Dr Katrina Prior

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sydney Medical School

Telephone 02 8627 9032

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Biographical details

Dr Katrina Prior is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Matilda Centre at the University of Sydney. She has extensive experience trialling interventions for co-occurring mental health and substance use programs among young people and adults. She completed a Bachelors degree in Psychology (Honours) and Commerce at ANU, and a PhD in Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW (2018). Her thesis focused on the prevalence, impact and persistence of social anxiety among depressed individuals in treatment for substance dependence. Dr Prior commenced an Australian Rotary Health-funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in March 2019, which aims to prevent the exacerbation of co-occurring anxiety and alcohol use problems among young people through cognitive re-training, with mentoring from Dr Lexine Stapinski and Prof Reinout Wiers.

Research interests

Dr Prior’s research interests include prevention, early intervention and treatment for co-occurring mental health and drug/alcohol use disorders, particularly among young people. She is especially interested in technology-driven interventions to improve the wellbeing of young people with comorbid anxiety and alcohol use disorders, as well as risk factors and psychological mechanisms that initiate and maintain this comorbidity.

Key terms: Anxiety, alcohol and other drugs, depression, comorbidity, prevention, early intervention, treatment, adolescent health, translation, e-mental health, online intervention

Current research students

Project title Research student
Development and pilot evaluation of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based substance abuse treatment programme in a High Secure Forensic Hospital. Daniel MCFADDEN

Current projects

Current projects:

Inroads Study: Project Coordinator of a randomised controlled trial which aims to evaluate the relative efficacy of the Inroads program; a 5-module, internet-delivered, therapist-supported, cognitive behavioural therapy-based early intervention for anxiety and hazardous alcohol use in young people, compared to an alcohol information and guidelines control condition.

Good Sports: Chief investigator on athree-arm cluster randomised controlled trial comparing three delivery methods of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation's "Good Sports" program, which aims to reduce alcohol use andmake sporting clubs healthier, safer and more family friendly. The project will focus on the feasibility, acceptability and efficiency of each delivery model to inform a future efficacy trial.

CBT treatment for substance use among forensic patients: Co-supervisor of a pilot study which seeks to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of a CBT-based substance use treatment programme among forensic inpatients in an Australian High Secure Forensic Hospital. Findings from this Phase I pilot study will be used to inform the development of a Phase II randomised controlled trial to examine the efficacy of the programme in improving clinical and risk outcomes among this population.

Previous projects:

Activate Study: Research Officer on a randomised controlled trial that sought to investigate the efficacy of behavioural activation treatment for depression plus treatment as usual among individuals in treatment for substance dependence (i.e., residential rehabilitation or opioid substitution therapy), relative to treatment as usual.

Awards and honours

  1. Winner of the 2015 UNSW Inaugural Postgraduate Research Symposium award for 2nd top ranked abstract

In the media

2018 - Live radio interview with Jo Lauder on Triple J Hack focusing on why young people are unlikely to get help for drinking problems and what treatment options exist.

2018 - Recorded radio interview on ZZZ FM News Lismore (100.9). ZZZ targets 18-39 year olds, with a broadcast reach of 145,000 people.

2018 - Live radio interview with ABC Radio South Australia Drive program (891AM).

Selected grants

2019

  • Adapting the Substance Use Treatment Program (SUTP) for the NSW forensic setting; Barrett E, Prior K, Teesson M; Mental Health Commission NSW/Research Grant.
  • Preventing the exacerbation of anxiety and alcohol use comorbidity through cognitive re-training; Prior K; Australian Rotary Health/Royce Abbey Postdoctoral Fellowship.
  • Evaluation of Alternative Delivery Model of Good Sports; Shoesmith L, Gardner L, Snijder M, Prior K, Sunderland M, Newton N, Teesson M; Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF)/Request for Proposal: Evaluation of Alternative Delivery Model of Good Sports.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Prior, K., Mills, K., Ross, J., Teesson, M. (2017). Substance use disorders comorbid with mood and anxiety disorders in the Australian general population. Drug and Alcohol Review, 36(3), 317-324. [More Information]
  • Birrell, L., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Prior, K., Champion, K., Mackie, C., Teesson, M., Slade, T. (2017). Trajectories of emotional symptoms in adolescence: impact on alcohol use. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 10(4), 130-141. [More Information]
  • Ross, J., Teesson, M., Lejuez, C., Mills, K., Kaye, S., Brady, K., Dore, G., Prior, K., Larkin, X., Cassar, J., et al (2016). The efficacy of behavioural activation treatment for co-occurring depression and substance use disorder (the activate study): A randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 16(1). [More Information]
  • Prior, K., Sargent-Cox, K. (2014). Students' expectations of ageing: An evaluation of the impact of imagined intergenerational contact and the mediating role of ageing anxiety. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 55, 99-104. [More Information]

2017

  • Prior, K., Mills, K., Ross, J., Teesson, M. (2017). Substance use disorders comorbid with mood and anxiety disorders in the Australian general population. Drug and Alcohol Review, 36(3), 317-324. [More Information]
  • Birrell, L., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Prior, K., Champion, K., Mackie, C., Teesson, M., Slade, T. (2017). Trajectories of emotional symptoms in adolescence: impact on alcohol use. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 10(4), 130-141. [More Information]

2016

  • Ross, J., Teesson, M., Lejuez, C., Mills, K., Kaye, S., Brady, K., Dore, G., Prior, K., Larkin, X., Cassar, J., et al (2016). The efficacy of behavioural activation treatment for co-occurring depression and substance use disorder (the activate study): A randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 16(1). [More Information]

2014

  • Prior, K., Sargent-Cox, K. (2014). Students' expectations of ageing: An evaluation of the impact of imagined intergenerational contact and the mediating role of ageing anxiety. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 55, 99-104. [More Information]

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