Professor Andrew P Smith - BSc PhD London, FBPsP CPsychol FRSM

Professor

Research group:
Developmental & health psychology
Email:
SmithAP@Cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0)29 2087 4757
Location:
Tower Building, Park Place

Research summary

My research covers the areas of Occupational and Health Psychology with the major emphasis being on well-being. Specifically, I have conducted extensive research on the non-auditory effects of noise on cognition and health. In addition, I conduct research on stress and fatigue in both the workplace and life in general. My interests in health psychology cover two main themes: health-related behaviours (effects of nutrition, caffeine and chewing gum on behaviour) and minor illnesses (psychosocial risk factors for susceptibility to colds and influenza; effects of upper respiratory tract infections on mood and cognition). 

Teaching summary

Teach Stress and Disease and Work Psychology to Level 3 Psychology Students.
Level 2 practical on social support and tutorials in social and abnormal psychology.

Selected publications (2014 onwards)

 

Online publications

Full list of publications

 

Research topics and related papers

Non-auditory effects of noise: My research on the effects of noise started 35 years ago with the late Donald Broadbent. The main areas that I have been active in are: noise and cognition; noise and health; noise and accidents; combined effects of noise and other occupational health hazards; and noise and mental health (see publications). I have been Chair of the Noise and performance team of the International Commission for the Biological Effects of Noise (ICBEN) and an expert on the Department of Health/Health protection Agency Noise Group. I am currently a member of the European Noise Network (ENNAH) and have the remit for advising on new methods for use in noise research.

Occupational stress and fatigue: This research has been supported by the Health & Safety Executive, IOSH, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the EU. It has involved studies of the scale of occupational stress; seafarers fatigue; effects of drugs and medication in the workplace; stress in ethnic minorities; safety culture; and what makes a good job. Current projects are concerned with well-being at work and health and safety in the maritime industry. The research involves both collaboration with other academics, with industry (e.g. ConnectAssist) and charities (e.g. the Well-beingWalesNetwork).

The Psychology of the Common Cold and other infections: This research has examined two areas. The first has been concerned with psychosocial risk factors (e.g. stress) for infection and illness. The second has examined the behavioural malaise (negative mood, impaired cognition) associated with upper respiratory tract illnesses. This research has involved both laboratory studies and simulations of real-life activities (e.g. driving). Surveys have also investigated occupational risk factors for minor illnesses and the effects of such illnesses on productivity and safety. Combined effects of minor illnesses and other stressors have been examined. Pharmacological studies have also examined the neurotransmitter changes that underlie malaise.

Functional disorders: Initial studies of post-viral fatigue have led to extensive research in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Again, a major interest has been the cognitive impairments associated with CFS. The role of psychosocial factors in the pathogenesis of the disorder has also been investigated. Recent research has evaluated multi-convergent therapy and shown that it can have benefits for those with CFS. We are now starting a similar programme to investigate irritable bowel syndrome.

Nutritional Neuroscience: While conducting research on mood and performance at different times of day I became interested in the behavioural effects of meals. Similarly, I became interested in the beneficial effects of caffeine in low alertness situations (e.g. working at night). The research has been extended to examine behavioural effects of macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients and pre-and pro-biotics. Current interests include effects of chewing gum on stress, mood and cognitive function. We have also developed methods of investigating effects of diet on well-being. These have been used to examine high fibre diets and effects of fruit/vegetable consumption. 

Funding

Sixth Framework Programme. European Framework for safe, efficient and environmentally-friendly ship operations (FLAGSHIP). 10,215,000 euros.

IOSH. The relationship between work/working and improved health, safety and well-being. £106,944.
Seventh Framework Programme. European Noise Network (ENNAH) 993,852 euros.

KESS studentship with Connect Assist. Researching and developing mental health and wellbeing assessment tools for supporting employees and employers in Wales. £99,804.

CASCADE: Model-based co-operative and  adaptive ship based context aware design. FP7-SST-2012-RTD-1. 4,380,346 euros.

Research group

Well-being Connect

Research collaborators

Current collaborators in Cardiff include:

Professor Keith Whitfied (Business School)
Professor David Walters (Soc.Sci)
Professor Tony Campbell (Medicine)
Dr John Green (Medicine)
Dr John Watkins (Medicine)
Dr John Gallacher (Medicine)
Dr I Johnson (Dentl)

Collaborators in the UK include:

Professor Ted Dinan (Cork)
Professor Jaroslav Flegr (Prague)
Solveig Bøggild Dohrmann. (University of Southern Denmark)
R Capasso (University of Naples)

Postgraduate research interests

A number of different research topics are currently being investigated in the Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology and the following would be appropriate areas in which to do a PhD: Nutritional Neuroscience, Behavioural effects of caffeine, Effects of chewing gum, Effects of minor illnesses on behaviour, Occupational stress and fatigue, Noise, health and performance, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application here.

Current students

K.Webb. Common mental health problems. School of Psychology.

G. Williams. Researching and developing mental health and wellbeing assessment tools for supporting employees and employers in Wales. KESS studentship with Connect Assist.

J. Berrill. Functional abdominal symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Joint with Medicine and Pharmacology.

J. Galvin. Stress in clinical psychologists. School of Psychology, Cardiff University.

G.Richards. Junk food, energy drinks, attainment and behaviour. Waterloo Foundation/School of Psychology.

J.Fonberg. Factors influencing well-being. Self-funded.

K. Nelson. Stress in the Jamaican police force. Commonwealth Studentship.

H.Alhenaidi. Effect of information overload on wellbeing. Self-funded.

Previous students

S.Hall. Behavioural effects of acute and chronic viral illnesses.  Funded by MRC.  PhD awarded 1993.

R.Flynn (deceased). Psychosocial models of well-being . Funded by MRC. PhD awarded 1993.

M.Savory. Naturally-occurring colds and influenza: studies of performance efficiency. MPhil. awarded 1991.

A.Maben. The effect of low doses of caffeine, sugar and aspartame on human physiology, mood and performance. MPhil. awarded 1992.

S.Johal. Stress, health and the influence of psychosocial factors. Funded by MRC. PhD awarded 1995.

E.Dafeeah. Psychosocial factors and health. Funded by Sudanese government. PhD awarded 1996.

I.Ertoren. Cross cultural studies of stress. Funded by Turkish government. PhD awarded 1997.

P.Patel. Stress and health-related behaviours. Funded by U. Bristol. PhD awarded 1998.

F.Khan. Stress and allergy. Funded by industry. PhD awarded 1998.

C.Brice. Caffeine consumption and the role of central noradrenaline. Funded by ESRC. PhD awarded 1999.

S.Hayward. Evaluation of stress management. Funded by U.Bristol. PhD awarded 1999.

E.O’Connor. Heat and performance. Funded by D.E.R.A. PhD awarded 1999.

S. Hewlett. Values and personal impact in arthritis.  Funded by Arthritis and Rheumatism Research Council. PhD awarded 2000.

D.Nguyen-van-Tam. Caffeine and memory. Funded by ESRC. PhD awarded 2002.

B.Wellens. Combined effects of Occupational Stress. Funded by HSE. PhD awarded 2004.

S.Sivell. Combined effects of Occupational Health Hazards. Funded by HSE. MPhil awarded 2004.

P.Hewlett. Effects of caffeine and macronutrient variation on mood and cognitive performance. Funded by Cardiff University. PhD awarded 2004.

S.Faulkner, Part-time PG. Psychosocial factors and herpes viruses. Funded by U.Glamorgan. PhD awarded 2005.

K.Chaplin. BBSRC CASE studentship (with Kelloggs). Breakfast cereal, snacks, mood, cognition and health. Awarded 2008.

G.Mark. A transactional approach to occupational stress and mental health. Funded by Cardiff University. Awarded 2008.

R.McNamara, Part-time PG. Combined effects of work hazards. Funded by Cardiff University. Submission 2008. Awarded 2009.

M.Thomas (by publication). Exploring the beliefs and underlying functional deficits associated with chronic fatigue syndrome and the identification of predictors of recovery and successful illness management. 2009.

S.Kingdom, Part-time PG, Stress in the Coastguard. Self-funded. Awarded 2011.

A.P Allen. Chewing gum and stress. Part funded by Wrigley Science Institute. Awarded 2013.

I. Johnson. Oral health and emotion. Joint with Dental School. Awarded 2014.

Undergraduate education

University College London, 1970-1973.

Postgraduate education

University College London, 1973-1976.
PhD: “The processing and effects of emotion words”

Awards/external committees

Chartered Psychologist (C.Psychol.)
Fellow of the British Psychological Society (FBPsS)
Fellow of Royal Society of Medicine (FRSM)

Journal Editorial Boards

Associate Editor, Noise and Health
Associate Editor, Current topics in Nutraceutical Research
Editorial Board: International Maritime Health

Employment

Current Position: Professor, School of Psychology, Director of Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology, Cardiff University, 1999 – research projects have included: ESRC ROPA, HSE, MCA/HSE/Seafarers International, Procter & Gamble, Guinness Ltd, Department of Transport, Department of Health, Gatsby Foundation, Kellogg's, Oakland Innovation and Information Services, Health & Safety Executive, MCA/HSE, ORAFTI, YAKULT, NESTEC, Admiral Insurance Services, IOSH, ITF, Wm Wrigley Co., Sixth and Seventh Framework Programme.

Professor, Director of Health Psychology Research Unit, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, 1993 – 1999 – HSE funded research on occupational stress; Gatsby Foundation funded research on chronic fatigue syndrome; Industry funded research on anti-oxidant vitamins and cognition in the elderly; MAFF Link project on food acceptability, mood and cognition; MRC funded project on central noradrenaline and behavioural effects of noise; ESRC ROPA on effects of breakfast and caffeine on mood, working memory and attention; industry funded projects on behavioural effects of caffeine, tea, breakfast, snacks and chewing gum; Department of health funded project on noise, insomnia and mental health; and industry funded projects on malaise associated with minor illnesses.

Director, Health Psychology Research Unit, Reader, School of Psychology, University of Wales College of Cardiff, 1990 – 1993 – HSE funded research on viral illnesses and safety at work; Linbury Trust funded project on chronic fatigue syndrome; AFRC project on effects of meals on mood and cognition; industry funded projects on caffeine and behaviour.

Charles Hunnisett Research Fellow, Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex, 1989 – 1990 - research on chronic fatigue syndrome.

Scientist, Medical Research Council, Perceptual and Cognitive Performance Unit, University of Sussex, 1982 – 1988 – research on combined effects of occupational stressors, nutrition and behaviour, and the psychology of the common cold.

Research Fellow, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, 1976 – 1982 - working with Donald Broadbent on the effects of noise on cognition.