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Dr Fiona Muirhead

Strathclyde Chancellor'S Fellow

Physical Activity for Health

Personal statement

My background is in Exercise and Health Psychology (MSc, PhD) and my research interests are mainly focussed around investigating behaviour change, particularly in hard to reach populations. I have recently been awarded a University of Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellowship, which will focus on designing, developing and evaluating lifestyle interventions for youth with special health needs. This will build on the ActivPals project, which involved developing and piloting a physical activity intervention for youth with Type 1 Diabetes. I will also develop work which explores the physical activity and dietary patterns and choices of young people with intellectual disabilities.

I am involved in two externally funded Cancer Research UK projects; Incentivized smoking cessation for tobacco treatment-resistant diabetics (UK PI) and Project HATCH -Staying Healthy AfTer Childbirth: A cross-national study to support smoking abstinence and inter-related cancer prevention behaviours among postpartum women (CO-I).

I am also in the supervisory team for two PhD studentships:

1)       Exploring psychological, social and environmental determinants in physical activity in young people with intellectual disabilities  

2)      Integrating technology to support active lifestyles in youth with Type 1 diabetes: The ActivPals programme.

Before moving to the University of Strathclyde, I was a Research Associate at the University of Glasgow. I worked on a variety of studies with individuals with intellectual disabilities, including an RCT, which examined the effectiveness of a walking intervention (Walk Well) with adults with intellectual disabilities. Walk Well was a multi- disciplinary study which involved collaborations from the University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, University of Edinburgh and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 

I have also played a key role in the evaluation of national physical activity programmes. For example, the Fit for Girls programme (funded by sportscotland and the Youth Sport Trust), which aimed to increase physical activity in adolescent girls across schools in Scotland. I also led the evaluation of the Venture Trust Next Steps programme, an outdoor education programme for female offenders.    


The lifestyle behaviours of young adults with intellectual disabilities transitioning from school to adulthood : a feasibility study
Mitchell Fiona, Stevens Gemma , Jahoda Andrew , Matthews Lynsay , Hankey Catherine, Murray Heather, Melville Craig
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities Vol 31, pp. 1154-1163, (2018)
Feasibility and pilot study of an intervention to support active lifestyles in youth with type 1 diabetes : the ActivPals study
Mitchell Fiona, Wilkie Louise , Robertson Kenneth , Reilly John J, Kirk Alison
Pediatric Diabetes Vol 19, pp. 443-449, (2018)
Understanding students' experiences in a PE, health and well-being context : a self-determination theory perspective
Gray Shirley , Mitchell Fiona, Wang C. K. John , Robertson Ashley
Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education Vol 9, pp. 157-173, (2018)
A theory based survey of UK and USA HCPs views on the promotion of smoking cessation and interrelated cancer preventative behaviours postpartum
Ward Emma, Nostikasari Dian, Kurti Allison, Payton Jamie, Kassianos Angelos, Adams Spears Claire, Mitchell Fiona, Notley Caitlin
Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) 24th Annual Meeting, (2018)
Correlates of objectively measured sedentary time in adults with intellectual disabilities
Harris Leanne , McGarty Arlene M., Hilgenkamp Thessa , Mitchell Fiona, Melville Craig A.
Preventive Medicine Reports, pp. 1-22, (2017)
Motivations for physical activity in youth with type 1 diabetes participating in the ActivPals project : a qualitative study
Wilkie Louise , Mitchell Fiona, Robertson Kenneth, Kirk Alison
Practical Diabetes Vol 34, pp. 151-155, (2017)

more publications


Project HATCH – Staying Healthy AfTer Childbirth A cross-national study to support smoking abstinence and inter-related cancer-prevention behaviours among postpartum women
Muirhead, Fiona (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Aug-2017 - 31-Jul-2018
Incentivised smoking cessation for tobacco treatment resistant diabetics
Muirhead, Fiona (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Sep-2017 - 28-Feb-2019
Development and feasibility/pilot testing of an intervention to support active lifestyles in youth with Type 1 diabetes. The ActivPals programme
Muirhead, Fiona (Fellow) Kirk, Alison (Principal Investigator) Reilly, John (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Sep-2015 - 31-Aug-2016
A Feasibility study to inform the development of interventions to prevent weight gain in young adults with learning disabilities
Muirhead, Fiona (Principal Investigator)
This study aims to assess the feasibility of recruiting and retaining young adults with mild-moderate learning disabilities as they transition from school to adulthood. The feasibility of collecting physical activity and dietary information will also be assessed.
Period 01-Nov-2014 - 31-Oct-2016
Feasibility study to inform the development of interventions to prevent weight gain
Muirhead, Fiona (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2015 - 30-Sep-2016

more projects


Physical Activity for Health
Graham Hills Building

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