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Jeff Hanna

Dr Jeff Hanna, Qualitative Postdoctoral Research Assistant, joined the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry team in the Department of Psychiatry on 9 December 2020. 

Tell us a little about yourself, and what attracted you to working at the University of Oxford?  

Born and bred in Northern Ireland, I am an avid traveller with over 50 countries ‘ticked-off’ my list and I have keen interests in backpacking and photography. My professional and research experiences to date have centred around promoting health and well-being outcomes for children, adolescents and their parents. This has included the set-up of a third-sector organisation to provide respite and support for parents whose children are on the autistic spectrum disorder, and a research project exploring how positive adaption can be promoted in youth born in a post-accord generation. I completed my PhD in Nursing at Ulster University (2020), and my research was entitled ‘Facilitating family support when a parent of dependent children is at end of life’. I was attracted to work at the University of Oxford to join the team within Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to continue contributing to knowledge and practice on how best children and adolescents can be supported when they or their parent has a life-limiting illness.  

What is your vision for the team/project/research you study/work with?

Dr Dalton and Dr Rapa share the importance and need for children to be informed of either their own, or their parent’s life-limiting illness to facilitate better adjustment for their future. Building on from the published work within my PhD, the vision is to develop materials that can better equip and support health and social care professionals’ provision of delivering this important aspect of care as part of their routine practice. 

What is currently at the top of your To-Do List?

Currently, I am in the process of analysing transcripts from a qualitative study that was conducted with relatives (n=19) and healthcare professionals (n=16) in the United Kingdom surrounding their experiences and perceptions of end-of-life care during Covid-19. We aim to disseminate the findings from this study by early Spring 2021. 

How did you get to where you are today?

I consider each stage of my career as the building block to the next stage. When I look back to being at school, I was convinced I was going to University to study Business Management; an interest that stemmed from GCSE studies and a school work placement in human resources. However, studying Psychology at A-Level captured my interest at a different level, both scholastically challenging and novel. Whilst studying for my Bachelor of Psychology degree at Queen’s University Belfast, I became very interested in psychological issues in cancer care, which organically led to the PhD opportunity at Ulster University. Of course, my ‘cheerleaders’ at each of these institutions supported me on to ‘the next thing’. 

Who or what inspires you?

Professor McCaughan and Dr Semple who both provided me with excellent mentoring, guidance, and encouragement as my PhD supervisors. 

If you were not in your job currently, what would you like to be doing?

I have to come back to one of my key passions in life which is travelling. I’m thinking about all places I want to explore over the next three years, to include South Korea, Peru and Kenya.