Dr Jacinta Tan is a research psychiatrist and medical ethicist. A Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Swansea University Medical School, she is also an honorary consultant psychiatrist in the Adult Tier 3 Specialist Eating Disorder Team of the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

A multidisciplinary academic with degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, Child Health and Sociology, Jacinta spent many years researching mental capacity in anorexia nervosa at the University of Oxford.

Jacinta now conducts eating disorder research and leads the Ethics component of the Graduate Entry Medical School syllabus at Swansea University. Jacinta has conducted research into the ethics of eating disorders in elite gymnasts, is collaborating with the University of Oxford to research the ethics of deep brain stimulation for severe anorexia nervosa, and is researching the treatment of eating disorders of all ages in Wales. She is also one of the founding and now senior editors of the BioMed Central open access e-journal, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health.

In Wales, clinical services for adult eating disorders are relatively newly established and there is little prior research in eating disorders in Wales. Jacinta is particularly proud to be the founder and convenor of the Welsh Eating Disorder Research Development Group. This group, which was set up through funding by the Mental Health Research Network Cymru, brings together NHS clinicians across Wales, researchers, the third sector, patients, and carers to develop research for eating disorders in Wales. Her vision as the sole eating disorder clinical academic in Wales is to co-develop interdisciplinary eating disorder research together with these partners, which examines issues at the coalface of treatment and thereby directly improves healthcare for eating disorders across the lifespan in Wales.

Areas of Expertise

  • eating disorders
  • medical ethics
  • child and adolescent psychiatry
  • decision-making capacity

Publications

  1. & Deep Brain Stimulation in Anorexia Nervosa: Hope for the Hopeless or Exploitation of the Vulnerable? The Oxford Neuroethics Gold Standard Framework. Frontiers in Psychiatry 8
  2. & Recent trends in the incidence of anxiety and prescription of anxiolytics and hypnotics in children and young people: An e-cohort study.. Journal of Affective Disorders 183, 134-141.
  3. & Understanding eating disorders in elite gymnastics: ethical and conceptual challenges.. Clinics in Sports Medicine 35(2), 275-292.
  4. & Autonomy, eating disorders and elite sport: Ethical and conceptual issues.. Sport, Education and Society, 1-12.
  5. & Cultural and ethical issues in the treatment of eating disorders in Singapore.. Asian Bioethics Review 5(1), 40-55.

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Teaching

  • PM-137 Introduction to Medical Psychology

    The module aims to provide an introduction to the way in which psychologists study human behaviour. Students will be introduced to the dominant theoretical approaches within Psychology in order to understand how each approach studies and explains behaviour differently. Students will then apply this knowledge about the different theoretical approaches to evaluate how each approach explains and treats various mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviours. Students will learn some of the key principles of behaviour analysis and how they can be applied to behavioural medicine. Students will undertake two practicals which will serve as an introduction to psychological research. Practical 1 will involve designing, conducting and analysing a questionnaire. Practical 2 will involve using behaviour analytic principles to implement a simple behaviour change intervention.