults with intellectual disabilities: Process issues from an acceptability study', Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. https://doi.org/10.1111/jar.12557

Larkin, M, Unwin, G, Iyer, M, Tsimopoulou, I, Zahid, S, Malik, K, Stenfert Kroese, B & Rose, JL 2018, 'Cultural affordance, social relationships, and narratives of independence: Understanding the meaning of social care for adults with intellectual disabilities from minority ethnic groups in the UK', International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, vol. 64, no. 3, pp. 195-203. https://doi.org/10.1080/20473869.2018.1469807

Tsimopoulou, I, Stenfert Kroese, B, Unwin, G, Azmi, S & Jones, C 2018, 'A case series to examine whether people with learning disabilities can learn prerequisite skills for cognitive behavioural therapy', Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, vol. 11, 1700023X, pp. 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1754470X1700023X

Burrell, A, Ives, J & Unwin, G 2017, 'The Experiences of Fathers Who Have Offspring with Autism Spectrum Disorder', Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 1135-1147. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3035-2

Malik, KJ, Unwin, G, Larkin, M, Kroese, BS & Rose, J 2017, 'The complex role of social care services in supporting the development of sustainable identities: Insights from the experiences of British South Asian women with intellectual disabilities', Research in Developmental Disabilities, vol. 63, pp. 74-84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2017.02.005

Unwin, G, Deb, S & Deb, T 2017, 'An Exploration of Costs of Community-Based Specialist Health Service Provision for the Management of Aggressive Behaviour in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities', Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 316-325. https://doi.org/10.1111/jar.12241

Unwin, G, Larkin, M, Rose, J, Kroese, BS & Malcolm, S 2016, 'Developing resources to facilitate culturally-sensitive service planning and delivery – doing research inclusively with people with learning disabilities', Research Involvement & Engagement, vol. 2, no. 1, 17. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40900-016-0031-1

Unwin, G, Tsimopoulou, I, Stenfert Kroese, B & Azmi, S 2016, 'Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) programmes for anxiety or depression in adults with intellectual disabilities: a review of the literature', Research in Developmental Disabilities, vol. 51-52, pp. 60-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2015.12.010

Chen, Y-F, Bramley, G, Unwin, G, Hanu-cernat, D, Dretzke, J, Moore, D, Bayliss, S, Cummins, C & Lilford, R 2015, 'Occipital nerve stimulation for chronic migraine - a systematic review and meta-analysis', PLoS ONE, vol. 10, no. 3, e0116786. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116786

Deb, S, Unwin, G & Deb, T 2015, 'Characteristics and the trajectory of psychotropic medication use in general and antipsychotics in particular among adults with an intellectual disability who exhibit aggressive behaviour', Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 11-25. https://doi.org/10.1111/jir.12119

Unwin, G 2015, 'Are opioid antagonists effective in reducing self injury in adults with intellectual disability? A systematic review', Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 55-61.

Unwin, G 2014, 'Are opioid antagonists effective in attenuating the core symptoms of autism spectrum conditions in children: A systematic review', Research in Developmental Disabilities, vol. 4293-4303, pp. 293-306.

Unwin, G 2014, 'Caregiver’s Concerns-Quality of Life Scale (CC-QoLS): Development and evaluation of psychometric properties', Research in Developmental Disabilities, vol. 35, pp. 2329-2340.

Unwin, G 2014, '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, vol. 35, pp. 711-725.

Review article

Ratti, V, Hassiotis, A, Crabtree, J, Deb, S, Gallagher, P & Unwin, G 2016, 'The effectiveness of person-centred planning for people with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review', Research in Developmental Disabilities, vol. 57, pp. 63-84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2016.06.015

View all publications in research portal