Dr Ainslea Cross is the Academic Lead for Health Psychology and is a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) and Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society (AFBPsS) and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She graduated from Staffordshire University in 2002 having completed a MSc in Health Psychology and a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. She has since held teaching and research roles at the Health Behaviour Unit at University College London , Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester, Loughborough University and has also taught as a guest MSc Health Psychology lecturer at both De Montfort University and Coventry University. Her current research interests include experiences of health care services and self-management, health behaviour change and psycho-oncology. Her current research projects are:

  • Developing long term physical activity behaviour change for young people during and after cancer with MOVE (
  • Mental contrasting and implementation intentions for behaviour change
  • Coping with ‘chemobrain’, cognitive defects following chemotherapy
  • Self-affirmation and expressive writing
  • Experiences of integrated dementia care
  • Emotional aspects of asthma self-management

Director of Studies for PhD candidate, Ivana Babicova, an investigation of pain assessment and detection in people with dementia.

Your Thoughts About Online Learning

I love online teaching because it offers students flexibility and has potential for a better work-life balance. Students can fit in their study when it suits them, around their roles and commitments. I also love that the online student community is global; this is particularly interesting when we start to share diverse experiences of health care.



BSc (Hons) Psychology (2002), Staffordshire University

MSc Health Psychology (2003), Staffordshire University

PhD, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, University of Leicester

Professional Membership/links:

BPS Division of Health Psychology

UK Society of Behavioural Medicine

British Psychosocial Oncology Society

Health Psychology in Public Health Network

Midlands Health Psychology Network

Teaching responsibilities:

MSc Health Psychology Online

Module leader: Research Project in Health Psychology

Professional Skills in Health Psychology

Professional social media links: 

Skype: Ainslea Cross



Cross, A. & Sheffield, D (2019). Mental contrasting for health behaviour change: a systematic review and meta-analysis of effects and moderator variables. Health Psychology Review, doi:

Henderson, F., Cross, A. & Baraniak, A. (2019). A new normal with chemobrain’: experiences of the impact of chemotherapy-related cognitive deficits in long-term breast cancer survivors. Health Psychology Open

Cross, A. & Sheffield, D. (2019). Raising the profile of health psychology training, consultancy and practice issues through the new Health Psychology Update sub-section. Health Psychology Update, 28(1), 37.

Cross, A. J., Garip, G., & Sheffield, D. (2018). The psychosocial impact of caregiving in dementia and quality of life: a systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative research. Psychology & health, 1-22.

Robertshaw, D., & Cross, A. (2018). Roles and responsibilities in Integrated Care for dementia. Journal of Integrated Care.

Cross, A (2018). Cancer Research UK Physical Activity innovation Sandpit: development of behaviour change interventions for increasing physical activity. Health Psychology Update, 27 (1).

Robertshaw, D., & Cross, A. (2017). Experiences of integrated care for dementia from family and carer perspectives: a framework analysis of massive open online course discussion board posts. Dementia, 1471301217719991.

Cross, A and Sheffield, D (2016), Mental contrasting as a behaviour change technique: a systematic review protocol of mediators and moderators for health. Systematic Reviews, 5:201, DOI: 10.1186/s13643-016-0382-6

Cross, A and Sheffield, D (2016) Mental contrasting as a behaviour change technique: effects, mediators and moderators on well-being. PROSPERO: International prospective register of systematic reviews.  CRD42016034202.

Cross, A, Sheffield, D, Gage, K, Morsi, M, Abas, S, Watkins, K, Cameron-Mathiasson, J (2016) Experiences of care giving in dementia and quality of life. PROSPERO: International prospective register of systematic reviews. CRD42016041747

Robertshaw, D and Cross, A (2016) ‘MOOC as a platform for social change and research in Dementia’, European MOOCs Stakeholder Summit.

Wilson, A., O’Hare, J. P., Hardy, A., Raymond, N., Szczepura, A., Crossman, R., (2014). Evaluation of the Clinical and Cost Effectiveness of Intermediate Care Clinics for Diabetes (ICCD): A Multicentre Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE, 9(4), e93964. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093964

Pollard, L, Agarwal, S, Harrad, F, Lester, L, Cross, A (2014). The impact of Patient Participation Direct Enhanced Service on patient reference groups in primary care: a qualitative study. Quality in Primary Care, Vol. 22, Issue 4 p189

Armstrong, N, Baines, D, Baker, R, Crossman, R, Davies, M, Hardy, A, Khunti, K, Kumar, S, Wilson, A (2012). A cluster randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Intermediate Care Clinics for Diabetes (ICCD): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 13:164 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-164

Wilson A, Hardy, A, Armstrong, N, Baines D, Crossman R, Davies, M, Khunti K, Kumar S, O’Hare P, Raymond N, Saravanan P, Stallard N, Szczepura A. A (2012) Cluster randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of Intermediate Care Clinics for Diabetes (ICCD). Final Report. NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation Programme.

A Szczepura, P Saravanan D Baines, Pretou, S, Crossman, R, Hardy, A, Wilson A (2012). Cost-effectiveness of intermediate care clinics for diabetes (ICCD): findings of a cluster randomised control trial. Diabetologica, 55, 417

Munro, E and Hardy, A (2006) Placement stability: a review of the literature. Centre for Child and Family Research, CCFR©

Hardy, AJ, Wilson, A and Armstrong, N (2010). Developing Intermediate Care for diabetes: Health care professional views. Diabetic Medicine, Vol 27 Issue 3, Pages 249 - 368

Coomber, J, Fletcher, M, Karbal, B, Hardy, A, Walker, S (2005) Asthma inhalers and patient choice, Primary Care Respiratory Journal, 14, 270-270

Madoc-Sutton, H, Hardy AJ, Fletcher, M and Walker s (2009). Assessment of key influences on asthma inhaler device selection, Nursing Standard, vol. 23, no24, pp. 35-4 

Hardy, A, Fletcher, M, B Karbal, K Morrison, S Walker (2004) Improving adherence: nurses’ perceptions of patients inhaler needs, American Journal of Critical Care Medicine, 169 (7), 327

Fletcher, M,  Hardy, A,  Karbal, B, Walker, S (2004) Effects of asthma training on inhaler device selection and utilisation in general practice, European Respiratory Journal, 24 (48) 257-260 


West, R with Hardy, A (2006). Theory of Addiction. Blackwell Publishing, London ISBN 1405113596

Hardy, A and West, R (2007) Stigma in Health care. In Cambridge Handbook of Health, Psychology and Medicine (2nd Edition). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge ISBN-13: 9780511287190

Hardy, A and West, R (2007) Tobacco addiction. In Cambridge Handbook of Health, Psychology and Publications

Recent Conference Presentations

Cross, A and Sheffield, D (2016) Mental contrasting as a behaviour change technique: a systematic review of mediators and moderators for health; UK Society for Behavioural Medicine, Cardiff

Cross, A and Henderson, F (2016) ‘The new normal’ - breast cancer survivors' experiences of coping with chemotherapy-related cognitive defects, UK Society for Behavioural Medicine, Cardiff

Valkonryi-Sepp, J, Cross, A and Howarth, P (2016) Co-constructed dyadic illness experience in the discourse of couples living with severe uncontrolled asthma, European Health Psychology Society Conference

Valkonryi-Sepp, J, Cross, A and Howarth, P (2016) Patient-Partner Illness representations in severe asthma: a dyadic discourse analysis, Midlands Health Psychology Network

Robertshaw, D and Cross, A (2016) ‘MOOC as a platform for social change and research in Dementia’, European MOOC stakeholders’ summit (2016)


Research interests:

Chronic illness self-management

Health Care Services Research

Exercise Psychology

Personal interests/hobbies:

British Masters and Charnwood Athletic Club track athlete: 100m, 200m 400m hurdles and long jump