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I am happy to supervise students across a range of areas in behavioural medicine. In particular, my interests are in developing and testing behavioural interventions orientated towards preventative medicine, but we have studies dealing with treatment of disease also. We have current projects related to smoking cessation and harm reduction and also a range of projects on weight management for people who are overweight. We have a PhD opportunity in a project related to GPs giving very brief interventions to motivate weight loss in primary care. If you are not sure, please email me.
My research focuses on behavioural medicine. This is the intergration of biological, psychological and sociological knowledge to prevent and treat disease and to aid rehabilitation.
My work focuses on helping people change their behaviour, either to prevent serious disease, or as a treatment for that disease.
A lot of my work has examined interventions to help people stop or reduce their smoking and lately I have worked in helping people manage their weight if they have become obese.
People often use several drugs to help them stop smoking but our research suggested that combining these drugs does not help more than taking only one of them. Our research has shown that people who stop smoking put on a considerable amount of weight and we are investigating the best ways to prevent this weight gain but without harming the chance of stopping smoking. One of our trials showed that people who were referred to commercial weight management providers lost more weight than people who tried to lose weight without support. However, people who went to their GP or practice nurse for support did no better than people trying without support. This result helped change government policy and local health organisations now contract with commercial weight providers.
I work with several other organisations to improve health and healthcare. I am president of the UK Society of Behavioural Medicine, a trustee of the Association for the Study of Obesity, a member of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. I am an editor of the journal Addiction. I have worked with NICE on smoking and I am an advisor to the Department of Health on obesity.