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Miss Athena Ip BSc, MSc

Postgraduate research student

Miss Athena Ip's photo

Athena Ip is a Postgraduate research student for Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Athena Ip a Postgraduate research student for Medicine at the University of Southampton passed her PhD Viva in March 2020. As of 1 April 2020 Athena has taken up the role of Research Fellow in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Surrey. She will be contributing to the fields of cancer care, long-term conditions and digital health.

Athena gained her undergraduate degree in Psychology and later completed an MSc in Health Psychology at the University College London. Her Masters thesis involved a 3-arm quasi-experimental design testing the effectiveness of a positive psychology technique for its effects on wellbeing, self-efficacy, health behaviours, health values, beliefs about medicine and stress.

After qualifying, she started working in the Behavioural Science Team at Public Health England. During this time she conducted a scoping review on the trends in theory use across the behavioural science literature and research on emergencies and outbreaks. She also conducted qualitative interviews with individuals who were deployed to West Africa during the Ebola crisis.

Her interests are interdisciplinary with a particular focus on behavioural interventions aimed at improving health and wellbeing.



BSc (Hons), Psychology, Bath Spa University (2014)

MSc, Health Psychology, University College London (2015)

Athena currently has a PhD studentship from the NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) exploring people’s views and experiences of acne vulgaris and its related treatments.

Research interests

Acne vulgaris is common skin condition that predominately affects young adolescents and has the potential for substantial physical and psychological impact. Mild to moderate acne is typically treated in primary care using first and second line treatments such as topical preparations, yet non-adherence to these are a major problem. Reasons for non-adherence include the need for continuous treatment for up to 8 weeks before onset of action and side effects including skin irritation. It is likely that many patients resort to third line treatment, chiefly tetracycline antibiotics, due to non-adherence to topical treatments. This is a concern because of the rising levels of antibiotic resistance.

My PhD aims to understand people’s views and experiences of acne and its related treatments (namely topical preparations) and ultimately develop a digital intervention to support self-care among young adolescents with acne. The intervention will be informed by findings from a systematic review and synthesis of qualitative data and qualitative interviews with young adolescents following the person based approach to intervention development. A series of think aloud interviews will be conducted to modify the intervention, making it more appropriate to the user. Finally a feasibility trial will be conducted to inform a fully powered trial after the PhD.

Research group

Primary Care Research Centre

Affiliate research group

Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education

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Miss Athena Ip
Primary Care and Population Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
University of Southampton
Aldermoor Health Centre
Aldermoor Close
Southampton SO16 5ST
T: 023 8059 1779
F: 023 8070 1125

Room Number: 9590 AHC/140/S2

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