Is self-management for chronic health conditions overrated? Professor Karen Rodham writes for The Psychologist…

Professor Karen Rodham (Professor of Health Psychology & Director of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) has written a piece published in the British Psychological Society’s The Psychologist magazine about the use of ‘self-management’ as an intervention for people living with complex and chronic health conditions.

Professor Rodham discusses some of the issues associated with the focus on promoting patients to ‘self-manage’ chronic health conditions in light of some of the current challenges facing health services in the UK. Prof Rodham also critiques the appropriateness of enforcing ‘self-management’ on individuals who may need structured support from healthcare practitioners to manage aspects of their ongoing health conditions.

Professor Rodham’s article can now be freely read online via The Psychologist’s website:

Karen Rodham – Overrated: Self-management (The Psychologist)


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University has a history of excellence in 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 Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research has active team of Health Psychologists who conduct research and provide consultancy in a range of health-related issues.

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:

Hate Christmas? A psychologist’s survival guide for Grinches… Prof Karen Rodham writes for The Conversation

Professor Karen Rodham (Professor of Health Psychology & Director of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) writes a Christmas survival guide for those who dislike Christmas for The Conversation UK. Prof Rodham writes about a Christmas behaviour change intervention she received from a Staffordshire colleague as well as her tips for managing Christmas if you identify as a ‘Grinch’.

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 Read the full article below:

The Conversation: Hate Christmas? A psychologist’s survival guide for Grinches

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


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent. The department is home to the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, a large and active group of psychologists, PhD students and researchers conducting work into a variety of psychological disciplines and topic areas.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

Second Edition of Professor Karen Rodham’s ‘Health Psychology’ textbook published!

By Professor Karen Rodham (Professor of Health Psychology & Director of The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research).

Prof. Karen Rodham

I was thrilled to be invited to write a second edition of my Health Psychology text book. I saw this as an opportunity to put in things I wish I had put in first time round and to update the information. The book is not a comprehensive description of the whole of health psychology but is an overview of the discipline. I want to give readers an insight into Health Psychology, what it is, and why it is important. In order to do this, I have tried to take on the role of tour guide: I want to give the reader enough information to spark their desire to find out more about the profession and discipline of Health Psychology. I hope that by sharing my enthusiasm, readers will be tempted to delve deeper and read more about each of the topics highlighted.

After the introduction (Chapter 1), which explains what Health Psychology is and how it developed, the book is divided into two sections. In the first section, ‘Health Behaviour, I start by considering what it means to be healthy, what health behaviours are and how they can be measured (Chapter 2). In Chapter 3, I explore the variety of factors which are thought to influence our health behaviours. In Chapter 4, I describe the different models that have been designed to predict behaviour change, and, in Chapter 5 I explore the growing relationship between health psychology, public health and health promotion.

The second section of the book, ‘Health Psychology in Action, consists of four chapters which showcase how Health Psychology has been applied to major health issues. Chapter 6 explores stress and stress management. Chapter 7 considers eating behaviour. Chapter 8 focuses on smoking and drinking, and Chapter 9, on managing long-term conditions. The book concludes with a final chapter in which I draw together the key messages and speculate on the possible future for Health Psychology.

If you are one of those people who read the first edition of this book, you might be curious about what has changed in the seven years since it was published. Well, you will see from the description above that in this second edition, I have not just updated the references: I have rewritten sections, restructured the book and added chapters (on public health, smoking and drinking, and long-term conditions). I am also thrilled to be able to direct your attention to the last entry in the index. This reads ’zombie’. This was inadvertently excluded from the first edition but is now firmly in place. “‘What,” I hear you ask, “‘do zombies have to do with health psychology?” Well, read Chapter 2 and you will find out.

Professor Karen Rodham’s new book is now published and available purchase in all good book retailers. Please see the publisher’s website below for further information about the new edition:

Karen Rodham – Health Psychology (2nd Edition), MacMillian International/Red Globe Press.


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University has a history of excellence in 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 Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research has active team of Health Psychologists who conduct research and provide consultancy in a range of health-related issues.

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:

Professor Karen Rodham to appear at Latitude Festival discussing the future of healthcare

Professor Karen Rodham (Professor of Health Psychology & Director of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) will be appearing at the Latitude Festival on Saturday 14th July discussing the future of healthcare and the role of self-management for people living with long term chronic conditions.

Professor Rodham will be participating in a discussion about new developments in healthcare practice with Robin Ince, Professor Daniel Davis and Professor Greg Hanon (click here for details). Professor Rodham will be discussing her experiences working as a Health Psychologist in the NHS with people living with long term pain conditions and the implications of self-management for patients, policy-makers and healthcare staff.

Professor Rodham has also written for the British Psychological Society’s The Psychologist publication on the topic of the use of self-management in healthcare – read more via:

Karen Rodham – Overrated: Self-management (The Psychologist)


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University has a history of excellence in 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 Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research has active team of Health Psychologists who conduct research and provide consultancy in a range of health-related issues.

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:

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:

Professor Karen Rodham’s Blog: The Need to Address Antibiotics Overuse

karen-rodham-small

Prof Karen Rodham

Professor Karen Rodham, Professor of Health Psychology at Staffordshire University and current Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology, has written a blog piece discussing the potential role of social scientists (including health psychologists) in reducing the overprescription of antibiotic medication.

Read more about this story on Karen’s blog (click the below link):

ProfRoddersBlog: Social Scientists needed to solve the problem of antibiotic overuse

Nov 15 KR Blog Story antibioticsBanner

http://www.tamesideandglossopccg.org/campaigns/antibiotics-awareness


Staffordshire University is home to the Centre for Health Psychology, a centre of excellence for teaching and research in health psychology. For further information about Health Psychology courses and research at Staffordshire University please visit the following webpages:

Research Digest: New Research by Staffordshire’s Psychologists Presented at Conferences

The beginning of September can be a particularly busy time for academics. Not only are academic staff busy preparing for the new teaching semester, we are also busy conducting our own research and presenting this work at conferences across the UK and beyond! Here are some updates on recent conference presentations featuring new research conducted by academic staff from Staffordshire University’s Department of Psychology:

Developmental Psychology: Children’s Creative Intentions in Drawing

The Annual British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference was held in Manchester this year. This conference is an opportunity for researchers (from students to Professor level) to hear about new research and ideas in Developmental Psychology. It also a great opportunity to catch up with likeminded researchers, many of whom become friends over the years, and attend social events, including the conference Gala Dinner.

SR & RJ Oct 15

Dr Sarah Rose & Dr Richard Jolley

This year two of our Developmental Psychology Team, Dr Richard Jolley and Dr Sarah Rose, attended the conference and presented work on children’s creative intentions in drawing. This is a new area of research as although we know an increasing amount about how children’s drawing skills develop we know very little about where they actually get their ideas about what to draw from. Sarah and Richard presented qualitative research suggesting that children are inspired by a wide range of sources when deciding what to draw, including their immediate surroundings, recent experiences, memories, imagination and motivation to express their thoughts and emotions.

BPS West Midlands Conference: Health Psychology, Keynotes, Social Norms & Brand Recognition!

Various members of staff and students, including many from Staffordshire’s Centre for Health Psychology, attended the British Psychological Society’s West Midlands Branch Conference held in Coventry in early September. The conference was an opportunity for students (both undergraduate and postgraduate), early career researchers and academic researchers to present their own research and hear about the latest psychological research being conducted in the West Midlands region.

Professor Karen Rodham, Keynote Talk

Professor Karen Rodham, Keynote Talk

Professor Karen Rodham, Professor of Health Psychology at Staffordshire University and current Chair of the BPS Division of Health Psychology, gave an engaging and insightful keynote talk about her practice and research working to better understand how people cope with chronic health conditions such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Karen discussed her background in Health Psychology, her practice work and ongoing projects into how people cope with and manage chronic pain, including some interesting new research into how individuals represent chronic pain through drawings or portraits.

Oct 15 Dempsey Poster

Dr Rob Dempsey’s poster presented at the BPS WM Conference

Other presenters from Staffordshire University included Dr Rob Dempsey who presented findings from the recent European Commission-funded SNIPE (“Social Norms Intervention for Polydrug usE in university students“) study, included recent work demonstrating that European students have similar overestimations of their peers’ cannabis use behaviours as found in North America. This study is part of an ongoing series of projects conducted by Rob and several Masters in Health Psychology students investigating the role of misperceptions of peer norms (attitudes and behaviours) in health-related behaviours, such as help seeking for various health issues, substance use behaviours, and self-screening behaviours for cancer (e.g. testicular self-examination).

Oct15 JPB Poster

Jenny’s poster

Also presenting data was Jenny Parfitt-Bowman, a PhD student working on a cognitive psychology research project into branding and consumer behaviour using eye-tracking equipment under the supervision of Dr Louise Humphreys and Dr Emily Buckley. Jenny’s research is investigating the processing of brand information when certain features of the product packaging (e.g. location) is manipulated.

 

 

BPS Cognitive Section Conference: Product Branding & Facial Recognition

Dr Louise Humphreys, and PhD student Jenny Parfitt-Bowman, also presented their research at the Annual British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Conference which was held in Kent. Their presentations were on the topic of product branding. In particular, Louise’s presentation discussed the role of automatic and voluntary processes in locating and recognising a branded product, and Jenny’s presentation considered the impact of brand manipulation on visual attention disruption and accurate product recognition (see below for pictures).

Oct 15 JPB Kent 1Oct 15 JPB Kent 2

Also attending the BPS Cognitive Section Conference was Dr Andrew Edmonds, who has posted his own report on new developments in facial recognition research as discussed at the conference (click here to read Andrew’s blog post).


Academic staff at Staffordshire University’s Psychology Department have a wide range of research interests which directly informs their teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students. The department is home to two centres of research excellence: the Centre for Psychological Research and the Centre for Health Psychology.

For more information about courses offered by the department please click here, including information about our BPS accredited Stage 1 Health Psychology Masters, Stage 2 Health Psychology Professional Doctorate, as well as our new MSc/MA by Research and established MPhil/PhD programmes.

The School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise Celebrate Staff Success!

Staff from the School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise excelled at this year’s Staffordshire University Celebrating Staff Success Awards. This annual award ceremony hOct 15 CSSeld in the beautiful Kings Hall in Stoke-upon-Trent (pictured right) celebrates academic and support teams who have achieved success in the previous twelve months, achieved teaching fellowships of the Higher Education Academy, and have excelled in their roles.

Oct 15 KR Award

Prof Karen Rodham with her Research Excellence Award!

Professor Karen Rodham, Health Psychologist and Professor of Health Psychology, who was nominated in three categories, won the inaugural Excellence in Research Award. This recognised both her own high impact research into chronic health conditions and also the work she has done developing a vibrant research culture within the Psychology Department, including initiatives such as setting up the Stoke Psychology in the Pub series of talks and Staffordshire University’s Images of Research competition. Karen said “it’s great to have research celebrated in this way at Staffordshire University; not least because it shows that research is considered to be an integral part of what we do as a leading academic institution. To win the inaugural prize is an honour.”

Oct15 EB Award

Dr Emily Buckley with her award!

Academic Group leader and Health Psychologist Dr Emily Buckley beat stiff opposition to take the Inspirational Leadership Award for her work leading Postgraduate courses in Psychology. Emily was presented her award by Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Gunn, she commented “I was very surprised to win as there was such strong competition. I feel very proud to have won this as is it voted for by my peers.”

Head of the School of Psychology, Sport & Exercise, Dr Peter Jones, also collected a team prize in the Cross University Excellence Award category for his work with colleagues from Marketing and Sport Departments in establishing Team Staffs Elite, the Universities sports scholarship programme which supports students who compete in sport at county level and above. Peter said “This has been a really great event. To see the depth and breadth of academic quality in the University but particularly from the School of Psychology, Sport & Exercise is wonderful. Not only celebrating so many members of the team achieving Fellowships of the Higher Education Academy, Teaching Excellence Fellowships but also winning some really prestigious and high profile awards. I am very proud of all my team.”


The School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise at Staffordshire University is a leading School in the UK for Psychology degrees and is situated in the heart of England.  We produce internationally recognized research which is driving knowledge in this area forward and we work with a variety of healthcare providers, charities, international sports teams and private sector organisations.

For more information or details of the wide range of Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit our website and our courses page.

Fully Funded PhDs in Psychology at Staffordshire University!

The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University are pleased to be offering four fully funded PhD Studentships. These studentships will involve conducting a major research project (see below for details) as well as some light teaching duties.

Staffordshire University's £30 million Science Centre, home of the Psychology Department

Staffordshire University’s £30 million Science Centre, home of the Psychology Department

The studentships include a fee waiver, a tax-free stipend of £14,057, and six hours per week of teaching duties.

Interested parties are recommended to contact the respective Principal Supervisors for further details about their studentship. Further details about the application process for these PhD studentships is available here.

Please note that the closing date for applications is Monday 14th September 2015.


1. The design, development and evaluation of a diabetes prevention programme

Principal Supervisor: Dr Rachel Povey (email R.Povey@staffs.ac.uk).

Diabetes is a significant health issue within the UK, with over 3 million diagnosed and an estimated 590,000 as yet undiagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (Diabetes UK, 2015), costing the NHS approximately £10 billion per year. As Type 2 diabetes can be preventable, the NHS, Public Health England and Diabetes UK have recently launched a national Diabetes Prevention Programme, which will be piloted in seven sites around the UK.   The proposed PhD studentship has been developed through ongoing collaboration between PSE researchers and Public Health England (PHE). It will be supervised by Dr Rachel Povey, Dr Chris Gidlow and Dr Naomi Ellis and will involve the development, support and evaluation of aspects of the Diabetes Prevention Programme. Although this will be driven, in part, by the needs of PHE, the first months will be spent defining the PhD based on the available opportunities, in addition to the student’s own ideas, experience and expertise

Supervisory Team: Dr Rachel Povey, Dr Chris Gidlow & Dr Naomi Ellis.


2. Applying the social norms approach to improve dietary behaviours amongst high school students

Principal Supervisor: Dr Robert Dempsey (email Robert.Dempsey@staffs.ac.uk)

Rates of obesity and the consumption of unhealthy, “junk”, foods are rising amongst young adolescents. This PhD project will involve the development and evaluation of a social norms-informed intervention to promote healthy eating amongst high school children. The intervention will be based on the Social Norms Approach, an intervention strategy used to elicit positive behaviour and attitudinal change by challenging commonly held misperceptions of peer behaviours and attitudes. Social norms interventions have been primarily conducted in the USA and have focused on reducing substance use by university students, with few studies investigating the presence of normative misperceptions of healthy eating amongst young adolescents and whether these misperceptions can be challenged via normative feedback.

Aims:

  • Conduct a systematic literature review of existing studies.
  • Develop a social norms-informed intervention which can be used in-class (using a cluster randomised controlled design) with input from children from the intervention site.
  • Investigate the extent of normative misperceptions of peer healthy eating behaviours and attitudes amongst high school students.
  • Conduct a small-scale study (a cluster randomised controlled trial) to investigate whether the social norms intervention has a significant impact on normative misperceptions and healthy eating behaviours and attitudes.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and acceptability of the intervention (using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies).

The successful candidate will be expected to make an original contribution to the design of the project and be capable of working independently. This is an exciting project which is ideally suited for a bright, motivated and enthusiastic graduate with interests in health psychology, behaviour change and in evaluating the Social Norms Approach.

Supervisory Team: Dr Robert Dempsey, Dr Rachel Povey, & Prof Tony Stewart.


3. The role of attention and negative emotion in the production of false memories

Principal Supervisor: Dr. Louise Humphreys (email L.Humphreys@staffs.ac.uk)

Research suggests that memory is enhanced for emotionally negative events (Humphreys, Underwood, & Chapman, 2010), yet negative emotion can lead to heightened susceptibility to false memory (Porter et al., 2010). Whilst research has examined the role of attention in emotional memory (typically results show that emotional stimuli capture more attention than neutral stimuli and are preferentially attended to despite other task demands), few studies have addressed what role attention plays in emotional false memories. Van Damme and Smets (2013) is one of only a few studies that have examined this. They found that negative valence inhibited central false information but increased peripheral false information, suggesting that attention is drawn to emotionally arousing features (with fewer resources available for processing peripheral details). Based on these findings a measure of attention should show differences in attention allocation between central and peripheral details. However, to our knowledge no research has directly measured the role of attention in false memory production.

The role of attention in emotional false memory will be examined by 1) manipulating attention at study, and 2) measuring attention using eye-tracking methodology. This research has important implications for the courts, where false memories are a perennial problem. Presenters of fact (e.g., barristers, solicitors) as well as triers of fact (e.g., judges, jurors) need to become aware of factors that can influence people’s susceptibility to false memories. This research aims to examine attention to emotionally negative events, and how this impacts on people’s susceptibility to false memories.

Supervisory Team: Dr Louise Humphreys & Dr Sarah Krähenbühl


4. Portraits of Pain: The use of pain drawings to meaningfully communicate pain experiences

Principal Supervisor: Professor Karen Rodham (email: Karen.Rodham@staffs.ac.uk)

There is evidence that pain drawings may be a method by which people in pain can meaningfully communicate, understand and potentially alter their pain experiences. This study follows a protocol established and tested by Loduca and colleagues (2014) in Brazil, which incorporates pain portraits into the rehabilitation process. Understanding more about a person’s experience of pain will facilitate the development of more individualised and patient-centred treatment plans.

We are currently completing a feasibility study exploring how best to incorporate the Pain Portrait process into a UK NHS-based pain management programme. The PhD builds on this feasibility study.

Aim: To explore whether replicating and implementing the pain portrait process in clinic in the UK can:

  • help patients communicate and cope better with their pain;
  • help staff understand more about their patients’ pain experience
  • improve patient outcomes
  • provide insight into cultural (UK-Brazil) differences in pain experiences

Supervisory Team: Prof Karen Rodham, Dr Amy Burton and Prof Tony Stewart.


Further details about our courses in Psychology can be found here. Please click on the following links for further details of Staffordshire University’s research centres in Psychology, including our Centre for Health Psychology and Centre for Psychological Research.