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Kareem Khan

Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences


  • workInstitute of Mental Health, Triumph Road, Nottingham, NG7 2TU
    Innovation Park
    Triumph Road
    NG7 2TU
  • work0115 823 2438


Dr Kareem Khan is a Research Fellow in Digital Mental Health working for NIHR MindTech MedTech Co-operative at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham. He is currently the trial manager on the UKRI-funded Digital Youth work package "SPARX-UK trial", which is exploring the adaption of "SPARX", a serious game for low mood, to the UK.

Prior to this role, he completed his PhD at the University of Nottingham whereby he conducted a process evaluation of the Online Remote Behavioural Intervention for Tics (ORBIT) trial. A process evaluation examines how an intervention is implemented and what was delivered and the processes through which an intervention generates outcomes, that is, how they work and for whom. He has also worked for many years as a psychologist and as a researcher in a range of different settings, including UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, the Priory Hospital, and a brain injury rehabilitation unit. This included conducting patient assessments, and outcome measures, and facilitating group therapy sessions. Kareem completed a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and an MSc in Psychological Research Methods at the University of Plymouth. His research interests include evaluating complex interventions, digital mental health, neurology, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Expertise Summary


Process Evaluation

Tic Disorders

Neurodevelopmental disorders

Digital Health Interventions

Implementation fidelity

Teaching Summary

Lectures on Process Evaluations, Digital Interventions, and Tourette Syndrome to MSc students.

Research Summary

Kareem is currently the Trial Manager on the UKRI-funded Digital Youth work package 'SPARX-UK' trial.

SPARX is a serious game that was developed by researchers in New Zealand to support young people with depression. In the game, you are an avatar who must navigate through levels in a fantasy world where you learn different ways to manage your mood. There are seven levels in total, and in each level, you have different tasks to complete. These tasks are based on cognitive behavioural therapy, an intervention recommended for people with depression. SPARX has been shown to have positive results in supporting young people with depressive symptoms in New Zealand and other areas of the world. We now want to see whether SPARX may be helpful for young people in the UK.

We also want to know what can be done to make SPARX more engaging and attractive to young people. For those who complete SPARX, we want to explore if additional human support means young people find SPARX more engaging. This means we need to first conduct a small-scale study to test these things in order to help us plan a larger study in the future.

Throughout this process we will be recording what works or doesn't work, so we can apply this to a bigger trial in the future.

Selected Publications

Past Research

My previous research extends across multiple disciplinary fields but primarily lies in applied psychology and neurology.

My PhD work focussed on the process evaluation of the ORBIT trial. A process evaluation examines the processes through which an intervention generates outcomes, that is, how they work, and also investigates the quality of what was delivered (i.e. according to protocol). In doing so, it can capture implementation fidelity, the mechanisms of impact, and contextual factors. This was a mixed-methods design using quantitative data from the ORBIT trial together with semi-structured interviews with participants, therapists, and clinicians involved in the study.

Before this, I worked as a Research Assistant at the University College London (UCL) Queen Square Institute of Neurology working on a range of studies involving patients with Parkinson's Disease. This involved carrying out assessments, administering psychometric tests, and preparing manuscripts for publication.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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