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The University of Southampton

Research Group: Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP)

Currently Active: 

The purpose of CCCAHP is to promote the application of psychology to alleviate health problems in clinical and non-clinical populations. Members of the group work in the fields of sexual health (Graham, Ingham, Stone), pain (Liossi, Schoth, Bradbury), placebo (Bishop, Bradbur), behavioural management of infection (Yardley) and chronic conditions (Yardley, Kirby, Dennison, Morrison). CCCAHP members have particular expertise and a leading national and international reputation in the development and evaluation of digital health-related behaviour change interventions for promoting health (e.g. through diet and physical activity) and illness management (e.g. for cancer, pain, diabetes and many other conditions).

Research Priorities

Currently our research focuses on:

  • basic research to establish the mechanisms underlying psychological aspects of health and health problems and their effective measurement and management
  • translational research testing the efficacy and effectiveness of theory-based psychological interventions and psychological aspects of medical and public health interventions
  • development and evaluation of innovative methods of studying, measuring, promoting and managing health at individual and community levels
  • provision of psychological services to advise on and/or assist with health promotion or the management of health problems at both individual and community levels
  • education and training for health professionals and psychologists in the use of psychological interventions.
Research Themes

Web-based interventions

CCCAHP has a large programme of research (over £15 million) developing and evaluating web-based behavioural interventions to improve health. These include websites to:

  • help people self-manage a range of health conditions, including sexually transmitted infections, hypertension, cancer-related fatigue, disability following stroke, dizziness, irritable bowel syndrome, flu-related symptoms and infections, and eczema
  • support people to lose weight, stop smoking, practice hand hygiene and increase their physical activity

Understanding Pain

Research on pain focuses mainly on three intertwined themes:

  • the cognitive and affective neuroscience of pain – in particular, the emotional modulation of attention in chronic pain.
  • the development of theory-driven psychological interventions for the management of acute and chronic pain in children and adults.
  • the evaluation of the efficacy and effectiveness of psychological interventions in paediatric and adult pain management.
Sexual and Reproductive Health

For more information visit Centre for Sexual Health Research page

Current research on sexual and reproductive health focuses on these areas:

  • sexually transmitted infections
  • condom use errors and problems
  • sexual problems
  • female sexual arousal and desire
  • young people’s sexual activity, including teenage pregnancy
  • the role of pleasure in sexual development
  • challenges associated with increases in pornography access
  • factors affecting conception outcome decisions

Understanding patient experiences

Research on the patient perspective and contextual effects of health care interventions includes:

  • patients’ experiences, uptake and adherence to treatment, enhancing treatment outcomes through psychological pathways
  • the use of placebos in clinical trials and clinical practice

Facilities and Equipment

The Department’s Research in pain focuses on three intertwined themes a) the cognitive and affective neuroscience of pain, b) the development of theory-driven psychological interventions for the management of acute and chronic pain in children, c) the evaluation of the efficacy and effectiveness of psychological interventions in paediatric pain management. The Pain Research Laboratory is equipped with state of the art equipment for Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) including TSA-II Neurosensory Analyser, a precise computer controlled device capable of generating and documenting response to highly repeatable thermal stimuli, cold pressure pain test equipment and others.


Members of our research group have received funding over £50 million from the UK research councils, NIHR, medical charities, Norwegian Research Council, and EC.

Collaboration and Partnership

CCCAHP collaborate with researchers from many countries and across a range of disciplines, including medicine, public health, computer science, sociology, and health sciences. Current collaborators include researchers from: UCL, University of Oxford, Coventry University, Harvard University, Indiana University, University of Oslo, University of Athens, University of Sussex.

Impact - brief description of pathways to impact

The digital interventions developed by CCCAHP are made available nationally and internationally to help patients, clinicians and members of the community manage their health. Our university enterprise works with the public, private and third sectors, and has already disseminated interventions to help with antimicrobial stewardship, obesity, respiratory illness, and dizziness.

CCCAHP also informs public health policy, clinical practice and educational initiatives. For example, members of CCCAHP have participated in clinical and education practice guidelines, including Parliamentary Select Committees and giving guidance to WHO and NICE.

Permanent CCCAHP members:

Lucy Yardley
Christina Liossi (Co-Director)
Cynthia Graham (Co-Director)
Felicity Bishop
Sarah Kirby
Laura Dennison
Leanne Morrison
Daniel Schoth
Roger Ingham
Nicole Stone
Kat Bradbury

List of related projects to Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP)
Related ProjectsStatus
Germ DefenceActive
Sexual health service provisioningActive
Brain development studyActive
PARADISE (Psychosocial Difficulties Relevant to Brain Disorders in Europe)Active
Barriers to effective self-management of asthma: A systematic reviewActive
Mechanisms in Orthodox and Complementary Alternative Medicine Management of Back Pain (MOCAM study)Active
Improving communication with the public about antivirals and vaccination during the next pandemic (INfluENCE)Active
Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of an Online Dizziness Intervention for Older adultsActive
Sexual wellbeing, functioning, arousal and pleasureActive
Cost-effectiveness of self-management of dizziness in primary careActive
Development and evaluation of an interactive, internet-based smoking cessation interventionActive
Contraceptive utilisation, condom use and STI prevention Active
Positive Online Weight Reduction (POWeR)Active
Diabetes LiteracyActive
Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in primary careActive
PRimary care Infection Management for Everday practice (PRIME)Active
Sexuality education and sexual health literacyActive
Psychosocial stress and multiple sclerosis (MS) symptomsActive
Model disability surveyActive
Sexual health promotion and policy Active
Early parenthood and teenage pregnancyActive
Placebo effects and informed consentActive
The role of acceptance in adjustment to Meniere's diseaseActive
Safe passages to adulthoodDormant
Opportunities and choicesDormant
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