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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Lauren Walker (nee Bussey) was awarded her PhD from Northumbria University in 2018. Her PhD explored the role of online health information in health decision-making. Lauren has also completed a BPS-accredited MSc in Health Psychology, completing stage 1 training towards becoming a chartered Health Psychologist.

She joined the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law at Teesside University in 2019 as a Lecturer in Psychology and Early Career Researcher.

Prior to joining Teesside University in 2019, Lauren previously worked in the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS foundation trust as a Project Officer for Weight Management within the Learning Disabilities team.

Summary of Research Interests

Lauren’s research interests are primarily in the area of health psychology, in particular the following areas:

  1. Exploring how people integrate online health information into their health decision-making. 
  2. The communication (and acceptance) of health information on social media platforms like TikTok.
  3. The application of Virtual Reality to improve physical and physiological well-being. 

Lauren is experienced in qualitative research with an interest in using visual and technological techniques to elicit in-depth data.

Research Projects & External Funding

Towards an interdisciplinary and intersectoral perspective on the role of ecotherapy in the treatment of Severe Mental Illness (SMI)

Principal Investigator

Funder: Closing the Gap Network (£1,548.68)


Emotional Wellbeing Peer Support Project


Funder: Middlesbrough Council (£50,000.00)


An evaluation of the implementation of a Nutrition and Body Mass Index Clinical Link Pathway in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Services – the impact on data recording, intervention planning and staff experiences.


Funder: NE NC NIHR ARC (£47,618)

PhD and Research Opportunities

Suzanne Hilton (Doctorate in Public Health). Supervised by Dr Emma Giles (DoS), Dr Lauren Bussey, Jo Smith,  2019 – 2022: ‘Evaluation of the regional “A weight off your mind” plan/ staff and patient views’.

Lindsay Woodford (Top up Doctorate). Supervised by Dr Jonathon Reay, Dr Lauren Bussey. 2019-2022: Title TBC.

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Lauren is the current module leader for Psychological Research Methods and Analysis (level 4) and also contributes to teaching on Applications of Psychology (level 4), Social and Biological Psychology (level 5), Employability and Work Related Learning (level 6), Interventions in Health Psychology (level 7), and Applied Qualitative Research Methods (level 7). She also supervises a number of level 6 dissertation projects and PhD and Top Up Doctorate students.

Lauren is also the Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange champion for Psychology, supporting the PL in this portfolio.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, The use and integration of online information in health decision making, Northumbria University

Sept 2015Sept 2018

Award Date: 13 Nov 2018

Master, Can herbal supplementation improve prospective memory and mood in healthy older adults?, Northumbria University

Sept 2014Nov 2015


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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