Health Behaviour Change Research Group Seminars

By Jenny Mc Sharry

The Health Behaviour Change Research Group (HBCRG) was established within the School of Psychology at NUI Galway in January 2014, through a Health Research Board Research Leaders Award to Dr Molly Byrne, Director of the HBCRG.
The aim of the HBCRG is to promote the application of Health Psychology into the development and evaluation of evidence-based health behaviour change interventions. You can find out more about the group and our members on the HBCRG website.

Since October, we’ve been organising monthly HBCRG seminars to bring people with an interest in health behaviour change together and to provide an opportunity for sharing and developing research ideas. As we’re fast approaching the end of the year (eeek!), it seems like a good time to recap on the great seminars so far and to look forward to our plans for 2015.

HBCRG Seminar Sign

2014 Seminars

8th October: Teresa Corbett and Lisa Hynes  “Opportunities and challenges for Health Psychology presented by social media: Take home messages from the European Health Psychology Society CREATE workshop 2014” 

For our first seminar, Lisa and Teresa provided an overview of the ways in which social media is being used to facilitate the implementation of interventions, recruitment of participants, dissemination of research findings and research collaboration. They also raised the ethical issues associated with the use of social media for participant recruitment and intervention delivery and described the potential for researchers to prioritise dissemination through social media as well as traditional publication routes. Being the great social media users that they are, you can read more about the CREATE workshop in Teresa’ s lovely blog post: What has social media ever done for health psychology?

5th November: Molly Byrne and Jenny Mc Sharry “Improving evidence synthesis for behavioural health interventions: How to identify the effective behavioural components of health interventions in systematic reviews”

During this seminar, myself and Molly talked about the use of standardised lists of Behaviour Change Techniques (BCTs) to code the contents of published interventions and to identify effective techniques across studies in systematic reviews. We discussed some published examples of systematic reviews using these methods and our own experiences of using BCT lists, including some of the challenges.

3rd December: Gerry Molloy “Adherence to and uptake of prescription contraception: Behaviour change approaches?” 

In our most recent seminar, Gerry gave a great overview of medication adherence and described a current multi-method study he is working on with Leigh-Ann Sweeney exploring adherence to and uptake of prescription contraception. This lead to a great discussion on personal experiences of healthcare interactions around contraception and generated some thoughts on future research in this area. You can find out more information on this project and other medication adherence research at the Medication Adherence Across the Lifespan (MEDAL) website.

2015 Seminars

We sure do like to be organised, so we have the following dates in the diary for seminars from 3-4pm next semester: Wednesday 14th January, Wednesday 11th February, Thursday 12th March, Wednesday 15th April, Wednesday 13th May and Wednesday 10th June. We’ll send out details and reminders nearer the time.

Corinna Stewart will be presenting on “ProSocial: Using evolutionary science & contextual behavioural psychology to promote cooperation & group efficacy” in January and Rachel Carey from UCL (and Galway of course!) is lined up for our March seminar which will be brilliant.

If you would like to present at a seminar or have suggestions on a topic, just let myself or Molly know or get in touch at

Finally, thank you so much to our presenters for such interesting and engaging seminars. And thanks also to everyone who has come along so far, our group and our seminars are pretty new so it’s been great to see you there.

Happy 17 days to Christmas everybody!

Rambo Cracker

Rambo having the Christmas lols with an edible dog cracker


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