Research Centre for Behaviour Change

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The work of the Research Centre for Behaviour Change aims to develop knowledge of the psychological factors underlying health, health behaviours and wellbeing, and develop strategies and interventions for improvement.

Research is both basic and applied, to further understanding of underlying biological mechanisms and psychological theories, and to result in translation and application of this understanding into interventions and improvements in health for the whole of society. Research focuses on both clinical and general populations, covers a range of behaviours and psychological conditions, and uses a variety of methodologies.

We currently have strengths particularly, in eating behaviours, eating disorders, physical activity, sleep, substance use, psycho-oncology, asthma and clinical psychology and psychotherapies. We have a leaning towards interventions that are behavioural and/or involve emerging technologies, e.g. gaming technology, websites, mobile phone apps. This increasing use of emerging technologies has also resulted in more research with a focus on online behaviours, and aspects of online safety and wellbeing.


Current / Recent Funded Projects

VeggiEAT. EU: Marie Curie: IAPP. Oct. 2013 – Sept. 2017 (for further details, contact Katherine Appleton

Developing a sustainable research programme to prevent falls and promote physical activity among older people with dementia. NIHR: Career Development Fellowship. Jan 2016 – Dec 2018 (for further details, contact Samuel Nyman

FoodSMART. EU: Marie Curie: IAPP. Jan. 2015 – Dec. 2019 (for futher details, contact Katherine Appleton


Funded PhD Studentships

A critical evaluation of the strategic implementation of a new model of dementia care. Guild Care / BU. Oct 2013 – Sept 2016 (for further details, contact Samuel Nyman

Ameliorating the impact of complications and errors on surgeons: Development of an evidence-based support toolkit. Royal Christchurch and Bournemouth Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust/BU. April 2016 – March 2019 (for further details, contact Helen Bolderston

An evaluation of the impact of a care farm model on the wellbeing of young males with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, Future Roots / BU. Jan 2014 – Jan 2017 (for further details, contact Andy Mayers

Designing systems for risk-based decision making and assurance. DSTL / BU. Jan 2016 – Dec 2018 (for further details, contact John McAlaney

Exploration of the use of game technology to improve the quality of life of older men with dementia in rural Dorset. Age UK Dorchester / BU. Oct 2012 – Sept 2015 (for further details, contact Samuel Nyman

Increasing egg intakes. The British Egg Industry Council / BU. Oct 2014 – Sept 2017 (for further details, contact Katherine Appleton

Improving the Short-term Management of Patients with Dementia Admitted to Hospital. Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust / BU. Oct 2015 – Sept 2018 (for further details, contact Samuel Nyman

Promoting well-being for residents with dementia living in a purpose built care environment. Chorus / BU. Oct 2013 – Sept 2016 (for further details, contact Samuel Nyman

The impact of complications and errors on surgeons. Nuffield Health/BU. Oct 2015 – Sept 2018 (for further details, contact Helen Bolderston

Promoting the scientific and public understanding of stress through use of visual metaphor. BU. Sept 2017 – Aug 2020 (for further details, contact Julie Turner-Cobb

Recent publications

Appleton K.M. (2016). Barriers to and facilitators of the consumption of animal-based protein-rich foods in older adults. Nutrients, 8, 187

Appleton K.M. (2016). Greater fruit selection following an appearance-based compared to a health-based health promotion poster. Journal of Public Health, 38, 731-738.

Appleton, K.M. & Baker, S. (2015). Distraction, not hunger, is associated with lower mood and lower perceived work performance on fast compared to non-fast days during intermittent fasting. Journal of Health Psychology, 20, 702-711.

Appleton, K.M., Dinnella, C., Spinelli, S., Morizet, D., Saulais, L., Hemingway, A., Monteleone, E., Depezay, L., Perez-Cueto, F.J.A., & Hartwell, H. (2017). Consumption of a high quantity and a wide variety of vegetables are predicted by different food choice motives in older adults from France, Italy and the UK. Nutrients, 9, 923.

Appleton, K.M., & Smith, E. (2016). A role for identification in the gradual decline in the pleasantness of flavours in age. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 71, 987-994.

Appleton K.M., Grippo, A.J., Beltz, T.G., Johnson, A.K. (2015). Consumption of a nigh n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid diet during gradual mild physiological stress in rats. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 95, 11-18

Appleton K.M., Hemingway, A., Saulais, L., Dinnella, C., Monteleone, E., Depazay, L., Morizet, D., Perez-Cueto, F.J.A., Bevan, A., Hartwell, H. (2016). Increasing vegetable intakes: Rationale and systematic review of published interventions. European Journal of Nutrition, 55, 869-896.

Appleton, K.M., Krumplevska, K., Smith, E., Rooney, C., McKinley, M.C., & Woodside, J.V. Low fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with low knowledge of the details of the 5-a-day fruit and vegetable message in the UK: findings from two cross-sectional questionnaire studies. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 31, 121-130.

Appleton K.M., McKeown, P.P., Woodside, J.V. (2015). Energy compensation in the real world: Good compensation for small portions of chocolate and biscuits over short time periods in complicit consumers using commercially available foods. Appetite, 85, 104-110.

Appleton K.M., Perry, R., Sallis, H.M., Ness, A.R., Churchill, R. (2015). Omega-3 fatty acids for depression in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 11. Art. No: CD004692. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004692.pub4

Appleton K.M., Perry, R., Sallis, H.M., Ness, A.R., Churchill, R. (2016). w-3 fatty acids for depression in adults: An abridged Cochrane review. BMJ Open, 6, e010172

Appleton, K.M., Woodside, J.V., Arveiler, D., Haas, B., Amouyel, P., Montaye, M., Ferrieres, J., Ruidavets, J.B., Yarnel, J.W.G., Kee, F., EVans, A., Bingham, A., Ducimetiere, P., Paterson, C.C.C. (2016). A role for behaviour in the relationships between depression and hostility and cardiovascular disease incidence, mortality and all-cause mortality: The PRIME Study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 50, 582-591.

Arden-Close E.J., Smith, E., Bradbury, K., Morrison, L., Dennison, L., Michaelides, D., Yardley, L. (2015).  A visualization tool to analyse usage of web-based interventions: The example of Positive Online Weight Reduction (POWeR). Journal of Medical Internet Research Human Factors, 2 (1): e8.

Arden-Close, E., Thomas, D.M., Yardley, L., Kirby, S., & Bruton, A. (2017). Patients’ experiences of breathing retraining for asthma: a qualitatiev process analysis of participants in the intervention arms of the BREATHE trial. npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, in press.

Bastiaansen, J.A., Munafo, M.R., Appleton, K.M., Oldehinkel, A.J. (2016). The efficacy of fish oil supplements in the treatment of depression: Food for thought. Translational Psychiatry, 6(12), e975.

Bogosian, A., Van Vliet, L., Fraser, L., Wei, G., Craig, C., & Turner-Cobb, J.M. (2016). Editorial. Minding the gap and moving forward in children’s long-term conditions: a vital role for health psychology. British Journal of Health Psychology, 21, 493-498, DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12193

Buszard, T., Farrow D., Verswijveren, S., Reid, M., Williams, J., Polman, R., Ling, F.C.M., & Masters, R. (2017). Working memory capacity limits motor learning when implementing multiple instructions. Frontiers in Psychology, (accepted for publications).

Bruton, A., Lee, A., Yardley, L., Raftery J., Arden-Close, E., Kirby, S., et al. (2017). Psychiotherapy breathing retraining for asthma: a randomised control trial. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, s2213-2600(17)30474-5.

Carlin, A., Perchoux, C., Puggina, A., Aleksovska, K., Buck, C., Burns, C., Cardon, G., Chantal, S., Ciarapica, D., Condello, G., Coppinger, T., Cortis, C., D’Haese, S., De Craemer, M., Di Blasio, A., Hansen, S., Lacoviello, L., Issartel, J., Izzicupo, P., Jaeschke, L., Kanning, M., Kennedy, A., Lakerfield, J., Ling, F.C.M., Luzask, A., Napolitano, G., Nazare, J-A., Pischon, T., Polito, A., Schlict, W., Ricciardi, W., MacDonncha, C., Capranica, L., & Boccia, S. (2017). A life course examination of the physical environmental determinants of physical activity behaviour. a “Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity” (DEDIPAC) umbrella systematic literature review. PLos One, 12(8), e0182083.

Cheetham, T. and Turner-Cobb, J.M. (2016). Panel manipulation in social stress testing: the Bath Experimental Stress Test for Children (BEST-C). Psychoneuroendocrinology, 63, 79-85. Published online Sept 28 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.09.013

Cheetham, T., Turner-Cobb, J.M., & Gamble, T. (2016). Children’s implicit understanding of the stress-illness link. Testing development of health cognitions. British Journal of Health Psychology, 21, 781-795. DOI:10.1111/bjhp.12181. Published online 22 December, 2015.

Cortis, C., Puggina, A., Pesce, C., Aleksovska, K., Buck, C., Burns, C., Cardon, G., Carlin, A., Chantal, S., Donatella, C., Condello, G., Coppinger, T., D’Haese, S., de Craemer, M., Di Blasio, A., Hansen, M., Kennedy, A., Ling, F.C.M., Luzak, A., Giorgio, N., Nazare, J-A., Perchoux, C., Pischon, T., Polito, A., Sannella, A., Schulz, H., Sohun, R., Steinbrecher, A., & Wolfgang, N. (2017). Psychological determinants of physical activity across the life course: a “DEterminants of DIet and Physical ACtivity” (DEDIPAC) umbrella systematic literature review. PLoS One, 12(8): e0182709.

Daniels, J., & Turner-Cobb, J.M. (2017). Adjuvant psychological therapy in long term endocrine conditions. Clinical Endocrinology. Pre-print 00:1-6.

Densham, S., Johnson, A., Baldwin, D., & Turner-Cobb, J.M. (2016). Enhanced psychological flexibility and improved quality of life in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 88, 42-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2016.07.009

Dutke, S., Bakker, H.E., Papageorgi, J., & Taylor, J. (2017). Editorial Evidence-based teaching – Examples from learning and teaching psychology. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 16(2).

Dutke, S., Bakker, H.E., Papageorgi, J., & Taylor, J. (2017). Introduction to the Special Issue on Evidence-based Teaching (EBT): Examples from learning and teaching psychology. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 16, 175-178.

Erwin, C.M., McEvoy, C.T., Moore, S.E., Prior, L., Lawton, J., Kee, F., Cupples, M.E., Young, I.S., Appleton, K.M., McKinley, M.C., & Woodside, J.V. (2018). A qualitative analysis exploring preferred methods of peer support to encourage adherence to a Mediterranean diet in a Northern European population at high risk of cardiovascular disease. BMC Public Health, 18, 213.

Friis, R., Skov, L.R., Olsen, A., Appleton K.M., Saulais L., Dinnella, C., Hartwell H., Depezay L., Monteleone, E., Giboreau A., Perez-Cueto, F.J.A. (2017). Comparison of three nudge interventions (priming, default option, and perceived variety) to promote vegetable consumption in a self-service buffet setting. PLos One, 12:e0176028.

Hart Clarida, B., Bobeva, M., Hutchings, M. and Taylor, J. (2015). Strategies for digital inclusion: Towards a pedagogy for embracing and sustaining student diversity and engagement with online learning. Education Journal, 3 (2), 86-106.

Huang, C.Y.(2018). Assessment of offender recidivism, treatment and rehabilitation- theories and practical applications in the UK. Taiwan Prosecutor REview, 23, 1-12.

Huang, C.Y., Shen, A.C.T., Hsieh, Y.P., Feng, J.Y., Wei, H.S., Hwa, H.L., & Feng, J.Y. (in press). Cultural perspectives on parenting, emotional intelligence and mental health in Taiwanese children. International Journal of Emotional Education.

Hughes, M.F., Patterson, C.C., Appleton, K.M., Blankenberg, S., Woodside, J.V., Donnelly M., Linden, G., Zeller, T., Esquirol, Y., Kee, F. (2016). the predictive value of depressive symptoms for all-cause mortality: Findings from the PRIME Belfast Study examining the role of inflammation and cardiovascular risk markers. Psychosomatic Medicine, 78, 401-411.

Jaeschke, L., Steinbrecher, A., […], Ling, F.C.M., et al. (2017). Socio-cultural determinants of physical activity across the life course: a “Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity” (DEDIPAC) umbrella review. PLoS One, accepted for publication.

Kennedy, A., O’Donoghue, G., […], Ling, F.C.M., et al. (2017). Socio-economic determinants of physical activity across the life course: a “Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity” (DEDIPAC) umbrella review. PLoS One, accepted for publication.

Kirby, S., Miles, C., Arden-Close, E., Thomas, D.M., Bruton, A., & Hankins, M. (2017). Barriers and facilitators of effective self-management in asthma: systematic review and thematic synthesis of patient and healthcare professional views. npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, in press.

Lakerveld J., Loyen A., Ling F.C.M., et al. (2017). Identifying and sharing data for secondary data analysis of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and their determinants across the life course in Europe: general principles and an example from DEDIPAC. BMJ Open, 7, e017489. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017489

McAlaney, J., Thackray, H. and Taylor, J. (2016). The social psychology of cybersecurity. The Psychologist, 29, 686-689.

McAlaney, J. et al. (2015). Personal and perceived peer use of and attitudes toward alcohol among university and college students in seven EU countries: Project SNIPE. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 76 (3), 430-437.

Nyman, S. R., Adamczewska, N., & Howlett, N. (2017). Systematic review of behaviour change techniques to promote participation in physical activity among people with dementia. British Journal of Health Psychology.

Nyman, S.R., Barker, A., Haines, T., Horton, K., Musselwhite, C.B.A., Peeters, G., Victor, C.R., & Wolff, J.K. (Eds.). (2018). The Palgrave Handbook of Ageing and Physical Activity Promotion. London: Palgrave Macmillan (pp.758).

Nyman, S. R., Innes, A., & Heward, M. (2017). Social care and support needs of community-dwelling people with dementia and concurrent visual impairment. Aging and Mental Health, 21 (9), 961-967.

Nyman, S. R., & Skelton, D. A. (2017). The case for Tai Chi in the repertoire of strategies to prevent falls among older people. Perspectives in Public Health137(2), 85-86.

O Ciardha, C., Attard-Johnson, J., & Bindemann, M. (in press). Latency-based and psychophysiological measures of sexual interest how convergent and concurrent validity. Archives of Sexual Behavior, accepted.

Pischke, C.R., McAlaney, J. et al. (2015). Normative misperceptions of tobacco use among university students in seven European countries: Baseline findings of the ‘Social Norms Intervention for the prevention of Polydrug usE’ study. Addictive Behaviors, 51, 158-164.

Puggina, A., Alekovska, K., […], Ling, F.C.M., […], & Boccia, S. (2017). Policy determinants of physical activity across the life course: a “Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity Choice” (DEDIPAC) umbrella systematic literature review. European Journal of Public Health.

Richardson, T., Bell, L., Bolderston, H., & Clarke, S. (2017). Development and evaluation of acceptance and commitment therapy delivered by psychologists and non-psychologuists in an NHS community adult mental health service: a preliminary analysis. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 11, 1-7.

Rooney, C., McKinley, M.C., Appleton, K.M., Young, I.S., McGrath, A.J., Draffin, C.R., Hamill, L.L., Woodside, J.V. (2017). HOw much is ‘5-a-day’?: A qualitative investigation into consumer understanding of fruit and vegetable intake guidelines. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 30, 105-113.

Salvagno, M., Taylor, J., Hutchings, M. and Bobeva, M. (2015). Ubiquitous connectivity and students’ well-being. Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, 8(3), 1-17.

Salvagno, M., Taylor, J., Bobeva, M. and Hutchings, M. (2015). The highs and lows of ubiquitous connectivity: Investigating University Students’ Experiences and Connections with Well-being. In: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies 6-8 July 2015 Barcelona. 919-927.

Taylor, J., and Hulme, J. (2015). Introducing a compendium of psychological literacy case studies: Reflections on psychological literacy in practice. Psychology Teaching Review, 21 (2), 25-34.

Taylor, J., McAlaney J., Muir, S., & Cole, T. (2017). Teaching sensitive issues in cyberpsychology. Psychology Teaching Review, 23(1).

Taylor J., Ollis, G., McAlaney, J., Hodge, S., & Thackray, H. (2017). Observations and reflections on teaching psychological principles and methods to cybersecurity students. In: National Conference for Learning and Teaching in Cyber Security 2017, 5 – 6 April 2017, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

Taylor, J., McAlaney, J., Hodge, S., Thackray, H., Richardson, C., James, S., & Dale, J. (2017). Teaching psychological principles to cybersecurity students. In: Educon 2017: IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, 25 – 28 April 2017, Athens, Greece.

Thackray, H., McAlaney J., Taylor J., Richardson, C., & Dogan, H. (2017). Surveying the hackers: the challenges of data collection from a secluded community. In: 16th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security, 29 – 30 June 2017, Dublin, Ireland.

Turner, K., Johnson, C., Thomas, K., Bolderston, H., McDougall, S. (2016). The impact of complications and errors on surgeons: Do surgeons need support – and, if so, what kind? Royal College of Surgeons The Bulletin,  98 (9), 404-407.

Tulloh, R.M.R., Garratt, V., Tagney, J., Turner-Cobb, J.M., Marques, E., Greenwood, R., Howard, L., Gin-Sing, W., Barton, A., Ewings, P., Craggs, P., & Hollingworth, W. (in press). A pilot randomised-controlled trials investigating the effect of a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention in individuals with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) – The PATHWAYS study. Pilot and Feasibility Studies. 

Turner-Cobb, J.M,. & Cheetham, T.J. (2016). Psychological factors tha influence children with immune related health conditions (Chapter 2). Invited chapter in Child and Adolescent Resilience in Medical Contexts: Integrating Research and Practice. DeMichelis, C., & Ferrari, M. (Eds.). Springer.

Turner-Cobb, J.M., & Cheetham, T.J. (in press). Developmental influences on health (Chapter XX). Invited chapter in The Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health, and Medicine (3rd ed.). Llewellyn, C., Ayers, S., McManus, C., Newman, S., Petrie, K., Revenson, T., & Weinman, J. (Eds). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.

Turner-Cobb, J.M., & Katsampouris, E. (in press). Stress (Chapter XX). Invited chapter in The Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health, and Medicine (3rd ed.). Llewellyn, C., Ayers, S., McManus, C., Newman, S., Petrie, K., Revenson, T., & Weinman, J. (Eds). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.

Turner-Cobb, J.M., & Hawken, T. (in press). Stress and coping assessment (Chapter XX). Invited chapter in The Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health, and Medicine (3rd ed.). Llewellyn, C., Ayers, S., McManus, C., Newman, S., Petrie, K., Revenson, T., & Weinman, J. (Eds). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.

Turner-Cobb, J.M., Smith, P.C., Ramchandani, P., Begen, F., and Padkin, A. (2016). The acute psychobiological impact of the intensive care experience on relatives. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 21 (1), 20-26. DOI: 10.1080/13548506.2014.997763 Open access:

Watson, S., Woodside, J.V., Ware, L.J., Hunter, S.J., McGrath, A., Cardwell, C.R., Appleton, K.M., Young, I.S., McKinley, M.C. (2015). Effect of a unique web-based behaviour change program on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese adults at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A randomised controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17 (7), e177.

Zhou, X., Perez-Cueto, F.J.A., Dos Santos, Q., Monteleone, E., Giboreau, A., Appleton, K.M., Bjørner, T., Bredie, W.L.P., & Hartwell, H. (2018). A systematic review of behavioural interventions promoting healthy eating among older people. Nutrients, 10, 128.


Our facilities include:

Eating Behaviours Unit

Sports Performance Laboratory

Dedicated facilities for qualitative research including user-friendly interview rooms and facilities for focus groups, and group based (n=10 max) interventions,

Dedicated facilities and technical support for online and technology-based interventions;

Access to EEG and tCDS laboratories, state-of-the-art our eye-tracking and Virtual Environments setups, and EEG & Eye-tracking co-registrations.


Katherine Appleton
Head of Research Centre

John McAlaney
Deputy Head of Research Centre


PhD students

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