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Associate Professor Gareth Treharne Research Interests

 Dr Gareth Treharne

Email gareth.treharne@otago.ac.nz
Tel 64 3 479 7630
Visit Associate Professor Treharne’s profile

Health Psychology: The Promotion and Maintenance of Health, and How We Experience and Manage Illness

Health psychology is an emerging subfield concerned with the promotion and maintenance of health, the experience and management of illness and the organisation and policies of healthcare provision. Health psychology builds upon the history and expertise of biological, clinical, cognitive, cross-cultural, developmental, political and social psychology as well as medicine and allied health professions.

Living with Chronic Illness

My research interests mainly centre around the influence of psychosocial factors for people living with chronic illness (especially rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis). This research focuses on how outcomes of chronic illness such as levels of pain, fatigue and depressed mood might be linked to beliefs about the illness (such as what the illness is perceived to be caused by and how controllable it is perceived to be), dispositional traits (such as generalised pessimism and self-consciousness) and social circumstance (especially socioeconomic situation and personal support network). This research generally takes the form of questionnaire surveys following cohorts of patients over time and/or in-depth interviews about experiences of living with illness (and treatments).

Communication Processes Involved in Treatment Decisions

Participant and Researcher in Dr Gareth Treharne's LabI am also carrying out research into the communication processes involved in treatment decisions, which involves complex circumstances relating to how the person with the health condition interacts with their family, friends and colleagues as well as medical doctors, pharmacists and other allied health professionals, including psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and specialist nurses, all within localised healthcare services.  Further complexity arises from distinctions between treatments that are desired versus treatments that are perceived as harmful or overused, and treatments that become routine and those that require sustained effort (i.e., more than remembering a medication). Exercise on prescription epitomises some of these complexities and I am researching the challenges of helping people enhance their physical activity levels with a critical take on neoliberalist implications of choice rhetoric and enforced autonomy.

Qualitative Research and the Media

I also have expertise in qualitative methods and critical approaches to the social construction of health. These approaches include one-on-one interviews and focus groups  using semi-structured questioning schedules and carefully managed ethical protocols. Interview methods also tie-in with representations of groups, concepts and epistemologies in popular mass media (e.g. television, films, magazines and novels) and local and international policy documents, which participants can draw upon spontaneously or be introduced to. These media sources can also be the subject of primary analysis of the social constructions they mediate. Social constructionism (and resistance to hegemony) relates to experiences of chronic illnesses that are seen as more medically legitimate (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis) as well as functional somatic syndromes (e.g. fibromyalgia syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome), mental health, sexual health, childbirth and obesity as medicalized conditions.

I am the Vice-Chair of the International Society for Critical Health Psychology, which holds a conference every 2 years in locations around the world, the next being in the UK in 2017. ISCHP’s aims are to contribute to the advancement of critical research on health and illness and foster the skills of new researchers, and we particularly encourage students to attend and present their research.

I am available to supervise or advise on postgraduates’ projects that relate to my interests and expertise, and I encourage self-direction and the development of independent research ability amongst my students.

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Publications

Scholz, B., Gordon, S. E., & Treharne, G. J. (2021). Special issue introduction: Working towards allyship: Acknowledging and redressing power imbalances in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 18(4), 451-458. doi: 10.1080/14780887.2021.1970358

Treharne, G. J., Johnstone, G., Fletcher, B. D., Lamar, R. S. M., White, D., Stebbings, S., & Harrison, A. (2021). Fears about COVID-19 and perceived risk among people with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis following the initial lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand. Musculoskeletal Care. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/msc.1585

Johnstone, G., Treharne, G. J., Fletcher, B. D., Lamar, R. S. M., White, D., Harrison, A., & Stebbings, S. (2021). Mental health and quality of life for people with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis in Aotearoa New Zealand following the COVID-19 national lockdown. Rheumatology International. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00296-021-04952-x

Hond-Flavell, E., Theodore, R., Treharne, G. J., Tamati, A., Edwards, W., Poulton, R., … Ratima, M. (2021). Tangi te kawekaweā: Whānau engagement in Kaupapa Māori early years provision: An exploratory qualitative study. MAI Journal, 10(1), 3-16. doi: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2021.10.1.1

Tamati, A., Ratima, M., Hond-Flavell, E., Edwards, W., Hond, R., Korewha, H., Treharne, G. J., Theodore, R., & Poulton, R. (2021). He piki raukura: Understanding strengths-based Māori child development constructs in Kaupapa Māori early years provision. MAI Journal, 10(1), 17-29. doi: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2021.10.1.2

Macleod, C. I., Marx, J., Mnyaka, P., & Treharne, G. J. (Eds.). (2018). The Palgrave handbook of ethics in critical research. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 463p. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74721-7

Edited Book - Research

Ashdown, J., Pidduck, P., Neha, T. N., Schaughency, E., Dixon, B., Aitken, C. E., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). The ethics of allowing participants to be named in critical research with indigenous peoples in colonised settings: Examples from health research with Māori. In C. I. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka & G. J. Treharne (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of ethics in critical research. (pp. 273-289). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74721-7_18

Chapter in Book - Research

Hay Smith, J., Brown, M., Anderson, L., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Blurred researcher-participant boundaries in critical research: Do non-clinicians and clinicians experience similar dual-role tensions? In C. I. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka & G. J. Treharne (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of ethics in critical research. (pp. 145-161). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74721-7

Chapter in Book - Research

Macleod, C. I., Marx, J., Mnyaka, P., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Ethics in critical research: Stories from the field. In C. I. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka & G. J. Treharne (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of ethics in critical research. (pp. 1-13). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74721-7

Chapter in Book - Research

Marx, J., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Introduction: Researching 'down', 'up', and 'alongside'. In C. I. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka & G. J. Treharne (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of ethics in critical research. (pp. 327-338). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74721-7

Chapter in Book - Research

Mirfin-Veitch, B., Conder, J., Treharne, G. J., Hale, L., & Richardson, G. (2018). Challenging methodological and ethical conventions to facilitate research that is responsive to people with learning disabilities. In C. I. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka & G. J. Treharne (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of ethics in critical research. (pp. 355-370). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74721-7_23

Chapter in Book - Research

Smith, C. M., Tumilty, E., Walker, P., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Non-human animals as research participants: Ethical practice in animal assisted interventions and research in Aotearoa/New Zealand. In C. I. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka & G. J. Treharne (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of ethics in critical research. (pp. 99-115). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74721-7

Chapter in Book - Research

Treharne, G. J., & Marx, J. (2018). Introduction: Encounters with systems within which critical research is conducted. In C. I. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka & G. J. Treharne (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of ethics in critical research. (pp. 17-28). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74721-7

Chapter in Book - Research

Treharne, G. J., Mnyaka, P., Marx, J., & Macleod, C. I. (2018). Traversing ethical imperatives: Learning from stories from the field. In C. I. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka & G. J. Treharne (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of ethics in critical research. (pp. 429-453). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74721-7

Chapter in Book - Research

Tumilty, E., Smith, C. M., Walker, P., & Treharne, G. (2018). Ethics unleashed: Developing responsive ethical practice and review for the inclusion of non-human animal participants in qualitative research. In R. Iphofen & M. Tolich (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research ethics. (pp. 396-410). London, UK: SAGE.

Chapter in Book - Research

Smith, C. M., Treharne, G. J., Mulligan, H., & Hale, L. A. (2016). Using qualitative evidence to develop an intervention for enabling people with chronic disabling conditions to be more physically active. In K. Olson, R. A. Young & I. Z. Schultz (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative health research for evidence-based practice. (pp. 453-472). New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2920-7_27

Chapter in Book - Research

Treharne, G. J., & Riggs, D. W. (2015). Ensuring quality in qualitative research. In P. Rohleder & A. C. Lyons (Eds.), Qualitative research in clinical and health psychology. (pp. 57-73). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Chapter in Book - Research

Hale, E. D., & Treharne, G. J. (2010). Applying psychological interventions in rheumatic disease. In K. Dziedzic & A. Hammond (Eds.), Rheumatology: Evidence-based practice for physiotherapists and occupational therapists. (pp. 151-162). Edinburgh, UK: Churchill Livingstone.

Chapter in Book - Other

Hale, E. D., & Treharne, G. J. (2010). Health Psychology. In K. Dziedzic & A. Hammond (Eds.), Rheumatology: Evidence-based practice for physiotherapists and occupational therapists. (pp. 10-11). Edinburgh, UK: Churchill Livingstone.

Chapter in Book - Other

Hale, E. D., Treharne, G. J., & Kitas, G. D. (2009). Mood disorders and lupus. In Y. Norton (Ed.), Lupus: Diagnosis and treatment. (pp. 72-76). Romford, UK: LUPUS UK.

Chapter in Book - Other

Graham, K., Potterton, H., Mihaere, T., Carrington, B., Treharne, G. J., & Beres, M. A. (2021). Balancing community input and established research: Findings from the development of a sexual violence prevention campaign. Journal of School Violence. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/15388220.2021.1897017

Journal - Research Article

Graham, K., Treharne, G. J., Liebergreen, N., Stojanov, Z., Shaw, R., & Beres, M. A. (2021). A qualitative exploration of barriers to university students’ willingness to attend sexual violence prevention workshops. Sex Education, 21(2), 148-160. doi: 10.1080/14681811.2020.1772225

Journal - Research Article

Hayward, M., & Treharne, G. J. (2021). Clinical psychology students’ perspectives on involving transgender community members in teaching activities within their training in Aotearoa New Zealand. Psychology of Sexual Orientation & Gender Diversity. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000468

Journal - Research Article

Hegarty, R. S. M., Conner, T. S., Stebbings, S., Fletcher, B. D., Harrison, A., & Treharne, G. J. (2021). Understanding fatigue-related disability in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis: The importance of daily correlates. Arthritis Care & Research, 73(9), 1282-1289. doi: 10.1002/acr.24224

Journal - Research Article

Hond-Flavell, E., Theodore, R., Treharne, G. J., Tamati, A., Edwards, W., Poulton, R., … Ratima, M. (2021). Tangi te kawekaweā: Whānau engagement in Kaupapa Māori early years provision: An exploratory qualitative study. MAI Journal, 10(1), 3-16. doi: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2021.10.1.1

Journal - Research Article

Johnstone, G., Treharne, G. J., Fletcher, B. D., Lamar, R. S. M., White, D., Harrison, A., & Stebbings, S. (2021). Mental health and quality of life for people with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis in Aotearoa New Zealand following the COVID-19 national lockdown. Rheumatology International. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00296-021-04952-x

Journal - Research Article

Poulter, P. I., & Treharne, G. J. (2021). "I'm actually pretty happy with how I am": A mixed-methods study of young women with positive body image. Psychology & Health, 36(6), 649-668. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2020.1820008

Journal - Research Article

Stojanov, Z., Treharne, G. J., Graham, K., Liebergreen, N., Shaw, R., Hayward, M., & Beres, M. (2021). Pro-social bystander sexual violence prevention workshops for first year university students: Perspectives of students and staff of residential colleges. Kōtuitui. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/1177083X.2021.1906712

Journal - Research Article

Tamati, A., Ratima, M., Hond-Flavell, E., Edwards, W., Hond, R., Korewha, H., Treharne, G. J., Theodore, R., & Poulton, R. (2021). He piki raukura: Understanding strengths-based Māori child development constructs in Kaupapa Māori early years provision. MAI Journal, 10(1), 17-29. doi: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2021.10.1.2

Journal - Research Article

Tan, K. K. H., Treharne, G. J., Ellis, S. J., Schmidt, J. M., & Veale, J. F. (2021). Enacted stigma experiences and protective factors are strongly associated with mental health outcomes of transgender people in Aotearoa/New Zealand. International Journal of Transgender Health, 22(3), 269-280. doi: 10.1080/15532739.2020.1819504

Journal - Research Article

Treharne, G. J., Gamble Blakey, A., Graham, K., Carrington, S. D., McLachlan, L. A., Withey-Rila, C., Pearman-Beres, L., & Anderson, L. (2021). Perspectives on expertise in teaching about transgender healthcare: A focus group study with health professional programme teaching staff and transgender community members. International Journal of Transgender Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/26895269.2020.1870189

Journal - Research Article

Treharne, G. J., Johnstone, G., Fletcher, B. D., Lamar, R. S. M., White, D., Stebbings, S., & Harrison, A. (2021). Fears about COVID-19 and perceived risk among people with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis following the initial lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand. Musculoskeletal Care. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/msc.1585

Journal - Research Article

Aldaz, B. E., Hegarty, R. S. M., Conner, T. S., Perez, D., & Treharne, G. J. (2020). Correlates of cancer illness uncertainty, experiential avoidance of uncertainty and well-being during oncology treatment with curative intent. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 49(2), 15-22.

Journal - Research Article

Beres, M. A., Stojanov, Z., Graham, K., & Treharne, G. J. (2020). Sexual assault experiences of university students and disclosure to health professionals and others. New Zealand Medical Journal, 133(1523), 55-64. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Carrington, S. D., Treharne, G. J., & Moffat, S. M. (2020). Job satisfaction and career prospects of Oral Health Therapists in Aotearoa/New Zealand: A research update and call for further research in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Dental & Oral Health Therapy, 8(2), 8-13.

Journal - Research Article

Chan, S. J., Stamp, L. K., Liebergreen, N., Ndukwe, H., Marra, C., & Treharne, G. J. (2020). Tapering biologic therapy for rheumatoid arthritis: A qualitative study of patient perspectives. Patient, 13, 225-234. doi: 10.1007/s40271-019-00403-9

Journal - Research Article

Dixon, L., Treharne, G. J., Celi, E. M., Hines, D. A., Lysova, A. V., & Douglas, E. M. (2020). Examining men's experiences of abuse from a female intimate partner in four English-speaking countries. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0886260520922342

Journal - Research Article

Hegarty, R. S. M., Fletcher, B. D., Conner, T. S., Stebbings, S., & Treharne, G. J. (2020). Acceptance and commitment therapy for people with rheumatic disease: Existing evidence and future directions. Musculoskeletal Care, 18, 330-341. doi: 10.1002/msc.1464

Journal - Research Article

Kibblewhite, J. R., Treharne, G. J., Stebbings, S., & Hegarty, R. S. M. (2020). Enjoyment of exercise among people with arthritis: An inductive thematic analysis. Journal of Health Psychology, 25(6), 766-779. doi: 10.1177/1359105317733320

Journal - Research Article

Muir, J., Hegarty, R. S. M., Stebbings, S., & Treharne, G. J. (2020). Exploring the role of online health information and social media in the illness experience of arthritis-related fatigue: A focus group study. Musculoskeletal Care, 18(4), 501-509. doi: 10.1002/msc.1494

Journal - Research Article

Tan, K. K. H., Treharne, G. J., Ellis, S. J., Schmidt, J. M., & Veale, J. F. (2020). Gender minority stress: A critical review. Journal of Homosexuality, 67(10), 1471-1489. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2019.1591789

Journal - Research Article

Treharne, G. J., Riggs, D. W., Ellis, S. J., Flett, J. A. M., & Bartholomaeus, C. (2020). Suicidality, self-harm, and their correlates among transgender and cisgender people living in Aotearoa/New Zealand or Australia. International Journal of Transgender Health, 21(4), 440-454. doi: 10.1080/26895269.2020.1795959

Journal - Research Article

Aldaz, B. E., Hegarty, R. S. M., Conner, T. S., Perez, D., & Treharne, G. J. (2019). Is avoidance of illness uncertainty associated with distress during oncology treatment? A daily diary study. Psychology & Health, 34(4), 422-437. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2018.1532511

Journal - Research Article

Ashdown, J. D., Treharne, G. J., Neha, T., Dixon, B., & Aitken, C. (2019). Māori men’s experiences of rehabilitation in the Moana House therapeutic community in Aotearoa/New Zealand: A qualitative enquiry. International Journal of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology, 63(5), 734-751. doi: 10.1177/0306624X18808675

Journal - Research Article

Beres, M. A., Treharne, G. J., & Stojanov, Z. (2019). A whole campus approach to sexual violence: The University of Otago model. Journal of Higher Education Policy & Management, 41(6), 646-662. doi: 10.1080/1360080X.2019.1613298

Journal - Research Article

Beres, M. A., Treharne, G. J., Stewart, K., Flett, J., Rahman, M., & Lillis, D. (2019). A mixed-methods pilot study of the EAAA rape resistance programme for female undergraduate students in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Women's Studies Journal, 33(1/2), 8-24.

Journal - Research Article

Douglas-Withers, J., McCulloch, K., Waters, D., Parker, K., Hogg, N., Mitsuhashi, T., Treharne, G. J., Abbott, J. H., & Stebbings, S. (2019). Associations between Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index and physical performance in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, 22, 417-424. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13460

Journal - Research Article

Hegarty, R. S. M., Treharne, G. J., Stebbings, S., Graham, K., & Conner, T. S. (2019). Optimising daily diary questionnaires about fatigue, psychological flexibility and well-being: Perspectives of people with rheumatic disease. Psychology & Health, 34(2), 181-199. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2018.1520232

Journal - Research Article

Helme, C., Hegarty, R. S. M., Stebbings, S., & Treharne, G. J. (2019). "I actually just really need to stop work sometimes": Exploring fatigue-related barriers to employment among people with rheumatic diseases. Musculoskeletal Care, 17, 97-104. doi: 10.1002/msc.1373

Journal - Research Article

Osborne Finekaso, G., & Treharne, G. J. (2019). Stress and coping in Fijian rakavi (rugby) sevens players. Sport in Society, 22(12), 2179-2202. doi: 10.1080/17430437.2018.1487954

Journal - Research Article

Paterson, H., Treharne, G. J., Horwath, C., Haszard, J. J., Herbison, P., & Hay-Smith, E. J. C. (2019). Intuitive eating and gestational weight gain. Eating Behaviors, 34, 101311. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2019.101311

Journal - Research Article

Ratima, M., Theodore, R., Tamati, A., Hond-Flavell, E., Edwards, W., Korewha, H., Treharne, G. J., … Poulton, R. (2019). Te kura mai i tawhiti: A collaborative lifecourse approach to health, wellbeing and whānau development. MAI Journal, 8(1), 63-76. doi: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2019.8.1.5

Journal - Research Article

Riley, S., Brooks, J., Goodman, S., Cahill, S., Branney, P., Treharne, G. J., & Sullivan, C. (2019). Celebrations amongst challenges: Considering the past, present and future of the qualitative methods in psychology section of the British Psychology Society. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 16(3), 464-482. doi: 10.1080/14780887.2019.1605275

Journal - Research Article

Schimanski, I. D., & Treharne, G. J. (2019). “Extra marginalisation within the community”: Queer individuals’ perspectives on suicidality, discrimination and gay pride events. Psychology & Sexuality, 10(1), 31-44. doi: 10.1080/19419899.2018.1524394

Journal - Research Article

Vlietstra, L., Stebbings, S., Meredith-Jones, K., Abbott, J. H., Treharne, G. J., & Waters, D. L. (2019). Sarcopenia in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: The association with self-reported fatigue, physical function and obesity. PLoS ONE, 14(6), e0217462. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217462

Journal - Research Article

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