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  1. Miriam Ashford (née Thiel)
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portrait of Miriam Ashford (née Thiel)

Miriam Ashford (née Thiel)

PhD Student

School of Health Sciences, Division of Midwifery & Radiography

Contact Information

Contact

Visit Miriam Ashford (née Thiel)

Myddelton Street Building

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Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom

About

Background

Miriam graduated from Université du Luxembourg in Psychology (with a specialisation in Psychophysiology) before completing a Masters in clinical psychology at University of Sussex. Before starting her PhD at City, she worked as a research intern at Stanford University School of Medicine and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in a project developing and evaluating biopsychological treatment approaches for veterans diagnosed with PTSD.

She is now in a 2nd year PhD Health Psychology student at the Centre for Maternal and Child Health research working on developing and evaluating a web-based intervention for women with postpartum anxiety.

Qualifications

MSc in Foundations of Clinical Psychology and Mental Health, University of Sussex, 2011-2012

BSc Psychology, University of Luxembourg, 2008-2011

Employment

Miriam has worked as a student research assistant in several university departments and research organizations:

Research Intern in Clinical Psychology (2013)
Stanford University School of Medicine & VA Palo Alto Health Care System, U.S.

Research Assistant in Bio- and Neuropsychology (2012)
Department of Biopsychology, University of Hamburg, Germany

Student research assistant in Cognitive Psychology & Educational Psychology
EMACS (Educational Measurement and Applied Cognitive Science)
University of Luxembourg (2010-2011)

Intern (6 weeks) and student research assistant in Clinical Psychology
DAaCRO (Diagnostic Assessment and Clinical Research Organization)
Trier, Germany (2010)

Administrative Roles

NorWHO Ambassador for City University London (2015 - till present)

Member of the Learning Enhancement and Development Student Advisory Board at City University London (2014 till present)

PhD Student Lead Representative Team of the School of Health Sciences (2014 till present)

Research Officer of the Junior Research Programme (JRP) by the European Federation of Psychology Students’ Associations (EFPSA) (2014 till August 2015)

Campus representative for City University London and reviewer for Student Research Award & Student Research Grant Competition of the Association of Psychological Science Student Caucus (APSSC) (2014)

Student representative of the Division of Early Years at the School of Health Science (2013 till 2014)

Ethical Board representative and Award Sub-committee Chair of the Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (2013 till present)

Executive Board Member (Study Abroad Coordinator) at European Federation of Psychology Students' Associations (EFPSA) (2012-2014)

Awards & Bursaries

Best Poster Award 1st Prize (£50) - 3rd School of Health Sciences Annual Doctoral Research Conference City University London 2015

Best Poster Award 1st Prize (£750) - 5th Annual Postgraduate Research Symposium City University London 2015

PsyPAG Workshop Bursary (£100) - March 2015

PsyPAG Conference Oral Presentation Runner-Up Prize (£40) - 29th Annual PsyPAG Postgraduate Studen Conference 2014

PsyPAG Annual Conference Bursary (£100) - 29th Annual PsyPAG Postgraduate Student Conference 2014

APSSC Travel Assistance Award ($200) - 26th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Sciences 2014

Best Presentation Award 3rd Prize (£500) - 4th Annual Postgraduate Research Symposium City University London 2014

Professional Bodies

- Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Graduate Member BPS
- Member of the International network for perinatal PTSD research
- Member of the International Society of Critical Health Psychology

Research

Research Overview

My current research interests include perinatal mental health disorders and the usage of technology in treating for mental health issues.
My PhD research aims to develop and evaluate a web-based intervention for women with postpartum anxiety. I am also interested in both the views of women with postpartum anxiety and health care professionals working with women during the postpartum period on web-based mental health interventions. Part of my PhD is also to systematically review the efficacy of web-based mental health interventions for the perinatal period and to review web-based programs for anxiety which are currently publically available on the web.

Research Areas and Research Centre

Health Psychology; Maternal Mental Health; PTSD; Anxiety; Stress; E-Health; Psychophysiology

Research Centre: Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research

Current and Recently Completed Grants / Activities

Stigma of unwanted pregnancy - Intercultural differences in help-seeking behaviour and the role of empathy, blame attribution, and self-construal

Completed Research

Research into naturalistic disclosure and post-traumatic health

Researching the effects of a short, mindfulness-based breathing intervention on psycho-physiological, endocrine and subjective stress responses

Collaborators

- Professor Susan Ayers
- Dr Ellinor Oliander

Publications

Conference Paper/Proceedings

  1. Ayers, S., Thiel, M. and Olander, E.K. (2015). A systematic review of computer- and internet-based psychotherapy interventions for perinatal mental health. .

Journal Articles (5)

  1. Ashford, M.T., Olander, E.K., Rowe, H., Fisher, J.R.W. and Ayers, S. (2017). Internet-based interventions for postpartum anxiety: exploring health visitors’ views. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 35(3), pp. 298–308. doi:10.1080/02646838.2017.1313966.
  2. Ashford, M.T., Ayers, S. and Olander, E.K. (2017). Supporting women with postpartum anxiety: exploring views and experiences of specialist community public health nurses in the UK. Health and Social Care in the Community, 25(3), pp. 1257–1264. doi:10.1111/hsc.12428.
  3. Ashford, M.T., Ayers, S. and Olander, E.K. (2017). Interest in web-based treatments for postpartum anxiety: an exploratory survey. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology pp. 1–16. doi:10.1080/02646838.2017.1320364.
  4. Ashford, M.T., Olander, E.K. and Ayers, S. (2016). Computer- or web-based interventions for perinatal mental health: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 197, pp. 134–146. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2016.02.057.
  5. Ashford, M.T., Olander, E.K. and Ayers, S. (2016). Finding Web-Based Anxiety Interventions on the World Wide Web: A Scoping Review. JMIR mental health, 3(2), p. e14. doi:10.2196/mental.5349.

Education

Teach on

Introduction to Research Methods Course (BSc & PGDip Health Visiting)
- Feedback and assessment of formative and summative assignments
- Group tutorials
- Lectures (qualitative, quantitative, & mixed research methods)

Other Activities

Events/Conferences (9)

  1. 5th Annual Postgraduate Research Symposium, City University London, UK. City University London, UK (2015).
    Description: Poster: Using the RE-AIM framework to evaluate a web-based self-help intervention for women with postnatal anxiety
  2. 3rd Annual School of Health Sciences Doctoral Research Conference. City University London, UK (2015).
    Description: Poster: The feasibility of a web-based intervention for postpartum women with anxiety: Protocol of a randomized controlled trial
  3. 26th Alzheimer’s Researchers’ Symposium. Stanford, USA (2014).
    Description: Poster: MemTrax: A continuous recognition task online to measure memory performance and recognition speed
  4. Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Sciences. San Francisco, USA (2014).
    Description: Poster: Cross-Cultural Differences in Unintended Pregnancy: Blame Attribution Affects Help Considered

    Poster: A review of public internet-based treatments for anxiety: Informing patients and professionals
  5. 2nd School of Health Sciences Doctoral Research Conference. City University London, UK (2014).
    Description: Poster: A Review of self-help and treatment options for anxiety available on the internet
  6. 4th Annual Postgraduate Research Symposium. City University London, UK (2014).
    Description: Methodological steps in developing an internet-based anxiety treatment: Current status and future plan
  7. 29th Annual PsyPAG Postgraduate Student Conference. Cardiff, UK (2014).
    Description: A systematic evaluation of public internet-based self-help treatment programs for anxiety
  8. Third Annual Center for Innovation to Implementation, National Center for PTSD, and Health Economics Resource Center Research Assistant Conference. Menlo Park, CA., USA (2013).
    Description: Oral presentation: Hyperarousal in veterans with PTSD: A close look at the effects of a breathing training and sleep hygiene treatment on psychological and physiological hyperarousal.
  9. 13th Congress of the German Society of Behavioural Medicine and Modification. Luxembourg (2011).
    Description: Poster: Effects of a short, mindfulness- based breathing intervention on psycho-physiological, endocrine and subjective stress responses.

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