Professor Rob Stewart

Robert Stewart


Rob has been academic lead for the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) data resource since it was developed in 2007-8. 

Working with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust colleagues and patients, CRIS has been used to support a range of research projects from childhood to old age, and across all mental health specialties. Rob has also led the enhancement of CRIS through linkages to external datasets, and through the application of natural language processing techniques to maximise the structured information available for analysis. His research team have focused particularly on using this information to investigate physical health outcomes in people with mental disorders.

Having provided the only UK data so far on the reduced life expectancy experienced by people with severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Rob has supported research to clarify not only the points of inequality in healthcare and disorders responsible, but also provide a detailed picture of who is most at risk. For example, important research led by PhD students in the CRIS team is investigating mental health symptoms, and the medications used to treat these, in relation to physical health outcomes.

In addition, one of the largest studies is underway of the medication taken in pregnancy by women with severe mental disorders and its consequences, in order to provide much-needed advice on balancing risks and benefits. CRIS work has been central to European Union funded informatics programmes such as PHEME and KConnect, and a range of CRIS projects are underway at three other UK Mental Health Trusts as the beginning of wider national and international collaborations.