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Health Psychology

Health Psychology

About The Section


The Health Psychology section at the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology Department has been influential in the evolution of Health Psychology as a discipline in the UK. The December 2011 edition of  The Psychologist ran a special feature recognising 25yrs of Health Psychology practise in the UK including contributions from Professors Rona Moss-Morris, John Weinman and Lance McCracken of the Health Psychology section. Read more here.

The Health Psychology section is internationally recognised for excellence in research and teaching. It benefits from collaborations within the IoP, a world renowned research centre for Psychology and Psychiatry, as well as with the KCL School of Medicine, the Dental Institute, the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of Biomedical Practice. This inter-disciplinary practice is also demonstrated by clinical and research partnerships with King's Health Partners. 

It is a leading centre of clinical health psychology boasting four professors in this field:

Professor Rona Moss-Morris, head of the Health Psychology section launched a 2yr project, starting April 2012, supported by the MS Society evaluating mindfulness based cognitive therapy delivered by telephone which builds on her large programme of research in this area;

Professor Myra Hunter, professor of clinical health psychology,  has expertise in the areas of women's health, cardiology and oncology. Current studies include evaluation of psychological interventions for women with antenatal depression (ESMI), for men experiencing vasomotor symptoms following prostate cancer treatment (MANCAN), for women with menopausal symptoms (MENOS) and for patients with non-cardiac chest pain. She is known internationally for her work on menopause and is currently an expert advisor to the NICE guidance core group on menopause.

Professor Lance McCrackenProfessor of Behavioural Medicine, is a clinical and health psychologist with research interests primarily in chronic pain and related conditions.  His research has focused on both exploring psychological processes of suffering and disability and in the design of psychological and interdisciplinary treatments. His treatment design interests focus on behavioral theory, applications of the psychological flexibility model, on contextual forms of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness-based approaches, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Recent research has focused on identifying key treatment processes and using data on these to optimize treatment impact within treatment efficacy and effectiveness trials.  Other developing research directions include a focus on designing and evaluating treatments for populations that less often access psychological treatments, such as Southeast Asian populations, and older people, and conditions that are less often provided these treatments, such as neuropathic pain and headache;

Professor John Weinman, a Professor of Psychology as Applied to Medicine founded the Health Psychology section and has played a major role in the development of academic and professional health psychology in the UK. 

In parallel, the section is also a centre for excellence  in health psychology in public health. This strand is led by Professor Theresa MarteauDirector of the Centre for the Study of Incentives in Health. The Centre’s five year programme brings together researchers in Health Psychology, Applied Philosophy and Behavioural Economics in the analysis of the relationship between financial incentives, coercion, equity, autonomy and behaviour in order to evaluate the acceptability and effectiveness of financial incentives to improve public health.    


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