Dr Samantha van Beurden
Senior Research Fellow in Complex Interventions
South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
Samantha van Beurden is a Senior Research Fellow in the Health and Community Sciences department with a background in Psychology and Behavioural Medicine. Her work is focused on the development, evaluation, and implementation of (health) behaviour change interventions and has a particular interest in the utility and uptake of digital health and integrating key stakeholder involvement throughout the lifecycle of interventions. She completed her PhD in 2018 at the University of Exeter Medical School during which she developed the ImpulsePal intervention (a digital dietary change intervention supporting individuals with impulse management) and collaborated with Prof Natalia Lawrence in Psychology to move Food Trainer from a web-based intervention to a smartphone app. She was also actively involved in the Sugar Smart Exeter working group which is a (now national) campaign aiming to reduce the city’s sugar intake via changes primarily at organisational and environmental level.
She has worked on projects funded by the NIHR including the mixed-methods evaluation of a group-based weight management intervention focussing on weight loss and long-term maintenance (SkiM - weight management and diabetes prevention) and refined a home-based facilitated cardiac rehabilitation programme for people with Heart Failure and their carers (REACH-HF - heart failure) and the training of healthcare professionals to deliver this programme. She led the initial enhanced dissemination of the programme within the NHS through four Beacon Sites in the UK in 2019 (NIHR) and adapted the cardiac rehab staff training from a 3-day face-to-face course to a 2-day online workshop in 2020 (funded by the South West Academic Health Sciences Network), in response to the COVID-19 lockdowns. She is currently leading workpackages in the digitisation of the REACH-HF programme (funded by the British Heart Foundation Hope for Hearts) and is involved in the development of the eLearnign course for the REACH-HF facilitators (funded by the NIHR Programme Development Grant) which builds on the work she had done in 2020. She has also developed a digital physical activity intervention for young people with cystic fibrosis (funded by Vertex Circle of Care) which aims to support them in finding activities that are enjoyable and therefore sustainable for them (Teens on Beam - cystic fibrosis).
She is currently the lead on an NIHR funded feasibility trial of a digital intervention to promote physical activity among young people with cystic fibrosis (Research for Patient Benefit – Joint-Lead: Prof Craig Williams) which follows on from her work with the Youth Activity Unlimited Team in the Children’s Health and Exercise Centre and a co-applicant on two grants related to the REACH-HF home-based cardiac rehab programme for people with Heart Failure (See above). She joined the Third Gap research group through her role on the Process Evaluation of the REACH-HFpEF trial led by Dr Julia Frost, in July 2021).
2018 PhD Medical Studies – University of Exeter
2013 MSc Social and Organisational Psychology – University of Exeter
2009 MSc Psychological Research Methods – University of Plymouth
2008 BSc (Hons) Psychology – University of Plymouth
- 2022 InnovateUK
Development of the CONNECTPlus healthcare app
- 2021 National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit
Feasibility study of a novel digital intervention promoting physical activity in young people with Cystic Fibrosis
- 2020 National Institute for Health Research
Extending the reach and implementation of the successful REACH-HF programme with a digitally enhanced training programme. £161,434. Co-applicant.
- 2020 BHF Research Project
D REACH-HF: Digital Rehabilitation Enablement in Chronic Heart Failure. £167,000. Co-applicant.
External Engagement and Impact
UK Society of Behavioural Medicine
Sam has been a trustee of the UKSBM since 2021 and has the role of Chief Operating Officer on the Executive Committee.