Dr Jayati Das-Munshi Clinician Scientist Fellow
Organisation: Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience
- Clinician Scientist Fellowship
Jayati is a Clinical Scientist Fellow and Clinician Scientist in the Department of Health Service and Population Research, at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience.
She specialises in general adult and old age psychiatry. She recently completed her PhD in Psychiatric Epidemiology in 2014 at King’s College London, University of London. She now wants to combine clinical psychiatric practice and academic research.
Jayati''s fellowship project focuses on serious mental illness. She wants to analyse patient records to find out why people with serious mental illnesses who come from black and minority ethnic backgrounds have a shorter life expectancy. She says that the study will address health inequalities and help improve patient care.
People with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia die much earlier than the general population. It can be up to 20 years earlier in males and 17 years in females. For people from minority ethnic backgrounds the risk may be even greater and it is not completely clear why. By analysing data from electronic patient records and interviewing patients and clinicians, Jayati wants to learn the reasons behind the gap in life expectancy and identify factors that prevent people having equal access to care.
'This study draws its sample from an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse part of London,' says Jayati. 'It is an area similar to many other inner cities in Britain where ethnic minority communities are most concentrated and where the burden of chronic health conditions and mental health problems are greatest.'
In the UK, we pride ourselves on living in a fair and equal society. Yet people with serious mental illnesses and from some minority ethnic backgrounds experience poorer health and significantly shorter lives compared with white British people. Most deaths are from chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease and stroke, but more needs to be uncovered about associated health risks. The findings of this study could help improve equality in our health services.
'At the moment very little is known about life expectancy and health in ethnic minority people living with serious mental illnesses. Through this study, I hope we will start to understand a bit more about the health inequalities that black and minority people living with serious mental illness experience.'
Jayati hopes to document key problems and challenges. She will collect evidence she can use to advise on how to make current practical guidance fairer to all people using mental and physical healthcare services.
Jayati's project will run for five years. She will be analysing over 200,000 electronic patient records with information linked to death certificates and general practitioner data. She will also conduct interviews with service-users their carers and health care professionals. The main ethnic groups examined will be black Caribbean, black African, south Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi), Irish, white British and white 'other'.