Dr Althea Valentine (Thea) completed a BSc in Psychology and MSc in Health Psychology at the University of Derby. She then moved to the Institute of Work, Health & Organisations, University of Nottingham to complete a PhD exploring young children's understanding and experience of stress, under the supervision of Dr Heather Buchanan. Prior to this, Thea worked as a Research Assistant on various projects looking at dental health and quality of life in children living with severe food allergies. Thea joined the University of Nottingham NIHR- Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC-NDL) in January 2012 and has worked across several applied research projects within the University.
In her current role, Thea is working as a Research Fellow on a waiting list study within child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Thea has also conducted an NIHR CLAHRC systematic review investigating the clinical use of technology for people with neurodevelopmental disorders. Prior to this, Thea worked as a researcher on the AQUA Trial. This randomised controlled trial investigated the clinical utility and economic cost of the QbTest in aiding the diagnostic and medication management process in ADHD. The findings of which are being implemented in routine practice. Thea also worked within the Children and Young People's Theme on the PATCHWORK project (PArents, Teachers, and CHildren WORKing together). This study assessed the feasibility and effectiveness of a school based early intervention parenting programme, in reducing common childhood behavioural difficulties such as inattention, overactivity and hyperactivity.
Thea's main areas of interest are improving health outcomes for children and young people with chronic conditions, as well as the implementation of technology to support the assessment, monitoring and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. Thea has specific expertise in working with children and young people with both physical and mental health conditions. She has experience in conducting novel methodologies such as Photovoice and using drawings to understand children's perspectives. She also has experience in conducting large narrative systematic reviews. Having a health psychology background, Thea is particularly interested in how psychology can be applied to improve quality of life in people with chronic conditions.
Althea has taught on the MSc Health Psychology programme and the MSc/PGDip Psychology & Health programme
The WAIT Study
Waiting for Access Into Treatment "WAIT" study: an exploration of current interventions offered to children and young people on CAMHS waiting lists.
The overarching aim of this project is to improve timely access to evidence-based interventions. This collaborative multidisciplinary and multi-methods project, involving patients and clinicians, will provide:
- The initial evidence base for waiting times for mental health treatment for children and young people (CYP) by disorder and across regions.
- The waiting-list interventions (WLI; e.g. self-directed interventions) currently offered by disorder post-referral
- The evidence base for the efficacy of current interventions offered. A brief literature search has shown this information is currently unknown but is vital to facilitate and improve early intervention strategies.
In addressing these three points we will identify which interventions may benefit from wider scale adoption across regions. We will also identify interventions that require future research to establish clinical and cost-effectiveness and gaps in early provision for specific disorders.
The AQUA-Trial was a randomised controlled trial comparing the effects of providing clinicians and patients with the results of an objective measure of activity and attention (QbTest) versus usual care on diagnostic and treatment decision making in children and young people with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Thea worked on the PATCHWORK (PArents, Teachers and CHildren WORKing together) project. This research aimed to study the behavioural and emotional development of 4- to 8-year old children, particularly common childhood behaviours such as overactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. The PATCHWORK study explored whether different approaches to managing these behaviours were acceptable to parents and teachers.
Thea's PhD explored children's understanding and experience of stress from 4- to 11- years of age. She has also worked on projects relating to quality of life in families living with a severe food allergy.