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Seminar Archive 2011-12

4th December 2012

Dr Lyndsay Hughes (IoP, KCL)

Medication non-adherence in Rheumatoid Arthritis: using three models of illness to explain and predict non-adherence

Adherence to medication is an important part of therapy and despite increasing research in the area in the past 20 years, adherence rates still remain unsatisfactory.

Non-adherence can be categorised as intentional where a deliberate decision is made not to take the medication as prescribed, and unintentional which results from misunderstanding instructions or forgetting. Sub-optimal medication adherence in chronic illness have been shown to be related to adverse outcomes including increased work disability, escalation of treatment, poor quality of life and increased costs.

During this talk I will present results from a longitudinal study using three commonly used social cognition models of illness to predict and explain intentional and unintentional adherence in a sample of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Using structural equation modelling, the social cognition models are combined to determine the most predictive factors that could be targeted for intervention in the future.


13th November 2012

Professor Chris Armitage (University of Manchester)

Implementation intentions: A delivery device for theory in behaviour change interventions

Incorporating psychological theory into behaviour change interventions is becoming the norm, and health psychology has a range of well-validated theories on which to base these interventions. 

However, although we have a good idea as to the kinds of things that will bring about successful behaviour change, very few theories of behaviour change describe techniques that will bring about change in the variables they specify.  This talk argues that implementation intentions (Gollwitzer, 1991) represent one possible delivery device for a range of psychological theories of behaviour change, and will describe findings from a series of studies showing that implementation intentions effectively delivered interventions based on self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988) and the transtheoretical model of change (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983). 

Further work is required to identify other effective delivery devices and to articulate the ways in which key variables from theories of behaviour change can best be harnessed to bring about successful behaviour change.


9th October 2012

Dr Angeliki Bogosian (IoP, KCL)

Family matters with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Around 100,000 people in the UK have MS, a chronic neurological condition. People are normally diagnosed with it between the ages of 20 and 40. In a series of studies we explored the affects of MS on the families.

In telephone interviews, partners (n=15) of people newly diagnosed with MS disclosed that they were unsure of what the future might hold and they felt helpless, out of control and socially isolated.

A systematic review of the literature also showed that children and especially adolescents with parent with MS may be at increased risk of developing emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The results of 15 face-to-face interviews with adolescents illustrated how adolescents view their increased responsibilities and also the importance of the ‘well’ parent to provide practical and emotional support.

Longitudinal findings from 58 families revealed that parents’ anxiety and depression symptoms, criticism towards adolescents and adolescents' views of MS were associated with adolescents' emotional and behavioural difficulties. On the other hand, MS characteristics (e.g. MS severity, type, time since diagnosis, relapses) and adolescents' reports on how they communicate with their parents were not related with their psychological well-being.

The relevance of mindfulness training to help families and individuals with MS will be discussed.


13th June 2012 

Dr. Gene Morse (University at Buffalo, New York)

New Eras in HIV Treatment and Capacity Building: Transferring an HIV Adherence-Pharmacology Research Model to Zimbabwe.

Treatment as prevention (TaSP) is a term increasingly used to describe HIV prevention methods that use antiretroviral therapy to reduce the chance of HIV transmission. Care is needed to ensure people living with HIV receive and adhere to effective antiretroviral therapy. Researchers are entering a new era with major implications for public health if the preventive effect of ART is found to be highly beneficial and cost-effective at the population level. HIV and AIDS experts have asked governments to increase and sustain their annual budgets for HIV capacity building in order to support and fund effective initiatives towards zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS related deaths and zero discrimination.

Dr Gene Morse directs the HIV Treatment Education Program at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo and the International Center for HIV/AIDS Pharmacotherapy Research and Training Program (ICHAPRT). ICHAPRT provides research and education for international students and faculty with an interest in HIV/AIDS treatment. Dr. Morse has been actively involved in HIV clinical pharmacology research since the introduction of antiretrovirals in 1986.


29th May 2012

Professor Nichola Rumsey (University of the West of England)

Busting the Beauty Myths: 
Resilience and Susceptibility to Appearance Dissatisfaction

Worldwide interest in the psychology of appearance has increased greatly in recent years. 

In surveys, secondary school pupils are more afraid of becoming “fat” than they are of cancer, nuclear war or losing their parents, and in a recent sample of 77,000 adults, over 70% respondents expressed significant concerns about the way they look.  In contrast to the views expressed in the media and advertising, that current levels of interest in appearance are ‘benign’, this seminar will highlight evidence of the negative impacts on mental and physical health, academic achievement and social relationships and explores the psychological factors associated with resilience and susceptibility to appearance dissatisfaction.  Current efforts to implement interventions in schools, universities and at a societal level will be described. 

Professor Rumsey’s portfolio of ongoing health service focused research projects currently includes:

• assessing quality of life in people with appearance related concerns 
• establishing the factors associated with resilience in coping with visible difference
• assessing the psychosocial needs of burn injured patients 
• the implementation of changes to the provision of care for patients with a range of disfiguring conditions 
• the psychological consequences of whole face transplantation.

Professor Rumsey is Co-Director (with Dr Diana Harcourt) of the University Centre for Appearance Research (CAR). The success of the Centre since its inception in 1997 has led to a significant recent expansion. CAR strives to make a real difference to the lives of the many thousands of people with appearance-related concerns by acting as a focus and centre for interdisciplinary research in appearance, disfigurement and related studies. By extending knowledge and understanding the Centre informs healthcare provision, policy, the media and other areas of society.

CAR’s work has involved collaborations with many charitable organisations, NHS Trusts and universities across the UK and overseas 


8th May 2012

Professor Daryl O'Connor (University of Leeds)

A Day in the Life: Exploring effects of stress on health using daily processes approaches

This talk will argue that stress may indirectly contribute to cardiovascular disease and cancer risk to the extent that it produces deleterious changes in diet and/or helps maintain maladaptive health behaviours (e.g., smoking, alcohol consumption) as well as disrupting sleep and exercise. Studies exploring individual differences in vulnerability to stress with a specific focus on conscientiousness, eating style and cortisol reactivity status will be presented. A final study will explore the relationship between chronic stress, biomarkers of stress and the cortisol awakening response. The merits of using daily diary approaches and laboratory-based methods in stress research will also be discussed.

Professor O'Connor leads the Health and Social Psychology Research Group in the Institute of Psychological Sciences at Leeds University. Together with Mark Conner, Daryl is the joint Editor-in-Chief of Psychology & Health. In 2011, Daryl was elected an Academician by the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS) for his significant contribution to the Social Sciences.


6th March, 2012   

Dr Joe Chilcot (IoP, KCL)

Illness representations in End-Stage Renal Disease: Associations with depression and clinical outcomes Depression is a prevalent morbidity in End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) with an estimated 30% of dialysis patients having significant depression symptoms. Depression in ESRD is associated with poor quality of life, non-adherence, and adverse clinical outcomes including hospitalisation and survival. Whilst existing literature demonstrates that ESRD distress is linked with clinical factors including inflammation and extra renal co-morbidity, it is apparent that psychosocial factors are more strongly associated with depression, particularly cognitive appraisals of illness.

Recent studies show that patient’s perceptions of their renal disease are associated with depression and health related quality of life, in addition to non-adherent health behaviour and survival. Specifically illness perceptions refer to cognitions pertaining to illness identity, causes, timeline, perceived consequences and controllability/curability. According to the self-regulatory model of illness representations (Common Sense Model-CSM), illness perceptions accompanied by emotional responses to the illness, set the targets for self-regulation which can have a significant impact upon patient adjustment, coping behaviour and outcome.

In this seminar Dr Chilcot will discuss, 1) The distinct trajectories of depression symptoms over the first year of dialysis treatment and their relationship with illness perceptions, 2) The association between depression and illness perceptions with poor prognosis in dialysis patients and, 3) future directions in terms of potential psychological based interventions.


7th February, 2012

Dr Simon Kyle (University of Glasgow)

Brief yet Powerful: Behavioural treatment of chronic insomnia disorder

Sleep disturbance is the most common symptom of mental illness in the UK, in men and women of any age or ethnic group; being more common even than worry, and twice as common as anxiety or depressive symptoms. Worldwide, epidemiologic studies report the prevalence of a clinical Insomnia Disorder at 10-12%, with older adult rates at greater than 20%. In this talk Dr Kyle will review work conducted at the University of Glasgow Sleep Centre (UGSC) on (1) the impact of Insomnia on health and quality of life; (2) the brief behavioural treatment of insomnia, with emphasis on treatment mechanisms and outcomes; and (3) preliminary data on the systematic evaluation of a sophisticated, state-of-the-art online CBT intervention for chronic Insomnia Disorder. 


24th January 2012

Professor Rona Moss-Morris (IoP, KCL)

Treatment models and interventions for Medically Unexplained Syndromes and Long-Term conditions: Are they any different?'

There is increasing acknowledgment within the Department of Health and KHP of the importance of providing better access to psychological treatment for people with MUS and LTCs.  Whilst access is important, we need to ensure that wherever possible the treatments on offer are effective evidenced based interventions. 


In this seminar, Professor Moss-Morris will present an overview of the developmental stages of her research which has focused on contributing to this evidence base and discuss how interventions for these groups may differ to interventions for people with primary mental health problems and the overlap between MUS and LTCs. 


1st November 2011, 4.30 - 5.30pm

Dr Falko Sniehotta (University of Newcastle)


Using Randomised Controlled N-of-1 Trials to test theory of behaviour change: Applications and Perspectives

About the speaker

Falko completed his PhD at the Free University in Berlin in 2004. After six years as lecturer and senior lecturer at Aberdeen, Falko joined Newcastle University in 2010 as a reader in health psychology. He is currently associate editor of Health Psychology Review and president elect of the European Health Psychology Society. 

About the seminar

Objective: To investigate the suitability of n-of-1 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as a means to test the effectiveness of behaviour change techniques based on self-regulation theory (goal setting and self-monitoring) for promoting walking in healthy adult volunteers.

Method: A series of n-of-1 RCTs in 10 normal and overweight adults aged 19-67 (mean=36.9). We randomly allocated 60 days within each individual to text message-prompted daily goal-setting and self-monitoring interventions in accordance to a 2(step-count goal prompt vs. alternative goal prompt)*2(self-monitoring: visible vs. blinded Omron-HJ-113-E pedometer step counts) factorial design.

Aggregated data were analyzed using random intercept multilevel models. Single cases were individually analyzed. The primary outcome was daily pedometer step counts over 60 days.

Results: Single case analyses showed that 2 participants each significantly increased walking on self-monitoring days and on goal setting days respectively, compared to control days. Six participants did not benefit from the interventions. In aggregated analyses, mean step counts were higher on goal-setting days (8499.9 vs. 7956.3) and on self-monitoring days (8630.3 vs. 7825.9). Multilevel analyses showed a significant effect of the self-monitoring condition (p= 0.025), the goal setting condition approached significance (p=.08) and we found a small linear increase in walking over time (p=.03).

Conclusion: N-of-1 randomized trials are a suitable means to test behavioural theory in individual participants, however, to date it is unclear how broadly applicable this methodology is. In addition, there are major methodological challenges in particular with regard to carry-over effects. Possibilities for further methodological developments and applications to health related behaviours will be discussed.



18th October 2011, 4.30 - 5.30pm

Professor Lance McCracken (IoP, KCL)


Applications of ACT and mindfulness to chronic pain


This seminar is open to all academics, practitioners and members of the public interested in Acceptance and Committment Therapy and minfulness in Behavioural Medicine, especially in relation to chronic pain.


Lance McCracken joined the Health Psychology Section of the Psychology Department at King's in August 2011 as Professor in Behavioural Medicine. He is also a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Psychology lead at the INPUT pain management centre of Guy's and St Tomas' NHSFT. He is interested in psychological and interdisciplinary treatment development for chronic pain conditions.


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