- Research and Projects
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My research covers the development of complex interventions to create the conditions for sustainable healthful behaviours, supporting patients, service users and communities to be active partners in research projects and in the provision of methodological expertise for the evaluations of public health interventions.
Research projects include developing an understanding of the necessary conditions for transformational change in health and social care communities; this research informed the development of the Connecting Communities Programme (C2), designed to equip residents and statutory agencies with skills for effective community engagement and collaborative working. Connecting Communities is being taken up across the UK in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation to address so-called ‘wicked problems’, such as health inequalities, ensuring solutions to local issues are determined by the communities themselves. This learning has also led to the development of a novel school-based behaviour change intervention to prevent childhood obesity, the Healthy Lifestyles Programme (HeLP). £1.35m was secured from NIHR to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HeLP in a 32 school cluster RCT involving 1300 children.
I am also part of a research project examining how moral narratives relating to responsibility and welfare reform influence the medicalisation of distress and the uptake of antidepressants in low-income communities, called DE-STRESS. DE-STRESS is funded by the ESRC and is supported by two C2 partnerships in the South West. I am the Deputy Director (engaged research) for the very recently funded Wellcome Trust Centre for Environments and Cultures of Health.
Contact by phone
University of Exeter
Areas of expertise
Child Health, Complex Systems, Behaviour Change
19 July 2017
Social prescribing has the potential to address many of the factors
that perpetuate illness, decrease...
19 July 2017
A large-scale trial led by the University of Exeter, presented at
the international Alzheimer’s Association...
12 July 2017
It is widely acknowledged that care provided by the NHS and
other services should be...
Theme: Mental Health & Dementia
A research programme examining a public health intervention
designed to help members of the public...
Theme: Evidence for Policy and Practice
Providing modelling evidence of the optimal size for an expanded
Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) at...