Michael Wells research group help improve parental mental health

Michael Wells is a new research group leader at the division Neonatology, Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Health from 1 June. Michael´s main research interests are in intervention and implementation research, with social and family policy outcomes. His research focuses on the Swedish reproductive and child health fields and the support they provide to parents, especially for fathers of infants.

Michael Wells has a background in developmental psychology, and a PhD in Women’s and Children’s Health. He first came to KI in 2016 as a postdoc within Global Public Health. After being invited as a guest lecturer in the midwifery program and asked to teach courses within the midwifery program, he was offered an associate senior lecturer position within KBH full time.

“Within research, a goal of mine is to make sure all parents, regardless of birth status, have a healthy transition into parenthood, so that they can be healthy for their own, their partner’s, and their child’s benefit.”

His primary research focuses on parental mental health (e.g. depressive symptoms, anxiety, fear of childbirth, parent-infant bonding disturbances), as well as how both clinicians and interventions can help strengthen parental mental health from pregnancy through early childhood.

“As my research continued on promoting parental support and improving parental mental health as they transition into parenthood, I became part of a team to implement a new clinical visit for fathers/non-birthing parents at the child health centers when the infant is 3-5 months old.”

Michael´s other line of research focuses on making quality improvements in clinical settings, such as within the MIDWIZE program. Within which he work with several sub-Saharan African countries at improving maternal and newborn health via utilizing known evidenced-based practices. This has important maternal outcomes, such as fewer tears and fewer unnecessary episiotomies, as well as improved child health outcomes, like improved APGAR scores.

“I hope to help improve the education that our midwife students receive, as well as help expand the educational unit’s responsibilities, for example, by taking on new independent courses, PhD courses, and maybe helping to start up a new global sexual and reproductive health prevention program.”

Michael is very passionate about students’ learning, and believe that the more he can help become better clinicians, the more positive impact the health care sector will have on the population, in Sweden and around the world.

/Public Release. View in full here.