Health Psychology staff, students and graduates present their research at the 2016 MHPN Conference

Staffordshire University has once again illustrated why we are the #HomeOfHealthPsychology at the Midlands Health Psychology Network Conference. The event, held at Kings Hall in Stoke-on-Trent on the 25th February 2016, was attended by 3 members of staff and over 20 current students and graduates from Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology. Our Health Psychologists and trainees made a huge impact at the conference presenting in half of the talks and displaying several research posters.

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Our current MSc in Health Psychology students enjoying the MHPN Conference

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Aimee Cooke with her poster at the MHPN Conference

Contributors included: current MSc Students, such as Aimee Cooke who presented her poster on vestibular rehabilitation interventions; Professional Doctorate students, including Katrin Hulme who presented the experience of chronic cough; and graduates, including Rebecca Rushton who presented on her MSc research exploring the effectiveness of personality and the theory of planned behaviour for predicting intentions to attend for cervical screening. Rebecca found the conference a fantastic opportunity to put into practice the skills developed during her time studying for the MSc Health Psychology: “Having the opportunities to develop my presentation skills during the MSc prepared me to present at the conference. Although I was apprehensive it has provided me with invaluable experience”.

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Rebecca Rushton presenting her research in the Kings’ Hall, Stoke

A trip to the conference was built in to the MSc Health Psychology teaching programme to ensure all current students had the opportunity to attend. MSc student Suha Ahmed really enjoyed the experience: “I learnt a lot from the conference and particularly enjoyed learning about all the different areas where Health Psychologists work and conduct research. I also found it useful to watch the presentations and pick up tips to help me develop my own presentation skills and enjoyed having the opportunity to talk to other health psychologists in person and ask questions about their research. I absolutely loved it!”.

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Rebecca Lawrence-Higton presenting her research at the MHPN Conference

The MSc students also valued the opportunity to learn about research conducted by our own Professional Doctorate students. For example, Mike Oliver particularly enjoyed the presentation by current Professional Doctorate student Alison Killen: “I thought Alison’s presentation was really thought provoking.  The points about gratitude as a means to promote wellbeing was interesting, and the ‘gratitude diaries’ sounded like a practical way to take the theory into practice.  Set in the context of ageing and loneliness which are receiving more and more attention, I think the work provides an example of how health psychology could make a big difference in society”.

Some of our current and past Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology students

Some of our current and past Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology students

Our MSc Health Psychology Course Director, Dr Amy Burton, was impressed by the professionalism, confidence and health psychology knowledge shown by our current and past students: “three of my current and graduate project students presented at the conference this year and all were passionate about their research. They used skills developed throughout the MSc to network with, and answer questions from, other health psychologists and trainees from throughout the Midlands – I’m confident they all have an exciting career in Health Psychology ahead of them”

Current MSc Student presentations:

Cooke, A., & Burton, A. Vestibular Rehabilitation: Impact upon Quality of Life and Physical Daily Tasks. A Mixed Methods Approach. (Poster)

Current Professional Doctorate Student presentations:

Killen, A., & Macaskill, A. Using a gratitude intervention to enhance well-being in older adults.

Highton, F., C., O., & Clark-Carter, D. The experience of vision impairment diagnosis and its prognosis on health related quality of life.

Hulme, K., Dogan, S., Parker, S., & Deary, V. “Chronic cough, cause unknown”: A qualitative study of patient perspectives of idiopathic cough.

Sumodhee, D., & Payne, N. Healthy eating beliefs and intentions of mothers and their adult children: An intergenerational transmission perspective. (Poster)

Health Psychology MSc Graduates and Staff presentations:

Higgins, S. J., & Semper, H. The effects of nutrition label format on healthier dietary choices: A forced choice eye-tracking study. (Poster)

Hope, K., & Sherman, S. Perceptions of cervical cancer and screening among older women – A work in progress. (Poster)

Hughes, M., Burton, A., & Dempsey, R. Using photo elicitation to explore quality of life in people with paraplegia and chronic pain.

Rushton, R., & Dean, S. Predicting cervical screening intentions using personality and the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Lawrence-Highton, R., & Burton, A. Looking at things from a positive point of view: an IPA on the exercise experience of individuals with positive body image

The Midlands Health Psychology Network

The MHPN hold a one day conference in February every year which is attended by around 100 members from across the Midlands and is a forum for health psychologists to share clinical and research experiences, information, knowledge and training. Existing members include MSc students, doctorate students, chartered health psychologists based at local NHS sites and regional universities, third sector employees, senior and early career academics, health practitioners and pharmacists. To learn more about the MHPN please visit the website:

The Home of Health Psychology – Staffordshire University

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. The Centre for Health Psychology is part of the School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise, one of the leading research-active academic schools for Psychology and Sport degrees situated in the heart of England.

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