Behavioural Medicine

Professor Rob Horne, CASMI’s UCL Academic Lead, is contributing to the important research area of behavioural medicine and treatment optimisation. This work aims to provide new knowledge to make healthcare more efficient and sustainable by understanding and addressing the psychosocial and behavioural factors explaining variation in response to treatment.

He leads the Centre for Behavioural medicine at the UCL School of Pharmacy and his reach programme includes:

  • Assessing public perceptions of medicines and how perceptions (and other factors) influence the use and effects of medicines
  • Understanding user perspectives of medical innovations, and the way in which perceptions of risk and value impact on illness and treatment-related behaviours.
  • Developing interventions to support optimal engagement with innovative treatments
  • Applying new technologies (e.g. e-communication) and interfaces (e.g. social media) to enhance patient engagement with care and to improve patient-practitioner communication
  • Developing interventions to improve the outcomes of treatments by enhancing nonspecific positive effects (‘placebo’ responses) and reducing nonspecific negative effects (‘nocebo’ responses)
  • Understanding prescribing behaviour and developing interventions to optimise prescribing