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Yearly Archives: 2013

Congratulations Chloe: First publication

Congratulations to our (very recent) graduate Chloe Patel who (as well as being due to graduate next week) has had her work published in the journal Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. Chloe’s research was done in collaboration with Lou Atkinson and Ellinor Olander while she was on work experience with them at the Applied Research Centre in Health and Lifestyle Interventions. The study was an exploration of obese pregnant women’s views of being referred by their midwife to a weight management service. Chloe will be back to visit us soon as a guest speaker on our Professional Practice module.

MHPN extends abstract deadline until 15th November

Just a quick word to say that the folks at Midlands Health Psychology Network have extended the deadline for abstracts to be submitted for their 2014 conference.  This is a great opportunity for researchers to present their work – whatever career stage they are at.  If you’d like to submit an abstract please visit their site

Using apps in health psychology – meeting 21st November

Coventry University’s Health Psychology local interest group is hosting a guest talk and discussion on the use of (smartphone/tablet/web) apps in Health Psychology. This will include a presentation from Kristina Curtis about the development of her app for childhood obesity as well as a discussion of some of the key benefits and challenges to using apps.

This will be on 21st November at lunchtime (exact time and location to be confirmed shortly).

The meeting is being organised by Dr Naomi Bartle under the auspices of the Midlands Health Psychology Network Local Interest Group (MHPNLIG!)

Guest speaker – sexual health work in Coventry – Nimrita Bahia

The health psych team are very pleased to welcome back MSc Health Psych graduate Nimrita Bahia, to give a guest lecture today on M145PY Introducing Professional Practice. Nim will be talking about her work as a Senior Practitioner for the Early Intervention Service at Compass Coventry. Find out more about Nim’s career (and her time on the MSc course) by clicking here.

High scores for the behaviour change taxonomy teams


This week our undergraduate health psychology students have been looking at taxonomies of health behaviour change techniques – what they are, why we need them, and how to use them. A taxonomy (in the general sense) is a system for classifying things according to their distinguishing features.  Such classification systems have been used for everything from Catholic saints to Australian motion pictures.

To the health psychologist, a good taxonomy is a list which classifies the active ingredients that might form part of a behaviour change intervention. This might include, for example:

  • Providing people with information on the link between behaviour and health (e.g. telling people that smoking causes lung disease, that vaccination can protect from childhood illness, etc.)
  • Encouraging people to identify as a role model for others (e.g. encouraging parents to eat well and avoid smoking in order to set a good example for their children)
  • Giving people rewards contingent on their performing the desired behaviour (e.g. giving people a shopping voucher every time they pass a breath test that shows they’ve not smoked recently)

We need taxonomies to help us work out what the individual ingredients are in any programme or intervention. Knowing what the different parts are that make up the whole programme can help us test each part separately. Then we can focus on providing those active ingredients (programme components) that really work, and save money by leaving out components that don’t make any difference to the outcome.

There are lots of different lists and taxonomies available. For the undergraduate coursework we have chosen the taxonomy of 26 behaviour change techniques published by Abraham & Michie (2008). In today’s seminars we had a gentle competition to see which team (s) performed best at recognising the 26 techniques on the taxonomy. Scores were very impressive so this bodes well for students’ performance in the upcoming assignment.

Interpersonal violence: a health outcome of interest to health psychology?

Violence between intimate partners (or domestic violence, or interpersonal violence – it’s hard to choose a label for this phenomenon that isn’t problematic) might not seem the most relevant topic for health psychologists. Yet  violent crime is one of the most prominent health concerns highlighted in the public health profile for Coventry recently published by Public Health England.

Interpersonal violence has clear implications for the physical health and emotional wellbeing of all concerned, yet it doesn’t feature prominently on the standard health psychology curriculum. Some of the theoretical models that are widely used in health psychology may well apply to explaining interpersonal violence, and some of the same principles of behaviour change intervention may be relevant. Some colleagues at Coventry (led by Forensic Psychologist Erica Bowen) have formed a special interest group to address research and practice in this field. Their next meeting is coming soon.

Violence and Interpersonal Aggression: Interest group meeting

The next meeting of the Violence and Interpersonal Aggression interest group will take place on November 13th at 10.00 – 13.00 in Coventry University James Starley Building room 207 (2nd floor). The seminar component will comprise three presentations:

Dr Kate Walker, Coventry University: ‘The process of desistance from intimate partner violence’
Mike Bedford, Splitz (Trowbridge): ‘A group based intervention for male Domestic Violence perpetrators’
Chris Dyer, Mentoring West Midlands: ‘Piloting a mentoring scheme for high risk Domestic Violence perpetrators’

All are welcome to attend and please distribute this notice throughout your networks.

If you have any questions please contact Dr Erica Bowen, Forensic Psychologist c/o Psychology & Behavioural Sciences at Coventry University.

Posted by Carol Percy (course director MSc health psychology)



Free Workshop: Helping Overcome Problems Effectively

hope flyer pic

Our friends at the HOPE programme are having a free interactive workshop on 6th November. This is a chance for any interested person (patient, carer, student, staff, researcher, commissioner, etc.) to meet members of the HOPE team and experience some of the behaviour change activities supported by the programme.

HOPE is a flexible self-management programme for patients with a range of long term conditions including, cancer, dementia, HIV, parents of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and carers of people with long term conditions.

Apologies for the poor quality pic but I only had a hard copy of the flyer at the time of writing. Well worth visiting www.hopeprogramme.co.uk to find out more. The workshop is 12.15-1.45 pm in RC125 (First floor Richard Crossman Building, Coventry University CV1 5RW).

Guest speaker on stress health and illness: Thanks Dally

The MSc course team would like to say a big thank you to our speaker Daljinder Virk, who has delivered two guest sessions on our Stress, Health and Illness module. Dally has an MSc Health Psychology and an MPhil. Her thesis research was on “Sleep Disturbances and Psychological Functioning in Respiratory Diseases.” Dally has many years of experience in a range of industries. She currently  works as an Hourly Paid Lecturer at Coventry and is passionate about public health and health promotion. 

Job Opportunity: Compassion in health and care

Compassion in health and care – can we measure it? And if so, what would we do?

The Centre for Applied Research in Psychology at Coventry is offering an exciting opportunity to work on a Health Education England funded project that will develop a measure of compassion that can be used in the recruitment and development of health and social care students and professionals.

You will have a good (2:1 or above) undergraduate degree in psychology or a relevant social science that emphasises the use of quantitative and qualitative research methods. A Masters in a relevant discipline (e.g. Health Psychology) would be desirable. Experience in conducting both quantitative and qualitative research is essential, and the development of psychometric tests desirable. You will work under the supervision of Dr Sarah Brown and Dr Rosie Kneafsey.

For details of this Research Assistant vacancy click here.

V.V. Impressed at our adaptability: thanks Puja

Some of you may have seen news of (or been directly affected by) the train cancellations North of London today, due to a fatality on the line. Our guest speaker Puja Joshi was halted en route and showed great ingenuity in getting back home to deliver her planned teaching session by Skype. Thanks very much Puja from the class as a whole.