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Dr Gareth Treharne Research Interests

 Dr Gareth Treharne

Tel 64 3 479 7630
Email gtreharne@psy.otago.ac.nz
Visit Dr  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

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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2018.1532511

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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2018.1520232

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

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

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

Edited Book - Research

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

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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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2018.1532511

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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2018.1520232

Hale, L. A., Smith, C. M., Mulligan, H. F., Adhia, D., Siew, B., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Exploring the Blue Prescription intervention to promote physical activity in people with long-term conditions. International Journal of Therapy & Rehabilitation, 25(7), 365-376. doi: 10.12968/ijtr.2018.25.7.365

Aimer, P., Stamp, L. K., Stebbings, S., Cameron, V., Kirby, S., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Exploring perceptions of a rheumatoid arthritis-specific smoking cessation programme. Musculoskeletal Care, 16, 74-81. doi: 10.1002/msc.1209

Gath, M. E., Stamp, L. K., Aimer, P., Stebbings, S., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Reconceptualizing motivation for smoking cessation among people with rheumatoid arthritis as incentives and facilitators. Musculoskeletal Care, 16(1), 139-146. doi: 10.1002/msc.1227

Osborne Finekaso, G., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Stress and coping in Fijian rakavi (rugby) sevens players. Sport in Society. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/17430437.2018.1487954

Douglas-Withers, J., McCulloch, K., Waters, D., Parker, K., Hogg, N., Mitsuhashi, T., Treharne, G. J., Abbott, J. H., & Stebbings, S. (2018). Associations between Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index and physical performance in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13460

Ashdown, J. D., Treharne, G. J., Neha, T., Dixon, B., & Aitken, C. (2018). 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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0306624X18808675

Rolston, C. J., Conner, T. S., Stamp, L. K., Neha, T., Pitama, S., Fanning, N., … Hudson, B., Hegarty, R. M., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Improving gout education from patients’ perspectives: A focus group study of Māori and Pākehā people with gout. Journal of Primary Health Care, 10(3), 194-200. doi: 10.1071/HC18010

Taylor, O., Rapsey, C. M., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). Sexuality and gender identity teaching within preclinical medical training in New Zealand: Content, attitudes and barriers. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1477), 35-44. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Schimanski, I. D., & Treharne, G. (2018). “Extra marginalisation within the community”: Queer individuals’ perspectives on suicidality, discrimination and gay pride events. Psychology & Sexuality. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/19419899.2018.1524394

Helme, C., Hegarty, R. S. M., Stebbings, S., & Treharne, G. J. (2018). "I actually just really need to stop work sometimes": Exploring fatigue-related barriers to employment among people with rheumatic diseases. Musculoskeletal Care. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/msc.1373

Treharne, G. J., Richardson, A. C., Neha, T., Fanning, N., Janes, R., Hudson, B., … Pitama, S., & Stamp, L. K. (2018). Education preferences of people with gout: Exploring differences between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples from rural and urban locations. Arthritis Care & Research, 70(2), 260-267. doi: 10.1002/acr.23272

Paterson, H., Hay-Smith, J., Treharne, G., Herbison, P., & Horwath, C. (2018). Validation of the Intuitive Eating Scale in pregnancy. Journal of Health Psychology, 23(5), 701-709. doi: 10.1177/1359105316671186

Aimer, P., Treharne, G. J., Stebbings, S., Frampton, C., Cameron, V., Kirby, S., & Stamp, L. K. (2017). Efficacy of a rheumatoid arthritis-specific smoking cessation programme: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Arthritis Care & Research, 69(1), 28-37. doi: 10.1002/acr.22960

Graham, K., Treharne, G. J., & Nairn, K. (2017). Using Foucault's theory of disciplinary power to critically examine the construction of gender in secondary schools. Social & Personality Psychology Compass, 11(2), e12302. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12302

Aldaz, B. E., Treharne, G. J., Knight, R. G., Conner, T. S., & Perez, D. (2017). Oncology healthcare professionals' perspectives on the psychosocial support needs of cancer patients during oncology treatment. Journal of Health Psychology, 22(10), 1332-1344. doi: 10.1177/1359105315626999

Kibblewhite, J. R., Hegarty, R. S. M., Stebbings, S., & Treharne, G. J. (2017). The role of enjoyment in exercise for people with arthritis: Four different viewpoints from a Q-methodology study. Musculoskeletal Care, 15(4), 324-332. doi: 10.1002/msc.1175

Kibblewhite, J. R., Treharne, G. J., Stebbings, S., & Hegarty, R. S. M. (2017). Enjoyment of exercise among people with arthritis: An inductive thematic analysis. Journal of Health Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1359105317733320

Smith, C. M., Treharne, G. J., & Tumilty, S. (2017). "All those ingredients of the walk": The therapeutic spaces of dog-walking for people with long-term health conditions. Anthrozoös, 30(2), 327-340. doi: 10.1080/08927936.2017.1311063

Riggs, D. W., & Treharne, G. J. (2017). Decompensation: A novel approach to accounting for stress arising from the effects of ideology and social norms. Journal of Homosexuality, 64(5), 592-605. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2016.1194116

Treharne, G. J., & Adams, J. (2017). Critical perspectives on the diversity of research into sexualities and health in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Thinking outside the boxes. Psychology of Sexuality Review, 8(1), 53-70.

Baxter, S., Smith, C., Treharne, G., Stebbings, S., & Hale, L. (2016). What are the perceived barriers, facilitators and attitudes to exercise for women with rheumatoid arthritis? A qualitative study. Disability & Rehabilitation, 38(8), 773-780. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1061602

Aimer, P., Stamp, L. K., Stebbings, S., Cameron, V., Kirby, S., Croft, S., & Treharne, G. J. (2016). Developing a tailored smoking cessation intervention for rheumatoid arthritis patients. Musculoskeletal Care, 14(1), 2-14. doi: 10.1002/msc.1106

Campbell, K., Smith, C. M., Tumilty, S., Cameron, C., & Treharne, G. J. (2016). How does dog-walking influence perceptions of health and wellbeing in healthy adults? A qualitative dog-walk-along study. Anthrozoös, 29(2), 181-192. doi: 10.1080/08927936.2015.1082770

Aldaz, B. E., Treharne, G. J., Knight, R. G., Conner, T. S., & Perez, D. (2016). 'It gets into your head as well as your body': The experiences of patients with cancer during oncology treatment with curative intent. Journal of Health Psychology, 23(1), 3-16. doi: 10.1177/1359105316671185

Hegarty, R. S. M., Treharne, G. J., Stebbings, S., & Conner, T. S. (2016). Fatigue and mood among people with arthritis: Carry-over across the day. Health Psychology, 35(5), 492-499. doi: 10.1037/hea0000321

Hay-Smith, E. J. C., Brown, M., Anderson, L., & Treharne, G. J. (2016). Once a clinician, always a clinician: A systematic review to develop a typology of clinician-researcher dual-role experiences in health research with patient-participants. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 16, 95. doi: 10.1186/s12874-016-0203-6

Hall-McMaster, S. M., Treharne, G. J., & Smith, C. M. (2016). 'The positive feel': Unpacking the role of positive thinking in people with multiple sclerosis's thinking aloud about staying physically active. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(12), 3026-3036. doi: 10.1177/1359105315592047

Baxter, S. V., Hale, L. A., Stebbings, S., Gray, A. R., Smith, C. M., & Treharne, G. J. (2016). Walking is a feasible physical activity for people with rheumatoid arthritis: A feasibility randomized controlled trial. Musculoskeletal Care, 14(1), 47-56. doi: 10.1002/msc.1112

Clay, L., Hay-Smith, J., Treharne, G., & Milosavljevic, S. (2016). "There are risks to be taken and some just push it too far": How farmers perceive quad-bike incident risk. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40(1), 55-61. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12454

Sangelaji, B., Smith, C. M., Paul, L., Kovanur Sampath, K., Treharne, G. J., & Hale, L. A. (2016). The effectiveness of behaviour change interventions to increase physical activity participation in people with multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Rehabilitation, 30(6), 559-576. doi: 10.1177/0269215515595274

Hale, L. A., Mirfin-Veitch, B. F., & Treharne, G. J. (2016). Prevention of falls for adults with intellectual disability (PROFAID): A feasibility study. Disability & Rehabilitation, 38(1), 36-44. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1017613

Treharne, G. J., & Beres, M. A. (2016). Writing survey questions to operationalise sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation in New Zealand: Perspectives from psychological and sociological research with the LGBT community. New Zealand Sociology, 31(1), 173-180.

Paterson, H., Hay-Smith, E. J., & Treharne, G. J. (2016). Women’s experiences of changes in eating during pregnancy: A qualitative study in Dunedin, New Zealand. New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, 52, 5-11. doi: 10.12784/nzcomjnl52.2016.1.5-11

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