New sun protection intervention research seeking participants aged 34 years and older

Dr Alison Owen

A new research study conducted in collaboration with Dr Alison Owen (Lecturer in Psychology, Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research & Centre for Health Psychology) is seeking volunteers aged 34 years and above – Alison blogs about the study below:

Dr Alison Owen completed her PhD in 2013, under the  supervision of Prof. Sarah Grogan, Prof. David Clark-Carter and Dr Emily Buckley. Alison’s PhD involved researching ways in which to help people to improve their sun protection behaviours in order to encourage them to improvd their sun protection and UV exposure behaviours (e.g. Sun bathing, using sun beds). The main intervention used in the PhD involved showing 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 piece of software used, AprilAge, lets participants view projected images of themselves up to the age of 72 years, comparing images of them after exposing their skin to the sun without using protection with those where they have been protecting their skin from the sun. Dr Owen and the PhD supervision team found some really positive findings, with participants reporting significantly higher intentions to use sun protection after viewing the intervention.

One of Dr Owen’s suggestions for future research in her PhD was to look at the effectiveness of the intervention in older men and women, over the age of 34 years. Dr Owen’s research focussed on participants aged 18-34 years, as well as a group of adolescent participants aged 11-14 years, as there is evidence that people who have ever used a sunbed have an increased risk of melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer) and this risk is even higher in people who have started using sun beds before the age of 35. However it is also really important to fully investigate the impact of the intervention, and to see if it has even more potential, in older people alongside those who are aged 34 years and under.

Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University are building on Dr Owen’s research and are investigating the impact of the intervention on people aged between 35 and 61 years old. PhD student Sofia Persson is working with Prof. Sarah Grogan and Dr Yael Benn to carry out the research. Like with Dr Owen’s research, Sofia is carrying out both quantitative and qualitative research with men and women, to see how effective it is in this group of people.

Interested in taking part in this study?

Sofia Persson will be visiting Staffordshire University on Wednesday 1st November to recruit participants for their research. The study will consist of discussing the negative effects of UV exposure and the positive effects of sun protection, as well as compelling measures of sun protection and UV exposure immediately, four weeks and six months after the session. The initial session will take around 30 minutes and all follow-up measures will be completed online. Upon completion of the measures, participants will be entered into a prize draw with the opportunity to win a £30 gift voucher.

If you are aged between 35 and 61 years, and are available for a thirty minute slot on the 1st November, then please contact Sofia on sofia.persson@stu.mmu.ac.uk or Dr Owen on alison.owen@staffs.ac.uk for further information.


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:

Student Blog: My first week as a PhD student

Darel Cookson

Darel Cookson, a new PhD Student in the Department of Psychology and the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, blogs about her first week at Staffordshire University as a PhD Student:

It is hard to believe that this time last week I was (not so) quietly fretting about starting my PhD, excited at the enormous opportunity I had been offered and nervous about the level expected of me, but also anxious of doing something super embarrassing on my first day. However here I am a week later, still alive, and the most embarrassing thing that occurred was dropping my handbag on the floor and watching the contents scatter down the stairs in front of me, (I can live with that!).

I thought I would write a blog post to give some information and insight to anyone who is thinking about starting a PhD, or starting one in the near future, of what you might expect in your first week.

Monday

My first day, I arrived at 8:30am on Monday morning and met my primary supervisor (Dr. Daniel Jolley) who had very kindly prepared me a programme for the week ahead. As someone who likes a good ‘to do’ list this was very much appreciated. My supervisor gave me a tour of the campus and the rooms I will need to locate and then we proceeded to the library where I received my student card (its official!). My next meeting was with Dr Richard Jolley. He and the psychology technicians gave us (myself and a visiting PhD student) a tour of the Science Centre and we learned about some of the fantastic equipment available to use.

At lunch I met with two of my supervisors (Dr. Jolley & Dr. Robert Dempsey) and we talked about the project, discussed different ideas and they gave me some advice on where to start my reading. I spent the afternoon in my office, which I share with another PhD student and a post-doc researcher, I sat at my desk and actually began my PhD!

Its official, everyone buys you a new notebook when you are a student…

Tuesday

After my first day nerves, Tuesday began with a coffee, reading, and researching the training programmes available through the Staffordshire University Graduate School to decide which would be best for me to attend. The series looks fantastic. That afternoon I booked a meeting with the Academic Skills Tutor who helped me navigate the library website, definitely worth doing if you are new to an institution.

Wednesday

In the morning I observed the seminar class I will be teaching next week which was really exciting. I enjoy teaching so had been looking forward to meeting the students and they were all really engaged and showed impressive critical thinking. Let’s hope they are just as focused when I take the class!

Thursday

First thing on Thursday, I made another appointment with the Academic Skills Tutor who was so helpful in guiding me through my reference management options, it was reassuring to have the foundations to manage the literature I will be reviewing. I met with my supervisory team for a lunch meeting (Drs Jolley, Dempsey and Povey) and we again discussed project ideas and have agreed to meet weekly for the initial few weeks.

Friday

I am actually working on my PhD; it is still sinking in! It has been wonderful today to get stuck into the work and to reflect on the previous week. Thank you for everyone at Staffordshire University who have been so welcoming this week, I feel that my next few years here are going to be very special.


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).

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.

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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).