Dr Rebecca Richards (MSc, PhD, MBPsS) is a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Behavioural Science and Health, University College London (UCL). Rebecca is a member of the UCL cervical cancer screening group, which is headed by Professor Jo Waller. This is the team which my walk is supporting. Their research aims to increase the uptake of: 1) cervical cancer screening, and 2) the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. Cervical cancer screening enables doctors to detect and treat cervical cancer early, while the HPV vaccine helps to prevent cervical cancer from developing in the first place.
Rebecca is also a Trainee Health Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, which means she has particular expertise in the application of behavioural science to health (including how we can use behaviour change techniques to encourage more women to attend cervical cancer screening appointments). Rebecca hopes to qualify as a Chartered Health Psychologist in November 2018.
Previously, Rebecca completed an MSc in Health Psychology at University College London (2013) and a PhD in Health Psychology at Cardiff University (2017), which involved developing a smartphone app for patients with cancer to help them to meet their information needs, including those with cervical cancer.
Having lost her grandmother to cancer at a young age, Rebecca saw the devastating impact that cancer can have on family and friends and has since pursued a career in disease prevention, with a particular focus on cancer.
Rebecca will be assisting me by writing a series of blogs focusing on cervical cancer and its impact. Put simply, Rebecca will bring some substance to this effort, leaving me to continue with travelogues...
Incidentally, Rebecca is from the valleys of South Wales, which are a very special place with many important traditions, such as tightknit communities, beautiful singing and glorious rugby.
Rebecca: “It is a privilege to be a part of this wonderful project, which I am confident will help so many. My joining is particularly timely; the HPV vaccination will be offered to boys ages 12-13 in England from September 2019 and so I want to help raise awareness of this, as much as I possibly can”.