Kirsty's teaching and research roles involve the application of health psychology to medicine and allied health disciplines (e.g., speech pathology). Her PhD research examined the variety of ways in which people interpret and respond (at cognitive, affective and overt behavioural levels) to perceived illness, with particular emphasis on those beliefs and behaviours that are maladaptive. Abnormal illness behaviour (AIB) was a key focus of this research and involved an exploration of the shortcomings of AIB as a construct and as measured using the Illness Behaviour Questionnaire. Approximately 700 participants were recruited comprising relatively healthy members of the general community and individuals with one of four chronic medical conditions (diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome). Three and twelve month follow-up information was also collected. Kirsty's peer-reviewed publications have focused on aspects of illness behaviour and self-management of chronic conditions. Additional research interests include adaptation to chronic illness and psychosocial aspects of cancer survivorship (for patients and their carers).
- application of health psychology to medicine
- self-management of chronic illness
- psychosocial aspects of cancer survivorship (for patients and their key support people)