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Division of Health Psychology

As a member network, the BPS Division of Health Psychology (DHP) promotes the science, education and application of the discipline.

About

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.

 

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Division of Health Psychology

Download the latest volume of Health Psychology Update

Delivering better outcomes

How can your organisation benefit from working with health psychologists?

Health psychology can promote health, prevent illness, support healthcare and optimise treatment various ways.

  • Developing and delivering interventions to change health behaviours: e.g. helping people to eat a balanced diet, take regular physical activity, stop smoking, attend screening appointments, apply sunscreen, visit the dentist.

  • Supporting people to manage illness: e.g. interpret symptoms, take medication as prescribed, manage pain, attend follow up appointments, improve quality of life.

  • Supporting health professionals to improve healthcare delivery: e.g. adhere to clinical guidelines, develop skills to change patient behaviour, engage in hand hygiene.

  • Workforce development and informing policy: e.g. creating a psychologically-informed workforce, using behavioural science principles to develop more effective research, training, practices and policies, ensuring they meet the needs of the target population.

Health Psychologists use their skills in:

  • Psychological interventions
  • Research
  • Consultancy
  • Teaching and training

There are:

  • Over 2,000 Members of the Division of Health Psychology (DHP)
  • 183 Health Psychology supervisors
  • 176 Health Psychology trainees
  • 622 Registered Practitioner Health Psychologists with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • 500-600 graduates of MSc in Health Psychology per year

Where do health psychologists work and what do they do?

Health psychologists can be found in variety of settings.

  • In multi-disciplinary healthcare teams in hospitals and clinics (public or private) e.g., helping people to prevent illness or to manage long-term conditions7
  • In public health settings e.g., designing population level interventions to keep people healthy
  • In social care teams or local government e.g., gathering and analysing data to assess psychological needs of those in social care and to commission tailored health and social care services
  • In digital health e.g., to use psychological evidence and theory to devise apps to improve health and wellbeing
  • In schools & universities e.g., designing psychological interventions for young people’s health and wellbeing
  • In staff wellbeing settings e.g., using psychological approaches to enhance employee health and practice
  • In regional and national health agencies e.g., developing impactful healthcare policies grounded in psychological science that consider the influence of biological, psychological, social and environmental factors
  • In third sector health organisations e.g., using psychology to evaluate the effectiveness of their health programmes
  • In organisational change settings e.g., working with healthcare teams to improve healthcare quality through transforming their practice
  • In academic settings e.g., developing theory-based teaching and training programmes to improve healthcare delivery to both health psychology trainees and students on other applied courses such as medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, dietetics, sport and exercise; conducting research
  • In commercial health companies e.g., using psychology to assess patient reported outcomes
Division of Health Psychology

DHP in the devolved nations

Examples of work by health psychology professionals

NHS Foundation Trust

As part of a multi-disciplinary team within an NHS foundation trust in the gastroenterology department, a Health Psychologist aids patients in managing their inflammatory bowel disease / irritable bowel syndrome in order to improve their health and quality of life

“The health psychologist’s work has a demonstrably beneficial effect on the psychological wellbeing and quality of life of patients suffering with these conditions and the uncertainties associated with them.”

- Dr Paul Knight, Consultant Gastroenterologist; Dr Dipesh H Vasant, Consultant Gastroenterologist

Public Health Wales

Health psychology trainees work with Public Health Wales in the Behaviour Change and Public Information Team to design and develop theory-based population level health interventions. This upskills public health colleagues to understand how to intervene with population health.

“Our [health psychology] trainee provides specialist knowledge and technical skills in designing and developing public health interventions by translating theory into practice. In Public Health Wales, a range of health protection and health improvement programmes have benefited from this expertise, as well as upskilling public health colleagues. We highly regard the health psychology specialist skillset within our work.”

- Jonathan West, Head of Behaviour Change and Public Information, Public Health Wales

Local council

Health psychology researchers work with Doncaster Council with the Get Doncaster Moving Team in developing their research by building relationships with communities, identify their needs and to making recommendations to optimise population level interventions.

“The researchers approached the work with passion and enthusiasm, and were able to genuinely empathise with the ‘real life’ as it happens in some of Doncaster’s most deprived communities, while also providing high quality findings and recommendations.”

- Jodie Bridger, Local Delivery Pilot Programme Manager, Doncaster Council

Skills for Care - Adult Social Care

Health Psychologists led virtual reflective practice groups with Skills for Care for managers in Learning Disability and Mental Health Services in Adult Social Care to help staff reflect with their peers, offer empathy and provide practical solutions.

“The Health Psychology Exchange provided invaluable virtual group facilitation and support for a number of managers in adult social care. During Covid 19, these managers are going through a difficult experience and through the Health Psychologist’s facilitation they have supported the group members to provide peer support, take some time to reflect, offer empathy and practical solutions to each other.”

- Karen Stevens Locality Manager, Skills for Care

Public Health England

Health Psychologists and trainees, as part of the Health Psychology Exchange (HPX), worked with Public Health England to design and deliver an interactive webinar for Local Authority and NHS Staff on how to support the psychological needs of the care home workforce. They then codeveloped written guidance to support the wellbeing of care home staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The webinar was attended by over 100 Local Authority and NHS staff throughout England and Scotland. The HPX also kindly followed this up by developing a set of bespoke guidance documents to enable participants to put the learning into practice.

The HPX have been incredibly responsive and have gone above and beyond expectations to help cascade their expertise for the benefit of key workers that are supporting the system wide Covid-19 response.

I am already asking for their help in other areas and continue to value their collaborative approach and expertise.” 

- Chris Sharp, Workforce Development Manager (Yorkshire and the Humber), Public Health England (North East and Yorkshire Region)

NHS Hospital Trust

Health Psychologists helped NHS Trusts during COVID-19 to devise and implement their plans for psychological support for their workforce. Those from the East Cheshire Trust, felt this significantly improved the delivery of their staff support.

“They have enhanced my knowledge of the psychological considerations and impact of the pandemic. Their prime skill is in taking complex concepts and distilling them into ideas that you can understand and recognise as interventions that would work in your organisation. They have helped shape our thinking and I quote them regularly to colleagues!”

- Fiona O’Reilly; Project Manager, Employee Health and Wellbeing team, East Cheshire NHS Trust

National Cancer Support

Charity Health Psychologists consulted with MacMillan Cancer Support to develop a scalable model of reflective practice for their health professionals during COVID-19. This resulted in a successful pilot of Online Group Reflective Practice that is now being rolled out to health professionals across the UK.

“Thank you, on behalf of myself and Macmillan, for all your help and guidance with the work to develop and pilot virtual group reflective practice for health care professionals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Your role in preparing for and facilitating the sessions; as well as providing a detailed evaluation report is enormously valuable in ensuring we can build on this work.

The evaluations from the participants were so positive and demonstrated that the sessions helped them feel valued at a time when they are working so hard and in such difficult circumstances.”

- Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive, Macmillan Cancer Support

Health Education England

Health Psychologists worked with the Workforce Transformation team at Health Education England North West to develop the Teams Together programme, working with healthcare teams, to apply behavioural theories and support health and social care teams implement new models of care. This helped four clinical teams to transform their practice. They made freely accessible resources (e.g., cards for change) on health psychology for organisation change such as e-learning and policy briefings.

“Our joint work explored and developed behavioural theories and methods for supporting teams who were implementing new models of care… [Using health psychology] to engage teams in changing to adopt new models of care.. has had a major impact in how we in Health Education England are approaching workforce transformation in our People Plan and now leading workforce transformation nationally.”

- Kirstie Baxter, Head of Workforce Transformation, HEE National Team

Active Herts

A Health Psychologist and Health Psychology PhD student co-developed a community-based physical activity programme that was evidence-informed using behaviour change theory. They also trained registered exercise professionals to identify barriers and facilitators to exercise, use motivational interviewing and behaviour change techniques to help them to have effective consultations. One service user, Robert, who is in his late 50’s, classified as overweight and living with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol said:

“With Active Herts you are made to feel equal and part of the team, it does not seem to matter if you are 40, 50, 60 or even 80, you might be there because you have a serious health problem or you could be overweight but for whatever reason you are there trying to improve your own health through a variety of fun exercises. Everyone including myself come away from the sessions feeling better and not belittled or intimidated. If I can be enthusiastic after 40 years of no exercise than anyone can.”

- Robert, Active Herts Service User

Organisational change settings

Ten Health Psychologists teamed up with health professionals in the UK, Ghana and Uganda to co-develop training and learning for antimicrobial stewardship.

The teams established staff training programmes in each hospital and supported local quality improvement initiatives.

  1. Behavioural specification: Capturing health professional behaviours to focus on
  2. Understanding influences: Exploring the barriers and facilitators to behaviour change
  3. Developing interventions: Helping the team develop and deliver the interventions (e.g. training, or other ways to support staff) to change practice
  4. Evaluating change: Working out how and if the interventions have been successful in changing behaviour

Resources and publications

DHP resources

Recruitment resources for employing Trainee and Qualified Health Psychologists

Our DHP recruitment pack is available in editable Word version and PDF version and includes 14 editable examples of job descriptions and person specifications from trainee to senior levels.

Covid 19

Public health roadmaps

Consultations

The Society regularly undertakes both internal and external consulations designed to facilitate collaboration and to source expert contributions from our members.

Who can contribute to Consultations?

Anyone! Provided you are a member of the Society, and have some knowledge or experience that is relevant to a Consultation Topic, then your views are valid. Even just a few brief comments can be useful.

How can I get involved?

If you would like to be involved in a current Consultation, please look out for consultation calls via DHP Announcement emails, the BPS website, DHP twitter page or LinkedIn group.

Directors of Public Health

This leaflet outlines how Health Psychologists improve the public's health through expertise in public health and behaviour change, and explains where Directors can find a Health Psychologist.

GPs and Public Health Practitioners

This leaflet outlines the role of a Health Psychologist and how they can help in primary care and community settings.

Health psychology in applied settings

This leaflet explains how Health Psychologists can help members of the public, what sort of work they can do, and how to find out more information about them.

This leaflet explains the role of a Health Psychologist for employees, the variety of work Health Psychologists do, and what training a Health Psychologists undertakes.

This leaflet explains for employers what a Health Psychologist is and where they work, how Health Psychologists can help to meet targets and policy initiatives, and the essential qualifications of a Health Psychologist.

Students

This leaflet explains what a Health Psychologist is and does, and gives guidance for anyone considering a career as a Health Psychologist.

Publications

Health Psychology Update

Download

Careers

If you're passionate about enhancing population health and creating a better health service, supporting patients with their healthcare and helping people to change their health behaviours, then you can make it happen as a health psychologist.

Our DHP recruitment pack includes 14 editable examples of job descriptions and person specifications from trainee to senior levels:

 

NEW! The DHP are creating a video to show what we do and the impact health psychology has had on society.

Occupational psychologists can boast that they've done done many things to change the world - including inventing the tea break - and we want the same for Health Psychology.

To get involved why not tell us a bit more about your work by filling in this short template and then return your completed form to [email protected].

 

Careers in health psychology

What is Health Psychology?

Health psychologists are specially trained to help people deal with the psychological and emotional aspects of health and illness, along with promoting healthier lifestyles.

Many of the current health challenges we face need to be addressed by illness prevention, health promotion and anticipatory care. Therefore, not only do we need to work to understand and support people with the psychological difficulties they may face from having physical health conditions, but we also need to understand and ameliorate the impact of lifestyle on health.

Most chronic diseases, including cancer, CHD, and diabetes, are related in part to health behaviour. Improving health behaviour is therefore a key challenge. Health psychologists are specialists in health behaviour change and working with people who have physical health conditions to help them cope and adjust to illnesses and treatments.

A health psychology approach adds value to programmes designed to improve health, improves our understanding of the complexities of barriers to change, and can more effectively design and implement evidence-based interventions to change health behaviour, targeting individuals, social groups and communities.

What are the UK training routes in Health Psychology?

Download a powerpoint laying out the current UK training routes in Health Psychology.

Please note: this will be updated periodically so please keep checking the site for the most up-to-date version.

Professional Development

Overview

One of our main aims is to support the continuing professional development of Members at various levels of career and experience.

We do this is a number of ways, including the provision of BPS accredited workshops and communicating with Members to assess CPD needs.

To contact the DHP Professional Development Lead please email [email protected]

Career Case Studies

Health Psychology is a rapidly growing, but still relatively young discipline.

Career paths are diverse and there is strong competition for funded stage 2 training places and NHS health psychologist posts.

Consequently, many early career students and trainees find the transition from training to work challenging.

In response to requests from early career members for more information about possible career paths two series of career case studies have been produced one from DHP (2021)  and one from DHP Scotland (2018). 

The results of these projects are compiled below which we hope you will find useful.

Qualification in Health Psychology (Stage 2)

Information about the Qualification in Health Psychology (Stage 2)

The Qualification in Health Psychology (Stage 2) is the independent route to completion of stage 2 training for those who are working in a heath-related setting.

Successful completion of the QHP (Stage 2) leads to eligibility for Chartered membership with the Society, Full membership of the Division of Health Psychology, and eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council, the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK.

How does Health Psychology fit into Health and Social Care

The chair of DHP, Prof Angel Chater’s slides from the Behavioural Science and Public Health Network / Public Health England and Health Education England presentation on 10th September 2020.

Awards and funding

MSc Health Psychology Research Project Prize - closed

The DHP invites BPS accredited MSc Health Psychology course leaders to nominate the MSc student with the highest grade for their research project in their cohort.  It is expected that award winners will not only have an outstanding MSc project, but will also have the potential to share their research with a health psychology scientific audience and to translate their work into a peer-reviewed publication. Work can be in any area of health psychology.

The prize is a “prize winner” oral presentation at the DHP conference (28 & 29  June, Bristol), an award and certificate. We will support reasonable expenses for the winner to attend the conference in the form of a bursary, which includes a two-day conference attendance, two nights’ accommodation and travel. We also expect the winner to write a brief overview of their work and their experience of presenting for Health Psychology Update.

We encourage you to help us celebrate health psychology research by submitting your nominations online by 11.30pm on Friday 7 January 2022. Please note that this year we ask you to include the full project on the nomination form to facilitate an efficient review process.

The Criteria

BPS accredited MSc Health Psychology course leaders can nominate the MSc student on their programme who achieved the highest grade for their research project for MSc degrees awarded between September 2020 and December 2021.  It is expected that award winners will not only have an outstanding MSc project, but will also have the potential to translate this work into a peer-reviewed publication. Work can be in any area of health psychology.

All abstracts of award nominees will be reviewed by the Research Sub-Committee chaired by the DHP Research Lead, judged on appropriate length, quality, clarity and original contribution to the field of health psychology. A shortlist will be formed from this process, and the submitted full MSc thesis of shortlisted nominees will be reviewed. This will then be judged on the following criteria on a 0-5 point scale:   1)           Clear and concise structure 2)           Original contribution to the field of health psychology 3)           Critical appraisal of the literature 4)           Depth of knowledge 5)           Detailed methodology  6)           Depth/appropriateness of analysis   7)           Strong and relevant conclusion

The MSc research project with the highest number of points will be awarded the DHP Award for Outstanding MSc Health Psychology Research Project.

SUBMIT YOUR ONLINE NOMINATION NOW

We advise that you prepare your submission on a word document or alternative. Download an example of the online form to prepare your submission.

Submission deadline: 11.30pm on Friday 7 January 2022   NOTE: Nominations must come from MSc Health Psychology Course Leaders. Only one application per MSc programme will be considered. Self-nominations are not accepted.  The DHP reserves the right not to make an award if no suitable nominations are received.

DHP Excellence in Health Psychology Early Career Award

Overview

The Excellence in Health Psychology Early Career Award is a new award which celebrates the work of those who are in training (Stage 2 Trainees) or are qualified and within 10 years of completing Stage 1 training (MSc Health Psychology). We welcome nominations from or on behalf of trainees or recently qualified Health Psychologists who have demonstrated excellence in the discipline. 

Types of nominations

Nominations can be made either by yourself or on behalf of an individual who works in the area of health psychology. 

Entry criteria

The Nominee:

  • May be an individual or a small collaborative team (e.g. for a group-based project)
  • Must be member of the BPS Division of Health Psychology (DHP)
  • Must be enrolled on a BPS accredited Qualification in Health Psychology and/or working in the area of Health Psychology
  • Must be within ten active years of their Master's degree in Health Psychology (Stage 1)     

Please note the term “active” is intended to exclude any period of career break and is full-time equivalent.

Assessment criteria

We will be assessing the extent to which a nominee/ lead of a small collaborative team has demonstrated excellence in Health Psychology against the areas below. As an early career award, it will be evaluated in this context, and it is expected that this work will normally have been completed under supervision or following a period of recent supervision.

Execution: How well they met the aims of a project in relation to consultancy, research, teaching and training or psychological intervention, with clear evidence of professional competence (e.g. ethical considerations and good practice). 

Evidence base: Quality of gathered information (in terms of theoretical grounding, methodology, data gathered from stakeholders/practitioners/clients/students, data gathered from an organisation, community and/or population)

Impact: To what extent did this work have an impact on individuals, communities, organisations and stakeholders (for example contribution to learning, facilitating practice, enhancing health outcomes, or impact on policy)

Visibility: To what extent does this work illustrate the value of Health Psychology

Each member of the review panel will score each criteria between 1 and 7 (1 = weak; 7 = exceptional). A minimum of 16 points must be achieved in order to be eligible to be considered to receive the award.

All nominations must be supported by two independent references (not including the nominator).

The committee may award one DHP Excellence in Health Psychology Early Career Award per year.  If no submissions of sufficient merit are received, no award will be made.

Guidance for nominations

Preview the online submission form which will help you to prepare your submission. We advise that you save your submission onto a Word Document so that you can copy and paste and upload to questions as requested. 

How to apply

SUBMIT YOUR ONLINE NOMINATION NOW

Submission Deadline: 11.30pm on 5 August 2022

Judging process

Awards will be judged by the Division of Health Psychology committee, including early career Health Psychologists. 

The Award

The winner will:

  • Receive a certificate
  • Receive an award
  • Be named on the DHP website and in the newsletter

DHP Distinguished Contribution to Health Psychology Awardv

Overview

This award is aimed at Division of Health Psychology members whose work has made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the discipline of health psychology and for the benefit of individuals, communities, stakeholders or organisations. This award will likely be made to a psychologist in mid to late career,  PhD, Stage 2/ Grandparenting and nominees should not be within 10 years of the start of their training in health psychology (e.g. Stage 1/ Grand-parenting).7 Please see criteria for the Excellence in Health Psychology Early Career Award for awards to individuals who are early career.

Types of nominations

Nominations can be made either by or on behalf of a psychologist who works in the area of health psychology.

Nominator can be anyone; Nominations are not limited to UK residents and need not be from Society/DHP members.

Self-nominations will be accepted; however, an two references will be required.

Entry criteria

Nominees for the Distinguished Contribution to Health Psychology award should be: 

  • Current or retired Health Psychologists or psychologists working in health psychology. 
  • Members of the Division of Health Psychology (DHP)
  • Must be ten active years post the beginning of training/work in health psychology 

Please note the term “active” is intended to exclude any period of career break and is full-time equivalent.

Assessment criteria 

We will be assessing the extent to which a nominee has demonstrated a distinguished contribution to health psychology against the areas below.

  • Demonstrated outstanding contribution in health psychology.
  • Invested in Psychology by improving psychological knowledge and understanding in this area of health psychology.
  • Impacted on people, organisations, communities and/or other stakeholders in this area of health psychology.
  • Supported equality, diversity and inclusion.

Demonstrated Outstanding Contribution

  • demonstrated a sustained contribution to a particular area of health psychology
  • demonstrated best practice including methodological rigour/ ethical standards
  • a pioneer/ showing innovation in health psychology
  • impact in health psychology outside primary job role
  • showed personal commitment

Invested in Psychology

  • improved psychological understanding/ knowledge in health psychology
  • positive leader of a service, organisation or field of research in health psychology
  • collaborated with other professionals
  • contributed to the work of the society in the area of health psychology

Impacted on people / groups / communities / organisations / stakeholders

  • improved public understanding of a health psychology topic
  • positive impact on individuals/ groups, communities, organisations and/or stakeholders
  • national and/or international impact
  • collaboration with the public/clients/experts by experience

Supported Equality Diversity and Inclusion

  • challenged social inequalities (in relation to gender, race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age)
  • work has directly had significant and continued impact for people from marginalised and oppressed social groups
  • impact in the support of EDI in psychology both within own organisation and in the wider psychology community
  • has embedded EDI into their own work
  • evidence of contribution to governance and/ or taking leadership in EDI

Each member of the review panel will score each criteria between 1 and 7 (1 = weak; 7 = exceptional).

A minimum of 45 points must be achieved in order to be eligible to be considered to receive the award.

All nominations must be supported by two independent references (not including the nominator).

The committee may award one Distinguished Contribution to Health Psychology Award per year. If no submissions of sufficient merit are received, no award will be made.

Guidance for nominations

Preview the online submission form which will help you to prepare your submission. We advise that you save your submission onto a Word Document so that you can copy and paste and upload to questions as requested. 

How to apply

SUBMIT YOUR ONLINE NOMINATIONS NOW

Submission Deadline: 5 August 2022

Judging process

Awards will be judged by a panel from the DHP committee. 

The Award

The winner will:

  • Receive a certificate
  • Receive an award
  • Be named on the DHP website and in the newsletter

DHP Chair’s Mentoring Award (2021/22) - closed

The DHP Chair’s Mentoring Award is a new award which celebrates excellence in mentoring in health psychology.    Of all the activities in academia, mentoring may be one of the most valuable, with the least recognition. Health Psychology is a unique discipline with a great history of academic mentoring, and we want to celebrate this with an annual DHP Mentoring Award. 

This award has been developed to recognise and celebrate outstanding mentors for their contributions to students, trainees and early career researchers in Health Psychology. This award will acknowledge those who have served as exemplary role models, and offer recognition of the time, dedication, inspiration, enthusiasm, and support that they bring to successful mentor/mentee relationships.

We welcome nominations on behalf of members of the Division of Health Psychology who have demonstrated excellence in mentoring. 

Types of nominations

All nominations must be supported by four nominators: a principal nominator, who should be a member of the DHP (in any capacity) and three supporting nominators. The four nominators must be former mentees and must not all represent a single time period for the mentor, though they may overlap.  

Entry criteria

Nominee Must be member of the BPS Division of Health Psychology (DHP)

Assessment criteria 

We will be assessing the extent to which a nominee has demonstrated excellence in mentoring in health psychology against the areas below. 

  • A demonstrated commitment to fostering the intellectual, creative, scholarly, and professional growth of her/his mentees so that they may function effectively in the field of health psychology and with measurable success at the national/international level.
  • Evidence of sustained commitment to a professional mentoring relationship that results in career growth or personal development of mentees.
  • An overall track record of mentoring and academic citizenship. 

If no submissions of sufficient merit are received, no award will be made.

Guidance for nominations

Preview the online submission form which will help you to prepare your submission. We advise that you save your submission onto a Word Document so that you can copy and paste and upload to questions as requested. 

How to apply

SUBMIT YOUR ONLINE NOMINATION NOW

Submission Deadline: 11.30pm on Friday 27 May 2022

Judging process

Awards will be judged by a panel from the DHP committee. The committee may award one DHP Chair’s Mentoring award per year.  If no submissions of sufficient merit are received, no award will be made.

This award is bestowed as a once in a lifetime achievement. Past winners are not eligible to receive a second award.

The Award

The award will be presented at the DHP AGM on 24 June from 1pm

The winner will:

  • Receive a certificate
  • Receive an award
  • Be named on the DHP website and in the newsletter.
  • All those nominated will have their name, and that of their nominators included in an online ‘Hall of Thanks’ 

Previous award winners

2022 DHP Chairs Mentoring Award Winner

Professor Sarah Peters (University of Manchester)

2022 Msc Health Psychology Research Project Prize Winner
Christina Davis, Bournemouth University

The winner for 2022 is Christina Davis from Bournemouth University, who completed the project “The Perceived Stress SCale for Kids (PeSSKi) aged 7-11 years: Initial development and evaluation for a brief measure of self reported stress”.

Christina completed her study under the supervision of Professor Julie Turner-Cobb, and says: "Winning the award is such a great honour. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to research something that I feel passionate about. It has been wonderful to be able to conduct this research with the support of the Health Psychology team at Bournemouth and I am proud to be part of such an inclusive community." 

2021 MSc Health Psychology Research Project Prize Winner
Sarah Hansen, 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 Chairs Mentoring Award Nominees and Winner

Nominees:

  • 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)

2021 DHP Distinguished Contribution to Health Psychology Award Winner
  • 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 medical education and clinical settings. She continues to transform medical curricula, particularly in the speciality 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 Excellence in Health Psychology Early Career Award Nominees and Winner

Nominees:

  • 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)

Award for Distinguished Contribution to Health Psychology

2013: Professor Susan Michie (University College London)

Award for Early Career Researcher

2014: Dr Stephan Dombrowski (University of Starling)

2013: Dr Joe Chilcot (Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London)

Award for Outstanding Contribution Health Psychology Practice

2013: Dr Nicky Thomas (Guys & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust)

Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research

2016: Professor Ronan O'Carroll (University of Stirling)

2014: Professor Jane Wardle (University College London)

Award for Oustanding MSc Thesis 

2017 Winner: Holly Bear (King’s College London)

2017 Runners Up: 

  • Hannah Long (The University of Manchester)
  • Malcolm Bray (City University)

2016 Winners

  • Olga Peski (University College London)
  • Sarah Higgins (Staffordshire University)

2014 Winners

  • Hollie Young (University of Bath)
  • Lai Siew Tim (University of Starling)

2013 Winner: Miroslava Koseva (Bath University)

2013 Runners Up

  • Vanessa Lee (King’s College London)
  • Lua Olgahere (University of Ulster)
Early Career Health Psychology Practitioner Award

2017: Dr Daniel Masterson (Health Psychologist at HAPPIA)

Funding

Annual Conference Bursaries - 2022 - closed

The DHP are offering two bursaries to cover

  • The registration cost of the DHP Annual Conference on 28-29 June 2022.
  • Accommodation
  • Travel Expenses (in line with BPS Expenses Guidelines)

This year we have two bursaries available for DHP Members:

Applications must be received by 11:30pm on Wednesday 20 April 2022.

If awarded a bursary you will be expected to write a short article for Health Psychology Update (HPU). You will be given support from one of the HPU sub-editors and your work will go through usual peer review procedures.

The committee reserves the right not to make bursary awards should there be no suitable candidates.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • You must be a current DHP Member (including students, post-graduates and trainees)
  • Not have received a conference bursary from the DHP in the last 2 years

We welcome applications from everyone and strongly encourage applications from individuals with protected characteristics (e.g. race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, age, etc.).

How to apply:

Applications will open shortly and you will be required to submit an application through the Questbank system

You will be asked for the following information:

1.  Your Name, BPS Membership Number and affiliation

2.  A brief 500 word statement explaining why you should be awarded a bursary and how you will benefit from attending the conference.

Only applications made online will be accepted.

How your application will be reviewed:

1.  Eligibility checks will be carried out by the BPS office. Ineligible submissions will not be sent out for review.

2.  Your submission will be anonymised before sending to the panel.

3.  The panel, compromised of 3 members of the national DHP committee, will review your application on the following criteria:

  • Enthusiasm for attending the DHP conference and writing for HPU
  • Reasons provided of benefits of attending and writing for HPU

4.  The highest rated submissions will receive bursaries. In the event of equal ratings, the panel will discuss and agree awards.

Click here to apply for the Bursary

You will be informed of the outcome of your application by Wednesday 11 May 2022 

DHP Research Networking and Public Engagement Prize - 2022 Applications - closed

The DHP Research Networking and Public Engagement Prize is a prize which seeks to support DHP members to widen their research networks and/or engage stakeholders, public and patients in research through hosting a networking event (online or in person) in an area of health psychology. The purpose of the prize is to stimulate discussion between researchers in health psychology, other disciplines, the public and other stakeholders. We welcome applications for funding between £100-£1,200 to support your event. 

Types of applications

We welcome applications from psychologists who are currently researching in any area of health psychology.  Applications may relate to exploring new ideas (e.g., as a result of a recent research finding or development), expanding stakeholder networks (e.g., new sectors or disciplines), and/or engaging individuals or groups from the public/patient/community. 

Entry criteria

The lead applicant must be a FULL member of the BPS Division of Health Psychology (DHP)

Assessment criteria

We will be assessing applications for this prize against the areas below.   •    Importance of the research area for health psychology •    Clearly defined goals for the event •    Creative interactive activities that will foster sustainable networks for the future •    Clearly proposed outcomes that show the potential impact of the event for facilitating research in health psychology to improve psychological knowledge and understanding •    Consideration of issues relating to social inequalities and sustainability

As a condition of the award, it is expected that the award winner would write an article for Health Psychology Update and the DHP Newsletter reporting on the event (for example, describing its main themes, content and any salient outcomes or conclusions). Submission of the draft article should be no more than 3 months after the event has been held.

How to apply

Preview the online submission form which will help you to prepare your submission. We advise that you save your submission onto a Word Document so that you can copy and paste and upload to questions as requested.

Start the online submission process. Please note that once you start you cannot leave and go back to your submission, please see the above  for help preparing your submission.

Nominations will close on Thursday 31 March 2022 at 11.30pm and prize winners will be notified by the end of April 2022. 

Judging process

Applications will be judged by a panel from the DHP committee.  The committee may award a number of prizes with the total award amount being divided between the successful applications. If no submissions of sufficient merit are received, no award will be made.

Presentation of the Award

The award winner will be announced at the online DHP AGM on the 23 June 2022. 

The winner will: •    Have their networking event funded by the DHP, plus any agreed additional spend submitted and agreed as part of the application process. •    Host their networking event by December 2022. •    Be named as the award winner on the DHP website and in the newsletter. •    Is expected to contribute to ether Health Psychology Update and the newsletter within three months of their event.

Previous Grant Recipients

Public Engagement Grant

2017: Dr Katherine Finlay, University of Buckingham

Creating a multi-purpose pop-up lab: Exploring role of health psychology in the context of pain management

2016: Dr Debbie Smith & Dr Melissa Noke, University of Manchester 

Health psychology and Manchester: What is happening in Manchester and how can it help you?

2015: Raluca Matei (Royal Northern College of Music) & Dr Benjamin Gardner Sood (King's College London)

"Performing Health Psychology: raising awareness of health psychology among orchestral players"

Professor Karen Rodham & Dr Rachel Povey (Staffordshire University)

"Capturing the essence of Health Psychology": An image competition open to health psychology practitioners, academics and trainees

2012: Professor Anna van Wersch & Kate Greenwell, Teeside University & North Tyneside General Hospital

Health Psychology work experience programme for MSc Health Psychology and A-Level psychology students

Reema Sirriyeh, University of York

Educational workshop for A Level Psychology students: Applying a model of occupational stress to the experiences of health professionals

Research Seminar Grant  

2017: Dr Suzanne McDonald (Newcastle University) and Professor  Derek Johnston (University of Aberdeen)

‘Making it personal’: Developing and advancing methods for personalised behavioural medicine

2015: Raluca Matei (Royal Northern College of Music), Dr Benjamin Gardner Sood (King's College London), Professor Jane Ginsborg (Royal Northern College of Music) & Professor Aaron Williamon (Royal College of Music)

"The role of health psychology in the promotion of health among music students"

2014: Kristina Curtis (The University of Warwic) & David Crane (University College London)

Development and evaluation of mHealth interventions

Dr Angeliki Bogosian (King's College London) & Dr Liesbeth van Vliet (Kings College London)

Long-term conditions in children: diagnosis, management and palliative care

2013: Dr Eleni Vangeli, Dr Sinead NiMhurchadha & Fabiana Lorencatto, Atlantis Healthcare & NHS Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training, UCL

Optimising chronic illness self-management: identification, development and synthesis of behaviour change techniques

Dr Debbie Smith, University of Manchester

Health inequalities in maternity care: exploring the role of health psychology to improve women's health

Committee

Chair: Lucie Byrne-Davis ([email protected])

Chair Elect: Aimee Aubeeluck ([email protected])

Deputy (Past Chair): Vacant ([email protected])

Honorary Treasurer: Daphne Kaklamanou ([email protected])

Honorary Secretary: Amy Baraniak ([email protected]

Communications Lead: Tracy Epton ([email protected])

Conference Lead: Atiya Kamal ([email protected])

Education and Training Lead: Vacant ([email protected])

Policy Lead: Julie Bayley ([email protected])

Practice Lead: Timothy Mahy ([email protected])

Research Lead: Rhiannon Phillips ([email protected])

Trainee Lead: Abigail Moffatt, Lauren Rockliffe ([email protected])

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer: Kiran Bains, Nicola O'Brien ([email protected])

Health Psychology Champion: Eleanor Whittaker ([email protected])

DHP Northern Ireland Chair: Tracy McCrossan, Marian McLaughlin

DHP Scotland Chair: Wendy Maltinsky ([email protected])

DHP Wales  

Scientific Conference Standing Committee (SCSC) Chair: Richard Cooke

Health Psychology Qualifications Board (HPQB) Representative: James Byron-Daniel

Health Psychology Update (HPU) ([email protected])

  • Sarah Snuggs - Editor
  • Rebecca Turner - Deputy Editor
  • David Sheffield - Teaching, Training, Consultancy, and Practice Issues sub-editors
  • Ainslea Cross - Teaching, Training, Consultancy, and Practice Issues sub-editors
  • Sarah Golding - Events Sub Editor

PsyPAG Representative: Daniel Walker

Public Engagement: Julie Hedayioglu ([email protected])

Training Committee Representative: Elizabeth Simpson

Wales Representative: Heidi Seage

EHPS UK National Delegate Representative: Sue Sherman

Join

Apply to join the DHP (students, affiliates, e-subscribers) 

Apply to join the DHP (graduate, chartered, and in-training members) 

Membership of the Division of Health Psychology is only open to members of the British Psychological Society.

If you are not already a member you can join the DHP at the same time as applying for membership of the society.

There are three grades of divisional membership:

  • Full Divisional membership

    For fully qualified psychologists who are eligible for Chartered Status.

  • In-training Divisional membership

    For psychologists in-training who hold Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership and are working towards Chartered status and Full Divisional membership.

  • General Divisional membership

    For members who are not currently eligible for the above grades, to join as a General Member.

Fees

  • Full Member - £36
  • In Training Member - £15
  • General Member - £21

 

Benefits of belonging

Benefits of DHP Membership

  • Association with the only national, learned society solely representing Health Psychology in the UK 
  • Free subscription to the Health Psychology Update
  • Opportunities to apply for DHP conference bursaries
  • Opportunities to apply for the DHP research internship scheme Networking opportunities
  • Opportunities to contribute specialist knowledge and expertise in response to requests for consultation
  • Opportunities to keep up-to-date with Health Psychology news via the regular DHP newsletter
  • Opportunities for personal and professional development through DHP committee involvement
  • Reduced fees for the annual scientific DHP conference
  • Reduced rates for high quality CPD events  

Member Announcement Email List

The Division of Health Psychology (DHP) uses its membership announcement email list to inform its members of activities and initiatives that are relevant to their interests and to make requests for engagement on topical issues. 

By becoming a member of the DHP you are automatically added to the announcement list.

To receive these emails you will need to:

  1. become a member of the Division of Health Psychology
  2. opt into receiving email communications and provide a working email address

These preferences can be updated by logging into your member portal.

If you have any queries, please contact Member Network Services.

To assist us in responding to your query please make sure to include your membership number and quote 'DHP announcement email' in the subject line.

Getting Involved with the DHP Committee

The Division of Health Psychology relies on a wide range of people getting involved, and the work of the Division is largely achieved through the dedication of unpaid volunteers.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of different backgrounds, whether they be practitioners or academics, or full members or in-training members, and together form an open and inclusive community. 

Committee role descriptions

If you are interested in getting involved with the DHP in any way, please get in touch via [email protected]

If you are interested in joining the DHP Committee, all you need to do is complete a short Statement of Interest form outlining your relevant experience and why you wish to join.

Work with us

Recruitment resources for employing Trainee and Qualified Health Psychologists

Our DHP recruitment pack is available in editable Word version and PDF version and includes:

  • what trainee and health psychologists bring to the workforce 
  • training routes and levels of seniority
  • 14 editable examples of job descriptions and person specifications from trainee to senior levels, adapted from NHS, council, third sector and private sector settings.

We love to help support the development of new roles for practitioner psychologists in health settings, so please get in touch with [email protected] if you have any questions or need further advice or resources. 

Best practice in psychology recruitment

This document is about “Best practice in psychology recruitment’ and is for anyone who is involved in the recruitment of applied psychology posts primarily within health and social care including:

  • heads of service and lead psychologists
  • Human Resources staff
  • those involved in placing adverts in, for example, NHS Jobs and BPS Jobs

Read our full document on best practice in psychology recruitment.