Doctorate in Clinical Psychology : Main Research Portfolio
: 1) The Role of Guilt and Shame in the Development and Maintenance of Perpetration-induced Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); 2) Evaluating Service Need for a Patient Decision Aid Tool (PtDA) for Patients Considering Lung Transplantation in an NHS Cystic Fibrosis Service: An Assessment of Patients’ and Clinician’s Perspectives; 3) The Role of Health Anxiety in Mild Cognitive Impairment.

  • Rachel Phillips

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Objectives. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a common yet controversial diagnosis with marked heterogeneity in its’ diagnostic criteria and clinical outcomes. This heterogeneity brings with it uncertainty and ambiguity for both the clinicians working in memory services as well as the individuals who receive this label. This study aims to investigate the extent and role of health anxiety in individuals’ experiences of MCI, evaluating the impact of health anxiety (HA) on quality of life (QoL), perceived ability and health beliefs. Methods. Forty-five individuals with MCI completed questionnaires assessing HA, QoL, mood, functional ability and health beliefs. They also completed two cognitive tasks followed by self-ratings of perceived performance and attribution of their performance to MCI. Groups were compared based on their level of HA (low vs. high) and to a sample of non-impaired controls (n = 17).Results. The high HA group reported significantly reduced QoL as compared to the low HA group and healthy controls. No significant effect of HA was found on perceived performance or attribution of performance to MCI. Further exploratory analyses found significant mediational effects of depression and level of objective impairment on QoL, level of objective impairment on perceived performance, and generalised anxiety on health beliefs. Conclusions. In addition to a significant relationship between health anxiety and QoL in individuals with MCI, there is an important role for depression and level of objective impairment.
Date of Award4 Sept 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPaul Salkovskis (Supervisor), Elizabeth Marks (Supervisor), Ailsa Russell (Supervisor), Samantha Phillips (Supervisor) & Orazio Giuffrida (Supervisor)

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