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Psychology and Health Research Group

Conducting psychological research into illness, health and the delivery of healthcare

A group of academics, research staff and postgraduate students whose research covers a wide variety of health related research, affecting individuals, communities and populations.

We conduct psychological research into illness, health and the delivery of healthcare. The common thread that brings our research together is the application of psychological theories to health. We’re interested in preventative health and behavioural medicine, investigating questions such as:

  • What motivates people to be healthy?
  • How does the way people think, feel and behave in relation to health and other factors influence this?
  • What maintains health?
  • How do people adapt to illness or manage long-term conditions such as diabetes and chronic pain?


We have expertise in the development and validation of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs), design and evaluation of complex interventions to improve health behaviours, psychosocial aspects of healthcare delivery and long-term condition management, social cognitive models and their application to behaviour, facet theory and analysis of archived/historical health behaviour population datasets. Example topics include: screening behaviour; pain management; obesity prevention and management; appetitive behaviour; mindfulness, cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes management, alternative medicine and health and well-being in astronauts.

Case study

Research within this group contributes to the activities of the European Space Agency concerning the identification of the key factors needed to maintain operational skill in astronauts and reduce accident likelihood during long-duration space missions.

Read the case study: Going to Mars


We work together with health researchers across LJMU from pharmacy, nursing, computing, education, sports science and public health on multidisciplinary projects with an applied focus. In addition, we have active collaborations with other universities, NHS Trusts, primary care, local and national authorities and charities including:

  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Lancaster
  • Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
  • Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
  • Clatterbridge Cancer Centre
  • St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust
  • Liverpool Community Health Trust
  • The Royal Liverpool Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Liverpool Heart and Chest Foundation Hospital Trust
  • Liverpool City Council
  • Knowsley Council
  • Sefton Council
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • UK Data Service/Office of National Statistics
  • Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos
  • King Juan Carlos University

Our research and consultancy work has been funded by NHS Trusts, pharmaceutical companies, Kellogg’s, Pain Relief Foundation, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, The British Academy, Youth Justice Trust, Youth Offending Team of Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council, European Regional Development Fund and Liverpool City Council.

Teaching and learning

All staff in the group contribute to teaching modules on the undergraduate BSc (Hons) Psychology programme (appetitive behaviour, social cognition, health psychology and substance use modules) and the Health Psychology (MSc) programme. In addition, our research group includes three practitioner health psychologists (Dr Forshaw, Dr Newson, Dr Poole) who all contribute to the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology.


Meet the researchers within this group:

PhD students

Meet the PhD students within this research area.

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Search for a research paper

15 papers found

  • Journal article

    A PSAD Group response to the consensus report on the definition and interpretation of remission in type 2 diabetes: a psychosocial perspective is needed.

    Speight J, Skinner TC, Huber JW, Lake AJ, Messina R, Mocan A, Nefs G, Newson L, Povey R, Vallis M and Willaing I and PsychoSocial Aspects of Diabetes (PSAD) Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD)

    Publish date:15/11/2021

  • Journal article

    Health professionals interface with cultural conflict in the delivery of type 2 diabetes care

    Patel T, Umeh K, Poole H, Vaja I and Ramtoola S and Newson L

    Publish date:05/08/2021

  • Journal article

    The Role of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Cardiovascular and Diabetes Healthcare: A Scoping Review

    Rashidi A, Whitehead L, Newson L, Astin F, Gill P, Lane DA, Lip GYH, Neubeck L, Ski CF, Thompson DR and Walthall H and Jones ID

    Publish date:31/07/2021

  • Journal article

    The best possible self‐intervention as a viable public health tool for the prevention of type 2 diabetes: A reflexive thematic analysis of public experience and engagement

    Gibson B, Umeh K and Davies I and Newson L

    Publish date:13/07/2021

  • Other

    Data on diabetes-specific distress are needed to improve the quality of diabetes care.

    Speight J, Hermanns N, Ehrmann D and on behalf of the PsychoSocial Aspects of Diabetes Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. and *PsychoSocial Aspects of Diabetes Study Group: contributing authors inc. Newson, L.

    Publish date:05/06/2021

  • Journal article

    Pregnant Women Living with Obesity: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study of Dietary Quality and Pregnancy Outcomes

    Charnley M, Newson L and Weeks A and Abayomi J

    Publish date:13/05/2021

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