Kirsten has over 23 years of clinical experience as a Registered Dietitian covering a variety of clinical issues but having specialist experience in community dietetics, obesity and cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS.
Much of the work has included training and education (qualified health care professionals, undergraduate students and the general public) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education was completed in 2008. Was a facilitator on courses for behaviour change skills for 12 years
Completed a Master in Public health degree in 2000 which included a dissertation evaluating a Lifestyle Modification Programme for patients with coronary heart disease risk factors.
Worked as a Clinical audit officer for a year supporting audits aimed at improving patient care.
Completed a PhD looking at the role of communication and behaviour change skills in dietetic interventions. Two papers have been published from this work
Teaching at the University of Nottingham since 2000.
Knowledge and/or clinical experience in a variety of areas including obesity, CVD, HIV/AIDS, community dietetics, clinical audit, public health and health promotion.
Developing knowledge and skills in relation to teaching and assessing communication skills for behaviour change. Has developed a validated tool to assess communication skills within dietetic consultations and an accompanying training package.
Experience in survey design and developing skills in qualitative research methods
Recently Kirsten has written chapters for several key nutrition and dietetic text books. These are on subjects including group education, public health, and behavior change
Kirsten's main areas of interest are around communication skills, health promotion and community nutrition. She leads the communication skills teaching and has undertaken research in this area.
Kirsten was a community dietitian for many years and this affects how she teaches on the Changing behaviour, promoting health module. She is able to bring some real life practical experience which hopefully makes it more interesting for students.
Kirsten also teaches other sessions on a variety of modules. These are all areas that she has experience of in the previous dietetic posts e.g. HIV/AIDS, nutrition education
Kirsten developed and validated a tool for assessing communication and behaviour change skills in dietetic consultations. She won the Rose Simmonds award for the resulting paper in 2015.
Kirsten has used this validated tool to develop an open access training package which is being used in many universities across the UK and has been accredited by the British Dietetic Association as a learning tool. She is also undertaking evaluation of the training package in order to direct future developments. A grant from the BDA General Education Trust supported this work.
WHITEHEAD, K, A., LANGLEY-EVANS, S. C., TISCHLER, V. and SWIFT, J. A., 2013. Assessing communication skills in dietetic consultations: the development of the reliable and valid DIET-COMMS tool Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Early view online, DOI: 10.1111/jhn.12136
PRIDGEON A AND WHITEHEAD K.A., 2012. A qualitative study to investigate the drivers and barriers to healthy eating in two public sector workplaces"
WHITEHEAD, K., LANGLEY-EVANS, S.C., TISCHLER, V. and SWIFT, J.A., 2009. Communication skills for behaviour change in dietetic consultations Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 22(6), 493-500
GRIFFIN, B.A., WHITEHEAD, K.A., LINDSAY, G. and GAW, A., 2004. Lifestyle Management: Diet. In: Coronary Heart Disease Prevention, a handbook for the health care professional 2nd.