Personal profile


Nicki is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. She is a Chartered Health Psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Nicki’s research focuses on developing and evaluating complex interventions that are designed to make a demonstrable contribution to the promotion of individual, population and global health. Her work includes lifestyle-based interventions for primary and secondary prevention of chronic conditions, animated health behaviour change messages, and community pharmacy supported interventions. Nicki leads the Health Behaviour and Behaviour Change Research group at Northumbria.

Nicki uses quantitative and qualitative research methods, and has particular experience in intervention co-design; n-of-1 methods; systematic reviewing and meta-analysis; and randomised and pragmatic trials. Her work has been funded by NIHR, MRC, ESRC, Versus Arthritis, Lewy Body Society, Department of Health and the Cabinet Office.

Nicki is an experienced postgraduate supervisor and is registered as an Applied Psychology Practice Supervisor. If you are would like to discuss potential supervision of a PhD or Stage 2 Health Psychology training, please get in touch.

Google scholar profile

Research interests

  • Global health and behaviour change
  • 'Languageless' animated health communication
  • N-of-1 (single case) methodology
  • Digital and blended (digital + human) health behaviour change interventions
  • Community pharmacy supported interventions for chronic health conditions
  • Physical activity behaviour change
  • Arthritis and musculoskeletal health
  • Intervention co-design with stakeholders

Further Information

Current PhD supervision:

David Bourne. Chronic pancreatitis: towards a comprehensive, patient-centred, evidence-based model of nutritional care. NIHR Clinical Doctoral Fellowship

Beckie Gibson. Understanding persuasive effects of message framing for vaccination uptake in university students. Northumbria Doctoral Studentship

Angela Long. The role of commuinty pharmacy in the management of age-related musculoskeletal conditions. ESRC Doctoral Studentship 

Chris Penlington. Psychological therapy for orofacial pain: series of N-of-1 studies

Colin Stephenson. Ensuring the future sustainability of NHS primary care: applying a Group Consultation model in community pharmacy settings to help address population health inequalities. Northumbria Doctoral Studentship

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, PhD

Award Date: 1 Jun 2010


Dive into the research topics where Nicki O'Brien is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or