Jackie Parsonage-Harrison

  • Jackie Parsonage-Harrison

    Jackie Parsonage-Harrison joined Oxford Brookes as a research student in October 2017. The title of her thesis is ‘A mixed method study to develop an Occupational Therapy Theory based intervention for young people with mental health difficulties’.

    How did you hear about Oxford Brookes University?

    I am a qualified Occupational Therapist that has 17 years post qualification experience, including 16 years in clinical practice. I actively sort to maintain my clinical professional development and consequently made use of many of the development opportunities available to me. This included working with academics and service users at Brunel University on co-deigned research projects. This led to a desire to do more research which in turn gave me the opportunity to do a NIHR funded Masters in Research in Clinical Practice.

    Having completed this, I started to look for PhD options. 

    I came into contact with Oxford Brookes University as a result of an opportunity to do an occupational therapy PhD funded by the Elizabeth Casson Trust. Elizabeth Casson is credited with setting up one of the first occupational therapy schools, which was based in Oxford and later became part of Oxford Brookes University. 

    What attracted you to Oxford Brookes University to conduct your research?

    I came to Oxford Brookes through the ECT PhD funded studentship. The studentship is part of a move to develop the occupational science strand of the MOReS group.  

    What were you doing before?

    I am an Occupational Therapist and have worked for the NHS for 16 years.

    I am passionate about research and passionate about the need for OTS to be doing research, especially in mental health. 

    How easy did you find it to settle into the research environment?

    The transition from clinical practice to research is like all transitions and can feel like a big step. It has, however, been a positive transition. I am really enjoying doing research. Everyone in the department has been very supportive and it’s been great to find out about the other research being undertaken. 

    Tell us about your research.

    Title of project: Developing an Occupational Therapy Theory based Intervention, for young people with emerging mental health problems: A mixed Method Investigation.

    My research seeks to explore adolescent perceptions and experiences of current engagement and participation in meaningful occupation; generating new insights to be used in conjunction with existing knowledge to develop a new occupational therapy theory based manual for intervention with young people experiencing early stages of mental health issues. The final aim is to test the feasibility of the manual and identify practical issues related to its use.  

    What do you enjoy about being a research student?

    I love being a researcher. I had wanted to undertake a PhD for some time! I finally get to! Preparation is important and can really help. I would always recommend reading some of the self-help guides that are out there before you start. 

    Talking to other people in the field who have research a similar subject is always recommended. I would also suggest talking to PhD students who in their second and third years to learn what pitfalls to avoid. 

    What do you think about the research training offered at Oxford Brookes?

    I have valued the opportunity to learn about research-related computer packages such as NVivo and SPSS. 

    What are your future plans?

    I would like to be a clinical academic researcher, continuing to do both research that is relevant to occupational therapy alongside working as an Occupational Therapist in the mental health field.