Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

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 Samantha van Beurden

Samantha van Beurden

PhD Researcher in the Psychology Applied to Health group


 +44 (0) 1392 726440

 Smeall building JS08


Smeall Building, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK

Samantha is currently well on her way with her PhD in Medical Studies as part of the Psychology Applied to Health (PAtH) group. Her main research interest is in facilitating behaviour change through impulse management.  

In 2008 Samantha obtained her BSc in Psychology from the University of Plymouth which was followed by an MSc in Psychological Research Methods in 2009. Following these early years she moved around between Australia, The Netherlands  and the UK to satisfy an interest in travelling. Since 2012 Samantha has been part of the University of Exeter, firstly during her MSc in Social and Organisational Psychology and currently her PhD.

PhD supervision: Assoc Prof Colin Greaves, Dr Jane Smith, & Prof Charles Abraham


  • MSc Social and Organisational Psychology
  • MSc Psychological Research Methods
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology


Invited/conference talks:

  • EHPS 2015: Identifying techniques  for modifying impulsive influences on eating behaviour: A systematic review.
  • Annual Research event 2015: Identifying impulse management techniques to support eating behaviour change: A systematic review.
  • UKSBM 2014 Identifying impulse management techniques to support eating behaviour change: A systematic review.
  • EHPS 2014: Patient experiences of free internet-based weight loss interventions.
  • Annual Research event 2014

Poster presentations:

  • UoE Research showcase 2014: “Patient experiences with free internet-based weight loss interventions.”
  • UoE Research showcase 2015: “How to… manage your eating impulses.”


Research interests

In Samantha's PhD project she focuses on modifying impulsive processes to facilitate behaviour change in health interventions. She is developing a novel practical intervention to facilitate weight management which builds on dual-process models of behaviour (e.g. Reflective Impulsive Model; Strack & Deutsch) and evidence-based techniques identified in a systematic review conducted early in this PhD. The intervention is delivered in the form of a smartphone app (ImpulsePal) and was built using formal intervention development methods (Intervention Mapping).

Research projects

PhD. Developing, evaluating, and implementing novel interventions to facilitate weight management:

  • Identifying, defining, and categorizing techniques to modify impulsive processes associated with unhealthy eating.
  • Developing a novel weight loss intervention using Intervention Mapping.
  • ImpulsePal: A feasibility study to aid the planning of a randomized controlled trial and refinement of a smartphone app-based intervention to support weight loss.


Currently funded through a UEMS PhD Studentship.


van Beurden, S. B., Greaves, C. J., Smith, J. R., & Abraham, C. (under review). Techniques for modifying impulsive processes associated with unhealthy eating: A systematic review. Health Psychology

Teaching responsibilities: (Undergraduate, Postgraduate)

2014 – Grand Challenges module: SSI – British Counterterrorism Moving Forward

2014 – Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LTHE) Stage 2

2013 – LTHE Stage 1

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