“I am interested in the beliefs, attitudes and experiences of lung disease sufferers, to support them in managing their own disease”

As a child I saw the impact of asthma on my best friend’s life and this led to my passion for studying psychology and chronic disease.

Much of clinical research is occupied with how well a treatment works but we often forget that patients are individuals with specific attitudes toward their disease and its management.

My research has taken me to institutes in Scotland, The Netherlands and Australia where I studied how patients think and feel about their disease and how they manage symptoms, treatments and side effects. I am particularly interested in what drives people to take (or not!) their prescribed medication. I do this by interviewing or collecting surveys from people with asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis.

I use this information to develop interventions which support people in managing their own disease, for example apps and electronic gadgets which motivate patients or train health professionals in effective health communication. Involving patients and health professionals in the design process is important to ensure the interventions are relevant and appealing to use.

- Dr. Juliet Foster, Research Psychologist.