Psychology: tools, interventions and practices for health

Within this line of research, we are working on psychological interventions for the prevention and promotion of health and well-being in different contexts (face-to-face vs. online environments, schools, organizations, etc) and conditions (health, illness, disabilities, psychological disorders, stages and vital moments, interpersonal relationships, etc). We also investigate psychological aspects related to the use of ICT for health.

Specific thesis projects offered inside of this line of research include the following:

Thesis Proposals


Research Group

Psychology, health and the internet

"eHealth is not about technology; it's about  people using technology for health purposes." 
How can we improve social support and increase quality of life through ICTs? How can we reduce the impact of a chronic disease on daily life? Are smartphones really that bad for teenagers? Can we enhance the adoption of assistive technologies for ageing people? How do we design a psychological intervention to improve perceived quality of life?
Psychology plays a crucial role in health promotion and the improvement of quality of life through ICTs. The aim of our research lines is to analyse how ICTs are used to promote health among different groups (those suffering from rare diseases, children, teenagers, the elderly) both by professionals and citizens (ePacients) and what we can do to ensure that these technologies are put to the best possible use.
Research topics:
  • Children, adolescents and ICT: problematic use and protective factors.
  • Ageing and assistive technologies for autonomy and well-being.
  • Cognition and ICT: how multitasking impacts on cognitive processes.
  • The impact of chronic diseases on daily life, addressing psychological variables such as self-efficacy, coping strategies or empowerment.


Behavioural change in health

How do we help people change their behaviour or daily routines? How do we design behavioural solutions for controlling diabetes, getting back in shape or any other need or interest? How do we help facilitate the move to online intervention? How do we increase engagement in health programmes? In sum, how do we develop effective behavioural changes?

Behavioural change refers to the specific strategies used in interventions and its aim is to:

  • Understand how the mind makes decisions;
  • Describe the key factors that must converge in order for action to be taken; and
  • Develop strategies for changing behaviour.

Behavioural change techniques are one of the most important factors in determining the success or failure of online interventions (e-health).

Research topics:

  • The design of devices and mobile technologies to help change behaviour.
  • Sustaining changes in behaviour by promoting healthy habits.
  • Personal motivation and decision-making processes and their role in starting and sustaining changes in behaviour.
  • E-literacy, self-efficacy and empowerment and engagement as key factors in behavioural changes.
  • Persuasive systems design for online interventions aimed at disease prevention or health promotion.

Dr Armayones Ruiz

Dr Beni Gómez- Zúñiga 

Dr Eulàlia Hernández i Encuentra


Interpersonal relationships and psychotherapy

Our research seeks to contribute to enhancing the quality of psychological interventions in both individual, couple and family therapy from an integrative perspective. Within this field, we pay special attention to the following topics: self-identity and change; relational welfare; narrative change; systemic therapy; grief therapy; couple and sexual therapy; and patterns of interpersonal interaction.

We aim to carry out applied research projects focused on improving the socio-sanitary response to participants with different health problems, as well as promoting psychological and relational welfare in the community. 

Research topics:

  • Focused on developing innovative methodologies for the constructivist assessment of change, relational dynamics or personal identity, especially through the use of ICT (virtual/mixed reality).
  • Focused on studying the role of relational welfare in psychological and physical health.
  • Focused on the effectiveness of individual, family and couple psychotherapy, from a practitioner-oriented approach.
Dr Adrian Montesano del Campo Intervention in Clinical and Health Psychology

Research in legal psychology

Can psychological research favour criminal investigation? Is it possible to determine the mental processes of an individual who has committed a crime? Can we improve police and judicial intervention with victims and mitigate the effects of a traumatic experience? Our aim is to carry out research that answers these questions and thus contributes to and promotes the practice of psychology within the legal system.

Research topics:
  • Design and evaluation of techniques that improve the recall of witnesses of a criminal act.
  • Study and evaluation of psychological phenomena, both behavioural and relational, that have an impact on criminal behaviour.
  • Improvement of the situation in which victims find themselves and their interaction with the legal system, and intervention and development of programmes to prevent secondary victimization
Dr Modesta Pousada Fernández PSiNET

Virtual Communities of Practice for caregivers: a psychological approach

Caring for a person with a long-term condition has an impact on caregivers' health and diminishes their quality of life.  Virtual communities of practice for caregivers can provide them with knowledge, social support and coping strategies.
  • Do virtual communities of practice have a positive effect on health?
  • How is an online intervention based on virtual communities designed?
  • How are interactions in these communities promoted?
  • How can we stimulate a positive environment for caregivers?
Virtual communities of practice can be built intentionally to promote knowledge that facilitates quality care. 

Health Literacy

"Health literacy means more than simply being able to read pamphlets, make appointments, understand food labels or comply with a doctor's prescribed orders."

Health literacy (HL) is an issue on the global agenda and one of the three pillars for health promotion.
It is not just a personal skill. It not only depends on the individual's skills but also on the community's resources as well as the complexity and demands of the health system.
HL aims to:
  • Improve health from a public health perspective.
  • Aid in making informed and efficient decisions about health.
How does HL help people make better decisions about health?
How can social networks help spread and reinforce health-related messages, ultimately improving health? 
What skills do people (professionals and citizens) need to navigate digital healthcare services?
Research topics:
  • Health interventions through social networks.
  • Digital health literacy.
  • Skills and learning ecologies among health professionals and the public.

Psychopathology, Adaptation Processes and Resilience 

Our research uses the study of psychopathology and clinical psychology to better understand certain clinical disorders, their risk and protection factors and the processes behind adaptation to adversity. Thus, some of the topics addressed in the research include the evaluation and diagnosis of psychopathological conditions, the psychopathology of trauma, victimization and resilience processes, and response to psychosocial stressors (grief and loss, crisis intervention, care responsibilities, etc.).

Research topics:
  • Psychology of bonds and affective relationships: stress management, grief and loss, adaptation processes, separations/divorces, psychosocial stressors, etc.
  • Emergency psychology: the study of the benefits of early crisis intervention, communication of bad news, needs of victims and social support, effectiveness of interventions in trauma, care for vulnerable groups (evictions, immigration, etc.).
  • Victimization: forms, risk and protective factors, intervention programmes for victims, child abuse, sexual abuse/assault, partner violence, workplace/school harassment, etc.
Dr Adrian Montesano del Campo Intervention in Clinical and Health Psychology