William Inman Prize

British Psychological Society for Dr Lee Jones. Ella Rhodes reports.

A psychologist working to improve the experience of patients with eye conditions has won the British Psychological Society’s 2020 William Inman Prize. Dr Lee Jones, a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at both Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, was nominated for his work as part of the Glaucoma Treatment Study.

The Prize was set up thanks to a bequest from Dr William S. Inman, an ophthalmic surgeon and psychoanalyst, who died in 1968. The award is given every five years by the Research Board to research in the fields of psychosomatic ophthalmology or concerning psychological factors in physical conditions, particularly psychodynamic or psychotherapeutic factors in eye conditions.

Jones’ paper, published in Opthalmology, looked into patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in a randomised control trial with glaucoma patients. PROMs are important in assessing whether a person’s glaucoma has worsened – and Jones’ research found that some of the outcome measures commonly used with glaucoma patients were not sensitive to changes in their vision.

Jones completed a PhD in Optometry and Visual Science at City, University of London, and said he was drawn into the field by a desire to conduct research that had potential to translate into better patient care. ‘In glaucoma, like many other chronic health conditions, the traditional clinical assessments don’t always give the full picture about how patients are affected in their day-to-day lives. That’s why tools such as patient-reported outcome measures can provide valuable additional information to supplement data collected through clinical examinations.’

Jones is currently working on a series of research projects related to Health Psychology and vision, including an exploration of the psychological effects of inherited eye diseases in children and young adults. He is also raising awareness of problems associated with such conditions, including vivid visual hallucinations known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome. He is also investigating whether new methods of glaucoma eyecare, such as home monitoring, are acceptable to those living with the condition. ‘In addition, I’ve been collaborating with ophthalmologists at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and we’re at the exciting stage of publishing a number of qualitative studies looking into patient and clinician experiences of high-stakes eye surgery, wherein we highlight key areas for service improvements. Having only recently received my PhD, I still consider myself to be at a relatively early stage in my academic career. After winning the William Inman Prize I’m feeling very inspired about what opportunities might arise in the future. I’m very familiar with the work of some of the previous recipients of the William Inman Prize, so it’s a huge honour to have my work associated with these other fantastic studies. It’s wonderful that the BPS are able to make this award, which recognises the important role of psychological factors affecting people living with physical conditions.’ 

You can follow his work on Twitter: @jones_lee1

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