Miss Katie Bell

Job: Lecturer in Psychology

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

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

T: 0116 201 3881

E: katie.bell@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://www.dmu.ac.uk

 

Personal profile

Katie is a Lecturer in Psychology who’s research interests lie within clinical and health psychology; focusing on eating behaviour within adults. Her doctoral research has focused the role of self-disgust and emotion regulation in those who suffer from anorexia and bulimia nervosa. 

She is also interested in how other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression impact on our eating behaviour across the lifespan.  

Research group affiliations

  • Health Psychology

Publications and outputs 

  • It’s like the onion skins are stripped away; Caregiver accounts of supporting a long-term partner through cancer
    It’s like the onion skins are stripped away; Caregiver accounts of supporting a long-term partner through cancer Bell, Katie; Williamson, I.; Wildbur, D. Purpose: To explore the experiences of caring for a long-term partner or spouse through cancer diagnosis, treatment and aftercare. Background: Although research around caregiving is becoming more theoretically advanced and nuanced, there continues to be a need for in-depth qualitative research into the experiences of caregiving in the context of different caregiver/care-recipient relationships and for different conditions - this is especially apt with cancer because of the serious side-effects of most treatments and possibility of metastasis. Methods: In-depth interviews were carried out in person with 8 long-term partners of an individual who was undergoing or who had recently completed treatment for cancer. Five participants were in opposite-sex relationships and three were in same-sex relationships. Their partners were experiencing a range of cancer types. Participants were interviewed in their homes, typically with their partner present. Data were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings: In this paper we explore some of the ways in which relationships change through cancer and its treatment with a focus on two related themes: "cancer has given us the bond" looks at how relationships evolve in the context of cancer threat with a particular focus on sexuality, spirituality and finding 'silver linings'. "we've had to be really inventive about what can we do together" explores the importance of maintaining or developing new shared everyday activities that reinforce intimacy and a sense of dyadic coping Conclusions: Methodological and ethical issues around interviewing couples and applications of the findings for interventions for the support of partners and couples are discussed.
  • Self-disgust within eating disordered groups: Associations with anxiety, disgust sensitivity and sensory processing.
    Self-disgust within eating disordered groups: Associations with anxiety, disgust sensitivity and sensory processing. Bell, Katie; Coulthard, Helen; Wildbur, D. J. This study aimed to assess the relationship between self-disgust and sensory processing within eating psychopathology. Five hundred and ninety one women with a self-reported diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or who had no previous history of an eating disorder completed a battery of on-line questionnaires measuring disgust, emotion and sensory variables. Those with an eating disorder reported significantly higher rates of self-disgust than those with no history of disordered eating. In groups of women with self-reported bulimia, self-disgust was associated with sensation avoidance and sensation seeking. Within the group with anorexia nervosa, self-disgust was associated with low registration and sensation seeking. This report is the first to examine the expression of the emotion self-disgust within eating psychopathology and examine associations of this factor with sensory processing. The emotion self-disgust needs to be further examined to understand its possible role in the onset and maintenance of disordered eating. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • The mediating effect of self-disgust on emotion regulation and eating disorder symptoms: A longitudinal perspective.
    The mediating effect of self-disgust on emotion regulation and eating disorder symptoms: A longitudinal perspective. Bell, Katie; Coulthard, Helen; Wildbur, D. 1) Background There is a substantial body of literature supporting the view that disordered eating behaviour is broadly characterized by emotion dysregulation but little attention has been paid to the possible mediators that could explain this relationship. 2) Method Two hundred and fifty eight female participants, with a self-reported diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (n=156), bulimia nervosa (n=34) or no previous history of an eating disorder (n=68) took part in a questionnaire based longitudinal study, using measures of eating disorder symptoms as the outcome variables and scores of self-disgust (SD) and emotional regulation as the predictor variables. 3)Results SD was significantly, positively associated with all sub types of difficulties in emotion regulation and disordered eating behaviour, as well measures of anxiety and depression. In line with this, SD also predicted eating disorder symptomology after controlling for anxiety, depression and emotional regulation difficulties. SD was found to mediate the relationship between depression, non-acceptance of emotion responses and difficulties in controlling behaviours when upset and disordered eating behaviour. The differences in change scores compared to base line measures were also examined. 4) Discussion Difficulties in emotion regulation have already been established as a useful target for therapeutic intervention and therefore targeting and developing strategies to deal with SD explicitly may offer another strand of potential treatment for those with an eating disorder.
  • Associations with disgust sensitivity, anxiety and levels of sensory processing
    Associations with disgust sensitivity, anxiety and levels of sensory processing Bell, Katie; Coulthard, Helen; Wildbur, D. The factors that may contribute to the emergence of self-disgust have not yet been established (Power, Overton & Simpson, 2015) however there is an increasing interest into the physiological and inherent contributors to the onset of disordered eating. It remains unclear whether sensory processing is associated with self-disgust within disordered eating, but it can be argued that understanding the motivation to change the subjective body experience within disordered eating is critical to understanding and altering the pathophysiology of this illness (Zucker et al., 2013).
  • The Role of Self-Disgust and Emotion Regulation within Recovering from an Eating Disorder: A Mixed Methods, Longitudinal Perspective
    The Role of Self-Disgust and Emotion Regulation within Recovering from an Eating Disorder: A Mixed Methods, Longitudinal Perspective Bell, Katie; Coulthard, Helen; Wildbur, Diane 1) Background There is a substantial body of literature supporting the view that disordered eating behaviour is broadly characterized by emotion dysregulation but little attention has been paid to the possible mediators that could explain this relationship. 2) Method Three hundred and fifteen female participants, with a self-reported diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (n=155), bulimia nervosa (n=97) or no previous history of an eating disorder (n=63) took part in a questionnaire based longitudinal study, using measures of eating disorder symptoms as the outcome variables and scores of self-disgust (SD) and difficulties in emotion regulation (DER) as the predictor variables. Out of this sample, twelve were also interviewed to learn more about their lived experiences of recovery and how SD may have impacted on this. 3) Results SD was significantly, positively associated with all sub types of difficulties in emotion regulation and disordered eating behaviour, as well measures of anxiety and depression. In line with this, SD also predicted eating disorder symptomology after controlling for anxiety, depression and emotional regulation difficulties. Key themes from the interviews are also discussed. 4) Discussion Difficulties in emotion regulation have already been established as a useful target for therapeutic intervention and therefore targeting and developing strategies to deal with SD explicitly may offer another strand of potential treatment for those with an eating disorder.
  • An exploration of the experience of using the TENA Pants product compared to usual continence products as perceived by carers of people with dementia in care homes
    An exploration of the experience of using the TENA Pants product compared to usual continence products as perceived by carers of people with dementia in care homes Knifton, Chris; Bell, Katie; Padley, Wendy; Brown, Jayne Abstract: Incontinence is a common symptom experienced by many older people with dementia, with an increased prevalence noted in care home settings when compared to community dwellings. Incontinence may often be a reason for care home admission. Absorbent continence pads are a common form of intervention with this client group. However, disposable continence pants are becoming more common and TENA Pants are one such example. Research Aim: To understand what are the key product satisfaction indicators for absorbent continence pads; and in light of this review the experience of using the TENA Pants product compared to currently used continence products with people with dementia in care homes. Methods: A review of the literature was undertaken to identify factors reported to affect user experience of absorbent continence pads. These results led to the development of a pre and post carer intervention questionnaire that focused on user satisfaction, which together with a semi-structured interview, reviewed a 4 week user trial of the TENA pull-up pants. Findings: Overall, high satisfaction levels with the product were recorded suggesting this to be a suitable continence product for people with dementia residing in care homes. However, the qualitative data showed that satisfaction with the pads was greatest when used with people in the early and mid-stages of disease progression. Three key factors were found to account for the highest percentage of satisfaction and as such are likely to become key predictor variables for good quality and satisfaction when developing absorbent continence pads for this client group, as well as key points for product development and marketing. These were: • Absorbent pads are comfortable to wear when they are dry • Absorbent pads need to be designed so they can be easily fitted and removed • Absorbent pads need to control odour well • Considerations for further research in this area are also discussed.
  • Towards LGBTQ-affirmative cancer care and support: Barriers and opportunities
    Towards LGBTQ-affirmative cancer care and support: Barriers and opportunities Williamson, I. R.; Fish, Julie; Wildbur, D.; Bell, Katie; Padley, Wendy; Brown, Jayne Background: Survey data suggest that LGBT people report lower levels of satisfaction with healthcare for cancer than heterosexuals. This presentation summarises findings from recent qualitative research to understand the experiences of British LGBT people with cancer and their long-term partners. Methods: Participants were recruited through 5 oncology units at British hospitals, 2 cancer support charities and through media campaigns. In-depth interviews typically lasting between 45 and 75 minutes were carried out with 31 cancer patients who identified as lesbian (N=13), gay (N=14), bisexual (N= 3) and queer (N=1) and 9 long-term partners of cancer patients who identified as lesbian (N= 5), gay (N= 2) and trans* (N=2). Data were analysed through thematic analysis. Findings: Three themes are presented: Understanding the Motives, Meanings and ‘Mechanics’ of Disclosure explores how decisions around whether to ‘come out’ as LGBTQ are influenced by several factors including anticipated stigma, perceived moral or political ‘obligation’ and the manner of healthcare professionals. Creating and Communicating LGBTQ-Affirmative Spaces outlines anxieties faced by LGBTQ patients in interactions with staff and patients in clinical spaces such as waiting-rooms and hospital wards and the desire for more explicit evidencing of an anti-discriminatory culture. Finally Seeking LGBTQ-tailored Information and Support shows how current cancer support typically fails to meet psychosocial and psychosexual needs of LGBTQ patients. Discussion: The findings can be used to influence policy and practice by statutory and voluntary agencies to ensure that effective oncology treatment is accompanied by an holistic understanding of the needs and concerns of LGBTQ patients
  • Successful partnerships with third sector organisations to enhance the student experience: A partnership evaluation
    Successful partnerships with third sector organisations to enhance the student experience: A partnership evaluation Bell, Katie; Tanner, Judith; Rutty, Jane; Astley-Pepper, Maxine; Hall, Richard There is limited research surrounding academic partnerships and more research is needed to educate universities, and the private, public and third sectors about the benefits and limitations of such partnerships. The aim of this study was to outline the unique partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and De Montfort University and to evaluate the progress of this partnership. A qualitative approach was employed which involved interviews with nine members of the partnership’s steering group. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. The results showed that a partnership between a university and a third sector charity can have mutual benefits for all those involved, particularly for students and those affected by cancer. Furthermore, the module to develop volunteering among families affected cancer, created through this partnership is now being considered by other universities as a way of providing holistic and non-traditional lecture based learning experiences. Recommendations are made for future partnerships between third sector charities and universities.
  • Benefits to University students through volunteering in a health context: A new model
    Benefits to University students through volunteering in a health context: A new model Williamson, I. R.; Wildbur, D. J.; Bell, Katie; Tanner, J.; Matthews, Hannah Individual interviews explored 50 British University students’ accounts of sustained volunteering within health settings and a model was developed using grounded theory. Phase one - 'Getting involved' outlines 'motives and catalysts' for students starting to volunteer wherein altruistic motives of compassion for others are juxtaposed with perceptions of enhanced employability. Phase two - 'Maintaining commitment' includes three components ('Making connections' 'Developing resilience' and 'Keeping the balance'), which represent important aspects of continuing volunteering participation. Phase three - 'Reaping the rewards' focuses on the benefits of volunteering including self-development. Our findings have implications for the training and support of student volunteers The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Promoting students' psychological well-being through volunteering: What works and why?
    Promoting students' psychological well-being through volunteering: What works and why? Bell, Katie; Williamson, I. R.; Wildbur, D. J.; Tanner, J.; Matthews, H. Objectives: The study adopted a qualitative approach to explore the motives and experiences of university student volunteers who engage in volunteering to understand how they manage and sustain their volunteering, and how volunteering affects their well-being. Design: The study utilised semi-structured interviews consisting of a series of open questions, permitting flexibility and in-depth discussion. . Methods: Participants were a purposive sample of 45 university student volunteers aged 18 years or over and studying at British universities. Participants were volunteering or had undertaken regular voluntary work relating to chronic illness, psychological difficulties or disability within the twelve months prior to the interview. Using grounded theory a three phase model was developed which comprises five themes capturing key elements of the development and maintenance of student volunteering. Results: Phase one - 'Getting involved' outlines the 'Motives and catalysts' for students starting to volunteer. Phase two - 'Maintaining commitment' includes three themes ('Making connections' 'Developing resilience' and 'Keeping the balance'), which represent important components of sustained volunteering participation. Phase three - 'Reaping the rewards' focuses on the benefits of volunteering identified by participants around self-development and employability. We discuss our findings in relation to how successful volunteering enhances key components of psychological well-being and facilitates ‘flourishing’ among student volunteers. Conclusions: The findings provide valuable insight into the initiation and maintenance of student volunteering. Further, they have implications for educational institutes such as universities involved in initiatives which include the training, mentoring and support of student volunteers, as well as promoting their well-being.

Click here to view a full listing of Katie Bell's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Self-disgust and emotion regulation in those who suffer from anorexia and bulimia nervosa.
  • The impact of anxiety and depression on our eating behaviour across the lifespan.  

Qualifications

  • BSc Psychology
  • MSc Abnormal and Clinical Psychology

Courses taught

  • PSYC1090 Introductory research methods in psychology (Year 1)

Conference attendance

  • Bell, K., Coulthard, H., & Wildbur, D. (2018) The Mediating Effect of Self-Disgust on Emotion Regulation and Disordered Eating Behaviour. Eating Disorders International Conference, London, UK

  • Bell, K., Williamson, I. & Wildbur, D (2017). “It’s like the onion skins are stripped away”: Caregiver accounts of supporting a long-term partner through cancer. British Psychology Society Qualitative Methods in Psychology, Aberystwyth.

  • Bell, K., Coulthard, H., & Wildbur, D. (2016) Associations with disgust sensitivity, anxiety and levels of sensory processing. Eating Disorders International Conference, London, UK

Recent research outputs

  • Bell, K., Coulthard, H., & Wildbur, D. (2017). Self‐Disgust within Eating Disordered Groups: Associations with Anxiety, Disgust Sensitivity and Sensory Processing. European Eating Disorders Review.
  • Williamson, I., Wildbur, D., Bell, K., Tanner, J., & Matthews, H. (2017). Benefits to University Students Through Volunteering in a Health Context: A New Model. British Journal of Educational Studies, 1-20.
Katie Bell

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