Health Research

  • Information on people, projects and publications from our research database
  • Health research at the University of Hertfordshire spans a wide range of interests and approaches. Some of these are clinical, working with hospitals, while others are more population-based.

    Research includes both the understanding of psychological factors that influence health and health behaviours as well as the development of interventions that can address these issues. In particular, we are interested in both the cognitive and emotional factors that influence health, as these have major potential impacts on policy.

    Research areas are

    Collaboration and grants

    We have many collaborative partnerships both within the University of Hertfordshire and with outside organisations including:

    • The Institute of Psychiatry
    • Kings College London
    • The Haemophilia Society
    • The Royal London
    • University of Bedfordshire

    Health Grants Include:

    • MRC-ESRC Interdisciplinary Award £86,000 - Dr Nick Troop, Professor Ulrike Schmidt & Professor Iain Campbell
    • British Council Small Grant £7,298 - Dr Nick Troop, Dr Cliff Roberts & Nuriye Kupeli

    Body compassion

    • Nick Troop
    • Emily Beadle
    • Laura Jukonyte
    • Paula Felczak
    • Joyce Lennox
    • Rebecca Shashoua

    In contrast to having a positive body image, body compassion refers to self-kindness rather than critical self-judgment in relation to having a negative body image.

    We have been developing and evaluating trait and state measures of body compassion and evaluating the role of body compassion in body shame, eating and physical activity. We have also begun exploring interventions using expressive writing and guided imagery to develop body compassion. In these involved undergraduate and postgraduate students in research and placement activities both at UH and other universities

    Projects include:

    • Development and validation of the Body Compassion and Criticism Scale
    • Body compassion and motives for physical activity
    • Body compassion and the psychological impact of sports injury
    • The impact of body compassion on the link between disability and mood
    • Expressive writing to improve body compassion
    • The effect of body compassion on gender role conflict and body image in men

    Eating, weight and eating disorders

    We have carried out many studies exploring the effect of stress, emotions and emotion regulation on eating behaviour.

    These have included work by Dr Nick Troop on eating disorders and disordered eating, (studies on aetiology as well as evaluating interventions) and food choice and dieting, as well as that by Professor Ben Fletcher on approaches to stimulating weight loss.

    In this we collaborate with colleagues at the Institute of Psychiatry and UCL as well as in the Weight and Obesity Research Group at Herts.

    Specific projects include:

    • The role of currently experienced and anticipated bodily shame in predicting changes in eating and eating disorder symptoms
    • The role of disgust in predicting consumption of high and low calorie foods in restrained and unrestrained eaters
    • The role of self-perceived social rank and socio-economic status in eating pathology and weight change
    • Trajectories of changes in stress, weight, and disordered eating in a community sample
    • Cortisol and weight regain in formerly overweight women
    • Implementation intentions and fruit and veg intake


    There are several ongoing projects on psychological factors in haemophilia, including:

    • Evaluating the impact of personalised prophylactic treatment in haemophilia