The role of the human cathelicidin LL-37 in rhinovirus infection
The PhD project which I am undertaking is focused on understanding the role of cathelicidins during respiratory viral infections. Cathel...
Dr Filipa Henderson Sousa | Director of Studies: Prof Peter Barlow | Second Supervisor: Dr Craig Stevens
Sources and survival of listeria monocytogenes on fresh, leafy produce
Listeria monocytogenes is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium which has the potential to cause serious illness and even death aft...
Alva Smith | Director of Studies: Prof Ian Singleton | Second Supervisor: Dr Clare Taylor
Evaluating the long-term effectiveness of ALBA: An intervention designed to increase physical activity levels of people with mental and/or physical health conditions, leading to improved mental and physical health
Introduction: Physical activity (PA) is beneficial for improving both physical and mental health. However, people with mental health conditions are more likely to be inactive. In order to encourage adherence to PA, the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) developed the Active Living Becomes Achievable (ALBA) intervention, which aimed to help people with poor physical and/or mental health to increase and maintain their PA levels. The main aim of this thesis was to evaluate the effectiveness of the ALBA intervention at increasing PA levels, improving mental wellbeing, self-efficacy for exercise, self-esteem and patient activation.
Method: A mixed method approach was adopted for evaluating the ALBA intervention, which formed the basis of four studies:
Study 1: a formative investigation, in the form of a systematic review was conducted to assess the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural interventions at increasing adherence to PA in mental health populations.
Study 2: a qualitative process evaluation, using focus groups with participants. Barriers and facilitators to adhering to the intervention were identified using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF).
Study 3: a qualitative process evaluation using focus groups with the Behaviour Change Practitioners (BCP) who delivered the ALBA intervention. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes, which were then mapped onto the TDF, to identify the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the intervention.
Study 4: A quantitative outcome evaluation, with a before and after design was carried out to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. Participants completed 5 outcome measures and wore an activity tracker for 16 weeks. Participants who opted into the long-term study were monitored for up to 12-months.
Results: The outcome evaluation revealed that 53% of the participants adhered to the intervention, however, the intervention did not appear to increase adherence to PA guidelines. The ALBA intervention had a significant positive impact on mental wellbeing, patient activation and self-efficacy, but not self-esteem. The qualitative evaluation suggested the intervention helped participants overcome the barriers they faced which prevented them from becoming active. There was a particular focus on role the BCP’s played in encouraging engagement in PA. The barriers to the delivery faced by the BCP’s mainly related to organisational and contextual factors.
Conclusions: The ALBA intervention was effective at improving mental wellbeing but did not have a significant effect on PA levels. This suggests that the additional support offered through the ALBA intervention was key to improving wellbeing and encouraging PA in mental health population should be considered in a wider context of recovery.
Nicola Peddie | Director of Studies: Dr Tony Westbury | Second Supervisor: Prof Austyn Snowden
Investigating the impact of a spinal mobilisation intervention in people with multiple sclerosis
The aim of the project is to investigate the impact of spinal mobilisation therapy in MS patients, objec...
Rebecca Hamilton | Director of Studies: Dr Susan Brown | Second Supervisor: Dr Claire Garden
Design, synthesis and evaluation of novel and clinically used anti-cancer agents targeted intracellularly
The majority of clinically used anticancer drugs suffer from poor selectivity for tumour cells ...
Omar Mohammed | Director of Studies: Dr David Mincher | Second Supervisor: Agnes Turnbull
The dynamics of police legitimacy and social media in Scotland
The primary aim of my thesis is to better understand police and citizen communication via social media in Scotland. This research is impor...
Liam Ralph | Director of Studies: Dr Elizabeth Aston | Second Supervisor: Prof Richard Whitecross
The Dark Triad: examining judgement accuracy, the role of vulnerability, and linguistic style in interpersonal perception
With an interest in psychopathology and individual differences, my current work...
Kai Li Chung | Director of Studies: Dr Kathy Charles | Second Supervisor: Dr Calum Neill
Investigating the performance and underlying mechanisms of a novel screening measure for developmental dyslexia: implications for early identification
This PhD focuses on the sensorimotor theory of dev...
Dr Barbara Piotrowska | Director of Studies: Dr Jennifer Murray | Second Supervisor: Dr Rory MacLean
Fatigue and the mind-body relation: A Lacanian exploration
This PhD project aims to explore the role of discourse in the formation and manifestation of symptoms related to the condition Chronic Fatigue...
Amanda Diserholt | Director of Studies: Dr Calum Neill | Second Supervisor: Adele Dickson
The role of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA-A) receptor and cation chloride co-transporters (CCCs) as possible neuroprotective targets in stroke
This doctoral research project is concerned with th...
Miguel Ángel Stanislas Martín-Aragón Baudel | Director of Studies: Dr Amy Poole | Second Supervisor: Dr Jenny Fraser