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Dr Kate Atherton

School of Psychology

Faculty of Health

Kate Atherton is an HCPC Registered Health Psychologist with experience working with local authorities and the NHS to provide public health-focused digital health interventions, and working clinically within both community mental health and chronic pain management services. Kate is currently employed as a Lecturer in Health Psychology.

Kate is active in research examining factors associated with initiation and maintenance of physical activity, and is actively developing a research portfolio in this area. She is particularly interested in examining the role of sports participation in both exercise maintenance and improving social connection and wellbeing. Linked to this is an interest in the lived experiences of those new to exercise and sport, of those who have maintained exercise and, those considering a return to sport and exercise following episodes of adversity or periods of time in which some sports are less accessible, including post pandemics, illness, injury, and pregnancy. To achieve these research endeavours: she uses qualitative methods to build deeper knowledge of the barriers and facilitators to sport and exercise.

Kate’s secondary research interest lies within health literacy, and she has successfully published on the readability of UK online health information for headache and migraine. To extend this work, Kate is keen to develop research around how to improve health literacy through the provision of health information, with focus on quality and accessibility, in order to foster preventative health behaviours.


2023, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology
2017, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, MSc Health Psychology
2012, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, BSc (Hons) Psychology and Forensic Science

Academic appointments

Lecturer in Health Psychology, School of Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, 2023 - present


Atherton K. 2023. Demonstrating the application of health psychology to multiple areas of professional practice Kidd T, Forshaw M. Public Url

Journal article

Atherton K, Forshaw MJ, Kidd TM. 2022. Readability of online health information pertaining to migraine and headache in the UK British Journal of Pain, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url


Atherton K, Forshaw M, Kidd T. 2022. Readability of Online Health Information in the UK Pertaining to Migraine and Headache DOI Public Url