Dr Rachel Povey

Job Title and Responsibilities

Associate Professor in Health Psychology

Co-Director of Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology

About Me

I am a Chartered Psychologist and a Health Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. I was appointed as a Research Fellow at Staffordshire University in 1999 after working as a Research Assistant within a multi-disciplinary team at the Manchester Diabetes Centre on a project investigating the psychological implications of diabetes.  In 2000 I was appointed Lecturer in Health Psychology, and in 2002 became Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology.  I took over as Director of the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology in 2004 which I now co-direct with Professor Karen Rodham.  In 2016, I was appointed Associate Professor in Health Psychology.



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

Accredited Teacher in Higher Education

External Examiner for the BPS Health Psychology Qualifications Board (Stage 2 Qualification)

Member of European Association for the Study of Diabetes’ Psychosocial Aspects of Diabetes Study Group


Committee member, BPS Division of Health Psychology Training Committee (2004 - 2011)

Committee member and website manager, BPS Division of Health Psychology  (2000 – 2005)


My areas of expertise are psychological aspects of healthy eating, dietary change and psychological aspects of diabetes.

Research Interests

My main research interests centre around the influences on, and determinants of motivation to follow a healthy diet. My PhD thesis and subsequent publications have been involved with people's perceptions of the concept of 'healthy eating', and  the development of attitude-based interventions to promote health-related dietary change in children.  Other work has involved exploring the experiences of living with long term conditions, and the development of health-related training programmes .  These training programmes have included a resource pack-based training programme for practice nurses to promote uptake and maintenance of dietary self-care behaviours and a training programme to improve risk communication in NHS health checks (with Victoria Riley, Professor Christopher Gidlow and Dr Naomi Ellis.

Selected Publications


Povey, R., Hallas, C. & Povey, R. (2006) Living with a Heart Bypass.  London: Sheldon Press.

Povey, R., Morrell, J. & Povey, R. (January, 2005) Eating for a Healthy Heart.  London: Sheldon Press.

Journal Articles

Povey, R., Cowap, L., Scholtens, K & Forshaw, M. (2019) “She’s not obese, she’s a normal five year old and she keeps up with the other kids”.  Families’ reasons for not attending a family-based childhood weight management program.  Perspectives in Public Health

Calvert, S., Dempsey, R. & Povey, R. (2019) Delivering in-school interventions to improve dietary behaviours amongst 11- to 16 year olds: A systematic review.  Obesity Reviews, 20, 4, 543-553.  https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12797

Dugdale, S., Semper, H., Povey, R., Elison-Davies, S., Davies, G. & Ward, J. (2019) Offenders’ perceptions of the UK prison smoking ban. International Journal of Prisoner Health, 15, 2, 114-125. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPH-06-2018-0034

Vas, S., Povey, R. and Clark-Carter (2018) “I would describe myself as a deformed troll”: Using interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore body image struggles among palliative care patients.  Palliative Medicine, 33, 2, 232-240 doi: DOI: 10.1177/0269216318811723 

Clancy, L., Povey, R. and Rodham, K. (2018).  “Living in a Foreign Country”: Experiences of staff-patient communication in inpatient stroke settings for people with post stroke apahsia and those supporting them. Disability and Rehabilitation, Sep 27, 1-11 DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2018.1497716

Povey, R., Cowap, L. & Gratton, L. (2016). Children’s beliefs about fruit and vegetables.  British Food Journal, 118, 12, 2949-2962.  DOI: 10.1108/BFJ-03-2016-0131
Semper, H., Povey, R. & Clark-Carter, D. (2016) A systematic review of the effectiveness of smartphone applications that encourage dietary self-regulatory strategies for weight loss in overweight and obese adults.  Obesity Reviews., 17, 9, 895-906.

Dean, S.E., Povey, R.C. & Reeves, J. (2015) Assessing interventions to increase compliance to patching treatment in children with amblyopia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  British Journal of Ophthalmology, DOI:10.1136/bjophthalmol-2015-307340.

Newson, L., Povey, R., Casson, A. & Grogan, S. (2013) The Experiences and understandings of obesity: Families’ perspectives on attending a childhood obesity intervention.  Psychology and Health, 28, 11, 1287-1305.  DOI:10.1080/08870446.2013.803106

Elwell L., Povey, R., Grogan, S., Prestwich, A. & Allen, C. (2013) Patients’ and Practitioners’ Views on Health Behaviour Change: A Qualitative Study.  Psychology and Health.  DOI:10.1080/08870446.2012.744008

Sherwood, S. A. (née Pullen), Povey, R. C. (2011) Influences on women’s completion of a Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme.   International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 18, 5, 266-277.

Pullen, S., Povey, R. and Grogan, S. (2009). Deciding to attend cardiac rehabilitation: A female perspective.  International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 16, 4, 207-217.

Adams, C., Povey, R. and White, D. G. (2008). Predicting women’s intentions to use pain relief medication using the Theory of Planned Behaviour and Self-Efficacy Theory.  Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 26, 3, 168-179.

Povey, R. and Clark-Carter, D. (2007). Diabetes and Healthy Eating: A systematic review of the literature.  The Diabetes Educator, 33, 931-959.

Crabtree, L., Povey, R. and Clark-Carter D. (2007). Promoting children’s fruit and vegetable consumption: Interventions using the Theory of Planned Behaviour as a framework.  British Journal of Health Psychology, 12, 639-650.

Newson, L. & Povey, R. (2007). The development of a training programme for nurses working in cardiac rehabilitation: Understanding and applying psychological techniques.  Health Psychology Update, 16, 1 & 2, 26-33.

Gallagher, S. & Povey, R. (2006). Determinants of older adults’ intentions to vaccinate against influenza: A theoretical application.  Journal of Public Health, 28, 2, 139-144.

Povey, R.C., Hallas, C.N., White, D.G., Clarke, T. and Samuel, T.J. (2005). Children’s beliefs about the impact of their type 1 diabetes on their family and peers: An exploratory study.  Practical Diabetes International, 22, 9, 333-338.

Morris, J., Povey, R., & Street, C. (2005). The experiences of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who have changed from oral medication to self-administered insulin injections: A qualitative study. Practical Diabetes International, 22, 7, 229 – 274.

Armitage, C.J., Povey, R. and Arden, M. A. (2003). Evidence for discontinuity patterns across stages of change: A role for attitudinal ambivalence.  Psychology and Health, 18, 3, 373-386.

Conner, M., Povey, R., Sparks, P., James, R., & Shepherd, R. (2003). Moderating role of attitudinal ambivalence within the Theory of Planned Behaviour.  British Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 75-94.
Conner, M., Sparks, P., Povey, R., James, R., Shepherd, R. and Armitage, C. J.  (2002). Moderator effects of attitudinal ambivalence on attitude-behaviour relationships.  European Journal of Social Psychology, 32, 705-718.

Povey, R., Wellens, B. & Conner, M. (2001).  Attitudes towards following meat, vegetarian and vegan diets: An examination of the role of ambivalence. Appetite, 37, 1 pp. 15-26.

Sparks, P., James, R., Conner, M., Povey, R., & Shepherd, R. (2001).  Ambivalence about health-related behaviours: An exploration in the domain of food choice.  British Journal of Health Psychology, 6, pp. 53-68

Povey, R., Conner, M., Sparks, P., James, R., & Shepherd, R. (2000). Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour to two eating behaviours:  Roles of perceived control and self-efficacy.  British Journal of Health Psychology, 121-139.


Current Teaching


Module Leader for Impact and Experience of Long Term Conditions (MSc Health Psychology)

Module Leader for Professional Competence in Health Psychology (D Health Psy)

Module leader for Consultancy Skills in Health Psychology (D Health Psy)

Module leader for Placement Learning (D Health Psy)

Tutor on Core Issues (MSc Health Psychology),

Supervisor for trainees on the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology


Dr Rachel Povey
Department of Psychology
School of Life Science and Education
Staffordshire University
Science Centre
Leek Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294570
e: r.povey@staffs.ac.uk