Dr Bronia Arnott
Research Methodologist

  • Email: bronia.arnott@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3804
  • Address: Institute of Health and Society
    Baddiley Clark Building
    Richardson Road
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE2 4AX

Bronia is a Research Methodologist with the Research Design Service North East. Her background is in Developmental and Health Psychology. Her main interests are the development and evaluation complex interventions, stepped wedge design, and process evaluations. She has expertise in longitudinal studies, feasibility/pilot studies, and cluster randomised controlled trials. Bronia has experience in working in large, multidisciplinary teams and has worked on projects from a variety of different funders (ESRC, EPSRC, MRC-NPRI). She also has training in both qualitative and quantitative techniques.


Bronia is also the first Fellow of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine promoting knowledge exchange, public engagement, and political advocacy in relation to behavioural medicine in the UK.



 'Reflect': A feasibility study in experienced utility and travel behaviour

Project Leader(s): Prof. Jennifer Roberts (Leader Investigator), Dr. Vera Araujo-Soares (co-investigator), Prof. Nigel Davies (co-investigator), Prof. Eddie Wilson (co-investigator), Dr. Mark Grimshaw (co-investigator); Dr. Rosemary Harris (co-investigator), Mrs Tracy Ross (co-investigator).

Sponsors: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Project Brief Description

Travel behaviours have shown considerable resistance to change, but substantial change is needed because reduced emissions cannot be secured from technical innovation alone. Our focus is on a new way to engage with, and ultimately influence, travel behaviours. Instead of appealing to emission reduction (which can feel removed from our everyday experiences), we appeal to people's wish to improve their own subjective well-being and health outcomes (physical activity). Drawing on the behavioural economics concept of experienced utility and on psychological theory of behaviour change, we combine these perspectives with expertise from mobile computing, creative technologies, mathematics and user-centred design to explore an innovative solution to understanding and potentially influencing travel behaviour. We develop an experience sampling system via a smartphone platform for the collection and delivery of real-time information on subjective travel experience. In a series of small controlled trials we feedback information to individuals about their own experiences, and those of others, and we explore whether and how these interventions change behaviour. The idea is one of user-informed behavioural interventions to encourage self-motivated change, and here we draw on evidence from successful interventions in health.

For more details please see: http://http://thereflectproject.org/


4 & UPP study:

How can we help parents recognise unhealthy body weight in their children?  

Sponsors: National Prevention Research Inititative (NPRI) Medical Research Council (MRC)

Investigators: Adamson, Parkinson, Pearce, Tovee, Jones & Ells 



BODY and mind Study

Project Leader(s): Dr. Bronia Arnott (Principal Investigator), Dr. Paul Tiffin (co-investigator)

Sponsor: HIEC NE

Project Brief Description

Obesity and depression among youth present significant public health issues. Obesity levels remain high and track through to adulthood. Obesity is also associated with significant health problems. Rates of mental health problems among youth are also high, with around one in ten children aged 5-16 years having a diagnosable condition. Further, the high levels of comorbidity of these two problems cause further concern. A recent study of the Health Survey for England data (2007) showed a significant relation between obesity and psychological adjustment in youth. Obese children and teens were more than twice as likely to be above the screening threshold for an emotional disorder compared to non-obese.


Further, evidence suggests that the relation between obesity and depression may be causative. This may be why previous treatments of obesity have been ineffective, as they have not addressed the links between mood, coping and eating. One treatment that addresses these links is Behavioural Activation. This brief intervention has been successful in reducing depression scores, body weight, and daily calorie intake, and an increase in physical activity in adults (Pagoto et al., 2008; Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice & Training, 45, 410-415), but has never been applied to young people before.


The primary aim of the project is to provide an evaluation study of the effectiveness of a brief intervention (behavioural activation) in obese and depressed youth. This is a feasibility study to develop and pilot a brief intervention for young people affected by obesity and emotional difficulties.

Previous projects include:

· Leekam, McConachie, Le Couteur, Meins, Fernyhough and Arnott. ESRC £46,000 (2008-2009) The Development of Repetitive Behaviours in Young Children.


· Meins, Fernyhough, de Rosnay, Arnott and Vittorini. ESRC £250,000 (2005-2007) Internal Working Models and Young Children’s Social-Emotional Development.
 I have successfully supervised 2 Psychology MSc students and 1 Public Health and Health Services Research MSc student. I am currently co-supervising 2 PhD students. I also have experience in teaching at both undergraduate and post-graduate level. I currently contribute towards Health Psychology teaching on the MSc module: Public Health Interventions.