I am a research fellow at City University of London School of Health Sciences, Division of Health Services Research and Management. I am trained in medical sociology and study health care disparities, mental health care, clinical communication and health behaviors using mixed methods.

At City University of London, I take a translational approach to identify areas for improvement in mental health services provision and staff training. For instance, my research examines barriers to patient use and benefit from crisis mental health services. Examples of my work include a recent publication on how practitioners respond to patients’ treatment hesitancy in Emergency Department mental health assessments. We reveal the critical roles that establishing and demonstrating understanding of the patient’s concerns play in promoting treatment acceptance. I am also leading papers on how disbelief of patient symptoms impacts mental health assessments and how practitioners can promote young people’s agency in mental healthcare encounters, among other topics. Below, I summarize some of my roles at the University:

Project Manager: Agency and Justice in Youth Mental Health
I oversee data collection, data analysis and publishing/dissemination for this project. We are an innovative collaboration between an interdisciplinary academic and clinical research team, and lived experience research team of young people aged 16-24. We co-analyze video-recorded mental health assessments to identify ways to improve clinical communication and service provision for teens and young adults.

Co-Primary Investigator: Talking About Mental Health
We host a website and develop online resources for healthcare practitioners seeking to improve how they communicate about mental health, using video recordings of real mental health assessments. We continue to add resources to the website.

Research Fellow: ASsuRED – Improving Outcomes for Self-Harm
I examine video-recorded mental health encounters, patient interviews and medical files to inform study design of a randomized controlled trial. The ASsuRED study aims to improve support for people seeking crisis support for self-harm and suicide at the Emergency Department.

I received my PhD in Sociology from the University of California Los Angeles in 2019. My Doctoral Thesis examines how physicians talk about everyday health behaviors such as diet and exercise. This work explores (1) whether and when people treat practitioners as having the right to recommend behavior change, (2) how implicit and explicit attributions of blame impact the healthcare encounter, and (3) how conversations about behavior change differ across high- and low-income neighborhoods. A good example of this work is my recent publication in Social Science and Medicine demonstrating patients’ overwhelming acceptance of behavior-change advice framed as medical treatment and resistance towards generic advice framed as preventive care.

Trained in Conversation Analysis and Quantitative Methods at UCLA, I collected 180 video recordings of diverse community based primary care encounters across seven clinics, pre-visit patient surveys, and post-visit patient phone interviews. I continue to analyze and publish on these data, as well as share these data with co-authors and student mentees.