Professor Karen Rodham

Job Title and Responsibilities

Professor of Health Psychology

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
Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
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

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


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

Rodham, K. (2010) Health Psychology. Palgrave: London.

Hawton, K. and Rodham, K. with Evans, E, (2006) By their own young hand: Deliberate self-harm and suicidal ideas in adolescents. Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London. (Now translated into German and Japanese)


Gavin, J. and Rodham, K. (forthcoming) Navigating psychological ethics in shared, multi-user online environments. In Rosen, L.D., Carrier, L.M. & Cheever, N.A. (Eds) The Handbook of Psychology, Technology and Society. Wiley-Blackwell.

Rodham, K. (2012) Combining Academia and Practice as a Health Psychologist in Forshaw, M. & Sheffield, D. (Eds) Health psychology in Action Wiley Blackwell: Chichester. (ISBN -10: 0-470-66734-6). Pp161-171.

Abraham, C., O'Connor, D.B., Jones, F.A., Conner, M.T. and Rodham, K. (2011) Training and Working as a Health Psychologist. In Graham Davey (Ed). Introduction to Applied Psychology. BPS Wiley-Blackwell. pp212-226. (ISBN 978-1-4443-3121-9)


Whitlock, J. & Rodham, K. (2013) Understanding NSSI in Youth.  School Psychology Forum: Research in Practice. 7(4), 1-18.

Rodham, K., Fox, F. & Doran, N. (2013) Lost in Transcription: Exploring analytical trustworthiness and the process of reaching consensus in Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. International Journal of Social Research Methodology

Rodham, K., Gavin, J., Lewis, S.P., Denis, J.M. & Bandalli, P. (2013). An investigation of the motivations driving the online representation of self-injury: A Thematic Analysis. Archives of Suicide Research, 17, 173-183. 

Rodham, K., McCabe, C., Pilkington, M. & Regan, L. (2013) Coping with Chronic CRPS: Advice from patients for patients. Chronic Illness, 9(1), 29-42.

Current Teaching

Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology: Behaviour Change Interventions Module
MSc Health Psychology: TBC
Undergraduate Teaching: TBC


Karen Rodham
Professor of Health Psychology
Department of Psychology
School of Life Sciences and Education (P/G, Partnerships & Distance Learning in Psychology)
Staffordshire University
Science Centre
Leek Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294601