Gavin Davidson

Gavin Davidson
Queen's University Belfast | QUB · School of Social Sciences Education and Social Work

About

130
Publications
62,840
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1,113
Citations
Citations since 2016
98 Research Items
992 Citations
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (130)
Article
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Plain English summary Since the 1970’s, there has been a shift from research on disabled people to research with disabled people. This is often referred to as co-produced research. Co-production has a wide definition but includes disabled people working with academics to produce research and outcomes which neither group could achieve by working in...
Article
It is important to consider the mental health of social work students to promote their wellbeing and to ensure they are prepared for the potential stressors of practice. This cross-sectional survey of social work students (n = 240), the first of its kind on the island of Ireland, provides findings on mental health and a range of associated issues w...
Article
Objectives: Eating disorders (ED) are associated with significant morbidity and mortality rates and are most common in young people aged between 15 and 19 years. Large representative surveys on disordered eating in youth are lacking. The main aims were to estimate the prevalence of disordered eating in a representative sample of 11-19 year olds in...
Article
This is the protocol for a Campbell systematic review. The objectives are as follows: To review existing qualitative research on the experiences of families living with parental mental illness from the perspective of (i) children, (ii) parents who have a mental illness) and (ii) the well parent. To synthesise qualitative evidence on the experience...
Article
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Background To deliver appropriate mental healthcare interventions and support, it is imperative to be able to distinguish one person from the other. The current classification of mental illness (e.g., DSM) is unable to do that well, indicating the problem of diagnostic heterogeneity between disorders (i.e., the disorder categories have many common...
Article
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The following collection of articles reflects the diversity of research, policy and practice in mental health social work in a range of international contexts [...]
Preprint
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Objective: Mental health promotion and primary prevention have been more evident in government policies in recent decades and this trend may have increased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this review was to analyse trends in mental health promotion and prevention in government policies in relatively high income countries with...
Preprint
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Background Making decisions about your own life is a key aspect of independence, freedom, human rights and social justice. There are disabled people who, without support, would be assessed as incapable of making certain decisions but with the appropriate support are capable of making those decisions and so to not provide that support infringes thei...
Article
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Objective This paper presents the key findings from the Northern Ireland Youth Wellbeing Prevalence Survey (NIYWS), specifically the prevalence of common mental health disorders and their association with personal, familial and socio-economic risk factors. Methods The Northern Ireland Youth Wellbeing Survey (NIYWS) is a large nationally representa...
Article
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Background: 'Getting Involved in Research' was co-created and delivered by a multi-organisational group to provide an accessible introduction to research for those with lived experience of health and social care services. Method: The evaluation of participants' perceptions adopted an exploratory mixed method research design and aimed to gather d...
Article
Background Although a wealth of international literature consistently links cumulative experiences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) with physical, mental and emotional problems in later life, only a few studies have focused on intergenerational ACE exposure and research using nationally representative populations is lacking. Objective This...
Article
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WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: Individuals with a severe mental illness (SMI) are less physically active and have a lower life expectancy than the general population due to increased risks of cardiometabolic diseases (obesity, diabetes and respiratory diseases) and other health risks. Physical activity has been used as an adjunct therapy for indivi...
Article
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The primary purpose of this article is to review the potential therapeutic value of freely available VR content as an addition to the practitioners ‘toolkit’. Research has shown that virtual reality (VR) may be useful to extend existing guided imagery-based practices found in traditional mental health therapy. However, the use of VR technology with...
Article
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Backgrounds and Aims: The Northern Ireland Youth Wellbeing Survey (NIYWS) was commissioned by the Health and Social Care Board (NI) with the aim of providing reliable prevalence estimates of the mental health problems of children and young people aged 2-19 years. Method: The NIYWS used a random probability design, stratified by deprivation decile a...
Technical Report
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This report provides an overview of the economic case for the prevention of mental health conditions. To do this, we first estimated the societal costs of living with mental health conditions in the UK in 2019 and then reviewed what is known about the cost-effectiveness of well evidenced actions to prevent these mental health conditions.
Article
Cases are complex and families can feel overwhelmed by the number of agencies and referrals involved. Systemic, family‐focused practice can lead to improved outcomes; this should be consistent across mental health, addictions and children's services. Efforts to promote interagency collaboration include: clear job descriptions; co‐locating services;...
Article
It is starting to be recognised that young people with mental health and/or intellectual disabilities making the transition to adulthood from out-of-home care require focused attention to understand their needs and service requirements. Within the UK jurisdiction of Northern Ireland (NI), young people with mental health and/or intellectual disabili...
Article
Objective: Mental health promotion and primary prevention have been evident in government policies in recent decades and this focus may also be visible in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there has yet to be a review of promotion and prevention in current mental health plans in relatively high-income countries with small populations. The...
Article
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For decades, researchers have sought to understand the impact of imprisonment; yet we have a limited understanding of the lived experience of cell-sharing. To address this gap in knowledge, this paper draws on 37 semi-structured interviews with imprisoned adult men in Northern Ireland. While demonstrating that, for most, cell-sharing was a negative...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s physical and mental health. Quarantine and other lockdown measures have altered people’s daily lives; levels of anxiety, depression, substance use, self-harm and suicide ideation have increased. This commentary assesses how international governments, agencies and organisations are responding to the challe...
Article
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Objectives There has been speculation on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown on suicidal thoughts and self-harm and the factors associated with any change. We aimed to assess the effects and change in effects of risk factors including loneliness and coping, as well as pre-existing mental health conditions on suicidal tho...
Conference Paper
Evidence suggests that the built environment can have an impact on physical and mental health and that there exists a relationship between wellbeing and architectural design. Following work by Ulrich who identified the importance for health of interaction with the natural environment, studies further explored the relationship between health and the...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present an examination of the development of adult safeguarding policy from the perspectives of both policymakers and those who have sought to influence policy, to empower individuals with a learning disability to have a say in how policies, that influence their life and impact their right to independence, ar...
Article
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Traumatic experiences during childhood are common and often lead to chronic mental health conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The primary aim of this study was to determine whether a well-validated screening tool for PTSD administered in frontline services effectively identifies diagnosable PTSD in young people with a history o...
Article
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This article reports on an exploratory study comparing mental health social work (MHSW) in Europe. There has been very limited previous research comparing approaches to MHSW in Europe and so the aim of the study was to develop a better understanding of the similarities and differences between and, where relevant, within countries (referred to as ju...
Article
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The mental health problems of parents can negatively affect their whole family. The organisational and wider context may also influence the outcomes for all involved. The aims of this systematic review were: to develop a working definition of family‐focused practice (FFP); identify the types of outcomes that are measured with a focus on service use...
Article
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Introduction The WHO declared a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. Since then, the world has been firmly in the grip of the COVID-19. To date, more than 211 730 035 million confirmed cases and more than 4 430 697 million people have died. While controlling the virus and implementing vaccines are the main priorities, the population mental health impa...
Article
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People affected by mental illness often come from families with patterns of mental illness that span across generations. Hence, child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) likely provide treatment to many children with parents who also experience mental illness. The aim of this scoping review was to: (1) identify the prevalence of mental il...
Article
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The COVID-19 emergency has affected us all, but not equally. Families where parents have mental illness (PMI) are potentially at increased risk, but little is known about how they or their support services managed under lockdown/restrictions. We harnessed our existing partnerships with adult and child mental health services in the Republic of Irela...
Article
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Increasingly people in prison are sharing cells but little is known about how cell-sharing may influence wellbeing. This research explores this issue using a random stratified survey of 569 imprisoned adult men in Northern Ireland. The findings reveal a relationship between cell-sharing and wellbeing but indicate that cellmate relationships may be...
Article
Aims: To examine the structure of the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ-16) in a non-help-seeking population through exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. Previous studies have not looked at the structure of this self-report measure outside clinical settings. Methods: Participants (n = 1045) were recruited through Amazon's Mech...
Article
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Suicides by mental health patients account for around a quarter of all suicides (Walby et al, 2018). Within services a range of approaches have been developed and implemented to reduce the risk of patient suicides. After every patient death by suicide, a review is carried out to identify recommendations which may assist in preventing future suicide...
Article
This qualitative study explored how professionals and parents with mental illness experience their relationships with each other, what aspects of interaction promote a constructive relationship and the role of wider organisational and systemic factors. A purposive sample of 30 adult mental health and children’s services professionals, and 21 parent...
Article
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Background The diagnostic system is fundamental to any health discipline, including mental health, as it defines mental illness and helps inform possible treatment and prognosis. Thus, the procedure to estimate the reliability of such a system is of utmost importance. The current ways of measuring the reliability of the diagnostic system have limit...
Book
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Results of a household survey of 2-19 year olds and their parents providing the first ever prevalence rates of children's and young people's mental health problems in Northern Ireland.
Article
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Understanding the characteristics, motivations and experiences of student social workers is important to inform their professional education and support needs. To date there has been relatively little research about social work students in Ireland, both North and South. This study reports on an all-Ireland survey of students beginning their social...
Article
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Background People with severe mental illness (SMI) often have poorer physical health than the general population. A coproduced physical activity intervention to improve physical activity for people with SMI in Northern Ireland was evaluated by co‐researchers (researchers with lived experience of SMI) and academic researchers using a new approach to...
Article
People's ability to make decisions may be impaired for a wide range of reasons, including by mental health problems and learning disabilities. Individual autonomy, the ability to make decisions about our own lives, is a fundamental tenet of democratic societies. This has been reinforced by laws governing substitute and supported decision making and...
Article
Research exploring inequalities in UK child welfare interventions has produced counter-intuitive findings with respect to Northern Ireland (NI). Despite experiencing the highest levels of deprivation, NI also displays the lowest rates of children in care of all the UK nations. With reference to wider evidence in the field of child welfare inequalit...
Article
This article presents the findings of a quantitative intersectional analysis of child welfare interventions within small area ethnic populations in England. Recent research has highlighted that White British children, on average, have higher rates of intervention than children from other ethnic groups in poorer neighbourhoods and lower rates in mor...
Technical Report
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"Divergence of Mental Health Experiences" is the second comprehensive evidence-based briefing report from the "Coronavirus: Mental Health and the Pandemic" long-term study into the impacts of the current Coronavirus pandemic and related measures and consequences on the UK population.
Article
We welcome the opportunity to respond this commentary on our article. As we read it, there seem to be three main points, and we will respond briefly to each in turn. 1. The ‘hybrid’ comment regarding the combined use of systemic and psychodynamic concepts is disputed. The bulk of the commentary seems to present a long argument to dispute our commen...
Article
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Sharing a prison cell can be a difficult experience and yet levels of overcrowding mean that staff must often decide which individuals should be placed in a cell together. Little is known about how staff make such decisions or what factors prisoners believe should be considered to minimize the potential stressors associated with cell-sharing. This...
Article
The coronavirus pandemic, referred to here as Covid-19, has brought into sharp focus the increasing divergence of devolved legislation and its implementation in the United Kingdom. One such instance is the emergency health and social care legislation and guidance introduced by the United Kingdom Central Government and the devolved Governments of Wa...
Article
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Social work practice has an essential, yet ambiguous, relationship with theory. This state of affairs is currently evident in the range of contemporary relationship-based practice (RBP) models being applied within Child and Family Social Work. This article argues that there is an urgent need for a theoretically coherent conceptualisation of these m...
Technical Report
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We all can experience mental health problems, whatever our background or walk of life. But the risk of experiencing mental ill-health is not equally distributed across our society. Those who face the greatest disadvantages in life also face the greatest risk to their mental health. The distribution of infections and deaths during the COVID-19 pand...
Article
Background: There is a lack of research examining what prevents people who smoke heroin from transitioning to regular injection. This qualitative study aims to improve understanding of environmental influences preventing people who smoke heroin from transitioning to regular injection. Methods: In-depth, semi-structured interviews (n = 15) were c...
Article
This article presents the findings from a qualitative, participatory research project which explored how people with intellectual disabilities and/or mental health problems have, or have not been, supported to make their own decisions. The aim of the research is to help inform how supported decision‐making, as required by Article 12 of the UN Conve...
Article
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This article addresses some potential limitations of key findings from recent research into inequalities in children’s social services by providing additional evidence from multilevel models that suggest the socioeconomic social gradient and ‘Inverse Intervention Law’ in children’s services interventions are statistically significant after controll...
Article
Much has been written about service user involvement in social work education with the literature recognizing the value of this particular type of experiential knowledge in helping students understand key competences and concepts. There is also extensive literature highlighting the role of simulation in assisting social work students to develop key...
Article
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Background: Accessing support services for depression has been historically difficult given the societal stigma that exists regarding the condition. Recent advances in digital technologies continue to be postulated as a potential panacea yet the results from research trials have been mixed with a range of effect sizes. Methods: This article offe...
Article
Aim: The at-risk mental state (ARMS) allows clinicians to identify individuals who have an increased risk of developing psychosis. At present, most screening for psychosis-risk is carried out within help-seeking populations; however, screening within educational settings may allow clinicians to identify individuals at-risk earlier and to increase...
Article
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Background Poor transitions to adult care from child and adolescent mental health services may increase the risk of disengagement and long-term negative outcomes. However, studies of transitions in mental health care are commonly difficult to administer and little is known about the determinants of successful transition. The persistence of health i...
Article
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Trauma informed care (TIC) is a whole system organisational change process which emerged from the seminal Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, establishing a strong graded relationship between the number of childhood adversities experienced and a range of negative outcomes across multiple domains over the life course. To date, there has been...
Article
This paper reports findings from a qualitative study undertaken with twenty-two young carers across Northern Ireland aged between eight and eighteen. It focuses on their experiences as informal care-givers in households where at least one family member was living with an illness and/or disability. While much has been written about the quantifiable...
Article
Background: Assessments under mental health law, to determine whether compulsory admission is necessary, tend to be complex, multidisciplinary and inter-agency processes. This article presents the results of a regional audit of assessments under the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986. Aims: The aims of the audit were to examine routine pra...
Article
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Background The at-risk mental state provides a model which can allow clinicians to identify individuals at-risk of developing psychosis and intervene to prevent or delay onset. Early intervention is linked with better prognosis and recovery. At present, most screening is carried out within help-seeking populations, however screening within educatio...
Article
Background The Prodromal Questionnaire-16 (PQ-16; Ising et al., 2012) is a measure used to screen for attenuated psychotic symptoms that may indicate the presence of the at-risk mental state. The PQ-16 has been validated for use in help-seeking populations and the structure of the measure in this population is categorized by three subscales. These...
Article
This comparative scoping review charts and compares current and emerging issues for mental health social workers involved in the use of compulsory mental health legislation in the UK and Ireland. It acknowledges a dearth of research evidence in this key area of social work practice and an urgent need to critically examine the use of such compulsory...
Article
This paper reports findings from a qualitative study undertaken with twenty-two young carers across Northern Ireland aged between eight and eighteen. It focuses on their experiences as informal care-givers in households where at least one family member was living with an illness and/or disability. While much has been written about the quantifiable...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between deprivation and health and educational inequalities has been well evidenced in the literature. Recent UK research has now established a similar social gradient in child welfare interventions (Bywaters et al. 2018) with children living in the most deprived areas in the UK facing a much higher chance of being placed on the ch...