Isabella de Vere Hunt, MD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Dermatology and the Center for Population Health Sciences at Stanford University. Her current research focus is on leveraging social media for health promotion, and she recently led a large social media-based public health campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccination in minority groups. She is also a Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) Dermatology Fellow, working to address healthcare inequalities in melanoma survival.
Isabella received her medical degree from Oxford University, where she was a Brackenbury Exhibitioner at Balliol College. After graduation she completed a two year academic internship program with Oxford University Hospitals. During this time, alongside her clinical rotations in general medicine, plastic surgery and intensive care, she carried out qualitative research addressing the psychological comorbidity of chronic skin disease in adolescence.
Isabella completed the Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (DTMH) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2020 and is passionate about health equality, the social determinants of health, and evidence-based public health, both on a local and global scale.
Honors & Awards
MRA Dermatology Fellows Award, Melanoma Research Alliance (2021)
Brackenbury Exhibitioner, Balliol College, University of Oxford (2013)
"Is this the GVHD?" A qualitative exploration of quality of life issues in individuals with graft-versus-host disease following allogeneic stem cell transplant and their experiences of a specialist multidisciplinary bone marrow transplant service.
Health and quality of life outcomes
2021; 19 (1): 11
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality following allogeneic stem cell transplantation. These patients face unique challenges due to the complexity of GVHD which can affect multiple organ systems, and the toxicity of treatments. Despite the known impact on quality of life (QOL), qualitative data within the bone marrow transplantation (BMT) literature is rare, and there has been no qualitative work exploring patient experience of specialist healthcare provision for GVHD in the United Kingdom.We conducted a primary explorative qualitative study of the experience of QOL issues and multidisciplinary care in patients with chronic GVHD following allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Eight patients were identified using convenience sampling from specialist BMT outpatient clinics. Following consent, patients were interviewed individually via telephone. Transcripts of interviews were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach.Mean participant age was 61-years-old (range 45-68), with a mean time post-transplant of 3 years at time of interview (range 3 months-15 years). Five key QOL themes were identified: (1) 'Restricted as to what I can do'; (2) Troubling symptoms-'you can sort of get GVHD anywhere'; (3) Confusion/uncertainty over GVHD symptoms-'Is this the GVHD?'; (4) Unpredictable course and uncertainty about the future; and (5) Adapting to the sick role. In addition, four themes related to experience of service provision were identified: (1) personal care and close relationship with BMT nurses; (2) efficiency versus long waits-'On the case straight away'; (3) information provision-'went into it with a bit of a rosy view'; and (4) the role of support groups.These qualitative data reflect the heterogeneity of experiences of the GVHD patient population, reflecting the need for a flexible and nuanced approach to patient care with emphasis on comprehensive information provision. We have identified the key role that BMT specialist nurses within the multidisciplinary team play in supporting patients. We advocate future research should focus on ways to meet the complex needs of this patient group and ensure that the personal care and close relationships are not lost in service redesigns embracing remote consultations.
View details for DOI 10.1186/s12955-020-01651-2
View details for PubMedID 33413414
'Not just a piece of skin in front of you'-a qualitative exploration of the experiences of adolescents with eczema and psoriasis with healthcare professionals.
2021; 11 (1): e041108
There is little qualitative research in the UK focussing on adolescents' experience of their healthcare providers, and inflammatory skin conditions are a common heath problem in adolescence.To explore the experiences of adolescents with eczema and psoriasis with healthcare professionals, and to distil the participants' key messages for their healthcare providers.This is a secondary thematic analysis of interviews with adolescents with eczema or psoriasis.There were a total of 41 text transcripts of interviews with young people with eczema or psoriasis who had given permission for secondary analysis; 23 of the participants had eczema, and 18 psoriasis. Participants were living in the UK at time of interview, and aged 15-24 years old.We have distilled the following key messages from young people with eczema and psoriasis for healthcare providers: (1) address the emotional impact; (2) give more information, with the subtheme and (3) appreciate patient research. We identified the following eczema-specific themes: (ECZ-4) 'It's not taken seriously'; (ECZ-5) offer choice in treatment and (ECZ-6) lack of structure/conflicting advice. Two psoriasis-specific themes were identified: (PSO-4) feeling dehumanised/treat me as a person; and (PSO-5) think about how treatments will affect daily life.This qualitative data analysis highlights the need for greater recognition of the emotional impact of skin disease in adolescence, and for more comprehensive provision of information about the conditions. We call for greater sensitivity and flexibility in our approach to adolescents with skin disease, with important implications for healthcare delivery to this group.
View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041108
View details for PubMedID 33514575
- A qualitative exploration of the experiences of adolescents with alopecia areata and their messages for healthcare professionals BRITISH JOURNAL OF DERMATOLOGY 2020
The impact of chronic skin disease in adolescence and the need for specialist adolescent services.
Clinical and experimental dermatology
2020; 45 (1): 5–9
Adolescence is a critical period in both physical and psychological development. Skin conditions are very common in this age group, and are known to impart a considerable psychological burden, with higher rates of both anxiety and depression in those with chronic skin disease. The Department of Health has identified the specialized needs of adolescents as they transition from paediatric to adult services as a key priority, with emphasis on providing 'developmentally appropriate healthcare'. However, in spite of this, there are very few dedicated transitional clinics in the UK with appropriate psychosocial support. We have demonstrated in our own clinical practices that a dedicated teenage and young adult dermatology clinic with embedded specialist psychological support can deliver effective dermatological care to young people with a variety of skin conditions. We call for a greater focus on achieving developmentally appropriate care for adolescents across the UK to address the unmet transitional and psychological care needs in this population.
View details for DOI 10.1111/ced.14021
View details for PubMedID 31236992
Establishing and developing a Teenage and Young Adult dermatology clinic with embedded specialist psychological support
CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL DERMATOLOGY
2019; 44 (8): 893–96
Skin conditions are common in adolescence and impart considerable psychological burden. The Department of Health has identified the specialized needs of adolescents transitioning from paediatric to adult services as a priority, yet there are few dedicated transitional clinics in the UK providing appropriate psychosocial support. We have established a monthly Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) dermatology clinic dedicated to managing teenagers and young adults with skin disease alongside open-access psychological support. Demographic data and Teenagers' Quality of Life Index (T-QoL) measures were recorded for all patients in 2016. To evaluate patient experience, two online surveys were conducted. Statistically significant improvements in the T-QoL were recorded for patients with the most common skin condition (eczema) attending for repeat assessment by the psychologist. Patients reported high satisfaction rates in both patient experience surveys. These results demonstrate that specialized adolescent care both is well received and can improve outcomes for these patients.
View details for DOI 10.1111/ced.13950
View details for Web of Science ID 000495658800007
View details for PubMedID 30784103
Self-harm scar revision.
BMJ case reports
This report discusses in detail the case of a patient who underwent a scar revision procedure to have her characteristic self-harm scars altered. A detailed insight into the patient's perspective was gained through semistructured interviews conducted at 6 weeks and 6 months postoperatively. The interviews found that an equally if not more conspicuous scar that was distinct from those created from self-harm had a pronounced psychological benefit for the patient. This article calls for more active management of the psychological sequelae of self-harm scars, with the need to facilitate access to surgical treatment in certain cases.
View details for DOI 10.1136/bcr-2017-222490
View details for PubMedID 29563126
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5878410
Webcast: We hope not the future of medical school teaching
2016; 38 (7): 751–52
View details for Web of Science ID 000380239000016