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Professor Adrian Taylor
Professor in Health Services Research
Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)
- Health behaviour change
- Exercise and physical activity
- Health inequalities
- Health psychology
- Mental health
- Clinical trials
- Experimental methods
- Randomised controlled trials
- Systematic reviews
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My main research interest has been on designing and evaluating health behaviour change interventions for improving mental and physical health among participants with low mood, weight concerns, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Research on the acute and chronic effects of exercise on smoking related outcomes has been cited in the guidance on smoking cessation in the US, Canada, Australia and other countries, Methodologically, I have conducted many laboratory studies, led 6 randomised controlled trials, led various systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and qualitative research.
A recent focus has been on tackling health inequalities in rigorous trials involving multiple health behaviour change and well-being interventions, for offenders under community supervision, and by reducing smoking.
I co-founded the international journal 'Mental Health and Physical Activity' in 2008 (http://ees.elsevier.com/menpa/) and am still Editor in Chief. I have reviewed widely for international journals, scientific grant review boards, institutional research programmes,and academic promotions internationally, and examined PhD candidates globally.
I co-authored the NHS National Quality Assurance Framework for GP exercise referral schemes (ERS)(www.doh.gov.uk) in 2000 after conducting the first ERS RCT in the UK in 1995, and have continued to work in this area with a BMJ published systematic review in 2011, and leading the e-coachER RCT.
I am currently Chief Investigator for a large trial (N=915)(TARS)(https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/primarycare/trial-of-physical-activity-and-reduction-of-smoking-tars) on using physical activity to reduce and quit smoking for smokers who do not wish to quit imminently, and co-applicant for on an NIHR Programme Grant entitled PRO-GROUP (https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/primarycare/obesity/progroup).
After completing a PhD at the University of Toronto in 1989 in the Graduate Department of Community Health, I spent 10, 3 and 10.5 years, respectively, at the Universities of Brighton, De Montfort, and Exeter in teaching and research posts, with medical students, physiotherapists, podiatrists, and sport and exercise scientists. I have been a Professor in Health Services Research at Plymouth University since 2013, and was Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry from 2016-18.
Non-clinical Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Fellow of British Association of Sport & Exercise Science
Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health
Roles on external bodies
Editor in Chief for the international journal 'Mental Health & Physical Activity'.
I have taught a wide range of health professionals and sport and exercise science students on topics related to health behaviour change and self-regulation, particularly of relevance to enhancing well-being among mental health patients and smokers.
I have supervised 20 PhD students and been examiner for over 30 postgraduate students.
I have been developing research interests and skills since starting my first academic post in 1989, and conducting funded mixed methods research on adherence in injury rehabilitation services and GP exercise referral schemes in the early 1990s. Since the late 1990s my focus has been on developing and evaluating interventions targeted at health behaviour change to enhance mental health, well-being, and quality of life.
Laboratory research, has involved fMRI brain scanning, eye tracker/dot probe tasks to assess attentional bias, and assessment of cravings, withdrawal symptoms and affect following exercise among smokers, heavy alcohol consumers and snackers.
Physical activity interventions have been developed and evaluated with RCTs for a range of clinical conditions including obesity, hypertension, type two diabetes, falls prevention, COPD, depression, alcohol misuse and nicotine addiction. I co-led the client-centred intervention development for the largest trial (TREAD) on treating depression with exercise in primary care, and for an exercise assisted reduction to stop smoking (EARS). I am currently Chief Investigator for 3 randomised controlled trials funded by the NIHR (total value over £3.5m) and co-applicant on 3 other funded studies.
Systematic reviews have been published on the effects of exercise on outcomes for Parkinson’s patients, bi-polar depression and smoking cessation, on the effects of primary care exercise referral schemes on physical activity, and one funded by the NIHR is underway on sport, exercise and physical activity for alcohol and substance misuse.
Qualitative research has been conducted with patients attending exercise referral schemes, sports injury centres, primary care and IAPT Services for depression, and Stop Smoking Services. A range of health practitioners have been interviewed individually and in focus groups regarding service delivery. Support sessions have been transcribed and analysis of intervention fidelity conducted.
Over the past 6 years I have led externally funded trials worth over £3.5m involving the design and evaluation of complex health behaviour change interventions, mostly concerned with promoting physical activity , especially for improving mental health and well-being.
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
Research degrees awarded to (18) supervised students (selected examples)
Sonam Zamir (2016-2020). Skype on Wheels: Implementation of video-calls to reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation for older people living in care. PenCLAHRC funded.Jeff Lambert (2013-17). Assessing intervention fidelity in physical activity interventions with behavioural support for enhancing mental health. ESRC funded.
Lewis Elliott (2012-15). Interactions between physical activity, well-being and the natural environment. University of Exeter. PhD. ESRC funded.
Tom Thompson (2015). Exercise assisted reduction to stop smoking among ‘hard to reach’ smokers: A randomized trial. University of Exeter. PhD.
Marcela Haasova (2014). The acute effects on attentional bias to smoking and snack food images. University of Exeter. PhD.
Charlotte Benjamin (2013). The acute effects of exercise on affect and motivation in children. University of Exeter. PhD.
Hwa Jung Oh (2012). The acute effects of exercise on food cravings. PhD. International student. University of Exeter.
Melfy Eddosary (2010). The determinants of exercise intention and behaviour for Saudi youngsters: An application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour. PhD, University of Exeter. Saudi funded.
Kate Janse van Rensburg (2010). Effects of acute exercise on smoking-related outcomes. PhD, University of Exeter.
Vicki Goodwin. (2010). The effect of a targeted exercise programme on falls and function for people with Parkinson’s disease (GETuP Study). PhD. Co-supervisor, Registered in Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry. NIHR funded PhD studentship.
Andy Soundy (2007). Physical activity and psychological well-being among people with severe and enduring mental illness. PhD. University of Exeter.
Michael Ussher (2002). A randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of exercise as a smoking cessation intervention. PhD First Supervisor from 1998-2000 at the University of Brighton, then co-supervisor when registered at University of London. Cancer UK funded trial.
Mark Hamer (2002). The relationship between aerobic exercise and cardiovascular stress reactivity in offspring of hypertensive families. PhD Co-supervisor at De Montfort University.
Sarah Hardcastle. (2002). Processes of change in physical activity and self-perceptions among women in exercise referral programmes: a qualitative approach. PhD, University of Brighton.
David Gilbourne (1998). An examination of the perceptions and implementation of psychological skills training in a sports injury rehabilitation setting, through Action Research. PhD. U of Brighton.
Sally May (1995). Factors influencing compliance to sports injury regimen. PhD. U. of Brighton.
Grants & contracts
As Principal Investigator
1/2/2017 (44 months). A multi-centred Trial of physical Activity assisted Reduction of Smoking (TARS). NIHR HTA15/111/01 (awarded). C.£1.8m. A.H. Taylor (C.I.), S. Creanor, T. Thompson, C.Hayward (Plymouth University), C. Green, C. Greaves (Exeter University), P.Aveyard (U of Oxford), M. Ussher (St George’s University of London), Rachel Murray (Nottingham U), Dan Preece (Plymouth City Council).
1/1/2016-31/12/2017. Improving health, under community supervision, with the support of a Health Trainer: Developing and evaluating a pilot randomised controlled trial. NIHR PHR Project:14/54/19. £708,763.80 (awarded).Taylor A. H. (C.I.)(15% fte), Quinn, C., Callaghan, L.,Sinclair, J,Thompson, T, Byng R, Creanor, S, Green, C, Hawton, A, Annison, J, Hayward, C, Wallace, G.
1/1/2015-31/1/2018 A multi-centred RCT of an augmented exercise referral scheme using web-based behavioural support in individuals with metabolic, musculo-skeletal and mental health conditions. NIHR HTA Project: 13/25/20. £1,341,705. Taylor A. H. (C.I.)(0.3-0.4 fte), Taylor, R., Yardley, L, N. Mutrie, K. Jolly, Anokye, N., Dean, S.,Greaves, C., Campbell, J., Jane, B., Little, P., Woolfe, T., Erwin, J.,Vickery, J.
2012-2014 Integrating Behavioural Activation and Physical Activity promotion (BAcPAc): A pilot randomised controlled trial with depressed patients. Funded NPRI-4 (MRC & partners). £290,413. A. H. Taylor (P.I.), P. Farrand (co-PI)(Mood Disorder Centre, Psychology), M. Hillsdon and A. Rowlands (SHS), R. Taylor, C. Green, C. Greaves, P. Evans (PCMD).
2010-2012 An exploratory trial to evaluate the effects of a physical activity intervention as a smoking cessation induction and cessation aid among the ‘hard to reach. (in Stonehouse and Devonport, Plymouth). NIHR (HTA). Grant HTA 07/78/02 (£430,093k). A. H. Taylor (P.I.)(20% fte), A. Rowlands (Exeter University), C. Green, R. Taylor, C. Greaves, J. Campbell, R. Ayres, R. Byng (PCMD), P. Aveyard (U of Oxford), M. Ussher (St George’s University of London), R. West, S. Michie (UCL).
2009-2011 The Clinical and Cost Effectiveness of Exercise Referral Systems: A Systematic Review & Economic evaluation. NIHR HTA Project: 08/72/01. £160k. R. Taylor (PCMD)(co-PI), A. H. Taylor (co-PI (Exeter), P. Trueman (York), K. Fox (Bristol), M. Hillsdon (Exeter), C. Green, Moxham, Campbell (PCMD).
2006-7 Walking as an aid to smoking cessation: a feasibility study in an NHS Stop Smoking Service (in Plymouth & Birmingham). National Prevention Research Initiative (NPRI-1)(MRC, + partners). £68.5k awarded, to Exeter. A. H. Taylor (PI) & M. Ussher (co-applicant, at St George’s Medical School, U of London).
2007-9 A randomised controlled trial of an intervention to promote the effects of health enhancing physical activity (HEPA) on physical and psychosocial outcomes in patients with mild COPD who are being treated with Tiotropium. International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG). Total £137k split 50:50 with PMS. A.H. Taylor (PI). Co-applicants: R. Jones, J. Campbell (PMS) & D. Price (Uni of Aberdeen).
2002 Understanding behaviour change and effectiveness of NHS GP exercise referral schemes, in East London: A qualitative study. Hackney & City PCT and Tower Hamlets PCT. A.H. Taylor (P.I.)(£22.5k) at DMU.
2001-2003 The effects of an exercise referral scheme for chronic low back pain patients on psycho-social and behavioural outcomes: A feasibility study. Bedford PCT. (£20k). A.H. Taylor (P.I.) at DMU.
1993-95 A randomized controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of a 10 week GP exercise referral scheme on modifiable CHD risk factors and psychological well being, with a 9 month follow-up. South-East Thames Regional Health Authority, Primary Care Development Fund: (Project 2/93). A.H. Taylor (P.I.)(U. of Brighton) awarded £70,000.
1/5/2016 – 31/10/2017. A systematic review ofphysical activity for alcohol and substance use disorders: evidencesynthesis with stakeholder engagement to formulate practical recommendations. NIHR RfPB, PB-PG-0215-36117. £154,528(awarded). Tom Thompson (PI), co-apps: A. Taylor (0.07fte), J. Sinclair, G. Wallace, J. Neale, Y., Wei, S.Creanor, R. Kandiyali.
1/1/2016 – 31/6/2017. Developing and exploring the acceptability and feasibility of an intervention to prevent oral disease in high risk child populations. MRC – Intervention development gran£149,742 (awarded). Liz Kay (P.I.), co-apps Cath Quinn, Adrian Taylor (0.05fte).
1/1/2015 – 28/2/2016. A development study to examine feasibility and acceptability of pulmonary rehabilitation in Uganda for adults with chronic respiratory disease.MRC/DfID/Wellcome Global Health Trials Development Grant. £136,086. Jones, R (PI), Taylor, A.H., (0.01fte), Hyland, M., Rance, S., Barton, A. & Singh, S.
2012 The impact of exercise referral for people aged 40 and over in drug addiction services. £19k funded by North West NHS Flexibility and Sustainability Funding scheme. Beynon, C. (P.I.)(U. of Liverpool). Co-applicants: Cable, T., Gabbay, M., Taylor, A. H. (£3k), Roberts, H., Frith, L. Holland, D., Holland, S.
2008-12 A pragmatic randomised controlled trial of physical activity as an aid to smoking cessation during pregnancy. NIHR (HTA). £1,182,613. Michael Ussher (St George’s Hospital, University of London (P.I.). Co-applicants: Aveyard (Birmingham), Barton (Birmingham), Coleman (Nottingham), Lewis (Nottingham), Lewis (Minnesota, USA), Manyonda (London), Marcus (Brown Med Sch, USA), A. H. Taylor (Exeter), West (UCL).
2006-2011 A pragmatic randomised controlled trial (Exercise-TREAD) to evaluate exercise prescription as a treatment for depression. (PI: Glyn Lewis (Epidemiology and Psychiatry, U. of Bristol)(Co-applicants: A. H. Taylor (SSHS, Exeter), J Campbell (PCMD, Exeter), D Sharpe, M Calnan, N. Wiles, D. Lawlor & S Hollinghurst (Primary Care, U. of Bristol), K Fox & A Haase (Exercise & Health Science, U. of Bristol). Involving a 4.5 year multi-centred trial (Exeter and Bristol). NIHR (HTA: 03/45/07. Total award = c. £905k. (£107k to AT).
2009-2010 The effect of targeted exercise on falls and function with people with Parkinson’s disease (GETuP Study): Economic evaluation.’ NIHR NHS Researcher Development Award. £9k. Rod Taylor (PI), S. Richards, V. Goodwin, J. Campbell, A.H. Taylor (SSHS), P. Ewings.
2006-2009 The effect of a targeted exercise programme on falls and function for people with Parkinson’s disease (GETuP Study).’ NIHR NHS Researcher Development Award: £240k PhD Fellowship. Lead applicant, V Goodwin (Physiotherapist); Co-applicants and Supervisors, Prof J. Campbell, S. Richards (PMS) & A.H. Taylor (SHS).
2004-6 Exercise as an aid for smoking cessation: Identifying effectiveness and efficacy’. P.I.: G. Faulkner (University of Toronto). Knowledge Synthesis Project, Canadian Tobacco Control Research Initiative. Total awarded, Ca $64k. Faulkner (PI), Co-applicants: A.H. Taylor (SHS, University of Exeter)(C $4k), Ferrence, R., (U of Toronto), Munro, S. & Selby, P. (Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, Toronto).
1999-2001 A randomized controlled trial of a tailored physical activity programme in smoking cessation. Cancer Research Campaign (£102,000). Prof R. West (P.I)(SGHMS). Co-applicants A.H. Taylor (U. of Brighton) & M. Ussher. At St George's Hospital Medical School, London.
1999-2002 Zoning in: Motivating the musical mind. Leverhulme Trust (£288,000). Prof J Rutterman (Director of Royal College of Music)(PI), Prof J. Gruzelier (Imperial College London), A. H. Taylor (U. of Brighton), J. Connolly (Sporting Bodymind), Yonti Solomon & Brian Hawkins (RCM). A. Taylor led ‘Effects of chronic and acute exercise on psycho-physiological responses to laboratory and musical performance stress’ (received £35,000 PG student & ₤2500 for 10 day dissemination workshop in Lugano, Switzerland, and ₤1000 for dissemination workshop in Sydney, Australia).
1998-2000 Effectiveness of walking promotion signs on Eastbourne seafront. (One of four national development projects chosen from over 50). British Heart Foundation/Countryside Agency, Project lead, Muir (E. Sussex, Brighton & Hove H.A.). Taylor (co-applicant). Funding for overall project (£90,000). A.H. Taylor (U. of Brighton) £9k for research.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Other academic activities
2008- date Founding co-Editor in Chief (with Guy Faulkner, U of British Columbia) of Mental Health and Physical Activity (Elsevier), and sole Editor in Chief (from 2019) an international interdisciplinary journal (see http://ees.elsevier.com/menpa/ ),with editorial board members from neuroscience, public health, medicine, psychiatry,clinical psychology, ageing, exercise and health, addiction backgrounds. Impact Factor for 2020 = 1.7
2019 - Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health
2015 - Non-clinical Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
2002 - Fellow of British Association Sport &Exercise Science (BASES).
Keen cyclist, hasher and orienteer, and trying to walk the SW Coastal path before it or I erode away.
Editor in Chief: Mental Health & Physical Activity(MENPA) http://www.journals.elsevier.com/mental-health-and-physical-activity/
Chief Investigator: NIHR (HTA) funded RCT: e-coachER (http://clahrc-peninsula.nihr.ac.uk/research/e-coacher)
Chief Investigator: NIHR (PHR) funded RCT: STRENGTHEN (https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/primarycare/public-health/hi5)
Chief Investigator: NIHR (HTA) funded RCT: TARS (http://clahrc-peninsula.nihr.ac.uk/research/tars-trial-of-physical-activity-and-reduction-of-smoking)