EXCELLENCE AWARDS - BIRMINGHAM 2014
Each year at the BABCP Annual Conference, awards are made for excellence. There are awards for best poster, best case-report and also the best newcomer award, based on a presentation by an early career researcher or clinician. The final judges were Dr Maureen Whittal, from the University of British Columbia, and Professor Ernst Koster, of Ghent University in Belgium.
BEST NEWCOMER AWARD
The judges found it particularly challenging to rank order the presentations for the Best Newcomer Award. All the shortlisted presentations were excellent and reflected considerable effort in the completion of the studies.
Farjana Nasrin of the Institute of Psychiatry with her co-authors won with their presentation ‘Effects of a brief behavioural activation intervention on approach and avoidance tendencies in acute depression’.
Dr Nasrin’s presentation examined the processes that mediate the therapeutic effects of brief behavioural activation (BA) for depression. Her study compared clinically depressed individuals receiving a single session of BA to a wait list control group, and demonstrated the potential for BA to bring about changes in approach behaviour, using an objective, experimental task. Judges were particularly impressed by the novel research design and quasi-experimental approach taken to addressing an important question.
According to Professor Koster, “The implications point to a potential maintaining factor in depression.” Dr Whittal also commended Dr Nasrin for the considerable effort put into the one session treatment and the work involved in collecting the data. Overall, this was an outstanding piece of research.
Rachel Hiller, University of Bath - ‘Trying to fall asleep while catastrophising: What sleep disordered adolescents think and feel’.
Melissa Atkinson, University of the West of England – ‘Mindfulness as a novel approach to eating disorder prevention: A preliminary controlled evaluation’.
BEST CASE STUDY
Ann O’Hanlon of Queens University Belfast with her co-authors Gerard McAleer and Joanne Younge of Belfast Health and Social Care Trust won with their poster “Seven Decades of Social Anxiety: A Treatment Case Study”
This poster reported on therapy with a 70-year old woman who had suffered from social anxiety for decades. The therapist and client began with self-care and behavioural activation to alleviate depression, and then Clark and Wells’ (1995) social phobia approach was followed, including experimentation with giving compliments, playing the piano as badly as possible in public, dropping cutlery and giving a speech! After fifteen sessions depression and anxiety were minimal.
According to Professor Koster this was “…an intriguing case description on an under reported age category.” The judges noted the strong formulation and treatment, and particularly the way that the authors featured ”take home messages” for the CBT reader in the implications for clinical practice. As Dr Whittal commented, ‘teachable moments’ were incorporated through the way that the example behavioural experiments were described.
Vera Hughes, University of Bath – ‘The Treatment of Compulsive Checking in an Older Gentleman with Cognitive Impairment: A Case Presentation’.
Rosanna Chapman, University of Bath – ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Emetophobia and The Role of Negative Beliefs about Emotional Expression’.
BEST POSTER WINNER
The winning submission was from Magdalena A. Zdebik, University of Montreal, entitled “Developmental trajectories of childhood internalizing symptoms from 17 months to 8 years of age: Early risk and protective factors for adolescent internalizing problems”.
This impressive study examined risk and protective factors for internalising problems prospectively in a large population based sample. It investigated trajectories of internalising symptoms from 17 months to 13-years. The poster identified two types of internalising trajectories: timidity and anxious/depressed. Anxious/depressed trajectories predicted adolescent internalising symptoms, but early childhood factors, including high risk environments, poorer maternal mental health and family functioning, also had their own enduring significant effects on adolescent mental health. It was suggested that CBT could be customised to address the specific child vulnerabilities alongside parent and family functioning for potential preventive interventions.
The judges thought it a “beautiful” poster based on an impressive study with an excellent sample size and a lengthy follow-up. It addressed an important question presenting a great deal of material in a clear, well organised and easy to understand way.
Ly Huynh, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia – ‘Observer Vantage Perspective and Rumination: Understanding their Relationship in Depression’.
Lizzie Clark, University of Sussex – ‘Can people with anxiety and depression learn mindfulness? A Meta-Analysis’.