Qualitative Health Psychology: Theories and Methods

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Edited by: Michael Murray & Kerry Chamberlain

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    Notes on Contributors

    Helen Bryce is Research Coordinator for the Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle, Australia. The Family Action Centre is the host organization for a variety of community building programmes located in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia. Helen facilitates and guides the action research in these programmes as well as offering consultancy services to government and third-sector organizations on innovative ways to evaluate their practices. The methods used by Helen are located in the constructivist paradigm and are an excellent tool for generating theory about what counts as effective practice.

    Kerry Chamberlain is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Massey University in Aoteoroa/New Zealand. His research interests are centred in health psychology, and focused primarily on chronic illness and social disadvantage. He also has interests in research methodology, and specifically in varieties of qualitative research. He recently co-edited (with Michael Murray) a special issue of the Journal of Health Psychology devoted to qualitative research, and is co-editor (with Gary Reker) of Existential Meaning: Optimizing Human Development across the Life Span (Sage, 1999).

    Sue Curtis has recently spent two years as Research Manager for the Action Research Program at the Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle, Australia. During this time she also coordinated the Leadership and Management Program for the University and was involved in facilitation of organizational change, change management and strategic planning. Sue is currently coordinating a programme for leading and evaluating advancements in curriculum delivery at the Centre for Educational Development and Interactive Resources, University of Wollongong. Her PhD is in action-oriented, process-based evaluation practices and her interests are in the fields of action research, participatory approaches to evaluation and organizational learning. The action researching methodology developed by Sue has been used in a wide variety of contexts. These have included higher education research and curriculum review, occupational health, safety and rehabilitation in the steel industry, and community development programmes in the third sector.

    Christine Eiser is Reader in Health Psychology and Director of the Child and Family Health Research Group at the University of Exeter, UK. She has a special interest in the psychological effects of chronic illness on children and their families and has published many articles and several books in the field including The Psychology of Childhood Illness (Springer-Verlag, 1995) and Growing up with Chronic Illness (Jessica Kingsley, 1995).

    Maria Jarman is currently at the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, UK. She has recently completed a PhD exploring health professionals’ understandings and experiences of treating people with anorexia nervosa. Her other research interests are in the areas of recovery from eating disorders, women's experiences of employment in relation to psychological well-being, and qualitative methodologies.

    Antonia Lyons is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her main research interests are in health psychology, particularly the social construction of the ‘self’ during language episodes and possible physiological correlates of this process; the effects of minor daily events on physical health; and the use of qualitative methods in health psychology. She is currently conducting research into women's understandings and experiences of the menopause and hormone replacement therapy.

    Cynthia M. Mathieson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where she teaches women's health psychology, gender differences, and human sexuality. She has a long-standing research interest in qualitative methodology as it applies to patients’ issues in psychosocial oncology. More recently, she has developed a research commitment to women's health care through qualitative inquiry with lesbian/bisexual women.

    Mandy Morgan is a Lecturer in critical psychology and the psychology of women at Massey University in Aoteoroa/New Zealand. Her research interests generally focus on the relationship between social constructionism, psychology and feminism. She obtained her PhD in Psychology from Murdoch University in 1992.

    Michael Murray is a Professor of Psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. He has published books on various aspects of health psychology including Narrative Health Psychology (Massey University, 1997) and, with David Marks and others, Health Psychology: Theory, Research and Practice (Sage, 1998). He is an associate editor of the Journal of Health Psychology and recently co-edited with Kerry Chamberlain a special issue of that journal devoted to qualitative research.

    Mike Osborn is a Clinical Psychologist working at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, UK, specializing in chronic pain and palliative care. He is also engaged in research for a doctorate at the University of Sheffield into the phenomenology of chronic benign pain. His clinical and research interests are in qualitative and dynamic approaches to the study of pain, trauma and loss.

    Glynn Owens is Professor of Psychology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to this, he was Professor of Health Studies at the University of Wales, Bangor, and Director of the Clinical Psychology Training Programme at the University of Liverpool, UK. His research interests in health psychology centre on cancer care and palliative care. He has co-authored a number of books including (with Freda Naylor) Living while Dying (Thorsons, 1989) and (with David Brodie and John Williams) Research Methods for the Health Sciences (Harwood, 1994).

    Sheila Payne is Director of the Health Research Unit in the School of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy at the University of Southampton, UK. She is a health psychologist with a background in nursing. Her main research interests are in psychological aspects of palliative care, psychosocial oncology and health psychology. Sheila has co-authored Psychology for Nurses and the Caring Professions (Open University Press, 1996) and she edits (with Sandra Horn) the Open University book series in Health Psychology.

    Alan Radley is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University, UK. His research interests include the social context of health and illness and the field of charitable giving. He is editor of the journal Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. His book publications include Prospects of Heart Surgery: Psychological Adjustment to Coronary Bypass Grafting (Springer, 1988); The Body and Social Psychology (Springer, 1991); Making Sense of Illness: The Social Psychology of Health and Disease (Sage, 1994). He is editor of Worlds of Illness: Biographical and Cultural Perspectives on Health and Disease (Routledge, 1993).

    Jane Selby's training was at the University of St Andrews, Scotland (MA) and Cambridge, UK (PhD). She adapted her work to tropical Australia after moving there in 1989, trailing her husband. Besides cross-racial research and training (the Australian Psychological Society has provided recognition for the first time of training she developed specifically for indigenous students), Jane works clinically with children and supervises practitioners from welfare as well as psychology. She has recently moved to Charles Sturt University in New South Wales.

    Jonathan A. Smith is a Lecturer in psychology at the University of Sheffield, UK. His research interests are in the psychology of health, self and identity, life transitions, interpretative phenomenological analysis, and other qualitative approaches to psychology. He has written extensively in these areas and is co-editor (with Rom Harré and Luk van Langenhove) of Rethinking Methods in Psychology and Rethinking Psychology (Sage, 1995).

    Mary-Jane Paris Spink is Associate Professor in the Social Psychology Post-Graduate Program of the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has written extensively on health and illness issues concerning the health professions, organization of health services and experience of illness events, with specific attention to advances in qualitative methodology.

    Carla Treloar is a Lecturer in health social science in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Carla has a PhD in health psychology and a growing interest and experience in qualitative research methods, including action research.

    Sarah Twamley graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1996. She has a special interest in the psychology of health and reproduction. Since graduating she has been working on a project on diabetic risk, funded by the Medical Research Council, while completing a Masters in Psychology at the University of Exeter, UK.

    Jane M. Ussher is Associate Professor of Critical Psychology, Centre for Critical Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Australia. Her publications include The Psychology of the Female Body (Routledge, 1989), Women's Madness: Misogyny or Mental Illness? (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991), Fantasies of Femininity: Reframing the Boundaries of Sex (Penguin, 1997), and Body Talk: The Material and Discursive Regulation of Sexuality, Madness and Reproduction (Routledge, 1997).

    Lucy Yardley is Senior Lecturer in the Psychology Department at the University of Southampton, UK, and is an enthusiastic proponent of mixed methods for studying the mind/body in health and illness. Her longstanding research interests encompass all aspects of (dis)orientation and (im)balance, including qualitative analyses of the meaning of disorientation in modern society, clinical trials of exercise therapy for dizziness, and experimental investigations into the cognitive information-processing involved in monitoring and controlling orientation and balance. She recently edited Material Discourses of Health and Illness (Routledge, 1997).

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