Health Psychologist, Dr Amy Burton, reports on her Change Exchange visit to Uganda

Health Psychology in Action: Global Health

Our Health Psychologist, Dr Amy Burton, spent some time working in Africa at the beginning of April. Amy was selected by The Change Exchange to work as a Behaviour Change Consultant for the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology partnership with Kitovu Hospital, Uganda. The Change Exchange is funded by The Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) in association with the Department for International Development (DFID) and The Global Health Exchange. The project places behavioural scientists into health partnerships to evaluate and seek to improve projects aimed at changing healthcare practice in low and middle income countries.

Amy blogs on her experiences:

I heard about The Change Exchange project in two ways: a recent issue of The Psychologist and a visit to Staffordshire University by Jo Hart, one of the project leads. As a recently qualified and HCPC registered Health Psychologist I was keen to put my skills into practice and was excited about the challenge of taking myself out of my comfort zone by working in a low income country (something I have never done before!). Over 45 psychologists applied for the project and I was one of the lucky few to be chosen to take part.

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The Change Exchange Team

My first encounter with the rest of the team was a group meeting on a rainy March day in Manchester. This was my first opportunity to hear about the project I would be working on and to meet my colleagues Nisha Sharma and Fiona Gillison. We were appointed to work with an RCOG project based in the Masaka region of Uganda. The Excellence in Obstetric Skills Course trains local health workers in essential skills with the aim of improving care for mothers and babies and reducing the incidence of obstetric fistula (the development of a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder often caused by prolonged obstructed labour that results in women being incontinent).

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Kitovu Health Care Complex

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The Fistula Ward

As behavioural scientists, Nisha and I were keen to understand how behaviour change techniques were being employed within the course. We therefore spent some time observing the RCOG obstetric skills course and the “train the trainer” course (to teach Ugandan health care professionals how to teach their colleagues obstetric emergency skills) and coding them for known behaviour change techniques. We had the opportunity to be ‘practice’ patients and learnt a lot about obstetric care!

We were also interested in how the Ugandan health care professionals perceived the course and what barriers they felt they would experience when putting their new knowledge and skills into practice. To explore this we conducted four focus groups with the course delegates to learn about their experiences and ideas.

Amy and Nisha with the RCOG Faculty and 'Train-the-Trainer' Graduates

Amy and Nisha with the RCOG Faculty and ‘Train-the-Trainer’ Graduates

In addition, I travelled with Nisha and the RCOG clinical lead to visit several previous delegates in their health centres and witness how the behaviours learnt on the course were being put into practice. This was an eye opening experience and gave me the opportunity to see first-hand how health centres work in Uganda.

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A Health Centre in the Masaka District

I am currently working with my colleagues at The Change Exchange to produce an interim report for the RCOG based on the data we collected during our visit. Nisha and Fiona will be returning to Kitovu in June to conduct more work with the RCOG and hopefully put some of our report recommendations into practice. I am sad to not be returning to Kitovu but I will continue to be involved with the project from the UK.

Working on this project has been an exciting, enlightening and eye opening experience and I very much hope to have more opportunities to put my health psychology and behavioural science knowledge into practice in low income countries in the future.


Interested in Health Psychology?

Come along to one of our MSc in Health Psychology Open Afternoons (Click here for details) or visit one of our Undergraduate Open Days (Details & book your place here).


The Home of Health Psychology – Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology is a Psy1centre of excellence for teaching and research in Health Psychology, and is home to Staffordshire’s BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology and BPS Accredited Stage 2 Professional Doctorate 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:

Follow the Psychology Department’s latest research news via @StaffsPsych and clicking on the #StaffsPsyRes hashtag.

New paper exploring the effectiveness of mindfulness for reducing stress in health care professionals

Dr Amy Burton and Dr Sarah Dean (Senior Lecturers in Health Psychology) have been working in collaboration with an MSc Health Psychology graduate, Catherine Burgess, and researchers at the University of Leeds to explore the effectiveness of mindfulness interventions for reducing stress in health care professionals.

With the proposal of a move to a 7 day Mar16 AB Mindfulness Review 1NHS service hitting the headlines there are growing concerns about the impacts this may have on the quality of patient care. Many health care professionals already feel overworked, stressed and at risk of burnout with a recent survey highlighting that 81% of doctors and specialists are considering early retirement due the impact of stress on their sleep, relationships and physical health (Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, 2015). It is therefore vital that we identify successful ways to reduce stress levels in the caring professions.

Mindfulness is one approach to reducing stress and is a simple form of meditation that encourages the stressed person to focus on the present moment and acknowledge and accept their thoughts and feelings. For this research the team identified and reviewed nine published studies that have tested the value of using mindfulness interventions to reduce stress in health care professionals. The results of this review indicated that mindfulness interventions significantly reduced stress levels in this group.

Mar16 AB Mindfulness Review 2However, there were problems with the studies that indicate the need for more work in this area. Many of the interventions were very time intensive and drop out was common due to work, family and other pressures. This suggests that the mindfulness approach is not always possible within current health care environments without additional support. Furthermore, the quality of some of the reviewed studies was poor and very few explored whether the reduced stress levels reported were maintained long term. The team propose that more high quality research is needed before clear conclusions about the value of this type of intervention for reducing stress in health care professionals can be drawn.

Details of the full paper:

Burton, A. E., Burgess, C., Dean, S., Koutsopoulou, G., & Hugh-Jones, S. (2016). How effective are mindfulness-based interventions for reducing stress among healthcare professionals? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Stress and Health.


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 and BPS Accredited Stage 2 Professional Doctorate 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.

Follow the Psychology Department’s latest research news via @StaffsPsych and clicking on the #StaffsPsyRes hashtag.

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

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: www.mhpn.co.uk.


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:

MSc Health Psychology Open Afternoons 2016

The Centre for Health Psychology are running a series of popular open afternoons (click here for a flyer) for Psychology Graduates interested in completing the MSc Health Psychology at Staffordshire University.

Health Psychology is the study of psychological processes and their application to health, illness and health care. Qualified Health Psychologists work in a number of health and academic settings including:

  • Patient assessment and support
  • Clinical intervention and health behaviour change
  • Student and health care professional education
  • Health related research
  • Health promotion and public health

The MSc in Health Psychology at Staffordshire was the first MSc Health Psychology programme in the UK to be accredited by the British Psychological Society and maintains an excellent reputation nationally. Our students have access to a dedicated base-room within the multi-million pound BPS_logo_176_tcm44-79214Science Centre, a thriving psychology visiting speaker programme and journal club as well as high-level teaching from academics who are active researchers and Health Psychologists.

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

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

We think our course is great – but you don’t have to take our word for it. Our students and external examiner think it’s great too! Our MSc achieved 100% student satisfaction in the latest Post Graduate Taught Experience survey and has been highly praised by our external examiner: The quality of teaching shines though in the student performance.  A range of teaching methods and assessments are used that will have a positive impact on the student experience, performance and transferable skills.”

If this sounds like the course for you, or if you just want to find out more about Health Psychology, then we’d love to meet you! We have Open Afternoons taking place in 2016 which are designed to provide you with a wealth of information about the MSc in Health Psychology. Learn more about the modules covered in the course, meet the registered Health Psychologists who teach on the course, get advice on the application process and have a look around our Centre for Health Psychology situated in our Science Centre.

Open Afternoon Dates:

Wednesday 3rd February 2016 (2-4pm)

Wednesday 6th July 2016 (2-4pm)

Wednesday 17th August 2016 (2-4pm)

Book your place: Please contact Dr Amy Burton, MSc Health Psychology Course Director (amy.burton@staffs.ac.uk). Note that places are limited so booking is essential.


Health Psychology is one of the latest branches of Psychology to be given professional status by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Completion of the MSc in Health Psychology is the first step towards gaining Chartered Health Psychologist status and registration with the HCPC as a Health Psychologist. For more details, see our Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology and the Division of Health Psychology web pages.

New Research into Stereotypes of Ageing funded by Staffordshire University

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Dr Amy Burton

Dr Amy Burton and Dr Sarah Dean, Senior Lecturers in Psychology, have been successful in securing funding from the Staffordshire University REF2020 research scheme to explore ageing stereotypes. Amy blogs on their research plans:

In the UK there are currently 10 million people aged 65 and above and it is predicted that this will reach 19 million by 2050 (Cracknell, 2010). Average life expectancy has increased steadily but healthy life expectancy has not matched this, meaning additional demands are being placed on services such as the NHS (Cracknell, 2010). It is recognised both within academic literature (e.g. Reed, Stanley, & Clarke, 2004) and in the work of charities (e.g. Age UK, 2013) that research is crucial to understanding the experiences of older adults in order to break down the barriers preventing them from active participation in society and healthy ageing. Such research will have a substantial impact on the health and well-being of older adults.

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Dr Sarah Dean

Dr Burton’s research into barriers and facilitators to physical activity in older people with sight loss highlighted an important psychological concept in need of further exploration (Burton, Clancy, & Cowap, n.d. Under Review). During focus groups participants frequently used examples of negative self-directed stereotypes to justify reduced participation in physical activity (e.g. Young adults, rather than 70 or 80 year olds […] they are the ones that really need all of the exercise and can actually do it’). Stereotype Embodiment Theory proposes that age stereotypes can be internalised by individuals across the lifespan (Levy, 2009). Such self-directed stereotypes have been implicated in reductions in cognitive functioning and physical health (Levy, 2003).  Furthermore, evidence suggests that attributing illness and functional decline to old age and holding the belief that ‘to be old is to be ill’ is associated with negative health outcomes and reductions in health maintenance behaviours (Beyer, Wolff, Warner, Schüz, & Wurm, 2015; Stewart, Chipperfield, Perry, & Weiner, 2012).

Dr Burton and Dr Dean will be using the REF2020 funding to further explore and define the ageing stereotypes held by people living in the UK and how self-directed stereotypes impact on health and wellbeing outcomes for older people.


Drs Burton and Dean are members of Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology, a centre of excellence for teaching and research in health psychology, and are course leaders for 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:


 

100% Student Satisfaction on Staffordshire University’s MSc in Health Psychology!

MSc Health Psychology students at Staffordshire University are 100% satisfied with the quality of their course according to Post Graduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2015 results. 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.

    Dr Amy Burton and Dr Sarah Dean with some of our 2015 MSc Health Psychology Graduates

Dr Amy Burton and Dr Sarah Dean with some of our 2015 MSc Health Psychology Graduates

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 £30 million pound Science Centre, a thriving psychology visiting speaker programme and journal club, as well as high-level teaching from academics who are active researchers in the area of Health Psychology.

Our MSc continues to hold an excellent reputation nationally and is going from strength to strength. In the recent PTES poll overall satisfaction was 100% with all students surveyed indicating that they would recommend studying at Staffordshire to a friend or relative. In particular students were 100% satisfied with the quality of learning and teaching on the MSc including support, staff enthusiasm, and intellectual stimulation and 100% satisfied with their skill development feeling that the course helped to prepare them for future careers.

Dr Amy Burton, Course Director for the MSc Health Psychology, comments “I have been Course Director for two years now and really enjoy meeting our new students and hearing about their research interests and ideas. The MSc is the first step towards becoming a Health Psychologist and many of our graduates go on to become experts in their field, working in academia, research and clinical practice. I am delighted with our PTES results. Our academic team work hard to ensure that our students get the best out of the course and these results show that we are succeeding in our goal to provide a stimulating and rewarding experience”.

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

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.

 

Greater health benefits when dieting with a partner

The Sentinel Newspaper recently printed a story highlighting the benefits of dieting with a partner. Evidence suggests that when we diet or increase our exercise behaviour in partnership with someone else we are more likely to successfully lose weight.

Dr Amy Burton

Dieting is an important area of interest for Health Psychology and Dr Amy Burton (Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology) was contacted by the paper for comment. Dr Burton explained: “One theory that can help to explain the success of couples dieting together is Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour which was developed in the 1980’s. This theory proposes that our intentions to engage in healthy behaviours (such as diet or exercise) are dependent on three factors: our attitudes towards the behaviour, our perceptions of the resources available to us for completing the behaviour, and how we think others around us are behaving or expecting us to behave. When we work with another person the importance of those around us becomes more salient meaning our attitudes towards diet and exercise will be more positive, we will perceive that we have support from those around us to continue with the behaviour, and we are more likely to follow through with our plans to diet or exercise to ensure we don’t disappoint our partner.

The full article was published in the Saturday Sentinel on 21st March 2015 and an online version of the piece is available here. Dr Amy Burton is a member of the Centre for Health Psychology at Staffordshire University (click here for more details).

Dr Amy Burton: Training Health Professionals in Pain Management

AB Pain Management PictureIn January 2015 Dr Amy Burton (Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology) delivered a training session for pain management professionals in the Birmingham Community Healthcare (BCHC) Pain Team. The session covered an introduction to culturally competent communication and practical tools to help health care professionals to communicate more effectively with patients from different cultures.

One activity encouraged the attendees to practice the ‘teach-back’ technique involving delivering small chunks of information to the patient and then checking understanding before moving on to additional information. The health care professionals practiced through role play by explaining an everyday concept to a partner – practice examples included: the offside rule, how to bake a cake, and how to ride a motorbike!

The training was well received:

“One of the biggest clinical challenges facing the BCHC pain team is the provision of care to culturally diverse patients. The training delivered by Dr Amy Burton has helped to increase open-mindedness and cultural awareness, as well as enabling the Pain Team to develop its ability to communicate more meaningfully with people from minority backgrounds” (Dr Laura Chipchase, Specialist Health Psychologist in Pain)

The training was informed by Dr Burton’s recent review paper entitled “pain management programmes for non-English-speaking black and minority ethnic groups with long-term or chronic pain” published in Musculoskeletal Care. The health care professionals are now planning to incorporate techniques from the training within their pain management programmes illustrating the direct link between research conducted in the Centre for Health Psychology at Staffordshire University and real world health care practice.

Second Annual Undergraduate Psychology Conference a success!

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Dr Louise Humphreys opening the Conference

The Psychology department at Staffordshire University held their annual conference for current final year students to present their research findings. The conference, held in the University’s Science Centre in March 2015, featured a series of talks by current students on their research projects and included an audience of psychology students and academic staff.

The conference offered current final year students valuable practice presenting their research, and also allowed first and second year psychology students to hear about some of the research conducted by their fellow students, something which will help with developing their ideas for their own final year projects. It was great to hear our current final year students provide some valuable feedback to other students about how to manage their own projects in the future. Further details of the talks given at the conference are below:

Emily Inwards: Attitudes towards asexuality and bisexuality in young adults

Emily

Emily Inwards

Emily started the conference with a great talk about her research exploring young adults’ attitudes towards two sexualities: asexuality and bisexuality.

Emily’s talk highlighted the subjective nature of these sexualities and presented her work in a very engaging and professional manner!

 

Tom Barker: Where do people look when they are telling lies?

Tom

Tom Barker

Tom gave an overview of his research in progress which is using the Psychology Department’s eye-tracking equipment to get a better understanding of individuals’ eye movements when they are lying.

Dr Louise Humphreys, Tom’s project supervisor, commented “I have been impressed with Tom throughout the whole supervision process. He is very enthusiastic about his project and this came across in his presentation. Tom is a very engaging speaker and I believe he will be successful in achieving his future aspiration of becoming a University Lecturer.”

Kizzy Moss: Experiences and perceptions of having a brother or sister with Down’s Syndrome

Kizzy

Kizzy Moss

Kizzy presented her interview project exploring the experiences of individuals with a sibling with Down ’s syndrome. Past research has focussed on parents’ perceptions whilst the perspectives of siblings have been overlooked. Kizzy used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to identify a number of key themes in relation to her participants’ experiences and included issues about children taking on high levels of responsibility and mothering roles for their siblings and a need for greater acknowledgement of the types of support needed by this group.

Dr Amy Burton, Kizzy’s project supervisor, commented: “Kizzy has been a great student to supervise, she is passionate about this area of research and this enthusiasm showed in the quality of Kizzy’s presentation at the conference”.

Cheryl Hyden: Perceived barriers and facilitators to accessing university counselling by university students

Cheryl

Cheryl Hyden

Cheryl presented some very interesting findings from an interview study conducted with students who had accessed on-campus counselling facilities at the university. One of the novel themes Cheryl found in her interview was the role of “self-barriers” in seeking counselling support. Cheryl’s research has particular implications for counselling research and practice, particularly in understanding the reasons why some students are not accessing counselling support when they are experiencing mental health difficulties.

Cheryl commented that “taking part in the psychology undergraduate conference really helped me focus my project write up and really helped me understand my research. The morning of the conference was very nerve wracking, but I enjoyed every minute of the presentation and my confidence grew as time went on. I seriously would recommend future third year students to take part in the conference, it looks good on your CV and give you vital practice in presentations! Also you can show off your research!.”

Dr Rob Dempsey, Cheryl’s project supervisor, commented: “I was very proud of Cheryl and I thought she did a great job in presenting her research at the conference. Cheryl has been a brilliant project student and has shown a massive amount of enthusiasm in her project work. Cheryl has produced what I feel is a very strong project which has clear applications to counselling practice and improving student well-being”.

Helen Jones: Visual processing in those with a fear of spiders

Helen presented her quantitative project on the visual processing of those with and without a fear of spiders. Helen based her study on a recent journal article that showed that participants with a phobia of spiders tended to overestimate the size of a spider that they previously observed. It was suggested in this article that the study should be replicated using a non-clinical sample, which is what Helen’s project did. Although Helen had not yet analysed her data it was predicted that the results would replicate previous findings (that spider fear results in an overestimation of spider size) in a non-clinical sample.

Helen

Helen Jones

Dr Louise Humphreys, Helen’s project supervisor, commented “Helen’s project is very interesting and she did a fantastic job of presenting her research. I was particularly impressed of her awareness of some of the methodological difficulties that can occur when conducting research. Helen was very confident throughout her presentation and the talk was very engaging.”

 

Lauren Crilly: Perceptions of anorexia nervosa

Lauren

Lauren Crilly

Lauren presented her in-progress discourse analysis of how individuals with anorexia nervosa, one of a number of clinically recognised eating disorders, talk about their issues with food.

Lauren’s research took a particularly novel approach and analysed blog posts written by people with anorexia as they discussed their own condition and issues with food.

 

Aimee Page: Everyday life for adults with enteral feeding

Amiee

Amiee Page

Amiee presented her qualitative investigation of the experiences of people living with an enteral feeding tube. Amiee’s work involved collecting interview and diary data from her participants and analysing this using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Amiee’s themes included issues relating to the value and danger of online information and support for this group. Her theme entitled “My choice or no choice” highlighted the challenging decisions people with enteral feeding need to make.

Dr Amy Burton, Amiee’s project supervisor, commented: “Amiee did a fantastic job presenting her work on the experiences of people living with an enteral feeding tube. Amiee’s project has resulted in some important learning points for health care practitioners and patients in an area that has attracted little research attention in the past. Amiee’s and the other presentations were fantastic and show how Level 6 Projects are a great opportunity to be original and create new and exciting knowledge in psychology!”

A very enjoyable conference – well done to all our presenters!

Dr Louise Humphreys, Level 6 Tutor and Conference Organiser, commented “I thoroughly enjoyed the student conference. I was very impressed with the students’ presentation skills and it was lovely to see how passionate they all are about their research. It was great to see such a range of topics and I feel that the students who attended will have gained some great ideas for their own third year projects”.

Judy David, Academic Group Leader for Psychology, commented: “The student conference was superb. The speakers were professional and confident and they did a fantastic job in explaining their project work.  Without exception they delivered interesting and inspiring talks, and the passion they feel for their own research was clearly evident.  I feel sure the students in the audience had lots of ideas for their own future projects, and the whole event left me feeling very proud of our great students.”

Well done to all our presenters!

For more details about the Courses in Psychology offered at Staffordshire University please click here.

Midlands Health Psychology Conference: Staffordshire Staff & Students well represented!

Several members of staff plus past and present students from our Health Psychology MSc and Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology attended the Midlands Health Psychology Network (MHPN) Conference at the University of Derby in February 2015.March 15 MHPN ConferenceDr Amy Burton, Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University, reports on a successful conference for our Health Psychology students and staff.

Dr Amy Burton

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.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Healthy Mind and Healthy Body – Understanding, Supporting, and Improving” and gave delegates the opportunity to learn about recent developments in E-Health research from key note Dr Neil Coulson and body image scanning research from key note Professor Sarah Grogan.

In addition, several past and present Staffordshire University students delivered poster and oral presentations on their research:

  • Professional Doctorate students Louise Clancy and Lisa Cowap presented findings from a research project led by Dr Amy Burton investigating facilitators and barriers to physical activity in older people with sight loss;
  • Current MSc student Becky Rushton presented a poster on her project supervised by Dr Sarah Dean investigating adding personality to the Theory of Planned Behaviour to explain cervical screening behaviours;
  • And past MSc student Catherine Burgess gave an oral presentation on her project supervised by Dr Sarah Dean exploring quality of life in people with Lupus.

All of the conference sessions were well attended and the day was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the quality of the Health Psychology research currently being conducted at Staffordshire University.

For more information about Health Psychology at Staffordshire please visit the following webpages: