Caroline Sheldon, research nurse
I work on studies across all ages, relating to functional and organic mental health issues and their related treatments. Studies range from those trying to find out more about peoples' experiences living with certain conditions to trials exploring new therapies or treatments.
I currently support studies looking at the genetics of various mental illnesses which I feel is imperative in building our understanding of mental health and its causes. Another study I run is looking into links between psychotic symptoms and immunity, which could lead to new treatment options.
I love working in research because I believe in evidence-based practice and that I still get to use my clinical skills and have contact with service users.
After working for 20 years as a nurse in clinical settings I wanted to broaden my horizons. Research was always of interest to me as the basis for everything we do in the clinical world.
Participants often tell me they feel taking part in something that is going to help the world understand more about the illnesses they experience. Taking part can have benefits to how care is planned. For example, RADAR is looking in at safe reduction and withdrawal from antipsychotic medication.