on cross-disciplinary global disability research.
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Contact: Sarah Ball, Tel: (internal x82 72 2352)
2012 Seminar Series
Title: ‘Marriage and coronary heart disease: patients and partners’
Speaker: Lizzy Leigh
Date & Time: Friday 13th July 1pm-2pm
Venue: G37 & G38
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of premature death in the UK. Fortunately CHD rates are falling, partly due to treatments including coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. CABG surgery produces positive physical and psychological health outcomes, but a number of patients suffer adjustment difficulties. This variation may be explained by psychosocial factors as well as biological, and this PhD focuses on the role of social support, and in particular marriage, for recovery. Marriage is the primary social relationship for the majority of adults and has been linked with better health outcomes and lower mortality rates. This PhD will examine the role of marriage in physical recovery and psychological adjustment of patients undergoing CABG surgery.
Following a cardiac event such as CABG surgery or a myocardial infarction (MI), the partners of patients often assume the role of the primary caregiver. Informal caregiving is linked with increased risk of mortality and physical and psychological morbidity. This PhD will examine the impact of a cardiac event on the partners’ physical and psychological health. Through three studies, this PhD aims to explore the relationship between marriage and CHD by investigating the role of marriage for recovery from CHD, and the impact of CHD on both the patient and the partner. This PhD will contribute to the knowledge base, and resolve numerous limitations of the current literature.
Lizzy graduated from her undergraduate degree in psychology at Nottingham University with first class honours in 2007. She went on to complete the MSc Health Psychology run jointly by UCL and King’s College London. Following the MSc, Lizzy was a research assistant at the Unit of Behavioural Medicine, UCL working on a study of psychological outcomes for cardiac patients receiving an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. She then moved to the Psychobiology Group in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health as a research assistant before beginning her PhD in September 2010 with Professor Andrew Steptoe. Lizzy has been funded by the British Heart Foundation since 2008.
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