Professor Karen Rodham

Job Title and Responsibilities

Professor of Health Psychology

I co-Direct the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology
I run the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research

About Me

I joined Staffordshire University in May 2014. My research focuses on understanding how people cope with difficult health-related situations. I have more than twenty years' experience of working as an academic. In addition, from 2006-2013 alongside my academic job, I worked as a practising health psychologist and led the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome psychology service for adults at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. In my spare time I enjoy walking in the mountains and from time to time, I use my mountain leader qualification to teach young people about walking and camping safely in the hills. You can find out more about me by visiting my website.


BSc (Hons) Psychology

Professional Memberships and Activities

Chartered Psychologist
Health Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council
Fellow of the British Psychological Society (FBPS)
Member of the Division of Health Psychology


Qualitative Methods

The experience of living with a complex/chronic condition

Understanding coping strategies employed by those living with a complex/condition

Enterprise and Commercial Activities

In 2014 I set up Stoke Psychology in the Pub. It continues to grow in popularity. You can find out more about it here.

Research Interests

My research expertise lies in conducting qualitative research that develops our understanding of how people cope with difficult health-related situations. Interviews, discussions and observations help me learn what helps or hinders peoples’ ability to cope. As a researcher, I make sure that my research has application in the real world for practising health psychologists as well as policy-makers. As a teacher, I share my learning from academia and practice to ensure that tomorrow’s health psychologists whom I am co-training are informed about evidence-based practice.

Selected Publications

Link to current publications list



Rodham, K. (2014) Learning how to cope with CRPS: Putting life first and CRPS second. Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London.

Rodham, K. (2010) Health Psychology. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke. [part of a series of books edited by Holt, N. and Lewis, R.] 2nd edition due out in 2018.


Jordan, A.L., Smith, P. & Rodham, K. (accepted for publication).  Bittersweet: A qualitative exploration of mothers’ experiences of raising a single surviving twin. Psychology, Health, & Medicine Doi: 10.2196/mental.8084

Flurey, C., Hewlett, S., Rodham, K., White, A., Noddings, R. & Kirwan, J.R. (accepted for publication). Coping strategies, psychological impact and support preferences of men with rheumatoid arthritis: A multicentre study. Arthritis Care & Research, doi: 10.1002/acr.23422

Flurey, C.A., White, A., Rodham, K., Kirwan J.R. Noddings, R. & Hewlett, S. (2018). “Everyone assumes a man to be quite strong”: Men, masculinity and rheumatoid arthritis: A case-study approach. Sociology of Health & Illness, 40(10), 115-129

Ryan-Vig, S., Gavin, J. & Rodham, K. (in press). The presentation of self-harm recovery: A thematic analysis of YouTube videos. Deviant Behavior

Rodham, K., Gavin, J., Coulson, N. & Watts, L. (in press). Every Cloud has a Silver Lining: How to cope when your research does not go to plan. SAGE Research Methods Cases.

Coulson, N., Bullock, E. & Rodham, K. (2017) What therapeutic affordances are conferred on users of self-harm online support groups? A survey of users. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 4(4), e44.DOI: 10.2196/mental.8084

Gavin, J. & Rodham, K. (2017) Ethical research in the digital age. Psychology Review, 2-5

Flurey, C.A., Hewlett, S., Rodham, K., White, A., Noddings, R. & Kirwan, J. (2017) "You obviously have to put on a brave face": A qualitative study of the experiences and coping styles of men with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care and Research, 69(3), 330-337.  DOI: 10.1002/acr.22951

Current Teaching

I co-Direct the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology.
I run the Psychological Interventions Module for the Professional Doctorate.
I guest lecture on the MSc Health Psychology and on the undergraduate programme


Karen Rodham
Professor of Health Psychology
Department of Psychology
Staffordshire University
Science Centre
Leek Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294601