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Harbinder Sandhu

Job Title
Associate Professor
WMS - Warwick Clinical Trials Unit
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.

Title Funder Award start Award end
NIHR HTA:COVID-19 recovery and learning_Rehabilitation Exercise and psycholoGical support After covid-19 InfectioN (REGAIN) National Institute for Health Research (NIHR DoH) 01 Sep 2020 31 Aug 2022
NIHR HTA Second Stage: Exercise training in pulmonary hypertension National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 01 Jun 2019 31 Aug 2022
Postural tachycardia syndrome Exercise (PulSE) BHF grant via Coventry University British Heart Foundation 01 Aug 2019 31 Jul 2022
PGfAR Full application: Chronic Headache Educations and Self-management Study (CHESS): Resubmission National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 05 Jan 2015 31 Oct 2020
iWOTCH (48750) - Excess Treatent costs from Staffordshire CCG Keele University 01 Dec 2018 31 May 2020
iWOTCH (48750) - Letter Agreement for Excess Treatment Costs for Nottingham Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust 01 Dec 2018 31 May 2020
Improving the wellbeing of people with Opioid treated chronic pain: I-WOTCH National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 01 Sep 2016 30 Nov 2019
Primary care treatment of pain-related insomnia: A feasibility study of ahybrid cognitive-behavioural approach National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 01 Apr 2014 30 Sep 2016
REVISED SUBMISSION - NIHR HTA Feasability study 11/31 - Facet Joints National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 01 Jul 2013 30 Jun 2015
Sandhu, Harbinder / Dystonia Society grant / proof of concept study into CBT and dystonia Dystonia Society 01 Mar 2014 31 Aug 2014
RDS Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Bursary National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 01 Feb 2013 31 May 2013
Values, Communication and Consultation skills, a comparison between ERPS, GPs and hospital doctors in an A&E setting The Burdett Trust for Nursing 01 Feb 2006 31 Aug 2007
Values, Communication and Consultation skills, a comparison between ERPS, GPs and hospital doctors in an A&E setting The Burdett Trust for Nursing 01 Feb 2006 31 Jul 2006