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Professor of Behavioural Medicine Holly Blake

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

Professor Holly Blake is full Professor of Behavioural Medicine at the University of Nottingham. She is Principal Fellow of AdvanceHE (formerly HEA), Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, a chartered health psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, with over 25 years of research experience in public health, and health services research.

She has expertise in the design, delivery, evaluation, and implementation of complex interventions for health across the public, private and third sector. She leads research in health promotion, health behaviour change, patient experiences and self-management of chronic conditions across populations and settings. This includes a focus on self-management for people living with long term conditions and behavioural interventions to promote self-care practices, health behaviours, and uptake of health screening and health services.

She has a particular interest in workforce health and wellbeing across sectors and employment settings, with expertise in the health and wellbeing of the NHS / health and care workforce. Through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, she has supported the NHS, local government, and industry partners with regards behavioural interventions impacting on practice and policy. Her research was included in the Chief Nursing Officer's COVID-19 Research Portfolio.

Her interest in digital innovations for healthcare and education is a common theme across her research areas. Her research often focuses on the use of technology for education, health promotion and patient self-management of chronic conditions (e.g., digital learning tools, e-Health, m-Health).

She holds an honorary contract with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust where she sits on the Staff Wellbeing Strategic Board and the Health Improvement Collaborative. At her institution, she acted as Professional Lead for the Associated Professions for the past 3 years. She has held elected positions on numerous local and national boards with influence on research and/or public health, and holds editorial and review roles in her areas of expertise. Holly is a recipient of 16 awards overall, demonstrating sustained leadership, innovation, and achievement in (a) workforce and student health and wellbeing, (b) equality, diversity, and inclusion, (c) research capacity-building. This includes two Lord Dearing Awards. She is affiliated to the Digital Innovations in Healthcare and Education (DICE) research group, the Centre for Organizational Health and Development, NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, Nottingham Pain Centre Versus Arthritis, and the Nottingham Centre for Healthcare Technologies.

Doctoral supervision

Holly has supervised 24 PhD students to date, examines doctoral candidates in the UK and internationally, and is mentor to doctoral alumni. Her current and recent postgraduate students are undertaking PhDs in Health Informatics, Health Sciences, Health Psychology, Public Health, Computer Sciences, Nursing and Physiotherapy. They are working on interventions for health behaviour change in the UK, Europe, Jordan, Saudi, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. Topic areas include workplace health, psychological wellbeing in the healthcare workforce, self-management of long-term conditions, patient experiences of health and health services, health behaviour change, exercise interventions, and digital innovations in healthcare and behaviour change.

Current research

Holly is listed in the top 2% of cited scientists (Elsevier Digital Commons Data, September 2023 & 2022). She has mixed-methods expertise, is named on over £15m grants and is an experienced Principal Investigator. Recent funding comes from NIHR, ESRC, TPI, MRC, DWP, HEE, Charities (e.g., Nuffield Foundation, Versus Arthritis, Diabetes UK), NHS hospital trusts, Midlands Engine, EMAHSN, industry.

Her current funding supports research into digital innovations for health promotion, health education and rehabilitation (in community and NHS settings), large-scale employer and workforce evaluations, interventions to support mental health at work, and approaches to behaviour change and self-management in diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and chronic pain.

Teaching Summary

External Examiner, University of Warwick: MSc Mental Health and Wellbeing, Doctoral supervision (PhD Health Sciences, PhD Applied Psychology, PhD Epidemiology and Public Health, PhD Computer… read more

Research Summary

Behavioural interventions; Digital health (e-health, m-health, online education); Workforce; Workplace health and wellbeing; Occupational health - health screening and health testing; Public health;… read more

  • External Examiner, University of Warwick: MSc Mental Health and Wellbeing,
  • Doctoral supervision (PhD Health Sciences, PhD Applied Psychology, PhD Epidemiology and Public Health, PhD Computer Sciences, PhD Physiotherapy, PhD Nursing)
  • Masters supervision (GEN Graduate Entry Nursing; MSc Advanced Nursing Practice; MSc Quality and Patient Safety Improvement; MSc Health Psychology; MSc Management Psychology; MSc Occupational Psychology; PSTY4004 Applied Research Project)
  • LINK Research Supervision (BMedSci, Graduate Entry Medicine)
  • Foundation Programme - Health Psychology.
  • HLTH1003: Sociology of Health and illness (internal moderator).
  • NURS4181 Transition to Advanced Clinical Practice (Workforce health).
  • NURS4172: Dimensions of Advanced Nursing (Workforce health).
  • NURS4174: The Principles and Methods of EBP in Health and Social Care (research)
  • NURS4073: Evidence for Health and Social Care (research)
  • NURS4093 - NURS3040: Pain Management (Psychology and Pain)
  • NURS3137 Optional online pain module (Pain self-management)
  • NURS4202 - GEN Dissertation (Quantitative Methods)
  • MSc Quality and Patient Safety Improvement (Quantitative Research for Healthcare)
  • BSc Sport Rehabilitation and Exercise Science (Psychology and Sport)
  • BSc Physiotherapy (Psychology and Pain)
  • MA Research Methods (Health Pathway - Research Ethics)
  • Course Leader/Trainer for RSPH Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Psychological Therapies
  • Doctoral Training Centre: B74EIS Evaluating Interventions, Services and Policy in Health and Social Care. Unit 4 Experimental Evaluation (MSc PEoL, MSc or Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Nursing)
  • Interprofessional learning (industry)

Current Research

Behavioural interventions; Digital health (e-health, m-health, online education); Workforce; Workplace health and wellbeing; Occupational health - health screening and health testing; Public health; Health promotion; Mental health; COVID-19; Self-management of chronic conditions; Psychosocial outcomes; Mixed-methods; Participatory design, Trials; Process evaluation

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