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Katherine Swainston

01642 738013
Job title:
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law
Social Sciences, Humanities & Law research

About Katherine Swainston

Dr Katherine Swainston is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the School of Social Sciences, Business & Law. She is a Chartered Psychologist, a Health Psychologist (HCPC Registered) and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Katherine is a full member of the British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology and a founding member of the Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section. She is a registered applied psychology practice supervisor and a Fellow of the HEA.

Katherine was awarded a BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology from the University of Durham followed by an MSc in Health Psychology. She subsequently obtained a British Psychological Society Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology and a PhD which adopted a hermeneutic phenomenological approach and adapted life grid method to explore women’s experiences of breast cancer throughout the healthcare trajectory. 

Katherine is currently co-director of the MSc Health Psychology programme and leads the modules ‘Health Psychology in Action’ and ‘Psychological Research Design & Analysis’. She supervises undergraduate and postgraduate research across a variety of psychological disciplines. Katherine is a member of the School of Social Sciences, Business & Law Research Ethics Committee and Learning & Teaching Committee.

Research interests

Katherine is a researcher within the Social Futures Institute at Teesside University. She is the editor of Health Psychology Update and a regular peer reviewer for numerous health and social sciences journals.

Katherine has experience in conducting service evaluation and has led projects within the National Health Service in the areas of breast cancer, cardiothoracics and chronic pain management. She has worked in collaboration with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence leading a series of systematic rapid reviews evaluating the effectiveness of community engagement methods/approaches in primary health promotion. 

Katherine is currently Chief Investigator and grant holder for a feasibility study exploring the utility of autobiographical accounts in promoting shared treatment decision-making in the context of breast cancer. This project is in collaboration with the University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Breast Care Unit. Other funded projects underway include an evaluation of the Bradford Speakeasy Programme and an investigation of the risk factors for melanoma.

Katherine is currently supervising full and part-time PhD students and welcomes applications from PhD candidates in the following broad areas:

· Psychosocial aspects of breast cancer
· Treatment decision-making
· Chronic illness
· Stress and coping
· Public health
· Behaviour change


Recent Publications/Conferences
Dismore, L., van Wersch, A. & Swainston, K. (2014; In press). Social constructions of the male contraceptive pill: When are we going to break the vicious circle? Journal of Health Psychology.

Swainston, K. & van Wersch, A. (2014). ‘Women’s experiences of treatment decision-making in breast cancer’. Paludi, M.A. (ed.). Praegar Handbook of Women’s Cancers: Personal and Psychosocial Insights: Praegar.

Clegg, J. & Swainston, K. (September 2014). An exploration of the use of guided imagery and the meaning of Quality of Life to individuals with Motor Neurone Disease and their carers. British Psychological Society North East Branch Annual Conference.

Turnbull, T., van Schaik, P., Swainston, K. & van Wersch, A. (September 2014). Sexual knowledge, contraception and accessing contraceptive methods among British University students. Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference.
Swainston, K., Campbell, C., van Wersch, A. & Durning, P. (2012). Treatment decision-making in breast cancer: A longitudinal exploration of women’s experiences. British Journal of Health Psychology, 17: 155-170.

View Katherine Swainston's Publications on TeesRep