Jackie Andrade is Professor in Psychology and recognised globally for her work in craving and behaviour change. She is the co-creator of Functional Imagery Training (FIT). Her contribution to the largest study of accidental waking during general anaesthetic transformed the understanding and practice in anaesthesia.

Motivation through mental imagery

Jackie was instrumental in creating a new way of supporting behaviour change by strengthening motivation through mental imagery - FIT . Based on two decades of research alongside her international team, they demonstrated that mental imagery is much more emotionally charged than other types of thought. FIT has been applied to combat a number of critical health problems in the UK. Used as a motivational bridge, it can support goals to reduce anxiety, support weight loss, getting fit and even longer-term goals of climate change.
The FIT intervention has proven to be five times more effective for weight loss than more traditional forms of therapy alone.


Thought leadership

Lose weight, stop smoking, exercise more: the psychology behind positive behavioural change
Whether it’s reducing alcohol consumption, increasing physical activity, or promoting healthy eating, researchers at the University of Plymouth have found that mental imagery can play an integral part when it comes to changing habits

Changing understanding and practice of anaesthesia

Jackie led the psychological component of the world’s largest study on accidental awareness during general anaesthetic (AAGA). This demonstrated that AAGA can cause lasting psychological harm and is strongly related to the drugs given to patients to paralyse them during an operation. The study changed the way trainee anaesthetists are taught, with this evidence now incorporated into the exams as part of their professional qualification. It has transformed how AAGA is described to patients, and informed a new set of standards by the Association of Anaesthetists and new clinical recommendations being published by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.


The person behind the pioneer

There’s so much about humans you can’t control in a lab, so you have to be that much more creative

FIT shows people how imagining carrying out their ideas successfully can be a powerful motivator and trains them to practice motivational imagery until it becomes a habitual way of thinking.

Professor Jackie Andrade

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Research Festival 2022

24 June – 1 July
The annual Research Festival returned to celebrate curiosity and collaboration, showcasing leading work across disciplines. The week invited fellow academics, industry, policymakers, students and the public to understand how we are responding to global challenges with a systems-thinking approach to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Evolving into an extended edition that now encompasses the popular Sustainable Earth conference, the Research Festival welcomed attendees to hear about cutting-edge research from leading experts and keynote speakers, learning how your research or business could achieve greater impact through co-creation and collaboration, locally and globally.

Champion for health

Our research tackles the most pressing public health issues to improve the health and care of the populations we serve. We have a vibrant community of interdisciplinary research that is truly cutting-edge, from disease discovery to innovative care practices, novel treatments to clinical trials. We are at the forefront of research into the mechanisms, treatments and best care practices for areas including brain tumours, Parkinson’s disease, ageing communities, digital health, antibiotic resistance, and health inequalities.

Our close partnership with the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, together with the Derriford Research Facility, place us on the frontline of applied research from the laboratory to the patients across medicine, dentistry and healthcare professions.

Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research

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