GP awarded fellowship at Keele University to research self-harm

 Dr Faraz Mughal1
Posted on 09 November 2017

GP Dr Faraz Mughal has been awarded an In-Practice Fellowship at Keele University to research the care available to young people who self-harm.

Through the two-year research fellowship, which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Dr Mughal will investigate how young people who self-harm access medical support services, and seek to understand any problems that they encounter in doing so, in order to provide further evidence which may help to improve the support that is made available in the future.

As such, Dr Mughal will review qualitative studies of primary care practitioner attitudes and knowledge of self-harm in young people and conduct a qualitative study interviewing young people about their experiences of self-harm, help seeking behaviour, and their access to care, with a general practice focus.

Dr Mughal, who is a GP in Birmingham and also a Royal College of General Practitioners Clinical Fellow in Mental Health, said: “The fellowship will allow me to further understand self-harm within primary care, a subject which is a global health problem and warrants further study.

“We know quite a lot about why young people might self-harm, but I’m interested in finding out their experiences of self-harm, how they seek help and if they have problems accessing healthcare in general practice. I want to focus on their access in general practice as it's usually the first port of call in the health system, so if we can improve care in this aspect earlier on, we can try to prevent crisis, A&E attendance, self-harm repetition and suicide.

“We are seeing more and more cases of self-harm within primary care, and I hope that the research conducted through this fellowship will allow me to contribute to the growing evidence-base around self-harm in primary care, and form the basis for further research.”

The fellowship starts in December and will lead to the completion of an MPhil, which will be supervised by Keele’s Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham and Dr Lisa Dikomitis. Dr Mughal will be working part-time in his surgery in Birmingham as well as in his new research role in Primary Care and Health Sciences at Keele University.