Recent figures highlight that officers from 27 UK police forces took more than a million sick days over the last three years because of psychological distress (ITV news, 2016). This report suggests that not only are these sickness days due to the stress and psychological distress caused by the critical incidents that they deal with, such as death, trauma, violence and abuse; but also by the behaviours they engage in to cope; such as alcohol use. What is known is that job stress and negative affect (such as depression) are significantly linked with maladaptive behaviours such as alcohol abuse in police officers (Kohan & O'Connor, 2002). It is also noteworthy that there is a 10-fold increase of suicidal ideation in police officers who have elevated levels of stress and alcohol use (Violanti, 2004).
Conversely, there is a protective nature of physical activity behaviour on psychological wellbeing, with more active individuals showing lower levels of stress and depression and a greater satisfaction with life (Penedo & Dahn, 2005). It has long been discussed that poor mental health (depression, anxiety, stress) is significantly linked to illness and disease, particularly in front line staff (Hegg-Deloye et al., 2014). In contrast, evidence confirms that those who hold a positive outlook on life will have a significantly longer life expectancy than those who focus on the negative (Danner et al., 2001) and are less likely to be immunosuppressed (Cohen et al., 2003), making them less susceptible to viral infections such as colds and flu.
Using a mixed methods approach (qualitative, quantitative and experimental design), this programme of research aims to identify health-related risk factors and those of a protective nature in the local police force. Using an online data collection tool, it will identify the level of subjective wellbeing (affect, stress, satisfaction with life), self-efficacy beliefs, and their link with health preventive behaviours, namely physical activity, diet, alcohol use, smoking behaviour and sleep patterns and physical health risk factors (such as obesity) across the Bedfordshire Police force. As a feasibility assessment for a future intervention, it will further test two brief Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs), with the intention to enhance subjective wellbeing, and thus reduce levels of stress and negative health behaviours. Qualitative interviews will be used to support these findings.
This studentship will cover fees for a full year-long MSc by Research alongside costs towards the dissemination of the findings (i.e. conference attendance, publication fees).
Applicants should be available for a 19th March 2018 start date.
Interviews will be held week commencing 19th February 2018 and/or week commencing 26th February 2018.
The successful candidate and the experienced supervisory team of Dr Angel Chater ([email protected]), Dr Julia Fruer ([email protected]) and Dr Daniel Bailey ([email protected]) will be responsible for developing the final project outline.
*Subject to satisfactory progress on PP1 and PP2.
This degree is available as a top up degree (level 6 only)
Students applying for this programme should be those working in health, social care or related fields, from a variety of organisational or community settings. This includes hospital, community-nursing staff, paramedics, those in professions allied to medicine, health trainers, smoking cessation advisors, public health or health promotion practitioners, drug and alcohol workers.
For students with substantial experience who already have an existing Nursing diploma and professional qualifications this is a way to enhance their professional development and career opportunities by attaining an honours degree.
This programme focuses on the professional development needs of the student .It provides the opportunity for students to source learning that meets both immediate and future practice needs. Designed to facilitate flexible,intra and inter-professional learning opportunities, this degree programme can be studied at a pace suitable to the student (minimum normally two years, maximum normally three years).
-A flexible, challenging programme of learning, which will develop skills and knowledge pertinent to the students’ health and social care practice and professional development needs.
-A contribution to students’ practitioner-development, facilitating engagement with evidence-based change within service provision and delivery of care.
-Engagement with life-long learning and development of transferable professional and intellectual skills necessary to ensure enhancement of contemporary health and social care practice.
-There may be opportunities for students to bring existing level 6 units into the programme (Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning - APCL) - subject to regulations under the university APL policy.
The BSc (Hons) Contemporary Health Practice (CHP) provides a programme of Level 6 study that focuses on the professional development needs of a broad range of practitioners from the health services, social care services, professions allied to medicine, ‘non-professional’ managers, health promotion and drug & alcohol workers. It is an accessible ‘top-up’ for those with an existing diploma, or equivalent (see under entry requirements), who wish to enhance their professional development and career opportunities by attaining an honours degree.
The programme provides the opportunity for students to source learning that meets both immediate, but also future, practice and career development needs. This degree programme contributes to the growth of the ‘knowledge economy’ with learning linked to real-world needs, thereby enhancing professional as well as personal development. With the professional/practitioner in mind, the programme is designed to facilitate flexible, inter-professional, learning opportunities (as appropriate) and can be studied at a pace, and sometimes a place, suitable to the student.