Research Group

Physical and mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan

Small groups of people sitting outside on grass with trees in the background. To the right some more people are walking up some concrete steps.

The School has a range of wellbeing projects where staff across the divisions are involved in research and scholarship.

  • Dr ZhiMin Xiao is the academic leading this research group and will be co-ordinating a range of meetings and activities with a range of staff and PGR students.
  • In addition to methodological research and education, Dr Xiao is interested in child welfare, particularly in the context of trauma-informed and rights-based research into family injustice, children, and youth wellbeing, particularly in the context of their interactions with digital technologies.
  • Dr Anna Pettican is the deputy lead for this research group and has interests in participatory research and physical in/activity. Her research has included a participatory project with a football league for people with people with experience of mental distress. Dr Pettican is actively involved in developing more inclusive and preventative health practices in relation to physical in/activity via her leadership of the national #MovingOccupationalTherapists programme, funded by Sport England.
  • Strategic support of mental health and health services research has been enabled investigating well-being and social media use in Understanding Society and Professor Susan McPherson’s work with professional bodies and NHS Trusts on psychological treatments and guidelines for depression and developing maternal mental health.
  • Dr Mary Kennedy has developed networks and support service improvements to help people living with dementia and their families.
  • Professor Camille Cronin's research on ageing has looked at dementia and oral health, dementia and culture, and dementia in the acute hospital setting. Professor Cronin is also co-leading an international group of nurse scientists looking at menopause and wellbeing with a focus on menopause in the workplace involving universities around the world. 
  • Fundamentals of Care - dementia. ESNEFT (East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust) is a healthcare organisation that provides services to a population of over 800,000 people in East Suffolk and North Essex. Like many healthcare providers, ESNEFT faces significant challenges in providing effective care and support to people with dementia. One of the key issue facing ESNEFT is the aging population in its catchment area. As people age, the risk of developing dementia increases, and this is putting pressure on the trust's services. ESNEFT has recognised this challenge and has developed a dementia strategy to improve the care and support it provides to its patients. Many people with dementia go undiagnosed for extended periods, which can lead to delays in accessing the appropriate care and support. ESNEFT also faces challenges in providing appropriate care for patients. Many people with dementia have complex needs, and there is a demand to ensure that services are tailored to meet those needs. The University of Essex is working in partnership with ESNEFT to evaluate care of patients with dementia in acute settings focusing on fundamentals of care. The research team is led by Camille Cronin, with Rachel Marrow, Victor Ashby, Jana Abel-Jawadova, Thomas Currid, and Victoria Joffe
  • Dr John Day has developed research in the areas of physical activity and men’s experiences of living with obesity.

Events

Upcoming events 

Autumn Term 2023

4th September 2023 - "The Impact of Trauma on Children’s and Young People’s Mental and Physical Health" - Dr Antonella Trotta

25th October 2023 - "Pandemics, Xenophobia, and Fear" - Dr Zhou Xun

Older person holding hands of younger person
DemFoCAS

'Dementia – Fundamental of Care in Acute Settings' in partnership with ESNEFT looking at the fundamentals of dementia care.

Research project

Postgraduate Research

With quite a broad area we invite potential postgraduate applicants to look at the team’s specialist knowledge, skills and research in health and well-being including physical and mental health along the lifespan.

If you are interested in doing a research degree there are a number of researchers, allied health and nursing professionals who have developed research profiles. You can browse the list below for potential supervisors.

Current doctoral research

Exploring the determinants of vaccine hesitancy in carers of under five children and the impact on childhood immunization status

This PhD research aims to find out how sociodemographic status of parents, their knowledge of vaccine preventable diseases, their attitude, and perception affect their child's immunization status and if any of this is a determinant of vaccine hesitancy.

Olajumoke Aladenola

The impact of the environment on engagement in therapeutic activities of service users in an acute mental health inpatient unit

The study aims to identify factors within these environments which are perceived by staff and service users as promoting or inhibiting service user engagement in therapeutic activities and to make recommendations for improvements.

It uses a mixed methods approach, involving questionnaires for staff and patients, and a qualitative component of Participatory Action Research.

Ellen Serwaa Adomako

Our researchers

Academics

Dr Esther Ariyo

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Marina Bailey

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Bolanle Brikinns

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Sophia Carbonero

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Katie Chadd

Lecturer

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Catherine Constable

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Professor Camille Cronin

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr John Day

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Professor Mariachiara Di Cesare

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Professor Winifred Eboh

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Hannah Evans

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Hellen Horton

Lecturer

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Aisha Howells

Lecturer

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Professor Victoria Joffe

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Stephen Joseph

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Nelly Joye

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Alex Kaley

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Kanamik Kani Khan

Lecturer

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Pelagia Kaplanidou

Lecturer

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Mary Kennedy

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Sarita Panday

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Arnold Pariag

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Rachael Parsons

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Anna Pettican

Group member and deputy group lead

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Richard Pratt

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Matumo Ramafikeng

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Milagros Ruiz

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Shabnam Sagar

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Brandon Shaw

Group member

School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex

Professor Robert Stawski

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Jennie Todd

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Antonella Trotta

PhD student

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Aaron Wyllie

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

An ombre background from blue to green with "Louder than Words" in black text and the words "University of Essex" also in black with a logo of 5 small black squares on the bottom right.
The Louder Than Words Podcast: Mental Health

Join Professor Jules Pretty is joined by mental health nursing student Hannah Brock, and Dr Caroline Barratt and Thomas Currid from the School of Health and Social Care, among others, to discuss changing attitudes to mental health.

Listen to the podcast