Header picture by Ken Teegardin
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Trying to make sense of nonsense
Hello and welcome to my first ever attempt to do some science writing. As a PhD student in epidemiology I find myself constantly trying to explain what the hell epidemiology entails (surveys have found that particular phrasing to be the most common reaction, accompanied by a blank stare), so I’ve decided to try and start a blog to shed some light on the subject. After all, most people have at some point laid eyes on our expert journal, so some background knowledge of this most honourable trade could definitely make an impact.
I’m currently in the second year of my PhD at the department of Primary Care and Population Health at UCL. I’m using The Health Improvement Network (THIN) primary care database to try and answer some questions on parental depression in the first year after childbirth. Most of the research has focussed on moms, but recently it has been acknowledged that dads are also more likely to suffer from depression in the year after childbirth. It can be a very stressful and life-changing time, for both parents, and depression might be the result of that stress. I’m particularly interested in what the consequences of parents’ depression is on their children. Are they more likely to become depressed themselves as teenagers? And if so, are there perhaps some early signals we could pick up on to see which children are more likely to become depressed? I’ve published one paper already, which looks at trends in childhood depression and antidepressant prescriptions in primary care in the UK (published in PLoS ONE, with my supervisors Dr Irene Petersen and Prof Irwin Nazareth).
As for the name of the blog – it was an attempt of coming up with something remotely catchy and memorable – it is a combination of the words ‘fashionista’ and ‘epidemiology’ and also just so happens to be the Spanish word for ‘epidemiologist’ . And no, I can’t pronounce it either.