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Dr Lou Atkins
Dr Lou Atkins profile picture
  • Lecturer (Teaching)
  • Clinical, Edu & Hlth Psychology
  • Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences

I am a researcher, trainer and consultant in behaviour change intervention design and evaluation. As Senior Teaching Fellow of the Centre for Behaviour Change (University College London, UK) I lead the Australasian Hub and am also a member of the Health Psychology Research Group at University College London. I am involved in a number of projects to improve health and wellbeing through the application of behaviour change theory to intervention design to: change health professional behaviour, such as reducing variation in adenoma detection rates in colonoscopy; prevent illness, for example reducing cardiovascular disease in people with severe mental illness; and manage illness, such as increasing physical activity in people with musculoskeletal disorders. I am also involved in projects to promote environmental sustainability including increasing recycling in organisations. I am a regular speaker at national and international scientific meetings and in UK Government departments including Department for Work and Pensions and The Treasury. Together with Professors Susan Michie and Robert West, I co-authored the book, ‘The Behaviour Change Wheel – A Guide to Designing Interventions’.

I completed my PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry on the psychological impact of motor neurone disease on patients and their spouse carers. 

I have been responsible for the development and evaluation of interventions to promote awareness and early presentation in cancer. I have also developed instruments to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions in changing behaviour and modifying determinants of behaviour. I have collaborated on the development of an instrument to measure awareness and beliefs about cancer for use in an international population-based survey.

I have worked in health services research for over 12 years, managing single and multi-centre studies on a variety of scales. I have been involved in the design and selection of interview schedules and psychological measures to elicit patients’ experience of health care within a variety of contexts including cancer, motor neurone disease, dementia and addictive behaviour. I have extensive experience interviewing with patients, carers and health care professionals as part of projects aimed at policy formation and improving health care provision.

I am a registered Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Research Summary

I am a senior teaching fellow in behaviour change involved in a number of projects applying behaviour change theory to the development and evaluation of interventions to improve health and wellbeing.

Teaching Summary


Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

MSc Health Psychology

MSc Paediatrics and Child Health

BSc Psychology – level 2 health psychology module (co-convenor)

Undergraduate and post-graduate project supervision

Imperial College London 

MSc Health Policy

MRes Human Nutrition

Royal Veterinary College

MSc Infectious Diseases 

03-NOV-2014 Senior Teaching Fellow UCL Centre for Behaviour Change /Institute for Global Health UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2007   Doctor of Philosophy Institute of Psychiatry
1997   Master of Arts University of Sussex
1995   Bachelor of Science (Honours) University of Central Lancashire
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