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Monthly Archives: November 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

Classificationsau

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.