Dr Vasilis Vasiliou
School of Applied Psychology
I am a Clinical Psychologist and Researcher with a specialization in Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine. My research focuses on developing digitally delivered behavioral change interventions for patients with chronic physical illnesses (e.g., chronic pain) and young adults with behavioural vulnerabilities (e.g., drug use). I completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Crete, Greece, and then continued with a master’s degree at Swansea University, Wales, UK and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Cyprus. Currently, I hold a full-time post-doctoral position at the School of Applied Psychology, working on the MiUSE project
My research focuses primarily on developing pragmatic behaviour change interventions for chronic health problems and young at-risk populations, informed by contemporary Health Psychology paradigms. I am interested in translational research and how Health Psychology knowledge can be turned into testable, scalable, and clinically meaningful health preventive and intervention programs for chronic health problems or behavioural vulnerabilities on young and adult populations. As tools in my research work, I utilize digitalized health care delivery methods (e.g., web/phone-based applications, simulated virtual reality environments), participatory health research designs (e.g., interventions developed via experience-centered co-design approach), qualitative methodologies (focus groups/interviews), randomized trial, and multifactorial predictive models (e.g., SEM).
MiUSE: Ongoing Research project-1
As part of my current post-doctoral research at UCC, I am a member of a multidisciplinary team, including Researchers and Practitioners from the School of Public Health, the Business & Information Technology center, and the University Student Health Department. My role includes the content development of a personalized digital behavior change intervention, focusing on reducing the harm associated with drug use in the college student population.
As a team, we examine the motivations for students to change drug use, identify key interface requirements in the design process, and uncover users’ needs that will guide the development of the digital intervention. The intervention will enable students to record and reflect on their drug use and receive personalized feedback with targeted health behavior change techniques, focusing on increasing students’ mindful awareness regarding their decision to take drugs and find value-based alternatives to drug use activities.
ASpida: Ongoing Research Project-2
As part of my professional development at UCC, I also develop my research portfolio. Currently, I am leading a new research program, named ASpida- Against Stigma pain intervention development approach- in collaboration with the Chronic Pain Ireland Charity. This project will develop a theory-driven resilient-based intervention program aiming at protecting chronic pain patients from stigma, using cross-sequential, focus groups, and patient and public involvement (PPI) methodologies.
Research Projects in Preparation
My future research career plans include the development of innovative interventions for pediatric health psychology populations. Specifically, my plans include the development and pilot testing of the efficacy of a mindfulness and acceptance-based virtual augmented reality (VR) intervention with biofeedback for pediatric headache and test the feasibility of a contextual-behavior change intervention as a supportive antiemetic approach during highly emetogenic chemotherapy in pediatric oncology cases.
My research is always driven by my values which include the alleviation of human suffering and the advancement of human well-being through research and practice grounded in Contextual Behavioral Science.