Juliana Onwumere

King's College London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (33)85.06 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In occupational settings, burnout is a common response to chronic exposure stressors and has been frequently documented in formal caregivers (i.e. paid psychiatric staff). However, the literature is limited on reports of burnout among informal caregivers and particularly within early psychosis groups. The current study sought to investigate reports of burnout in carers of young adults treated within a specialist early psychosis service and links with key appraisals reported about the illness and coping. Seventy-two carers completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory along with self-report measures of coping styles and illness beliefs. Seventy-eight per cent of carers reported high burnout in at least one of the three key burnout markers (i.e. emotional exhaustion, depersonalization or low personal accomplishment). Seven per cent of carers met full criteria for high burnout across all the three domains. A carer's belief about the negative consequences of the illness for themselves was a significant predictor of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Low personal accomplishment was linked to a carer's less optimistic beliefs about the illness timeline and fewer reports of adaptive coping. The results provide preliminary support for the importance of asking carers in the early illness phase about their experiences of caregiving. Targeted assessment may serve as a helpful tool to identify and intervene with carers in need of additional support with stress management, use of adaptive coping strategies, and balanced recovery focused information about psychosis. © 2015 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
    Early Intervention in Psychiatry 02/2015; DOI:10.1111/eip.12227 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Attachment theory proposes that psychological functioning and affect regulations are influenced by the attachment we form with others. Early relationships with parents or caregivers lay the foundations for attachment styles. These styles are proposed to influence how we relate to others during our life can be modified by the relationships and events we experience in our lifespan. A secure attachment style is associated with a capacity to manage distress, comfort with autonomy and the ability to form relationships with others, whereas insecure attachment can lead to dysfunctional relationships, emotional and behaviour avoidance. Attachment theory provides a useful framework to inform our understanding of relationship difficulties in people with psychosis. This paper aims to complement recent systematic reviews by providing an overview of attachment theory, its application to psychosis, including an understanding of measurement issues and the clinical implications offered. Method. A narrative review was completed of the measures of attachment and parental bonding in psychosis. Its clinical implications are also discussed. The paper also explores the link between insecure attachment styles and illness course, social functioning and symptomatology. The following questions are addressed: What are the key attachment measures that have been used within the attachment and psychosis literature? What are the results of studies that have measured attachment or parental bonding in psychosis and what clinical implications can we derive from it? What are some of the key questions for future research from these findings in relation to the onset of psychosis research field? Results. The most commonly used measures of attachment in psychosis research are reviewed. Self-report questionnaires and semi-structured interviews have mainly been used to examine attachment styles in adult samples and in recent years comprise a measure specifically developed for a psychosis group. The review suggests that insecure attachment styles are common in psychosis samples. Key relationships were observed between insecure, avoidant and anxious attachment styles and psychosis development, expression and long-term outcome. Conclusions. Attachment theory can provide a useful framework to facilitate our understanding of interpersonal difficulties in psychosis that may predate its onset and impact on observed variability in outcomes, including treatment engagement. Greater attention should be given to the assessment of attachment needs and to the development of interventions that seek to compensate for these difficulties. However, further investigations are required on specifying the exact mechanisms by which specific attachment styles impact on the development of psychosis and its course.
    Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences 12/2014; DOI:10.1017/S2045796014000730 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite its demonstrated clinical and economic effectiveness, access to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) in routine practice remains low. The UK National Health Service (NHS England) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies for people with Severe Mental Illness (IAPT-SMI) initiative aims to address this problem. We report 14-month outcomes for our psychosis demonstration site. Primary and secondary care and self-referrals were screened to check the suitability of the service for the person. Psychotic symptoms, distress, service use, functioning and satisfaction were measured before and after therapy, by trained assessors. User-defined wellbeing and goal-attainment were rated sessionally. Access to CBTp increased almost threefold (2011/12 accepted referrals/year n = 106; 2012/13, n = 300). The IAPT-SMI assessment protocol proved feasible and acceptable to service users, with paired primary outcomes for 97% of closed cases. Therapy completion (≥5 sessions) was high (83%) irrespective of ethnicity, age and gender. Preliminary pre-post outcomes showed clinical improvement and reduced service use, with medium/high effect sizes. User-rated satisfaction was high. We conclude that individual psychological interventions for people with psychosis can be successfully delivered in routine services using an IAPT approach. High completion rates for paired outcomes demonstrate good user experience, clinical improvement, and potential future cost savings. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Behaviour Research and Therapy 11/2014; 64C:24-30. DOI:10.1016/j.brat.2014.11.006 · 3.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High expressed emotion (EE) is a robust predictor of elevated rates of relapse and readmission in schizophrenia. However, far less is known about how high EE leads to poorer patient outcomes. This study was designed to examine links between high EE (criticism), affect, and multidimensional aspects of positive symptoms in patients with psychosis. Thirty-eight individuals with nonaffective psychosis were randomly exposed to proxy high-EE or neutral speech samples and completed self-report measures of affect and psychosis symptoms. Patients reported significant increases in anxiety, anger, and distress after exposure to the proxy high-EE speech sample as well as increases in their appraisals of psychosis symptoms: voice controllability, delusional preoccupation, and conviction. These findings offer further evidence of the potential deleterious impact of a negative interpersonal environment on patient symptoms in psychosis.
    Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease 11/2014; 202(11):829-32. DOI:10.1097/NMD.0000000000000204 · 1.81 Impact Factor
  • Sarah Roddy, Juliana Onwumere, Elizabeth Kuipers
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    ABSTRACT: Caregivers play an important role in the treatment and recovery of people with psychosis but they have different needs from service users and can experience significant distress as part of their role. Responding to caregiver needs is not readily identified as being the primary responsibility of clinical services that have limited resources. A small pilot study sought to evaluate the effect and acceptability of providing a brief, needs-led intervention to long-term caregivers of service users with psychosis. A two or three session, interactive and structured intervention, adapted from family work with psychosis, focused on facilitated carer access to reliable information about psychosis, goal setting and adaptive problem-solving. Measures of affect, coping and care-giving impact were completed at baseline and post-intervention. Data for the first four caregivers who attended individual sessions are presented. Post-intervention scores indicate reductions in levels of carer distress and depressive symptoms. Caregivers reported high levels of acceptability and satisfaction. Further studies are required to evaluate the impact of such interventions on a larger number and wider range of caregivers.Practitioner pointsTo date, it has proved difficult for clinical services to meet the needs of caregivers of service users with psychosis.The caregivers of service users with psychosis have readily identifiable needs that can be met with a brief, structured, individualized and interactive intervention.Offering a time-limited intervention to carers who would like support with their role has benefits for both the caregivers and the service.
    Journal of Family Therapy 10/2014; DOI:10.1111/1467-6427.12054 · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates potential explanations of the association between caring and common mental disorder, using the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. We examined whether carers are more exposed to other stressors additional to caring – such as domestic violence and debt – and if so whether this explains their elevated rates of mental disorder. We analysed differences between carers and non-carers in common mental disorders (CMD), suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts, recent stressors, social support, and social participation. We used multivariate models to investigate whether differences between carers and non-carers in identifiable stressors and supports explained the association between caring and CMD, as measured by the revised Clinical Interview Schedule. The prevalence of CMD (OR = 1.64 95% CI 1.37–1.97), suicidal thoughts in the last week (OR = 2.71 95% CI 1.31–5.62) and fatigue (OR = 1.33 95% CI 1.14–1.54) was increased in carers. However, caring remained independently associated with CMD (OR = 1.58 1.30–1.91) after adjustment for other stressors and social support. Thus caring itself is associated with increased risk of CMD that is not explained by other identified social stressors. Carers should be recognized as being at increased risk of CMD independent of the other life stressors they have to deal with. Interventions aimed at a direct reduction of the stressfulness of caring are indicated. However, carers also reported higher rates of debt problems and domestic violence and perceived social support was slightly lower in carers than in non-carers. So carers are also more likely to experience stressors other than caring and it is likely that they will need support not only aimed at their caring role, but also at other aspects of their lives.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 09/2014; 120:190–198. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.025 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Caregivers make a significant and growing contribution to the social and medical care of people with long-standing disorders. The effective provision of this care is dependent on their own continuing health. Aims To investigate the relationship between weekly time spent caregiving and psychiatric and physical morbidity in a representative sample of the population of England. Method Primary outcome measures were obtained from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. Self-report measures of mental and physical health were used, along with total symptom scores for common mental disorder derived from the Clinical Interview Schedule - Revised. Results In total, 25% (n = 1883) of the sample identified themselves as caregivers. They had poorer mental health and higher psychiatric symptom scores than non-caregivers. There was an observable decline in mental health above 10 h per week. A twofold increase in psychiatric symptom scores in the clinical range was recorded in those providing care for more than 20 h per week. In adjusted analyses, there was no excess of physical disorders in caregivers. Conclusions We found strong evidence that caregiving affects the mental health of caregivers. Distress frequently reaches clinical thresholds, particularly in those providing most care. Strategies for maintaining the mental health of caregivers are needed, particularly as demographic changes are set to increase involvement in caregiving roles.
    The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 07/2014; 205(3). DOI:10.1192/bjp.bp.112.125369 · 7.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Social anxiety due to rejection sensitivity (RS) exacerbates psychosis-like experiences in the general population. While reduced dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) activity during social rejection in high schizotypy has suggested self-distancing from rejection, earlier stages of mental processing such as feature encoding could also contribute to psychosis-like experiences. This study aimed to determine the stage of mental processing of social rejection that relates to positive schizotypy. Forty-one healthy participants were assessed for schizotypy and RS. Event-related potential amplitudes (ERPs) were measured at frontal, temporal and parieto-occipital sites and their cortical sources (dACC, temporal pole and lingual gyrus) at early (N100) and late (P300 and late slow wave, LSW) timeframes during rejection, acceptance and neutral scenes. ERPs were compared between social interaction types. Correlations were performed between positive schizotypy (defined as the presence of perceptual aberrations, hallucinatory experiences and magical thinking), RS and ERPs during rejection. Amplitude was greater during rejection than acceptance or neutral conditions at the dACC-P300, parieto-occipital-P300, dACC-LSW and frontal-LSW. RS correlated positively with positive schizotypy. Reduced dACC N100 activity during rejection correlated with greater positive schizotypy and RS. Reduced dACC N100 activity and greater RS independently predicted positive schizotypy. An N100 deficit that indicates reduced feature encoding of rejection scenes increases with greater positive schizotypy and RS. Higher RS shows that a greater tendency to misattribute ambiguous social situations as rejecting also increases with positive schizotypy. These two processes, namely primary bottom-up sensory processing and secondary misattribution of rejection, combine to increase psychosis-like experiences.
    Neuropsychologia 07/2014; 61. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.06.031 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aggressive behaviour in psychosis is not uncommon. Community provision for people with psychosis has left informal caregivers to take on a greater role in their care. However, few studies have explored links between patient-initiated violence in mental health caregiving relationships and caregiver functioning. Our study investigated caregiver reports of aggressive acts committed by their relative with psychosis and their links to caregiver appraisals of the caregiving relationship and caregiver outcomes.
    Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie 07/2014; 59(7):376-384. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims and method In up to a quarter of patients, schizophrenia is resistant to standard treatments. We undertook a naturalistic study of 153 patients treated in the tertiary referral in-patient unit of the National Psychosis Service based at the Maudsley Hospital in London. A retrospective analysis of symptoms on admission and discharge was undertaken using the OPCRIT tool, along with preliminary economic modelling of potential costs related to changes in accommodation. Results In-patient treatment demonstrated statistically significant improvements in all symptom categories in patients already identified as having schizophrenia refractory to standard secondary care. The preliminary cost analysis showed net savings to referring authorities due to changes from pre- to post-discharge accommodation. Clinical implications Despite the enormous clinical, personal and societal burden of refractory psychotic illnesses, there is insufficient information on the outcomes of specialised tertiary-level care. Our pilot data support its utility in all domains measured.
    04/2014; 38(2):71-4. DOI:10.1192/pb.bp.112.042598
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) is a psychological therapy which has been shown to be effective in improving cognitive functioning in service users with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. There are challenges to routinely implementing CRT within inpatient services due to a limited availability of therapists to deliver it. This paper describes a model of service delivery piloted in a specialist inpatient psychosis service which included health-care assistants (HCAs) working under the supervision of a clinical psychologist to help deliver CRT. The experience of the HCAs in undertaking this work is described from a first-person perspective.
    Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care 04/2014; 11(01). DOI:10.1017/S1742646414000077
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    Schizophrenia Research 04/2014; 153:S155. DOI:10.1016/S0920-9964(14)70460-8 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Historically, it has been difficult to demonstrate an impact of training in psychological interventions for people with psychosis on routine practice and on patient outcomes. A recent pilot evaluation suggested that postgraduate training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp) increased the delivery of competent therapy in routine services. In this study, we evaluated clinical outcomes for patients receiving therapy from therapists who successfully completed training, and their association with ratings of therapist competence and therapy content. Aims: To characterize the therapy delivered during training and to inform both a calculation of effect size for its clinical impact, and the development of competence benchmarks to ensure that training standards are sufficient to deliver clinical improvement. Method: Paired patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) were extracted from anonymized therapy case reports, and were matched with therapy ratings for each therapist. Results: Twenty clients received a course of competent therapy, including a high frequency of active therapy techniques, from nine therapists. Pre-post effect size for change in psychotic symptoms was large (d = 1.0) and for affect, medium (d = 0.6), but improved outcomes were not associated with therapist competence or therapy content. Conclusions: Therapists trained to research trial standards of competence achieved excellent clinical outcomes. Therapy effect sizes suggest that training costs may be offset by clinical benefit. Larger, methodologically stringent evaluations of training are now required. Future research should assess the necessary and sufficient training required to achieve real-world clinical effectiveness, and the cost-effectiveness of training.
    Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 12/2013; DOI:10.1017/S1352465813001100 · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Increasing access to evidence-based talking therapies for people with psychosis is a national health priority. We have piloted a new, "low intensity" (LI) CBT intervention specifically designed to be delivered by frontline mental health staff, following brief training, and with ongoing supervision and support. A pilot feasibility study has demonstrated significant improvement in service user outcomes. This study is a qualitative analysis of the experiences of the staff and service users taking part in the evaluation. Aims: To evaluate the acceptability of the training protocol and the therapy, and to examine the factors promoting and restraining implementation. Method: All trained staff and service users completed a semi-structured interview that was transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis. Results: Service users spoke about learning new skills and achieving their goals. Staff spoke about being able to use a brief, structured intervention to achieve positive outcomes for their clients. Both groups felt that longer, more sophisticated interventions were required to address more complex problems. The positive clinical outcomes motivated therapists to continue using the approach, despite organizational barriers. Conclusions: For both trained staff and service users, taking part in the study was a positive experience. Staff members' perceived skill development and positive reaction to seeing their clients improve should help to promote implementation. Work is needed to clarify whether and how more complex difficulties should be addressed by frontline staff.
    Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 10/2013; 43(03):1-16. DOI:10.1017/S1352465813000908 · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate social support and network features in people with first-episode psychosis, and to examine anxiety as a possible mediator between loneliness and a rating of paranoia. Thirty-eight people with first-episode psychosis were recruited for a cross-sectional study. Self-report questionnaires and structured interviews assessed symptoms, functioning, and qualitative social network and support features. A mood-induction task involved watching anxiety-inducing pictures on a computer screen. Visual analogue scales assessed changes in paranoia, anxiety and loneliness and a mediation analysis was conducted. One-third of the sample (34 %) had no confidant [95 % CI (18.4, 50.0 %)]. The average number of weekly contacts was 3.9, with 2.6 lonely days. Poor perceived social support, loneliness and the absence of a confidant were strongly associated with psychosis and depressive symptoms (0.35 < rs < 0.60). The association between loneliness and paranoia was mediated through anxiety (ab = 0.43, z = 3.5; p < 0.001). Even at first episode, a large proportion of people with psychosis have poor perceived support, no confidant and report several lonely days a week. Patients without a confidant appear to be more susceptible to feeling lonely and anxious. Anxiety may be one pathway through which loneliness affects psychosis. Interventions which focus on this are indicated.
    Social Psychiatry 08/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00127-013-0754-3 · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIM: This study explored the relationship between individuals with early psychosis and first-degree relatives who were carers, to see whether negative and distressing experiences of the patient-carer relationship were associated with social cognition difficulties in both groups. METHOD: The study had a cross-sectional correlational design. A total of 33 patients with early psychosis (within 3 years of first psychotic episode) and 24 first-degree relative carers (all parents) completed measures of mood, expressed emotion and negative experiences of caregiving. Social cognition measures of theory of mind and emotion recognition were also collected. RESULTS: Patient perceptions of carer criticism were related to increased anxiety and depression. Carer negative experiences of caregiving were related to higher levels of expressed emotion, anxiety and depression. Both patients and carers showed impaired performance on social cognition tasks. However, patient social cognition was not related to perceptions of carer criticism or symptoms. Carer social cognition was not related to expressed emotion or carer burden. CONCLUSION: Even in the early stages of psychosis, both patients and carers were reporting negative experiences of the caregiving relationship. These were related to higher levels of anxiety and depression. Social cognition difficulties were found in both early psychosis patients and first-degree relatives, but did not relate to caregiving relationships. The findings underscore the importance of providing targeted family interventions to individuals with early psychosis and their carers that address appraisals of the relationship and low mood.
    Early Intervention in Psychiatry 03/2013; 8(3). DOI:10.1111/eip.12040 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIMS: High incidence of psychosis and compulsory treatment within black and minority ethnic (BME) groups in the UK remain a concern. Psychosis has an impact on families and family involvement is important in predicting compulsory treatment. We therefore aimed to report the levels and predictors of caregiver burden in first-episode psychosis, in white British, and BME groups of carers, and investigate their relevance to compulsory treatment. METHODS: A total of 124 caregivers were interviewed soon after the onset of psychosis using the General Health Questionnaire, GHQ-28, the Experience of Caregiving Inventory, the Personal and Psychiatric History Schedule, and the MRC Sociodemographic Schedule. RESULTS: The overall level of distress as measured by GHQ-28 was high (mean 50, SD 11.4). Feelings of carer burden were also high (mean total negative score 72.5, SD 34.8), increased in men, and with carer age. Neither ethnicity nor social class nor social support was associated with distress or burden. Compulsory treatment was predicted by carer burden (as indicated by carer reports of 'problems with services' (OR 1.08; 95% CI 1.01, 1.15; P = 0.023)); this was particularly evident in the black Caribbean group of carers (OR 1.28; 95% CI 1.04, 1.57; P = 0.02) CONCLUSION: Carers of adults with first-episode psychosis experience considerable psychological distress and feelings of burden. There was a specific association between carer burden, specifically in terms of experience of services, and compulsory admission of service users, particularly in the black Caribbean group. Better ways of liaising with carers and targeted efforts to reduce carer burden at illness onset are needed.
    Early Intervention in Psychiatry 03/2013; DOI:10.1111/eip.12041 · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • (Psychosis) Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches 03/2013; 6(2):181-183. DOI:10.1080/17522439.2013.774436 · 1.00 Impact Factor
  • Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences 10/2012; 22(2):1-4. DOI:10.1017/S2045796012000601 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The dissemination and delivery of psychological therapies for people with psychosis has been limited by workforce and organisational factors. 'Low Intensity' (LI) delivery, whereby staff are trained to deliver brief, focused, manualised interventions, may be one way of improving access. In this study, we piloted a new LI intervention specifically for people with psychosis, aimed at helping people to reach a personal recovery goal, whilst targeting anxious avoidance or depression-related inactivity. Frontline mental health workers were trained to deliver the intervention. We report here on the impact of the intervention on therapeutic outcomes. METHODS: Twelve people with psychosis and either anxious avoidance or low mood, who wanted to work towards a personal goal, completed the intervention and a battery of assessments of mood, functioning and psychotic symptoms. RESULTS: Eleven out of the twelve participants achieved their personal goals. The results of a series of Friedman K related sample tests revealed significant improvements in depression, clinical distress, activity levels, negative symptoms and delusions across the three time points, and no change in hallucinations, or anxious avoidance. Staff and participant satisfaction was high. LIMITATIONS: The study is a small uncontrolled pilot study. Outcomes should therefore be interpreted with caution, pending replication. CONCLUSIONS: The new LI intervention shows preliminary evidence of effectiveness and is a feasible model of therapy delivery for people with psychosis. The results suggest that frontline mental health workers can be trained relatively easily to deliver the intervention. A larger, randomised controlled trial is warranted to determine the effectiveness of the intervention and training programme.
    Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 08/2012; 44(1):98-104. DOI:10.1016/j.jbtep.2012.07.013 · 2.23 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

218 Citations
85.06 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2015
    • King's College London
      • • Institute of Psychiatry
      • • Department of Psychology
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2013–2014
    • South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
      Reading, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008–2014
    • ICL
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom