Bernadka Dubicka, BSc, MBBs, FRCPsych, MD

Dr

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Personal profile

Overview

I have worked as a child and adolescent psychiatrist since 1996 both in the community as well as in adolescent mental health units.  Currently my clinical work is based in Pennine Care Foundation Trust where I am a research lead, as well as being the child and adolescent mental health research lead for Health Innovation Manchester.  I am a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) and was elected as the chair of the Child and Adolescent Faculty in 2017 (until June 2021). Through this role I have been involved in policy making for child and adolescent mental health as well as promoting issues around young people's mental health through the media.  I am the editor in chief of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health and was previously a member of the National Institute of Health Research Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Mental, Psychological and Occupational Health panel (2014-2019). My research interest is in mood disorders and brief interventions for depression.  

Biography

I trained as a child psychiatrist at St George's Hospital, London and in Manchester. Whilst in Manchester I became interested in affective disorder through working with the late Professor Richard Harrington, as a clinical research fellow on the ADAPT study of adolescent depression. My MD thesis was on the implications of behaviour disorder in this sample for which I was awarded a gold medal in 2009. During this time I collaborated with Professor Gabrielle Carlson of Stony Brook University, New York, on a study examining the diagnosis of mania in children, which has been replicated in a number of countries, including the US, Australia, Japan and the Czech Republic. I have published on the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder and have conducted meta-analyses on suicidality and antidepressants and on the combined treatment of depression. I was a principle investigator in a large psychological treatment study of adolescent depression (IMPACT, funding body HTA), which is one of the largest studies of its kind internationally. I co-authored a manual for a brief psychosocial intervention for depression for this trial which was as cost-effective as more specialised therapies. Currently, I am researching the use of behavioral activation in depression, and am a principle investigator in the HTA-funded STADIA trial, which aims to improve the detection of emotional disorders in CAMHS though remote assessments. I am a member of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry taskforce on treatment resistant adolescent depression and have previously contributed to the EU Parliament Adocare project on adolescent mental health service provision in Europe. Through my work at RCPsych, I led on the publication of a position statement on the use of technology in children and young people, which attracted international attention. My ongoing work at RCPsych includes digital rights and safety for children and the RCPsych response to the eco-crisis in preparation for COP26 in Glasgow. I am regularly invited to speak nationally and internationally, and in the media. 

Research interests

My principle research interest is affective disorder, in particular, the treatment of adolescent depression. I was a research fellow on the ADAPT trial of adolescent depression, which found that the addition of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to an antidepressant and usual care did not confer any additional benefits. This finding led to my interest in brief therapies and I co-developed our manual of a brief psychosocial intervention (BPI) which was evaluated in our Impact trial of adolescent depression, a large multi-centre, HTA funded study. IMPACT is one of the largest international adolescent trials to date and found that BPI was as cost-effective as CBT or psychodymanic psychotherapy in the longer term.  Together with colleagues in Cambridge, we are now seeking to roll out further implementation of BPI, as a framework for managing depression. I have also conducted a cross-national study on the diagnosis of mania in children which has being replicated by a number of research groups internationally, and published several meta-analyses on the treatment of depression. Currently, I am a co-investigator on the HTA funded STADIA trial (£1,146,171 HTA 16/96/09) which is evaluating the impact of remote assessments on the diagnosis of emotional disorders in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). I have also led on the development of a manual for behavioural activation for depression and completed a feasibilty study in CAMHS, with a view to investigating this approach further.

Keywords

  • Mental health and psychological wellbeing                

Teaching

Regular teaching of medical students in clinical attachments, seminars and study modules, in Manchester and Lancaster, as well examining. Regular contributor to the Manchester MRCPsych course, teaching of specialist trainees and psychopharmacology courses in Manchester University and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Training clinicians in the brief psychosocial intervention and behavioural activation (BA). Supervision of MScs. Contributing modules to minded.org.uk (bipolar disorder) and to RCPsych CPD (BA module).

Previous talks for national and international meetings include the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Canadian Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, European Association of Neuropsychopharmacology, European Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

My collaborations

Collaborators on the Impact trial include: Ian Goodyer, Paul Wilkinson and Raph Kelvin, University of Cambridge, Jonathan Hill and Chris Roberts, University of Manchester, Peter Fonagy and Mary Target, University College London, Shirley Reynolds, University of East Anglia, Sarah Byford, Institute of Psychiatry

Collaborators on STADIA trial include: Kapil Sayal, University of Nottingham

Collaborators on World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry taskforce on treatment resistant depression includes: Chris Davey Orygen Centre Melbourne

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Member of the following professional bodies:

General Medical Council

Royal College of Psychiatrists

British Medical Association

Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Child Psychiatry Research Society

 

Methodological knowledge

  • Quantitative
  • Randomised control trials/experimental studies
  • Systematic reviews

Qualifications

BSc psychology, University College London

MBBs, University of London

FRCPsych, Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, specialist accreditation in child psychiatry

MD thesis (gold award)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Fellow, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Award Date: 28 Nov 2015

MRCPsych, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Award Date: 28 May 1996

Doctor of Medicine, MBBs, University College London (UCL)

Award Date: 28 Jun 1990

Bachelor of Science, psychology, University College London (UCL)

Award Date: 28 Jun 1986

External positions

editor in chief, Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health

14 Sep 2020 → …

consultant psychiatrist , Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

2 Apr 2018 → …

chair child and adolescent faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists

1 Jul 201730 Jun 2021

Areas of expertise

  • RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
  • child and adolescent psychiatry

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