Jamie Nowlan - 2015 Highly Commended for Excellence in Higher Degree Research (Business, Humanities and Social Sciences)
Jamie Nowlan - 2015 Highly Commended for Excellence in Higher Degree Research (Business, Humanities and Social Sciences)

Positive reappraisal in older adults

Psychological therapeutic techniques for older adults are a neglected area of research. The number of people aged 65 and older is estimated to increase from 500 million in 2010 to 1.5 billion in 2050. Jamie Nowlan conducts research into using positive reappraisal strategies in older adults to assist them in coping with ageing-related stressors. Jamie compared the results of this novel technique with those of cognitive restructuring.

Jamie’s results demonstrated that the positive reappraisal strategy was superior to both cognitive restructuring and supportive counselling. The research provides evidence that positive reappraisal and wellbeing can be increased in chronically-ill older adults through a brief psychological intervention. The whole method takes 50 minutes to complete and the results of the research indicate that it results in lasting improvements to wellbeing after one week. With the ageing of the world’s population such a strategy could increase the wellbeing of a large number of people globally.