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Harbinder Sandhu



Associate Professor


WMS - Warwick Clinical Trials Unit
University of Warwick
Tel: 02476 574939

Research Interests

Dr Harbinder Sandhu combines her clinical role as a Health Psychologist and her academic research in the area of behavioural change interventions in the management of long term pain. She is involved in designing, leading, collaborating, publishing and dissemination of results in a range of studies which incorporate mixed methodologies. Her primary research is in clinical trials, and her research interests include: health and wellbeing, communication in healthcare and application of health psychology in the design of complex interventions for behaviour change in the management of long term conditions. These include: musculoskeletal disorders, chronic pain, neurological conditions and rare diseases (Dystonia). She is also interested in integrating new technologies and evidence based therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness.


Dr Harbinder Sandhu is Associate Professor, Division of Health Sciences (Warwick Clinical Trials Unit), University of Warwick. She is a Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered Health Psychologist and a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Dr Sandhu started her academic research career drawing on a health psychology background in the area of "doctor-patient communication". Developing expertise in methodology as well as an understanding in improving communication between clinicians and patients and the impact on patient outcome. She developed expertise in the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) and was invited and approved by Professor Debra Roter, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, USA to represent the RIAS in the UK. In 2008 she was awarded one of eight Investigator Network Grant Awards (each researcher selected from a different country), by the European Association of Communication in Health Care (EACH). Dr Sandhu's expertise within health psychology continued to develop, drawing specifically on behaviour change and the development of complex interventions. She is collaborator on numerous trials including, pain and insomnia, self-management of chronic headaches and spinal cord stimulators (pre-trial vs no trial). She is currently leading a multi-centre National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) study on reducing opioid use in chronic pain. She is also leading in the development of research in the rare disease "Dystonia" and collaborates with The Dystonia Society with an aim of improving self-management and improve quality of life for those living with Dystonia. In addition to Research Dr Sandhu also leads the Health Psychology Teaching for the MBChB undergraduate medical programme as well as contributing to other postgraduate courses across the University. She is currently supervisor to PhD and masters students. Other activities; Dr Sandhu has been invited as a Scholar to the British Journal of Health Psychology, International Advisory Board Panel. Dr Sandhu also leads the Health Psychology Group at Warwick, which is a network of health psychologists involved in various research, clinical practice and teaching from across the University of Warwick. London Olympics 2012: She offered psychological training to the Bhutan archer Sherab Zam and her coach Tshering Choden who competed in the London 2012 games and trained at The University of Warwick.

Research Projects

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