Antonina Mikocka-Walus is a psychologist with expertise in clinical health psychology, behavioural medicine and psychosomatic medicine. She graduated in psychology from the University of Warsaw, International Political and Economic Relations from Warsaw School of Economics and Sciences Politiques de Paris, and medicine from the University of Adelaide. After completing her doctorate, she held a postdoctoral position in epidemiology and neuropsychology at Monash University. In the period 2013-2016, she worked as senior lecturer in Health Sciences, University of York. Antonina recently moved to Deakin University in Melbourne but continues to hold a visiting research role in the Department. She is also visiting associate professor of psychology, University of Adelaide and holds an adjunct senior role at the University of South Australia.
Antonina’s main research interest is in Psycho-gastroenterology, and particularly in psychological and psychiatric interventions to manage chronic gastrointestinal and hepatologic conditions. She is a promoter of the biopsychosocial approach to management of these chronic conditions and has an interest in the integrated model of care and patient-doctor communication in the context of gastroenterology.
Among gastrointestinal conditions, she is especially focused on testing psychological interventions with the goal to reduce disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease. Her studies use various clinical, psychological and basic science measures. Further to this, she is interested in the link between stress, depression and inflammation and her current main project is on anti-inflammatory properties of fluoxetine in Crohn’s disease and online CBT to prolong remission of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Her other research interests are within the broad field of Psychological Medicine. She has conducted studies on short CBT therapies to manage anxiety in alcohol dependence treatment, as well as ACT and CBT therapies in substance using pregnant women, and to manage post-natal depression. Together with colleagues from the University of South Australia, she has also been involved in the Cochrane systematic review of antidepressant use in pregnancy and contributed to the Commonwealth guidelines for practice in antenatal care.