Ms Sarah Edney

by | 7 Sep 2023 | Academy fellows | 0 comments

Ms Sarah EdneyOverview

Cohort: 6
PhD start date: October 2022

I am a speech and language therapist and have specialised in neonatology and paediatric feeding for the past ten years. On moving from an adult to a neonatal caseload, I discovered significant gaps in the therapy-focused research for this age group and have been working to address these ever since. I am particularly interested in feeding disorders related to neonatal brain injury, and I focused my earlier research internships and pre-doctoral fellowship on this area.

In addition to my clinical and research work, I am Co-Lead for the Cumbria and Lancashire Hub of the Council for Allied Health Professions Research, Deputy Lead for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) Neonatal CEN Research Working Party, and a committee member for the RCSLT Clinical Academic SLTs CEN committee.

PhD title

Feeding outcomes and influencing factors in infants with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy: a mixed-methods study.

Brief summary of PhD project

At present, there are no feeding interventions designed to target hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE), the most common form of brain injury in term-born infants. Through my PhD research, I will be identifying the factors that positively and negatively influence feeding outcomes following HIE so this information can be used to inform the development of HIE-specific feeding interventions.

My mixed methods project includes a systematic review, an analysis of neonatal-phase feeding outcomes using the National Neonatal Research Database, a cross-sectional study of feeding outcomes in older infants and young children, and a qualitative study of the factors parents feel influence feeding outcomes following HIE.

Key collaborators/supervisors

My supervisors are:

  • Prof Lindsay Pennington (Newcastle University)
  • Dr Anna Basu (Newcastle University)
  • Prof Judith Rankin (Newcastle University)
  • Dr Farag Shuweihdi (University of Leeds)

I am also collaborating with:

  • Dr Sarah Seaton (University of Leicester)
  • Dr Chris Gale (Imperial College London)
  • The Peeps HIE charity

Specialty interest/techniques

Through this mixed methods PhD, I am developing and extending skills in ‘big data’ research methods and the integration of quantitative and qualitative data to answer complex research questions.

Career aspirations

Following my PhD, I plan to develop skills in clinical trials and use my findings to develop and evaluate complex interventions for neonatal and paediatric feeding disorders. My long-term ambition is to lead international neonatal therapy research that will optimise outcomes for children at high risk for neurodisability.