Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Christina Pearce: ‘Centre PhD study instrumental in gaining Chartered Psychologist accreditation’

Congratulations to Christina Pearce, former PhD student with the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, who has been accredited as a Chartered Psychologist

Christina Pearce, a former PhD student with the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, was accredited as a Charted Psychologist by the British Psychological Society in February 2021. Congratulations!

Christina credits her time at the Centre as instrumental in gaining the accreditation. In additional to her Master’s degree, the health psychology-focussed PhD in adherence enabled her to gain the title ‘Chartered Psychologist’.

Health psychology backbone of academic career

Throughout her academic progression, Christina has always had a focus on health psychology. She began her career with a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Clinical and Health Psychology, both at the University of Manchester.

After various research roles which included a position focusing on psoriasis and co-existing illnesses, including psoriatic arthritis, obesity, anxiety and depression, Christina found the PhD opportunity at the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research. A colleague at the University of Manchester also with asthma suggested it to her and encouraged her to apply.

She began her PhD in 2015 and investigated the factors related to children with problematic severe asthma (PSA) not taking their inhaled medication as agreed with their doctor. She used multiple research methods, including interviews and surveys with children with PSA focusing on their beliefs about their medicines, and data from use of Smartinhalers™ to identify patterns of non-adherence. The aim was to gather data for the development of a pilot study intervention to improve adherence in children with PSA.

Beyond the PhD

Christina has followed her interest in adherence beyond her PhD. Since completing her studies in 2020, she held a position at City, University of London’s Health Services and Research Management department as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow implementing and evaluating a polypharmacy adherence intervention in older adults within a community pharmacy setting.

Since October 2020, she has been working at King’s College London as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Health Psychology Section. Her current research focuses on services for the identification and management of depression in people with chronic kidney disease.

Next Steps

Christina is grateful for the opportunities she has had at the Centre, and aims to continue developing her skills. She said:

When you study psychology everyone around you starts to call you a psychologist not realising the training that comes with the title and that it is a protected term. After eight years of training I am thrilled to have earnt the title and the responsibility of being a chartered psychologist. I couldn’t have done this without the guidance of my supervisors and the support of the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research. The next step is to become a Chartered (Health and Care Professions Council registered) Health Psychologist to further my patient one-on-one work.

Dr Christina Pearce, Chartered PsychologistFormer PhD student at the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Due to COVID-19, Christina’s PhD graduation has been postponed to winter 2021. We look forward to celebrating with her at that point but congratulate her on her recent Chartered Psychologist accreditation!