Professor Karen Rodham writes for The Conversation UK

Professor Karen Rodham

Professor Karen Rodham (Professor of Health Psychology & Director of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) has written a short article for The Conversation UK about the rise in chronic health conditions in animals (similar to the rise noted in humans).

The Conversation UK is a free news service featuring articles written by academics on a range of topics and current affairs. Staffordshire University is a member of The Conversation and Karen’s article is the first article written by a member of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research to be published by The Conversation. Read the full article below:

The Conversation: Just like humans, more cats and dogs are living with chronic health conditions

Watch out for more Conversation articles written by the members of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research!


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology is a centre of excellence for teaching and research in Health Psychology, and is home to Staffordshire’s BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology and Stage 2 Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. The Centre for Health Psychology is part of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research.

Keep updated with the latest Health Psychology news from Staffordshire University via following us on @StaffsPsych and via the #HealthPsychStaffs hashtag.

For further information about Health Psychology courses and research at Staffordshire University please visit the following webpages:

Fifth Staffordshire Health Psychology Conference held in June 2017

Staffordshire University’s 5th Health Psychology Conference took place at the end of June 2017 in the University’s Science Centre. My name is Meghan Linscott and as a funded first year Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology student (working at Stoke-on-Trent City Council across Public Health and Planning) I was not only a delegate, I delivered a poster presentation and the Digital Health workshop (alongside my peer Stephanie Dugdale).

The conference was very well organised and run by health psychology trainees (I assisted the conference organising team). The conference was a great way to bring the University’s health psychology community together to network, share our hard work, gain experience and confidence in a conference setting and celebrate the end of the academic year! Overall, the conference is one of the ways the University enables its budding health psychologists (and those researching and working in health psychology, such as PhD students) to enhance their personal and professional development.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The quality and range of presentations was fabulous and included a number of ‘double act’ oral presentations, posters and co-facilitated workshops. I was pleased the programme included a good mix of both academic and applied content. I would love to see the conference include a symposium and panel session in the years to come; I think the potential to grow this conference is great.

Professor Daryl O’Connor

Unforeseen circumstances resulted in a last minute change in our keynote speaker. Initially the keynote was a former Professional Doctorate student from the University. I feel this demonstrates the high standard to which students graduate. Furthermore, we were able to secure a fantastic alternative – Professor Daryl O’Connor who delivered a fascinating presentation about the Japanese concept of ’karoshi’ and the effects of stress on health and wellbeing. I believe this is a testament to the excellent connections and networks the University has developed, as well as the positive reputation Staffordshire University holds.

The turn-out was heart-warming and I would like to thank staff from both the University and all of our placement settings, as well as my peers for their attendance and continued support. The atmosphere both within the Science Centre and on Twitter was inspiring. You can find me on twitter @MeghLins

I am looking forward to being more heavily involved in the organisation of Staffordshire University’s 6th Health Psychology Conference next year and have no doubt it will once again be a huge success.


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology is a centre of excellence for teaching and research in Health Psychology, and is home to Staffordshire’s BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology and Stage 2 Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. The Centre for Health Psychology is part of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research.

Keep updated with the latest Health Psychology news from Staffordshire University via following us on @StaffsPsych and via the #HealthPsychStaffs hashtag.

For further information about Health Psychology courses and research at Staffordshire University please visit the following webpages:

Funded Bursary for a Trainee on the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University

An exciting opportunity has arisen through collaborations between the Centre for Health Psychology at Staffordshire University and The Hollies Pupil Referral Unit for a bursary for two years for a full time trainee Health Psychologist. The trainee will be based within The Hollies Pupil Referral Unit in Stafford.

The Hollies PRU is a double district PRU serving the Stafford and South Staffordshire districts. We provide education for any young person without a school place. We currently serve 13 secondary schools, 7 middle schools and all primary schools. The Hollies is maintained by Staffordshire County Council and provides education for children who are excluded, risk of exclusion, or otherwise unable to attend a mainstream or special maintained school. The local authority has a duty under section 19 of the Education Act 1996 to provide suitable education for children of compulsory school age who cannot attend school. Very often such pupils are described as displaying EBD – Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, exasperated by unsettled domestic situations, a propensity towards criminal behaviour, bullying, or (conversely) having been the victim of bullying. A PRU is treated the same as any other type of school, subject to the same inspections from Ofsted. Since September 2010, some PRUs are referred to as “Short Stay Schools”, although the government still broadly refers to them as PRUs or Alternative Provision (APs). We currently have 57 pupils aged 11-16 on roll and 10 primary pupils.

The work will involve developing face-to-face and group interventions to promote physical health with students, developing health psychology-related training for students and staff, and conducting research to explore factors influencing aspects of physical health of this group of students. The role will also involve supporting some lessons and supporting the class teacher, contributing to staff and multi-agency meetings and contributing to whole school CPD. The candidate would be expected to engage with the school, and take part in all aspects of the school day.

The role will be undertaken in conjunction with training as a full-time student on the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University. The bursary is fixed at £12,000 per year, for two years, and presents a unique opportunity for a highly motivated and professional person to complete their health psychology training, directly supported by The Hollies. (The bursary comprises fees of £6,200 per year paid and a contribution of £5,800 per annum towards living and study costs).


Person Specification

In order to apply for this bursary, applicants must have the following skills, experience and qualifications (click here for the bursary advert):

Essential

• Hold an honours degree recognised by the British Psychological Society as offering Graduate Basis for Chartership;

• Have completed British Psychological Society accredited Stage 1 training in Health Psychology. That is either have been awarded a BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology with a grade of Merit (or 60% average ) or above, or the BPS Stage 1 qualification in health psychology with a grade of 60% or more.

Desirable

• An interest in working with children who are disaffected and disadvantaged aged 4-16, often with mental health issues;
• An interest in collaborative working.

Please note: students whose first language is not English must have achieved a minimum of Level 7 across all categories on IELTS. Once successful, the applicant would be expected to pass all statutory clearances such as DBS, Occupational Health Checks, Self-Declaration of General Good Character and Good Health Form, and Contract of Professional Behaviour before they engage with the programme.


To Apply

To apply please send or e-mail a covering letter and CV with contact details of two referees to Dr Rachel Povey (r.povey@staffs.ac.uk) by noon on 18th July 2017.

Interviews will be held in Stoke-on-Trent on 20th July 2017.

For any further information, please contact Dr Rachel Povey (r.povey@staffs.ac.uk).


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology is a centre of excellence for teaching and research in Health Psychology, and is home to Staffordshire’s BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology and Stage 2 Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. The Centre for Health Psychology is part of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research.

Keep updated with the latest Health Psychology news from Staffordshire University via following us on @StaffsPsych and via the #HealthPsychStaffs hashtag.

For further information about Health Psychology courses and research at Staffordshire University please visit the following webpages:

Funded PhD opportunity in the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, Department of Psychology

We are delighted to welcome applications for a funded PhD opportunity in the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, Department of Psychology, for an anticipated September 2017 start date.

The PhD project is titled The role of social norms in reducing belief in conspiracy theories and will be supervised by Dr Daniel Jolley (Principal Supervisor, Lecturer in Psychology), Dr Robert Dempsey (Lecturer in Psychology) and Dr Rachel Povey (Associate Professor in Health Psychology).

Project Background:

Belief in conspiracy theories is widespread in society. Whilst belief in conspiracy theories may fulfil needs such as control (e.g., Whitson, et al., 2015), they are potentially dangerous; exposure to conspiracy theories reduces people’s engagement in a variety of behaviours, including vaccinations (e.g., Jolley & Douglas, 2014a, 2014b). Examining tools to address conspiracy theories is therefore timely. Broadly speaking, this novel project will therefore build on existing research by exploring the relationship between perceived social norms and conspiracy beliefs and develop interventions that will help combat the effects of conspiracy theories.

This PhD project has three phases:

  1. a systematic literature review,
  2. empirical studies understanding the psychological mechanisms underlying social norms and conspiracy beliefs,
  3. the development of attitudinal and behaviour change interventions (e.g., improving vaccine uptake).

This three year funded PhD and includes a fee waiver equivalent to the home/EU rate and a tax-free stipend of £14,553 p.a. over the three years of the project. In addition to their PhD studies, the successful applicant will also deliver up to six hours per week of teaching or teaching-related support and will join the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research which provides a supportive research environment in the Department of Psychology.

We recommend that you make contact with the Principal Supervisor (Dr Daniel Jolley, daniel.jolley@staffs.ac.uk), to receive the full project outline and/or to enquire about this PhD opportunity.

Applications

Details on how to apply (alongside qualification requirements) for the funded PhD opportunity can be found here. Applications (a CV and a covering letter) need to emailed to the Staffordshire University Graduate School by 4th August 2017 (details and the email address for the Graduate School can be found here).


The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research is home to research activity in the Psychology Department at Staffordshire Centre. The Centre is home to a number of research-active psychologists who are engaged in research across a wide range of psychological subdisciplines. The Centre has two overarching research streams: Health and Behaviour Change and Applied Perception and Cognition.

The Centre provides training for PhD students, Research Masters degrees, as well as Professional Doctorates in Clinical and Health Psychology (click here for more details). The Centre also provides bespoke training to private and public organisations, as well as expertise for consultancy research opportunities. For more details about the Centre, its research activities, events and consultancy, please visit our website (click here).

Dr Sarah Dean blogs in support of World Orthoptic Day 2017!

Dr Sarah Dean

The 5th of June 2017 marks World Orthoptic Day! Being a researcher in Health Psychology (and having an Orthoptist for a sister), I believe it is really important to support orthoptists in raising their profile.

Many people are unaware of the important role that orthoptists play in eye health. Orthoptists typically work in hospitals where they are involved in investigating, diagnosing and treating a range of eye related conditions, one of which is amblyopia or ‘lazy eye’, which is where my research interests lie. Orthoptists work with people of all ages from premature babies to older adults, and with a variety of medical conditions that can affect their eyes, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders. They may also work with people who are recovering from a stroke or brain injury. Overall, they are a vital part of the vision team!

Children with amblyopia have poor vision in one eye and without treatment this vision does not develop properly, meaning they have an increased risk of blindness. Treatment for amblyopia often involves the child being prescribed a patch to wear over their ‘good’ eye for part of the day. This forces the child to use their ‘lazy eye’ which allows the vision to develop. Although this treatment can work really well when used with children under 7 years old, a lot of people find it difficult to adhere to their prescribed treatment.

In my research I explore ways of improving adherence to treatment. In our paper, myself and my colleagues, Dr Rachel Povey and Jessica Reeves, investigated how effective existing interventions which aimed to increase compliance to patching treatment in children with amblyopia were. The next stage of the research will involve interviewing children to learn more about their experience of wearing an eye patch. Hopefully continuing with this research will lead to improved outcomes for children and will help to raise awareness of orthoptics.

Dean, S.E., Povey, R.C., Reeves J. (2016). Assessing interventions to increase compliance to patching treatment in children with amblyopia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Ophthalmology,100, 159-165.


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology is a centre of excellence for teaching and research in Health Psychology, and is home to Staffordshire’s BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology and Stage 2 Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. The Centre for Health Psychology is part of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research.

Keep updated with the latest Health Psychology news from Staffordshire University via following us on @StaffsPsych and via the #HealthPsychStaffs hashtag.

For further information about Health Psychology courses and research at Staffordshire University please visit the following webpages:

Dr Alison Owen featured on BBC Radio Wiltshire discussing Tanning Behaviours & Sun Protection

Dr Alison Owen

Dr Alison Owen (Lecturer in Psychology) was featured on BBC Radio Wiltshire’s Graham Seaman show (31st May 2017) discussing the psychological factors associated with tanning behaviours.

Dr Owen has conducted a number of studies into the reasons why both men and women engage in tanning behaviours, especially in relation to the perceived attractiveness of tanned skin, as well as ways in which psychologists can promote more sun protective behaviours.

Listen to Dr Owen’s interview via the below link (from 1hr, 28 mins, 30 seconds):

BBC iPlayer – BBC Wiltshire: Graham Seaman Show

Dr Owen is a Lecturer and researcher at Staffordshire University, and is a member of the University’s Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research and the Centre for Health Psychology. Dr Owen has blogged about her sun protection research for a recent Sun Protection Awareness Week, read more via:

Sun Awareness Week: Dr Alison Owen discusses new research into sun protection behaviours


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology is a centre of excellence for teaching and research in Health Psychology, and is home to Staffordshire’s BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology and Stage 2 Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. The Centre for Health Psychology is part of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research.

Keep updated with the latest Health Psychology news from Staffordshire University via following us on @StaffsPsych and via the #HealthPsychStaffs hashtag.

For further information about Health Psychology courses and research at Staffordshire University please visit the following webpages:

Third Year Running: 100% Student Satisfaction on the Staffordshire MSc in Health Psychology!

The Higher Education Authority’s annual Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) is the only sector-wide survey to gain insight from taught postgraduate students about their learning and teaching experience. Staffordshire University are delighted that for the third year in a row students on the MSc Health Psychology have reported they are 100% satisfied with the quality of their course according to the survey.

MSc Students exploring health environments around the multi-million pound Staffordshire University Science Centre

MSc Student Laura Campbell presenting her work at the Midlands Health Psychology Network Conference 2017

In the recent PTES poll, overall satisfaction was 100% with all students stating that they would recommend the course to a friend or relative. The course also achieved 100% satisfaction in several other areas with students praising the level of staff support, the enthusiasm of tutors and their ability to deliver a stimulating learning experience, and the quality of feedback. Students were also pleased with how the course developed their skills and knowledge with all students agreeing 100% that that course developed their confidence to be independent learners and innovative and creative, in addition to developing research skills.

Staffordshire University is the Home of Health Psychology with our MSc being the first programme of its kind in the UK to be accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Our students have access to top of the range facilities including a dedicated base-room within the multi-million pound Science Centre, a thriving psychology visiting speaker programme and journal club, as well as high-level teaching from academics who are active Health Psychology researchers.


MSc Health Psychology Open Afternoon (28th June 2017)

If you would like to learn more about the MSc Health Psychology we still have a few spaces on our upcoming Open Afternoon taking place between 2pm-4pm on the 28th June 2017.

Please contact course director Dr Amy Burton (amy.burton@staffs.ac.uk) to book your place.

 


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology is a centre of excellence for teaching and research in Health Psychology, and is home to Staffordshire’s BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology and Stage 2 Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. The Centre for Health Psychology is part of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research.

Keep updated with the latest Health Psychology news from Staffordshire University via following us on @StaffsPsych and via the #HealthPsychStaffs hashtag.

For further information about Health Psychology courses and research at Staffordshire University please visit the following webpages:

Dr Rob Dempsey blogs on the perceived use of ‘smart drugs’ by university students

Following recent reports of increases in the use of ‘smart study drugs’ by university students in the UK, Dr Robert Dempsey (Lecturer in Psychology & Co-director of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) blogs about his collaborative research which has received recent media attention:

Socially Normative: Perceived norms and acceptability of ‘smart drug’ use by students

Socially Normative is a blog written by Dr Robert Dempsey with colleagues Dr John McAlaney and Dr Bridgette Bewick – all of whom have research interests in understanding the influence of perceived social norms on behaviour, including the use of substances and online behaviours. Read more about their work via the Socially Normative website.


The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research is home to research activity in the Psychology Department at Staffordshire Centre. The Centre is home to a number of research-active psychologists who are engaged in research across a wide range of psychological subdisciplines. The Centre has two overarching research streams: Health and Behaviour Change and Applied Perception and Cognition.

The Centre provides training for PhD students, Research Masters degrees, as well as Professional Doctorates in Clinical and Health Psychology (click here for more details). The Centre also provides bespoke training to private and public organisations, as well as expertise for consultancy research opportunities. For more details about the Centre, its research activities, events and consultancy, please visit our website (click here).

Sun Awareness Week: Dr Alison Owen discusses new research into sun protection behaviours

Dr Alison Owen

As part of Sun Awareness Week (8th-14th May 2017), Dr Alison Owen (Lecturer in Psychology at Staffordshire University) blogs about her recent research into the use of facial ageing software to improve sun protection behaviours:

More than one in three people have been sunburnt in the last year while in the UK and, of those, 28 per cent were sunburnt three or more times, according to a survey carried out by the British Association of Dermatologists to mark their Sun Awareness Week. In addition, a study we conducted here at the Centre for Health Psychology at Staffordshire University found that 80% of female participants felt that a tan looked good and 71.4% felt that tanned people look healthy (Williams et al., 2013).

Based on these findings, we have researched ways in which to help people to improve their sun protection behaviours in order to encourage them to be more safe in the sun, focusing on addressing the appearance-effects of sun exposure to improve sun protection behaviours. Along with colleagues Prof. David Clark-Carter, Dr. Emily Buckley and Prof. Sarah Grogan, we showed participants images of how their faces may age if they exposed their skin to the sun, compared to how their faces might age if they protect their skin. The picture (below) shows an example of the software used, where participants are able to view a projected image of themselves up to the age of 72 years, comparing images of them after exposing their skin to the sun without using protection (right hand side) with those where they have been protecting their skin from the sun (left hand side). We found that viewing the projected damage to their skin condition significantly improved factors such as participants’ intentions to wear sun protection, and gave them more negative attitudes towards UV exposure (Williams et al., 2013).

APRIL software showing a projection of how a participant may look at 72 years of age.

The World Health Organization (2012) suggests that recreational exposure to UV radiation, including exposure to the sun and sunbeds and a history of sunburn, are the primary causes of all melanomas, which can lead to skin cancer, emphasising the importance of staying safe in the sun. The NHS website contains advice on how best to protect your skin (click here).

You can watch Dr Alison Owen talking about her research as part of a feature on tanning use and skin cancer by BBC Inside Out West Midlands from February 2015 (from 1 minute into the below video).


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology is a centre of excellence for teaching and research in Health Psychology, and is home to Staffordshire’s BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology and Stage 2 Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. The Centre for Health Psychology is part of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research.

Keep updated with the latest Health Psychology news from Staffordshire University via following us on @StaffsPsych and via the #HealthPsychStaffs hashtag.

For further information about Health Psychology courses and research at Staffordshire University please visit the following webpages:

Dr Rachel Povey blogs on encouraging children to make healthy choices

Dr Rachel Povey (Associate Professor in Health Psychology & Co-director of Staffordshire University’s Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology) blogs about her recent research on encouraging healthy eating amongst schoolchildren and public engagement:

Last November I was invited to give an assembly at a primary school in Stockport, in order to promote their “healthy eating” week.  I hadn’t given an assembly before, and was apprehensive, but excited about speaking to 420 primary school children.

I produced a few colourful slides about making healthy eating choices, and together with Lisa Cowap, we launched our assembly. The fun part was luring the head teacher with an iced doughnut, and asking a number of children to come out and try and persuade her to eat an apple instead.

At the end of the assembly Lisa and I launched a competition where we asked children to design a poster advert to persuade people to eat fruit and vegetables. The competition was designed in collaboration with a local book shop (@simplybooksNo1) who donated vouchers to spend in their shop for the prizes. The competition inspired children to produce lots of brilliant artwork, with some also using excellent motivational messages.  A panel of independent judges rated the work, and a winner and two runners up were chosen. The winners were announced in an assembly in January, and all three winning entries are now on show in Simply Books café (see below). The experience was a rewarding one, and if it encourages even a few children to think about making healthy choices, it was worth it.

 


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology is a centre of excellence for teaching and research in Health Psychology, and is home to Staffordshire’s BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology and Stage 2 Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. The Centre for Health Psychology is part of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research.

Keep updated with the latest Health Psychology news from Staffordshire University via following us on @StaffsPsych and via the #HealthPsychStaffs hashtag.

For further information about Health Psychology courses and research at Staffordshire University please visit the following webpages: