Staff within the Department of Psychology have a wide range of specialist expertise and knowledge. We work together in a number of research groups through which we support the work of both staff and students in the Department. In addition, we are able to offer a range of services on a consultancy basis. If you would like to discuss collaboration or consultancy with us, please do get in touch. Our research groups play an important role in the Department of Psychology. The groups meet regularly throughout the academic year and provide opportunities for members to discuss their current research, ideas for new research projects, or simply to discuss an interesting journal article or conference presentation they've seen. They also provide an important support structure for junior researchers, including MPhil and PhD students.

Recent Submissions

  • From Physical to Virtual: Reflections on the Move from the Lecture Hall to the Digital Classroom

    Lafferty, Moira E.; Roberts, Emma; University of Chester; Aberystwyth University
    This chapter describes our reflections on the lived experiences during the rapid pivot to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) in March 2020. Drawing on the narratives of academics from two disciplines – Law and Psychology, we focus on the Continuing Professional Learning and Development (CPLD) offered in the immediate aftermath of the initial UK lockdown. We further describe the support available to staff as they scaffolded and supported students through the transition to online learning. Such students, although accustomed social digital users, were less skilled in digital learning, having chosen to study in-person within a physical campus-based institution. We conclude by making recommendations for sustainable training and development as we move towards the implementation of a blended learning experience for campus learners.
  • Life-long learning: life beyond the training

    Lafferty, Moira E.; Tod, David; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores
    If education can be described as “the kindling of a flame not the filling of a vessel” (Plutarch, nd), attainment of a formal sport psychology practice qualification and Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration should represent the point at which the kindling fire is fully ignited and kept alight through lifelong learning. The following chapter discusses the applied Sport Psychologist’s lifelong learning journey describing the inter-related areas of Continued Professional Development and education. Through the framework of Kneebone (2020) the journey to expert practitioner is examined and personal stories from practitioners are used to explore stages in their lifelong learning and create guidelines for sport psychologists.
  • The British Psychological Society Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (Stage 2)

    Eubank, Martin; Lafferty, Moira E.; Breslin, Gavin; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester; Ulster University
    This chapter discusses the British Psychological Society’s Stage 2 Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology. The first section of the chapter outlines the purpose, aims and requirements of the qualification. This includes details of the entry requirements for the qualification, a summary of the four key qualification competencies that trainees are expected to develop, and how the qualification provides a professional training route to Chartered Psychologist and Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologists status. The second section of the chapter outlines the qualification enrolment process, and discusses the importance and role of supervision, with tips about how to find the right supervisor and maximise the benefits of supervision. The third section of the chapter discusses the qualification assessment process and the methods used to assess trainee competency. The chapter is supported throughout by reflections from trainees, supervisors and assessors on the qualification, who share their experience of the process and provide top tips for future trainees looking to undertake the qualification to become appropriately qualified to work as a Sport and Exercise Psychologist.
  • “It’s not just a man’s world” – Helping female sport psychologists to thrive not just survive. Lessons for supervisors, trainees, practitioners and mentors.

    Lafferty, Moira E; Coyle, Melissa; Prince, Hannah R.; Szabadics, Adrienn; University of Chester; Plymouth Marjon University; Glasgow Caledonian University; Buckingham New University (The British Psychological Society, 2022-09-01)
    In the following article we present composite narratives of female sport and exercise psychologist’s (SEPs) reflections of working as practitioners in situations where they have faced sexism and a culture of toxic masculinity. We discuss the impact both professionally and personally of these experiences and look at what lessons can be learned from the sharing of these narratives. We conclude by offering our thoughts on how these negative shared experiences can be used in a positive way to inform culture change, educate supervisors of the challenges and be woven into supervision so female practitioners feel empowered and supported.
  • Who goes where in couples and pairs? Effects of sex and handedness on side preferences in human dyads

    Rodway, Paul; Schepman, Astrid; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2022-06-21)
    There is increasing evidence that inter-individual interaction among conspecifics can cause population-level lateralization. Male-female and mother-infant dyads of several non-human species show lateralised position preferences, but such preferences have rarely been examined in humans. We observed 430 male-female human pairs and found a significant bias for males to walk on the right side of the pair. A survey measured side preferences in 93 left-handed and 92 right-handed women, and 96 left-handed and 99 right-handed men. When walking, and when sitting on a bench, males showed a significant side preference determined by their handedness, with left-handed men preferring to be on their partner’s left side and right-handed men preferring to be on their partner’s right side. Women did not show significant side preferences. When men are with their partner they show a preference for the side that facilitates the use of their dominant hand. We discuss possible reasons for the side preference, including males preferring to occupy the optimal ‘fight ready’ side, and the influence of sex and handedness on the strength and direction of emotion lateralization.
  • The effects of sex and handedness on masturbation laterality and other lateralised motor behaviours

    Rodway, Paul; Thoma, Volker; Schepman, Astrid; University of Chester; University of East London (Taylor and Francis, 2021-11-26)
    Masturbation is a common human behaviour. Compared to other unimanual behaviours it has unique properties, including increased sexual and emotional arousal, and privacy. Self-reported hand preference for masturbation was examined in 104 left-handed and 103 right-handed women, and 100 left-handed and 99 right-handed men. Handedness (modified Edinburgh Handedness Inventory, EHI), footedness, eyedness, and cheek kissing preferences were also measured. Seventy nine percent used their dominant hand (always/usually) for masturbation, but left-handers (71.5%) were less consistently lateralised to use their dominant hand than right-handers (86.5%). Hand preference for masturbation correlated more strongly with handedness (EHI), than with footedness, eyedness, or cheek preference. There was no difference in masturbation frequency between left and right-handers, but men masturbated more frequently than women, and more women (75%) than men (33%) masturbated with sex aids. For kissing the preferred cheek of an emotionally close person from the viewer’s perspective, left-handers showed a left-cheek preference, and right-handers a weaker right-cheek preference. The results suggest that hemispheric asymmetries in emotion do not influence hand preference for masturbation but may promote a leftward shift in cheek kissing. In all, masturbation is lateralised in a similar way to other manual motor behaviours in left-handed and right-handed men and women.
  • The General Attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence Scale (GAAIS): Confirmatory Validation and Associations with Personality, Corporate Distrust, and General Trust

    Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2022-06-14)
    Acceptance of Artificial Intelligence may be predicted by individual psychological correlates, examined here. Study 1 reports confirmatory validation of the General Attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence Scale (GAAIS) following initial validation elsewhere. Confirmatory Factor Analysis confirmed the two-factor structure (Positive, Negative) and showed good convergent and divergent validity with a related scale. Study 2 tested whether psychological factors (Big Five personality traits, corporate distrust, and general trust) predicted attitudes towards AI. Introverts had more positive attitudes towards AI overall, likely because of algorithm appreciation. Conscientiousness and agreeableness were associated with forgiving attitudes towards negative aspects of AI. Higher corporate distrust led to negative attitudes towards AI overall, while higher general trust led to positive views of the benefits of AI. The dissociation between general trust and corporate distrust may reflect the public’s attributions of the benefits and drawbacks of AI. Results are discussed in relation to theory and prior findings.
  • “The Fruit of Consultation” – Co-production as a solution to the challenges of safeguarding children and young people in International Christian work, findings from an online survey.

    Oakley, Lisa; Lafferty, Moira; McFarlane, Leigh; Thirtyone:eight; University of Chester (Wiley, 2022-06-15)
    Incidents of child abuse such as the Oxfam case in 2010 of sexual abuse of children by volunteers’ and cases of abuse in orphanages by high risk overseas volunteers have highlighted the need for the development of effective safeguarding in the international context. This is of equal importance for faith-based organisations (FBOs) who, like non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are obligated to create safe spaces for their beneficiaries. This paper reports the findings from an online survey conducted in 2019, which was completed by 72 participants, 39 were representatives from organisations based in the UK which support individuals to engage in International Christian Work (ICW), 33 were individuals who are or have been engaged in ICW in the last three years. The online survey collected qualitative data, which was analysed using reflexive thematic analysis whilst descriptive analytical techniques were employed on the quantitative data. The findings illustrate commitment to safeguarding children and young people in ICW but also the complexities, challenges, and tensions around this. The necessity to work collaboratively with local contexts and co-production was identified as key to developing effective safeguarding practice. These findings have implications beyond faith-based organisations to others working in the international context.
  • Web-based psychological interventions for people living with and beyond cancer: A meta-review of what works and what doesn’t for maximising recruitment, engagement, and efficacy

    Leslie, Monica; Beatty, Lisa; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Pendrous, Rosina; Cartwright, Tim; Jackson, Richard; The Finding My Way UK Trial Steering Group; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J; Edge Hill University; University of Chester; Flinders University; University of Liverpool (JMIR, 2022-07-08)
    Background: Despite high levels of psychological distress experienced by many patients with cancer, previous research has identified several barriers to accessing traditional face-to-face psychological support. In response, web-based psychosocial interventions have emerged as a promising alternative. Objective: This meta-review aimed to synthesise evidence on: (1) recruitment challenges and enablers; (2) factors that promote engagement and adherence to web-based intervention content; and (3) factors that promote the efficacy of web-based psychosocial interventions for cancer patients and survivors. Methods: We conducted a systematic search for previous reviews which have investigated the recruitment, engagement, and efficacy of online and app-based psychosocial interventions in adult cancer populations. We searched PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library database for relevant literature. Search terms focussed on a combination of topics pertaining to neoplasms and telemedicine. Two independent authors conducted abstract screening, full-text screening, and data extraction for each identified article. Results: Twenty articles met eligibility criteria. There was inconsistency in the reporting of uptake and engagement data; however, anxiety around technology and perceived time burden were identified as two key barriers. Online psychosocial oncology interventions demonstrated efficacy in reducing depression and stress but reported weak to mixed findings for distress, anxiety, quality of life, and wellbeing. While no factors consistently moderated intervention efficacy, preliminary evidence indicated that multi-component interventions and greater communication with a healthcare professional were preferred by participants and associated with superior effects. Conclusions: Several consistently cited barriers to intervention uptake and recruitment emerged, which we recommend future intervention studies address. Preliminary evidence also supports the superior efficacy of multi-component interventions and interventions which facilitate communication with a healthcare professional. However, a greater number of appropriately powered clinical trials, including randomised trials with head-to-head comparisons, are needed to enable more confident conclusions around which online psychosocial oncology interventions work best and for whom.
  • Suicide rates amongst individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds: A systematic review and meta-analysis

    Troya, M. Isabela; Spittal, Matthew, J; Pendrous, Rosina; Crowley, Grace; Gorton, Hayley, C; Russell, Kirsten; Byrne, Sadhbh; Musgrove, Rebecca; Hannah-Swain, Stephanie; Kapur, Navneet; et al. (Elsevier, 2022-04-28)
    Background Existing evidence suggests that some individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds are at increased risk of suicide compared to their majority ethnic counterparts, whereas others are at decreased risk. We aimed to estimate the absolute and relative risk of suicide in individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds globally. Methods Databases (Medline, Embase, and PsycInfo) were searched for epidemiological studies between 01/01/2000 and 3/07/2020, which provided data on absolute and relative rates of suicide amongst ethnic minority groups. Studies reporting on clinical or specific populations were excluded. Pairs of reviewers independently screened titles, abstracts, and full texts. We used random effects meta-analysis to estimate overall, sex, location, migrant status, and ancestral origin, stratified pooled estimates for absolute and rate ratios. PROSPERO registration: CRD42020197940. Findings A total of 128 studies were included with 6,026,103 suicide deaths in individuals from an ethnic minority background across 31 countries. Using data from 42 moderate-high quality studies, we estimated a pooled suicide rate of 12·1 per 100,000 (95% CIs 8·4–17·6) in people from ethnic minority backgrounds with a broad range of estimates (1·2–139·7 per 100,000). There was weak statistical evidence from 51 moderate-high quality studies that individuals from ethnic minority groups were more likely to die by suicide (RR 1·3 95% CIs 0·9–1·7) with again a broad range amongst studies (RR 0·2–18·5). In our sub-group analysis we only found evidence of elevated risk for indigenous populations (RR: 2·8 95% CIs 1·9–4·0; pooled rate: 23·2 per 100,000 95% CIs 14·7–36·6). There was very substantial heterogeneity (I2 > 98%) between studies for all pooled estimates. Interpretation The homogeneous grouping of individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds is inappropriate. To support suicide prevention in marginalised groups, further exploration of important contextual differences in risk is required. It is possible that some ethnic minority groups (for example those from indigenous backgrounds) have higher rates of suicide than majority populations.
  • Appraisal Self-respect: Scale Validation and Construct Implications

    Clucas, Claudine; Corr, Philip; Wilkinson, Heather; Schepman, Astrid; University of Chester; University of London (Springer, 2022-04-26)
    Despite the widely accepted recognition of the notion of self-respect and its importance for emotional well-being, it has received scant attention in the psychological literature. We report on the development and validation of a scale to measure trait (character-based) appraisal self-respect (ASR), conceptualised as a disposition to perceive or appraise oneself as being a respectworthy honourable person. We tested the factor structure, reliability, convergent, discriminant and criterion validity of the ASR scale in samples of adult individuals (combined N = 1910 across samples). The resulting ASR scale was found to be essentially unidimensional and showed good internal and acceptable test-retest reliability. Trait ASR was correlated with (yet distinct from) theoretically related measures of global self-esteem, moral self and principledness, and was distinct from other self-esteem facets not based on honourable character traits. Importantly, it related to well-being and prosocial behaviour over-and-above self-esteem. The validation work served to consolidate the theoretical boundaries and utility of this important concept.
  • Who are we protecting? Exploring counsellors' understanding and experience of boundaries

    Blundell, Peter; Oakley, Lisa; Kinmond, Kathryn; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester; Staffordshire University (European Journal of Qualitative Research in Psychotherapy, 2022-04-07)
    The concept of boundary is a term often used within counselling and psychotherapy literature. However, there is a paucity of research exploring how useful and meaningful boundaries are for therapy practice. This study explored how counsellors understand and experience boundaries within their counselling practice. Seven participants, who were all qualified and practising counsellors, were interviewed about their understanding and experience of boundaries. These interviews were transcribed and then analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Analysis identified one significant overarching theme entitled “Protection and Safety” which distinguished between the protection of self and other. This paper focuses solely on the Protection of Self theme because of the theme’s rich and vivid data and the theme’s overarching dominance across the accounts. Two subthemes were identified: Establishing the Self and Defending the Self. Findings indicate that there was a lack of awareness around boundaries, with some participants describing defensive responses to some boundary issues. However, participants also described using boundaries to restrict, limit and defend themselves when working with clients, and they identified this as necessary for their own safety and security. This study recommends that therapists should engage reflexively with boundaries, towards developing a more relational and/or client-focused approach.
  • Enhancing community weight loss groups in a low socioeconomic status area: Application of the COM-B model and Behaviour Change Wheel

    Coupe, Nia; Cotterill, Sarah; Peters, Sarah; University of Chester; Lancaster University; University of Manchester (Wiley Open Access, 2021-08-04)
    Background Obesity rates are higher among people of lower socioeconomic status. While numerous health behaviour interventions targeting obesity exist, they are more successful at engaging higher socioeconomic status populations, leaving those in less affluent circumstances with poorer outcomes. This highlights a need for more tailored interventions. The aim of this study was to enhance an existing weight loss course for adults living in low socioeconomic communities. Methods The Behaviour Change Wheel approach was followed to design an add-on intervention to an existing local authority-run weight loss group, informed by mixed-methods research and stakeholder engagement. Results The COM-B analysis of qualitative data revealed that changes were required to psychological capability, physical and social opportunity and reflective motivation to enable dietary goal-setting behaviours. The resulting SMART-C booklet included 6 weeks of dietary goal setting, with weekly behavioural contract and review. Conclusion This paper details the development of the theory- and evidence-informed SMART-C intervention. This is the first report of the Behaviour Change Wheel being used to design an add-on tool to enhance existing weight loss services. The process benefitted from a further checking stage with stakeholders.
  • An International Validation of the Bolton Unistride Scale (BUSS) of Tenacity

    Kannangara, Chathurika; Allen, Rosie; Hochard, Kevin; Carson, Jerome; University of Bolton; University of Chester (Public Library of Science, 2022-03-11)
    Academic success at University is increasingly believed to be a combination of personal characteristics like grit, resilience, strength-use, self-control, mind-set and wellbeing. The authors have developed a short 12-item measure of academic tenacity, the Bolton Uni-Stride Scale (BUSS) which incorporates these elements. Previous work in the UK had established the reliability and validity of the BUSS. The present paper reports the findings of an International validation of BUSS across 30 countries (n = 1043). Participants completed the BUSS alongside other recognised scales. Factor analysis revealed an almost identical two-factor solution to previous work and the reliability and validity of the scale were supported using an international sample. The authors recommend however that the scale be used as a single score combining all 12 items. In the light of this, the authors suggest that the BUSS will be a useful measure to incorporate in studies of academic attainment.
  • Understanding Inequality: The Experiences and Perceptions of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion of those Working or Studying within Sport and Exercise Psychology

    Morris, Robert; Pattinson, Emily; Lafferty, Moira; Brown, Daniel; Emeka, Lloyd; Williams, Jodine; Byrne, Louise; Shanmuganathan-Felton, Vaithehy; Kiemle-Gabbay, Laura; University of Stirling; Newcastle University; University of Chester; University of Portsmouth; St. Mary's University; Watford FC CSE; LB Performance Psychology; University of Roehampton; Liverpool John Moores University
    Discrimination and inequality are ever present in today’s society, with athletes facing racial abuse and LGBTQ+ individuals fearing for their safety at international events. Due to these additional stressors, the role of sport psychologists becomes increasingly important when supporting athletes from minority groups. An online questionnaire was developed to gain greater understanding of the equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) knowledge, perceptions, and experiences of those working, studying or researching in the field of sport and exercise psychology. The findings of the current study highlight the ongoing experiences of sexism, racism, homo/transphobia, and ableism experienced by participants, as well as the need for more suitable, in-depth training around ED&I subjects and guidance on meaningful action to combat inequality and discrimination in the field. The involvement of individuals from minority groups in the development, delivery and evaluation of training and research is necessary to move towards true inclusion.
  • Situational factors shape moral judgments in the trolley dilemma in Eastern, Southern, and Western countries in a culturally diverse sample

    Bago, Bence; Kovacs, Marton; Protzko, John; Nagy, Tamas; Kekecs, Zoltan; Palfi, Bence; Adamkovič, Matúš; Adamus, Sylwia; Albalooshi, Sumaya; Albayrak-Aydemir, Nihan; et al. (Nature Research, 2022-04-14)
    The study of moral judgements often centers on moral dilemmas in which options consistent with deontological perspectives (i.e., emphasizing rules, individual rights, and duties) are in conflict with options consistent with utilitarian judgements (i.e., following the greater good based on consequences). Greene et al. (2009) showed that psychological and situational factors (e.g., the intent of the agent or the presence of physical contact between the agent and the victim) can play an important role in moral dilemma judgements (e.g., trolley problem). Our knowledge is limited concerning both the universality of these effects outside the United States and the impact of culture on the situational and psychological factors of moral judgements. Thus, we empirically tested the universality of the effects of intent and personal force on moral dilemma judgements by replicating the experiments of Greene et al. in 45 countries from all inhabited continents. We found that personal force and its interaction with intention, exert influence on moral judgements in the US and Western cultural clusters, replicating and expanding the original findings. Moreover, the personal force effect was present in all cultural clusters, suggesting it is culturally universal. The evidence for the cultural universality of the interaction effect was inconclusive in the Eastern and Southern cultural clusters (depending on exclusion criteria). We found no strong association between collectivism/individualism and moral dilemma judgements.
  • Reforms to improve reproducibility and quality must be coordinated across the research ecosystem: The view from the UKRN Local Network Leads

    Stewart, Suzanne L. K.; Pennington, Charlotte R.; da Silva, Goncalo R.; Ballou, Nick; Butler, Jessica; Dienes, Zoltan; Jay, Caroline; Rossit, Stephanie; Samara, Anna; University of Chester; Aston University; Queen’s University Belfast; Queen Mary University of London; University of Aberdeen; University of Sussex; University of Manchester; University of East Anglia; University of Greenwich (BMC, 2022-02-15)
    Many disciplines are facing a “reproducibility crisis”, which has precipitated much discussion about how to improve research integrity, reproducibility, and transparency. A unified effort across all sectors, levels, and stages of the research ecosystem is needed to coordinate goals and reforms that focus on open and transparent research practices. Promoting a more positive incentive culture for all ecosystem members is also paramount. In this commentary, we - the Local Network Leads of the UK Reproducibility Network - outline our response to the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry on research integrity and reproducibility. We argue that coordinated change is needed to create (1) a positive research culture, (2) a unified stance on improving research quality, (3) common foundations for open and transparent research practice, and (4) the routinisation of this practice. For each of these areas, we outline the roles that individuals, institutions, funders, publishers, and Government can play in shaping the research ecosystem. Working together, these constituent members must also partner with sectoral and coordinating organisations to produce effective and long-lasting reforms that are fit-for-purpose and future-proof. These efforts will strengthen research quality and create research capable of generating far-reaching applications with a sustained impact on society.
  • A Community-Sourced Glossary of Open Scholarship Terms

    Parsons, Sam; Azevedo, Flavio; Elsherif, Mahmoud M.; Guay, Samuel; Shahim, Owen N.; Govaart, Gisela H.; Norris, Emma; O'Mahony, Aoife; Parker, Adam J.; Todorovic, Ana; et al. (Nature Research, 2022-02-21)
    Open scholarship has transformed research, introducing a host of new terms in the lexicon of researchers. The Framework of Open and Reproducible Research Teaching (FORRT) community presents a crowdsourced glossary of open scholarship terms to facilitate education and effective communication between experts and newcomers.
  • Mirror self-recognition in gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): A review and evaluation of mark test replications and variants

    Murray, Lindsay E; Anderson, James R; Gallup, Gordon G, Jr; University of Chester; Kyoto University Graduate School of Letters; University at Albany, State University of New York (Springer, 2022-01-07)
    Mirror self-recognition (MSR), widely regarded as an indicator of self-awareness, has not been demonstrated consistently in gorillas. We aimed to examine this issue by setting out a method to evaluate gorilla self-recognition studies that is objective, quantifiable, and easy to replicate. Using Suarez and Gallup’s (1981) study as a reference point, we drew up a list of 15 methodological criteria and assigned scores to all published studies of gorilla MSR for both methodology and outcomes. Key features of studies finding both mark-directed and spontaneous self-directed responses included visually inaccessible marks, controls for tactile and olfactory cues, subjects who were at least five years old, and clearly distinguishing between responses in front of versus away from the mirror. Additional important criteria include videotaping the tests, having more than one subject, subjects with adequate social rearing, reporting post-marking observations with mirror absent, and giving mirror exposure in a social versus individual setting. Our prediction that MSR studies would obtain progressively higher scores as procedures and behavioural coding practices improved over time was supported for methods, but not for outcomes. These findings illustrate that methodological rigour does not guarantee stronger evidence of self-recognition in gorillas; methodological differences alone do not explain the inconsistent evidence for MSR in gorillas. By implication, it might be suggested that, in general, gorillas do not show compelling evidence of MSR. We advocate that future MSR studies incorporate the same criteria to optimize the quality of attempts to clarify the self-recognition abilities of gorillas as well as other species.
  • Research Evaluating Staff Training Online for Resilience (RESTORE): Protocol for a single-arm feasibility study of an online acceptance and commitment therapy intervention to improve staff wellbeing in palliative care settings

    Finucane, Anne; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Swash, Brooke; Spiller, Juliet A.; Lydon, Brigid; Gillanders, David; University of Edinburgh; Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh; University of Chester (AMRC Open Research, 2021-11-18)
    Background Palliative care workers commonly experience workplace stress and distress. General stressors include unmanageable workloads and staff shortages. Stressors specific to palliative care include regular exposure to death, loss and grief. The COVID pandemic exacerbated exhaustion and burnout across the healthcare system, including for those providing palliative care. Evidence based psychological support interventions, tailored to the needs and context of palliative care workers, are needed. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an established form of cognitive behavioural therapy which uses behavioural psychology, values, acceptance, and mindfulness techniques to improve mental health and wellbeing. ACT is effective in improving workplace wellbeing in many occupational settings. Our study examines the acceptability and feasibility of an online ACT-based intervention to improve mental health and wellbeing in staff caring for people with an advanced progressive illness. Methods A single-arm feasibility trial. We will seek to recruit 30 participants to take part in an 8- week online ACT-based intervention, consisting of three synchronous facilitated group sessions and five asynchronous self-directed learning modules. We will use convergent mixed methods to evaluate the feasibility of the intervention. Quantitative feasibility outcomes will include participant recruitment and retention rates, alongside completion rates of measures assessing stress, quality of life, wellbeing, and psychological flexibility. Focus groups and interviews will explore participant perspectives on the intervention. We will run a stakeholder workshop to further refine the intervention and identify outcomes for use in a future evaluation. We will describe participant perspectives on intervention acceptability, format, content, and perceived impact alongside rates of intervention recruitment, retention, and outcome measure completion. Conclusion We will show whether a brief, online ACT intervention is acceptable to, and feasible for palliative care workers. Findings will be used to further refine the intervention and provide essential information on outcome assessment prior to a full-scale evaluation.

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