The goal of health psychology is to study the psychological processes underlying health, illness and health care, and to apply these findings to the promotion and maintenance of health, the analysis and improvement of the health care system and health policy formation, the prevention of illness and disability, and the enhancement of outcomes for those who are ill or disabled.
On this page you'll find news, updates, and blog articles specifically relevant to the work and interests of the Division of Health Psychology.
The right track: Participation and progression in psychology career pathsShow content
The right track: Participation and progression in psychology career paths
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we need a workforce equipped with health psychology skills, which will help to: promote healthy and safe behaviours; provide psychological rehabilitation to those struggling with long-term conditions including post-COVID-19 syndrome; and to better support staff and healthcare organisations with wellbeing and resilience.
Following on from the British Psychological Society (BPS) Declaration on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (BPS 2017), promoting equality, diversity and inclusion is central to our work as psychologists. We also need to support health psychology professionals from underrepresented groups to participate and progress in their career. Moreover, in accordance with the Equality Act 2010, we recognise that people with ‘protected characteristics’ including gender, disability, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation and other characteristics such as socio-economic status, should not be barriers to a rewarding career as a Health Psychologist.
The BPS Division of Health Psychology Committee and the BPS Division of Health Psychology Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce, welcome the new Nuffield Health Trust report which has shone a valuable light on understanding participation, progression and career routes within psychology.
We fully endorse the recommendation of the Nuffield Trust report for workforce planners to invest in funded psychology training routes and employment opportunities. For health psychology, this would help to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion in the profession and bring health psychology skills into key settings. We are excited to be working with a number of organisations to support them to develop new roles and funded training at this time. We are always glad to meet and support new collaborators, so please do get in touch if you are from an organisation which would like to explore how health psychology skills would be useful to you. Please contact [email protected]
Dr Eleanor Bull and Dr Jan Smith on behalf of the DHP Committee and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce
Work with the DHP
DHP Committee VacanciesShow content
There are so many benefits to joining a committee. If you’re a member of DHP and would like to get involved in shaping the future of Health Psychology, then please consider applying for one of our vacancies below. If you would like to talk more about one of the positions please email [email protected]
Honorary Treasurer - Click here to download the role specification
To apply you will need to complete an online statement of interest.
Celebration Corner #CelebrateHealthPsychology
2021 Health Psychology Careers Webinar - Photo Competition EntriesShow content
2021 Annual Conference Poster Prize WinnersShow content
Factors influencing health behaviour change during pregnancy: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies
Barriers and facilitators to using an objective risk communication tool during primary care dental consultations
2021 MSc Health Psychology Research Project Prize WinnerShow content
Every year we celebrate the next generation of Health Psychology professionals through an award for the best project on an MSc Health Psychology degree. Individuals are nominated by their Programme Lead. Competition is usually fierce, and this year was no exception. This year we had 12 entries for the prize, covering a range of health issues. This year the panel were impressed by the excellent work by our MSc graduates, covering important areas such as sleep, hair loss, wellbeing, young people, eating behaviours, rare diseases, sexual health and common but understudied health conditions. Methodologically we had a range of excellent qualitative methods including both interpretative phenomenological analysis and thematic analyses, quantitative analyses including surveys and interventions, and systematic reviews.
MSc Project Prize Winner announced: Congratulations to Sarah Hansen from Northumbria University!
The winning abstract decided by the panel was “An online written benefit finding intervention: investigating the effects on physical and psychological health and the moderating role of perseverative thinking in a non-clinical sample during the covid-19 pandemic” by Sarah Hansen and supervised by Dr Michael Smith.
The chair of the MSc Project Prize panel, Dr Gillian Shorter, Division of Health Psychology Research Lead said “What a fantastic year for our MSc Health Psychology graduates. Although COVID-19 has raised enormous challenges for the next generation of health psychologists and their dedicated lecturers across the UK, the panel were impressed by the quality and contribution of the all prize applicants to the field. Sarah’s work on written benefit finding for wellbeing demonstrates the potential for Health Psychologists to innovate and overcome challenges to promote health using online interventions. We look forward to her talk at the Annual Conference”.
2021 DHP Excellence in Health Psychology Early Career Award Nominees and WinnerShow content
- Dr Shanara Abdin (University of West England/ City of Wolverhampton Council)
- Dr Emily McBride (University College London)
- Lesley Lewis (Public Health Wales/Staffordshire University)
Winner: Dr Emily McBride (University College London)
“Emily’s research projects have informed national changes to cervical screening policy and practice…
…she has held external roles showcasing the value of Health Psychology in health policy and public
health... she worked as a Senior Advisor in Behavioural Science for the Department of Health and
Social Care. Emily has also published over 20 peer reviewed papers and been granted additional
funding to continue her NIHR fellowship through 2021…
She is on an incredible trajectory and is undoubtedly a future leader in our field.”
(Nominated by Dr Joseph Chilcot, Kings College London)
2021 DHP Distinguished Contribution to Health Psychology Award WinnerShow content
Winner: Professor Christine Bundy(Cardiff University)
Nominated by Rachael Pattinson and Rachael Hewitt
“One of her greatest contributions to the field and professional achievements is the successful integration of health psychology in medicaleducation and clinical settings. She continues totransform medical curricula, particularly in thespeciality of dermatology.” (Professor Robert West).
“Professor Bundy is committed to the development of Health Psychology as profession, teaching and providing mentorship for Health Psychologists and for a range of health professionals for whom an understanding of psychological theory and interventions in crucial to their roles .” (Dr Rhiannon Phillips)
“…elevating the voices of people living with long term conditions and providing front line healthcare professionals with the knowledge, skills and resources required to deliver psychologically informed patient centred care”. (Professor Kate Hamilton West)
“She has taught me and many others to stand up for psychology and be proud to be a health psychologist working within medicine .” (Dr Jacqueline Lavallée)
2021 DHP Chair’s Mentoring Award WinnerShow content
- Dr Sarah Peters (University of Manchester)
- Professor Marie Johnston (University of Aberdeen
- Dr Caroline Limbert (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
Winner: Professor Marie Johnston (University of Aberdeen)
Nominated by Professor Diane Dixon, Professor Jo Hart Professor Molly Byrne and Dr Barbara Farquharson
“Whilst working with her, I was able to see how she navigated through differences of opinion whilst sticking to her principles, and as a result I still sometimes have a ‘little Marie on my shoulder’ who helps me see how best to approach a sticky situation, and how to work out what I and others need. When the little Marie on my shoulder can’t see the way forward, the real Marie can I am always impressed that 1. she never answers the question I have but reformulates the problem much more clearly and we answer that together…” (Professor Jo Hart)
“Finally, as a woman, Marie is an inspiration she is a role model herself of course but also a fierce advocate for other women and not afraid to be ‘difficult’, to advocate for women and to call out the unconscious bias facing women in science. She has certainly helped me reframe my view of situations, how I define ‘success’ and how I advocate for others (and myself). Everyone should have a Marie!” (Dr Barbara Farquharson)
“Marie is not a mentor to just passively lean on. Her support is demanding it is offered in a way that challenges you. As her mentee, you are always developing always becoming better at whatever is in your best interest to be better at. Uniquely, Marie’s mentoring is selfless and without ego”. (Professor Diane Dixon)
“A key way in which Marie influenced my personal growth was in giving me confidence in myself.” (Dr Rachael Powell)
“From this first time I met Marie, I was struck by how Marie took an interest in everyone she spoke to, encouraging us all to value Health Psychology and consider how we might contribute to this important discipline in the future…. I consider her to be my ‘guardian angel’ and I know I am one of many who think of her like this.” (Professor Molly Byrne)