Public Health and Wellbeing

The Public Health and Wellbeing R & I group sits within the ‘Population Risk and Healthcare’ theme within the Cardiff School of Sport and Health Science. We are a large group of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary researchers from varied disciplines and backgrounds. Our combined expertise seeks to improve the health and wellbeing among clinical and non-clinical populations, and the community. Our research is distinguished through its holistic perspective in:

• Defining what it means to be ‘healthy and well’
• What shapes health and wellbeing among different groups
• Understanding opportunities that present to improve health and wellbeing in different settings
• Working with others to facilitate change

The group meets monthly and is continually developing, transforming and adapting to respond to the current needs of the population in Wales (and beyond) as they present. To support these aims, we collaborate closely with external organisations in the community, including practitioners and local policy makers, to understand the complexity of a situation and to ensure an approach to change is best fitted to the needs of people and their context. Our research is also translational as we combine and apply our knowledge of our disciplines into practical applications and interventions.


Research / Innovation Areas

The Public Health and Wellbeing group have a number of areas of interest and expertise. For example:

* System-based approaches to health and lifestyle

* Public policy and lifestyle

* Health improvements, including:

    • Interventions to improve physical, psychological and social health in individuals, the community, clinical and bespoke populations
    • Arts for health, including using movement, dance and somatic practice in people living with chronic disease
    • Social Prescribing including physical activity, creative art, purposeful activity in green and blue spaces

* Living well, including:

    • Optimising Medication Use
    • Falls prevention
    • Peer mentoring
    • Shared Decision-Making in Healthcare
    • Purposeful activity through the life course

* Evaluation of complex interventions, including:

    • Developing and applying novel research methods in creative participatory and visual methods within qualitative research
    • Mixed-methods approaches
    • Advanced statistical analysis
    • Co-production in research, healthcare and health improvement

Group Members

Dr Britt Hallingberg, Group Lead / Lecturer in Health and Wellbeing Psychology
Research: substance use, organised leisure time use, complex intervention development and evaluation.

Dr Nicola Bolton, Principal Lecturer in Marketing and Strategy

Dr Nic Bowes, Reader in Forensic Psychology

Dr Debbie Clayton, Principal Lecturer in Psychology

Prof Diane Crone, Professor of Exercise and Health

Prof Sarah Curran, Professor of Podiatric Medicine and Rehabilitation

Dr Ruth Fairchild, Senior Lecturer

Dr Clare Glennan, Lecturer in Psychology
Research: health and wellbeing, Covid 19 qualitative research, evaluating educational outreach activities, welsh blood, animal assisted therapies, visual methods.

Dr Craig Gwynne, Lecturer in Podiatry

Prof Delyth James, Professor of Health Psychology in Pharmacy Practice
Research: health psychology related to medicines use, consultation skills for behaviour change, Welsh language.

Dr Mel Jones, Principal Lecturer Public Health

Dr Jane Lewis, Senior Lecturer in Podiatry

Prof Jeffrey Lewis, Professor of Flexible Learning

Dr Mikel Mellick, Senior Lecturer in Applied Sport Psychology

Dr Jenny Mercer, Reader in Qualitative Approaches to Applied Psychology

Dr Rhiannon Phillips, Lecturer in Health and Wellbeing Psychology

Paul Sellars, Research Officer Psychology of Talented Athlete Development and Retention
Research: Sport and exercise psychology, wellbeing and mental health, qualitative research.

Dr Anita Setarehnejad, Senior Lecturer in Food Science & Technology

Dr Deiniol Skillicorn, Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Dr Paul Smith, Senior Lecturer Sport and Exercise Physiology

Dr Katie Thirlaway, Dean of School of Sport & Health Sciences (HCPC Registered Health Psychologist)
Research: Lifestyle, risk communication & decision making, exercise and wellbeing, equality & inclusion.

Dr Richard Webb, Principal Lecturer

Judith Whatley, Senior Lecturer in Complementary Healthcare

Dr Denitza Williams, Research Fellow in Health Psychology
Research: women’s health, long-term conditions, healthcare communication, qualitative methods & participatory methods.

Heidi Wilson, Senior Lecturer (Dance)



Alexis Bennett (PhD) - Effects of nature exposure on stress and cognitive performance, and the related potential in built environments and challenging circumstances

Tom Griffiths (PhD)

Vasiliki Kolovou (PhD)

Cory Richards (PhD) - Cardiac Physiology, exercise as a treatment for disease, and exercise in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

John Voss (PhD)

Jack Walklett (PhD) - Whole-system approaches to promoting population-level physical activity

Jennifer Ward (PhD)

Jenna Wood (PhD)


We collaborate with a range of organizations including other Higher Education Institutions in the UK, EU and internationally, sport and health third sector organizations across the UK and EU, government agencies, the NHS, and specialists in health and health promotion.  An example of some of our non HEI collaborators are listed here:

• Cardiff & Vale NHS University Health Board
• Cym Taff Morgannwg NHS Health Board
• Cystic Fibrosis Trust (UK) & Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (USA)
• The Wales Kidney Research Unit (WKRU)
• Wales Centre for Primary and Emergency care (PRIME Centre Wales)
• Sport Wales
• Public Health Wales
• Parkinson's UK Cymru
• Dance for Parkinson's Partnership UK

Examples of Funding

We undertake research projects with a range of external funders including the national and regional government agencies, national public health bodies, regional Health Boards, Clinical Commissioning Groups, European Commission, and third sector organisations. An example of some of our projects are listed here:

SPHERE: Sport Healing Rehabilitation. Funding: ERASMUS+ €383K 2019-2020.

Wild Spaces, Wild Skills Ecotherapy Project Evaluation. Funding: £30K Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, 2020-2023.

CF PROSPER: Cystic Fibrosis Pregnancy Related Outcome data to Support PERsonal choices. Funding: £228k, Research for Patient and Public Benefit, Health and Care Research Wales, 2019-2021.

CKD ENGAGE: Engaging and supporting women with Chronic Kidney Disease with pre-conception decision making: A mixed-methods study. Funding: Kidney care UK, British Renal Society, and Wales kidney Research Unit, £75k, 2020-2021.