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Improving Health with Psychological Intervention; Practical Applications of Health Psychology

Robson, A (2022) Improving Health with Psychological Intervention; Practical Applications of Health Psychology. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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The health psychology doctorate is evidenced by this portfolio towards the fulfilment of the five competencies, consultancy, teaching and training, behaviour change intervention, research, and professional practice. During the doctorate the following placements were undertaken, a Trainee Health Psychologist at a charity to support victims of honour-based violence, Health and Wellbeing Adviser for a charity to help people who are long-term unemployed with their health conditions and a self-employed coaching psychologist at Mindbody Coaching helping people achieve their health and wellbeing goals.
Consultancy: A professional report, presentation and case study was produced for the Associate Director, Clinical Lead and Health Coach of an employment charity based in the North of England with aims to improve their existing weight-management programme. The presentation included information on conducting empirical health behaviour change research and the report contained a literature review on psychological barriers to weight-management from a Health Psychology perspective.
Teaching and Training: A ten-week telephone-based group mindfulness course, Wellbeing Wednesdays, was taught to staff at the employment charity placement with aims of providing experiential learning of mindfulness skills and improving resilience to stress. The author’s progression and application of teaching and training skills to additional opportunities is demonstrated in the Teaching and Training Diary included in this section.
Behaviour Change Interventions (BCI): A group ten-week mindfulness course, Wellbeing Wednesdays, was implemented for staff at an employment charity as an experiential BCI to facilitate mindfulness behaviours and resilience to stress. In addition, a six-session one-to-one Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) BCI was conducted with a private client of my coaching psychology services, Mindbody Coaching, with aims of removing psychological barriers to weight-management.
Research: this portfolio contains three individual research projects. A systematic review was conducted with aims of exploring the breadth and quality ACT interventions used within coronary heart disease patient populations. Additionally, a qualitative and quantitative research project explored the experiences of the Mind your Heart online webinar intervention and psychological adjustment process in people with coronary heart disease. A reflective commentary on the process of all three research projects is included.
Professional skills: As evidence of professional skills development as a health psychologist in training, such as meta-reflection, working in a therapeutic environment, adhering to ethical guidelines, codes of conduct and UK law, a reflective report is presented. Included is a reflective diary which was sustained throughout the whole professional doctorate course.
The consultancy highlighted the value of sharing expert knowledge in conducting health psychology empirical research to support multidisciplinary weight-management services. The teaching and training project, dovetailed as the group BCI, Wellbeing Wednesdays, was effective at providing experiential learning of mindfulness skills and behaviours, however, was not successful in increasing the participant’s resilience to stress. Reasons for this are postulated in the report. The one-to-one BCI case study was effective in addressing psychological barriers to weight-management and facilitated behaviour change evidenced by increased psychological flexibility scored and a significant reduction in weight in lbs and waist circumference by the final session. The systematic review highlighted the gap in UK literature base for use of ACT interventions with people living with coronary heart disease for behavioural health outcomes known to reduce risk of second coronary events and premature deaths. The Mind your Heart research project showed a significant difference from baseline at two-weeks post measure against a control group for acceptance and rejection-based illness identity. This indicated that acceptance was improved, and rejection was reduced in people with CHD by taking part in the online psychological intervention which supports the literature. Future recommendations are highlighted through the limitations including conducting a live online webinar and exploring wider behavioural health outcomes such as sleep, physical activity and stress management. Finally, the qualitative research highlighted a gap in psychological care for those rehabilitating from a cardiac event and themes of healthcare experience, beliefs and perceptions of CHD, psychological adjustment and Mind your Heart webinar feedback are explored. Participants direct future recommendations for the Mind your Heart intervention.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health Psychology; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Illness Perceptions; Cardiac Psychology; Heart Disease; Behavioural Health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2022 09:29
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2022 09:29
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00017392
Supervisors: Forshaw, M and Kidd, T
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17392
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