Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference 2013

Here is a list of all researchers from the University of Surrey School of Psychology who are presenting at the Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference 2013 in Brighton this week, along with a selection of abstracts.

Oral presentations:

Correlates of weight loss an 18 month follow up

A Hollywood & J Ogden


The impact of work on health: a longitudinal study examining work-related rumination as a predictor of change in fatigue over time.

D Querstret & M Cropley


Decorative images on health product packaging as sources of misinformation

N Klepacz & R Nash


Poster presentations:

How Can We Improve Patient’s Experience of Office Based Surgery?

B. Hudson, J. Ogden


Is 12 weeks long enough? The Emotional Stroop task as a means of assessing benefit-finding in a sample of UK military personnel who have received psycho-educational input following a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) event.

H. Brunger, J. Ogden


A Qualitative Analysis of Tobacco Advertising: 1950-2003

M. Dewe, J. Ogden, A. Coyle


Predictors of poor adjustment in mutiple sclerosis: Pay attention to diagnosis anxiety, fear and poor emotional support

B. Jones, V. Senior


Decision-making to uptake screening for inherited cardiac conditions among adolescents: The role of risk perceptions, risk as affect and
social context

M.Y. Hirst, L. Timotijevic, J. Barnett, S. Cox


Selection of abstracts:

A Qualitative Analysis of Tobacco Advertising: 1950-2003

M.Dewe, Phd student; Prof. J.Ogden, Dr. A.Coyle supervisors

Background: It was first discovered that smoking can be detrimental to health in 1950 but smoking prevalence has only declined slowly in the years since. One possible explanation for this is tobacco advertising. The current study aimed to build on a previous content analysis of tobacco advertising between 1950 and 2003. It aimed to gain an understanding of the methods used by tobacco companies in their advertising in the United Kingdom between the publication of the research linking smoking to disease in 1950 and the tobacco advertising ban in 2003.

Method: 12 tobacco advertisements that were published in the United Kingdom between 1950 and 2003, 2 from each decade, were analysed using thematic analysis. The analysis involved the development of themes and subthemes from the advertisements.

Findings: During the analysis of the advertisements four themes were discerned; ‘using ascribed positive features of a brand as a means
of promotion’; ‘the inter- and intra-personal benefits of smoking; self-identity, parental identity management and social identity’; ‘the use of choice; describing cigarettes as a choice and empowering the viewer’ and ‘the use of nature; locating the cigarette within nature.’

Discussion: The tobacco companies used a variety of methods to promote their product and to attempt to combat the growing knowledge that smoking is detrimental to one’s health. The methods used by the tobacco companies such as locating the cigarette within nature may help to understand the slow fall in smoking prevalence.


Is 12 weeks long enough? The Emotional Stroop task as a means of assessing benefit-finding in a sample of UK military personnel who
have received psycho-educational input following a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) event.

Helen Brunger and Jane Ogden

Background: There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that traumatic events yield positive outcomes, one of which is benefit-finding. However, there is little research exploring this phenomenon in individuals who have sustained a brain injury. It has been argued by those working in the field that emphasising the scope for positive psychological change through a hope-focused clinical intervention might well facilitate recovery in such a population. This study looked for evidence of enhanced benefit-finding in a sample of UK military personnel who had received a 12 week psycho-educational intervention for persistent post-concussive symptoms following mTBI.

Methods: A computerised version of the Emotional Stroop (ES) task was used to investigate how attentional bias (response times) to
emotionally relevant and non-relevant stimuli differed between patients (N=10) and controls (N=10) at baseline (pre-intervention) and follow-up (post-intervention). Five different word categories were used: positive ‘intervention’ words, negative ‘intervention’ words, positive ‘general’ words, negative ‘general’ words, and ‘categorised’ neutral words. It was hypothesised that following the intervention, reaction times for colour-naming all positively valenced words would be slower for the patient group than for the controls.

Results: No significant differences were observed between word groups for the control group at either time point. An attentional bias for all relevant stimuli (positive and negative) was revealed for the patient group at follow-up compared to baseline.

Discussion: 12 weeks of rehabilitation intervention may not be enough to facilitate a positive emotional response to the mTBI experience. Individual differences and other moderating factors warrant further consideration.


Correlates of weight loss an 18 month follow up.

Amelia Hollywood and Jane Ogden

Background: The study aimed to explore weight loss in individuals over 18 months and to determine which factors at baseline or follow
up were the greatest correlates of weight loss. Leventhal’s self-regulatory model of illness behaviour provides the theoretical underpinning to the research with a focus of the individuals’ beliefs and behaviour.

Methods: Participants (n=266) completed a  questionnaire at baseline and 18 month follow up concerning their beliefs about their weight problems, the brief illness perception questionnaire, diet and exercise behaviour along with help seeking and methods of weight loss. Multiple regression analysis was used to explore the best predictors of weight loss by follow up.

Findings: The results showed that weight loss was not significantly predicted by either baseline demographics or baseline beliefs and
behaviours.  Follow up variables, however, were significant; in particular concern about their weight, endorsing a behavioural cause to their weight, eating healthy snacks and not having a high fat diet (adj R2 = .755, F=49.510, p<.0001) were associated with greater weight loss by 18 months.

Discussion: Weight loss maintenance is hard to achieve.  This study indicates that by 18 months the most important factors are not beliefs or behaviours at the start of weight loss attempts but those at the end.  Interventions are therefore needed which can generate a shift in beliefs and behaviours towards those most likely to facilitate weight loss.