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Dr Deborah Wallis

Job: Senior Lecturer

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: 0116 257 7471

E: debbie.wallis@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/study/courses/undergraduate-courses/psychology.aspx

 

Personal profile

Dr Wallis began her academic career at De Montfort University (2005-2006) and re-joined the University as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology in August 2015. Prior to returning to DMU she was a Lecturer in Psychology and member of the Centre for Research into Eating Disorders at Loughborough University. Her research follows two key strands: the psychology of appetite, eating behaviour and eating disorders; and cognitive and emotional wellbeing in cancer patients and their carers.

As an experimental psychologist Dr Wallis is interested in the cognitive and emotional factors that influence appetite and individual differences in eating behaviours. She also investigates facial emotion recognition and emotion processing deficits in disordered eating. With regard to her research interests in psycho-oncology, Dr Wallis and her colleagues have conducted a physical activity intervention (RCT) to promote cognitive and emotional well-being in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. She has also been involved in the development of work-related guidance tools for cancer patients and their carers. 

Dr Wallis has supervised five PhD and five MRes students to completion and two research assistants on externally-funded projects. Overall, her work aims to advance our understanding of both theoretical and applied aspects of psychological health in order to develop interventions for behaviour change to improve health and wellbeing.

Research group affiliations

  • Psychology

Publications and outputs 

Appetite and eating behaviours

  • Effects of stress on food choice and intake
  • Autobiographical memory and social problem solving in disordered eating
  • Attentional biases in disordered eating
  • Emotion processing and emotion recognition in disordered eating
  • Mealtimes in the context of eating disorders

Psycho-oncology

  • Physical activity interventions to promote cognitive and emotional wellbeing among cancer patients
  • Return to work among cancer patients and their carers

Click here for a full listing of Deborah Wallis's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

  • Ridout, N., Matharu, M., Sanders, E., & Wallis, D.J. (in press).The influence of eating psychopathology on autobiographical memory specificity and social problem solving. Psychiatry Research. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.06.030
  • Gokal, K., Wallis, D., Ahmed, S., Boiangiu, I., Kancherla, K., & Munir, F. (in press). Effects of a self-managed home-based walking intervention on psychosocial health outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: a randomised controlled trial. Supportive Care in Cancer. doi:10.1007/s00520-015-2884-5
  • Gokal, K., Munir, F., Wallis, D.J., Ahmed, S., Boiangiu, I., & Kancherla, K. (in press). Can physical activity help to maintain cognitive functioning and psychosocial well-being among breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy? A randomised controlled trial: study protocol. BMC Public Health, 15(414).
  • White, H.J., Haycraft, E., Wallis, D.J., Arcelus, J., Leung, N. & Meyer, C. (2015). Development of the Mealtime Emotions Measure for adolescents (MEM-A): Gender differences in emotional responses to family mealtimes and eating psychopathology. Appetite, 85, 76-83.
  • Wilson, C., & Wallis, D.J. (2013). Attentional bias and slowed disengagement from food and threat stimuli in restrained eaters using a modified Stroop task. Cognitive Therapy and Research. 37, 127-138.

Areas of teaching

  • Psychology of Eating Behaviour
  • Health Psychology
  • Stress and Well-being

Qualifications

  • PhD Psychology: “Cognitive and emotional influences on appetite and food intake” supervised by Professor Marion Hetherington (Liverpool University, 2005)
  • MSc Psychological Research Methods (Stirling University, 2001)
  • MA Psychology (Dundee University, 1996)

Courses taught

  • PSYC2013 Further Research Methods for Psychologists
  • PSYC3034 Conceptual Issues and Critical Debates in Psychology
  • PSYC3100 Stress, Coping and Health
  • PSYC5401 Approaches to the Study of Well-being
  • PSYC5403 Lifestyle, Wellness and Well-being
  • PSYC5602 Mind, Body and Health
  • PSYC5607 Psychology of Health and Food across the Lifespan

Honours and awards

  • 2013 “Highly Commended” for the Enterprise Award for Social Impact, Loughborough University, for the development of guidance resources to aid return to work for cancer patients and their carers http://www.lboro.ac.uk/microsites/enterprise/enterprise-awards/2013/social/work-it-out.html
  • Elected member of the Experimental Psychology Society (January, 2012)
  • Award from “Appetite”: Top reviewer 2007 ‘for exceptional contribution to the quality of Appetite”
  • Nominated for the Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, De Montfort University (2006)

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • 2012 - present: Elected member of the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS)
  • 2009 - present: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA, reference number 36962)
  • 2007 - present: Member of the British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience (BACN)
  • 2000 - present: Member of the British Feeding and Drinking Group (BFDG)
  • 1996 - present: Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • 2003 - 2006: Member of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour (SSIB)
  • 2003 - 2006: Member of the Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)

Conference attendance

Published conference abstracts

  • Ridout, N., Matharu, M., Sanders, E., & Wallis, D.J. (2014). Autobiographical memory specificity and social problem solving in females with sub-clinical eating psychopathology. Appetite, 71, 484.
  • Sharpe, E., & Wallis, D.J. (2014). Attentional biases in eating psychopathology: The role of vigilance and avoidance. Appetite, 71, 486.
  • Wilson, C., & Wallis, D.J. (2014). Can the dot-probe task detect food-related attentional biases in restrained eaters? Appetite, 71, 490.
  • Ridout, N., Wallis, D.J., Autwal, Y., Kralj, A., Sellis, J. & Taylor, E. (2013). The influence of alexithymia and mood on eating psychopathology in a non-clinical female sample. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 82(Suppl. 1), 93.
  • Wallis, D.J., & Sharpe, E. (2013) Attentional bias to emotional faces in sub-clinical eating psychopathology: The role of vigilance and avoidance. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 82(Suppl. 1), 125.
  • Gokal, K., Munir, F., Wallis, D.J., Ahmed, S., Boiangiu, I., & Kancherla, K. (2013). Physical activity intervention for cognitive and emotional functioning in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Psycho-Oncology, 22(Suppl. 3), 254, P2-86.
  • Kalawsky, K., Munir, F., Wallis, D.J., & Donaldson-Feilder, E. (2013). Work it Out for Carers: The development of a work-focused self-management tool for informal carers of people affected by cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 22(Suppl. 3), 65, T-5.
  • Munir, F., Wallis, D.J., Kalawsky, K., & Donaldson-Feilder, E. (2013). Work it Out: The six steps of intervention mapping process for designing a self-led return-to-work intervention tool. Psycho-Oncology, 22(Suppl. 3), 289, P3-16.
  • Wallis, D.J., Munir, F., Kalawsky, K., & Donaldson-Feilder, E. (2013). Work it Out: Development of a self-led return-to-work intervention tool using a Delphi consensus-building method. Psycho-Oncology, 22(Suppl. 3), 292, P3-22.
  • Gokal, K., Munir, F., Wallis, D.J., Ahmed, S., & Boiangiu. (2013). Physical activity intervention for cognitive and emotional functioning in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Psycho-Oncology, 22(Suppl. 1), 9.
  • Wallis, D.J, Ridout, N., & Sharpe, E. (2012). Emotion recognition in eating psychopathology: A comparison between static and dynamic stimuli. Appetite, 59(2), 636.
  • Wilson, C., & Wallis, D.J. (2012). Does negative mood interact with eating style to predict attention bias towards, and slowed disengagement from food stimuli? Appetite, 59(2), 638.
  • Ridout, N., Wallis, D.J., Autwal, A., Sellis, J., & Taylor, E. (2011). The influence of alexithymia and mood on eating psychopathology in a non-clinical female sample. Appetite, 57(2), 565.
  • Wallis, D.J., Ridout, N., Autwal, J., & Sellis, J. (2011). The influence of emotion intensity on facial emotion recognition in females with non-clinical disordered eating. Appetite. 57(2), 567.
  • Wilson, C., & Wallis, D.J. (2011). Attention processing of food and interpersonally threatening stimuli in restrained eaters. Appetite, 57(2), 569.
  • Wallis, D.J., Barnes, D., & Wilson, C. (2010). Attentional processing and eating behaviour: evidence from a modified Stroop task. Appetite, 55(1), 173.
  • Wallis, D.J., & Hetherington, M.M. (2008). Stress, food choice and restrained eating. Appetite, 51(3), 754.
  • Wallis, D.J., Thom, C., & Ridout, N. (2008). Emotion recognition in participants with non-clinical eating pathology. Appetite, 51(3), 764.
  • Wallis, D.J., & Ridout, N. (2007). Emotion recognition and alexithymia. British Association of Cognitive Neuroscience Conference Proceedings, 1 (1), 33.
  • Wallis, D.J., & Hetherington, M.M. (2006). Autobiographical memory retrieval: effects on mood and food intake. Appetite, 47, 279.
  • Cecil, J.E., Wallis, D.J., Murrie, I., McMonagle, J., & Hetherington, M.M. (2003). Food intake in school children: energy compensation or adjustment? Appetite, 40(3), 321.
  • Wallis, D.J., & Hetherington, M.M. (2003). The effects of three different Stroop tasks on perceived anxiety and chocolate intake. Appetite, 40(3), 366-367.

Other conference proceedings (selected)

  • Varela-Mato, V., Clemes, C., & Wallis, D.J. (2013). Association between physical activity level and disordered eating attitudes amongst an English University sample. International Society for Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, Ghent, Belgium.
  • Munir, F., Kalawsky, K., Wallis, D. J., Donaldson-Fielder, E. (2012). The development of a return-to-work self-management tool for employees affected by cancer. In Jain, I., Hollis, A., Andreou, N., Wehrle, F. (Eds). 10th European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology, Zurich, Switzerland, pp.176-178, ISBN: 978-0-9554365-9-8.
  • Ridout, N., Matharu, M., & Wallis, D.J. (2012). Autobiographical memory specificity in females with subclinical eating psychopathology. Clinical Perspectives on Autobiographical Memory, Aarhus, Denmark.
  • Wallis, D.J., Ridout, N., Autwal, Y, & Sellis, J. (2011). The influence of emotional intensity on facial emotion recognition in females with non-clinical disordered eating. Experimental Psychology Society, Oxford, UK.
  • Meyer, C., Long, S., Wallis, D.J. (2010). Mealtimes: Patient and staff experiences. In Eating Disorders International Conference, London, p.321.
  • Meyer, C., Long, S., Wallis, D.J. (2010). Mealtime protocols in eating disorder services. In Eating Disorders International Conference, London, p.321.
  • Wallis, D.J. (2000). Stress and food cravings. Strasbourg. Associated publication: Benton, D., Bezirtoglou, E., Cayuela, C., Dantzer, R., Deijen, J.B., Denariaz, G.,…Wurtman, J. (2001). Stress and Nutrition: A fascinating Crosstalk. Montrouge, London, Rome: John Libbey.

Invited presentations:

  • Benjamin Franklin Lafayette Seminar on Issues in Ingestive Behaviour, Frejus, France (June 2006; 2011; 2013)
  • Network for Eating Disorders Research in the East Midlands (NEDREM) “Emotion processing in disordered eating: Emotion recognition and attention to emotion as potential targets for intervention”, (December 2012)
  • Department of Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University: “Acute effects of cognitive and emotional stressors on food choice and intake” (February 2008)
  • Danone crosstalk on Stress and Nutrition, Strasbourg: “Stress and Food Cravings” (November 2000)

Externally funded research grants information

  • Development of a tool to help carers balance work and caring responsibilities. National Cancer Survivorship Initiative and Macmillan Cancer Support (2011). Value £9,978.
  • Developing a Vocationally Orientated 'Power Questions' Self-Management Tool for People Affected by Cancer. Macmillan Cancer Support. (2010) Value: £50,000
  • Feeding Disorders Diagnosis and Outreach. The Garfield Weston Foundation (2010). Value: £52,000 (awarded to LUCRED: Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders).

Internally funded research project information

  • Loughborough University Graduate School PhD studentship: Attention and emotion processing  in eating disorder psychopathology (2012-2015).
  • Research Develolopment Fund, Loughborough University (2011). Attention and emotion in eating disorders. Value: £1490.
  • Staff Travel Fund, Loughborough University (2011). Conference attendance, Frejus, June 2011. Value: £586.
  • Loughborough University Development Fund Studentship: Cognitive and emotional well-being in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: A physical activity intervention study (2010-2013).
  • Loughborough University Development Fund Studentship: Attentional biases and attention training in eating disorder psychopathology (2009-2012).
  • Loughborough University Science Faculty funding for development of Eating Behaviour Laboratory (2007). Value: £6000.
  • Loughborough University PhD Studentship: Mealtime protocols in eating disorder units (2007-2010).

Professional esteem indicators

External and Internal Examining

  • King’s College London: PhD viva voce examiner (external)
  • Loughborough University: six PhD viva voce examinations (internal)

Research Referee

  • Funding bodies: BBSRC; ESRC; MRC; Big Lottery Fund
  • Book publishers: Open University Press; Wiley
  • Journals: regular reviewer for publications including Appetite; British Journal of Nutrition; Eating Behaviors; European Eating Disorders Review; Journal of Health Psychology; Journal of Personality Disorders; Journal of Psychosomatic Research; Physiology & Behavior; Psychology and Health; Stress and Health.
  • Conference abstracts: invited reviewer for the 20th and 21st European Congress on Obesity, 2013 & 2014 

Case studies

Media

Conference organisation

  • Host and local organiser of the 37th annual meeting of the British Feeding and Drinking Group (BFDG) at Loughborough University, 4th-5th April 2013. The conference hosted 110 delegates from across the UK, Europe and the USA. Dr Wallis edited the conference abstracts, which were published in Appetite in 2014 (71, 470-490) 

Guidance tools for cancer patients and their carers

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