Doctorate in Clinical Psychology : Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Are safety-seeking behaviours relevant to medical conditions? A systematic review of topology, function and impact; 2) - Improving appropriate referrals to the Family and Couples Therapy (FaCT) Service through exploring who is referred and why; 3) - Safety-seeking behaviours in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: a pilot experimental investigation of topology and function.

  • Samantha Lloyd

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


The aim of this study was to investigate the use of safety-seeking behaviours(SSB) in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) in response to physical exertion. An experimental design was used with N = 10individuals with CFS/ME and N = 15 healthy controls (HCs) carrying out a physical task twice. Participants were recorded while completing the task and asked to identify from the recording strategies used during the task and the function of these. Significant differences on the number of strategies defined as SSB were found between groups, with the CFS/ME group using significantly more SSB during the Task 2. In addition, a significant correlation was found between the number of SS Band increased score on a measure of health anxiety. Overall the pilot study provides novel evidence for the use of SSB in CFS/ME and conceptualises topology and function of such strategies, with SSB representing an important potential target for cognitive behavioural interventions for this condition.
Date of Award31 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJo Daniels (Supervisor) & Catherine Butler (Supervisor)

Cite this