Georgios Kitsaras

Georgios Kitsaras

Dr

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Potential PhD students can get in touch to discuss projects. Areas of interest include: behaviour change for health and oral health, digital health interventions, professional behaviour change, working with children and families, psychology-applied to dentistry, communication in the dental setting and qualitative explorations for health research.

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Personal profile

Overview

I am a lecturer in behavioural science and a psychologist working in behaviour change for health. 

Research interests

My research work focuses on: (a) family routines for children's health, development and wellbeing, (b) potential of digital technologies in behaviour change and (c) behaviour change for health. 

In 2019, I was part of a team with Prof Iain Pretty and Dr Julia Allan (University of Aberdeen) that secured funding under MRC's Public Health Intervention Development Scheme for developing and testing in a feasibility study a text message-based intervention for bedtime routines in young children and their families. In this project, I managed aspects of the project, developed, delivered and evaluated the intervention. The project duration was 18-months and was completed in 2021. 

In 2022, I was part of a team with Dr Michaela Goodwin, Dr Deborah Moore, Dr Thomas Allen, Prof Mike Kelly (University of Cambridge) and Prof Tanya Walsh that secured funding under NIHR's Health and Social Care Services Delivery Research (HS&DR) programme for the evaluation of the Child Friendly Dental Practices pathway in Greater Manchester. In this project, I lead the qualitative evaluation. The project is scheduled to last for 36-months till 2025.

I am the co-founder and co-lead of BeCinD Network (Behaviour Change in Dentistry) and I work as a consultant on behaviour change for Colgate-Palmolive, the BBC and NHS Education Scotland.

Teaching

I co-lead teaching across communication and psychology applied to dentistry for dental undergraduate students (BDS and BSc programmes) focusing on communication in the dental setting, oral health behaviour change, dental anxiety, symptoms perception, help seeking, breaking bad news and difficult conversations. 

I co-lead the Prevention in Practice module for Year 2 dental undergraduate students focusing on social determinants of health, how to work in partnership and dentistry beyond clinical skills. 

I am the co-lead of the "Behaviour Change and Public Health" module, part of the MPH programme at Manchester. This module aims to raise awareness of key behaviour change theories and techniques to benefit and promote public health. The module is taught online. 

I also co-lead a session for the DClinPsy programme at Manchester focusing on Psychology and Public Health for year 1 trainees. 

Between 2018 and 2019 I worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)  for Year 1 BSc Psychology students. 

 

Social responsibility

In 2016, I started a dental undergraduate student volunteering program in Northern Uganda (Dental Team Gulu). The team has successfully managed to see thousands of patients in rural and hard to reach areas across Northern Uganda delivering preventive dental services while liaising with local dental staff and services. For this work, I received the FBMH Doctoral Academy 2019 Best Contribution to Internationalisation Award. 

Qualifications

I completed my undergraduate (BSc) studies in Psychology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece where I am also a licensed Psychologist. During my undergraduate studies, I worked in substance and alcohol misuse with my dissertation focusing on refugee and migrant access to healthcare in Greece. 

My postgraduate degree (MSc) was in Clinical Aspects of Psychology at the University of Reading, UK with a clinical placement in pain management and a research project in trait mindfulness and pain in healthy adults.

My PhD focused on family behaviours (bedtime routines) and their implication for child wellbeing and development especially around children's dental health, executive functioning and school readiness. My PhD utilised mixed methods approach with a strong element of digital technologies for the assessment of repetitive behaviours and extensive use of qualitative methods. My PhD supervisory team including Prof Iain Pretty (UoM), Dr Michaela Goodwin (UoM), Dr Julia Allan (University of Aberdeen) and Prof Mike Kelly (Cambridge University). 

In 2019, I became a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and started working as a research associate in Behaviour Change at the University of Manchester. In 2020, I completed my MPH at the University of Manchester. 

Since 2021, I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (AFBPsS). 

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

I am a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) and an Associate Fellow (AFBPsS) with the British Psychological Society. 

I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). 

I am the co-founder and co-lead of the Behaviour Change in Dentistry (BeCinD) Network, an international network founded by UoM and KCL.

I am the International Director for International Association for Dental Research (IADR) / Behaviour, Epidemiology & Health Services Research (BEHSR) and previous member of the steering committee for the 2020 Behavioural and Social Sciences in Oral Health Summit.

I offer expert opinion and insight on behaviour change for Colgate-Palmolive, the BBC and NHS Education Scotland and I was an expert member of the Delivering Better Oral Health (version 4) Behaviour Change chapter for Public Health England.

Media contributions and coverage

Expert opinions for BBC (Tiny Happy People, Bitesize and Own It), Psychology Today, national, and international news outlets relating to bedtime routines, family functioning and child wellbeing and development. 

Supervision information

Potential PhD students can get in touch (georgios.kitsaras@manchester.ac.uk) to discuss projects. Areas of interest include: behaviour change for health and oral health, digital health interventions, professional behaviour change, working with children and families, psychology-applied to dentistry, communication in the dental setting and qualitative explorations for health research. 

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 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Public Health, The University of Manchester

20162020

Award Date: 1 Sept 2020

Doctor of Philosophy, Bedtime routines: a dynamic, repetitive set of behaviours and their implications for child wellbeing, health and development, The University of Manchester

20162019

Award Date: 1 Sept 2019

Master of Science, Clinical Aspects of Psychology, The University of Reading

20142015

Award Date: 11 Sept 2015

Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

20092014

Award Date: 24 Mar 2014

External positions

Assistant Clinical Psychologist, Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Aug 2015Jun 2016

Areas of expertise

  • BF Psychology
  • Behaviour change
  • Psychology
  • Development
  • child development
  • bedtime routines
  • Executive function
  • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
  • Dental Public Health
  • Public health
  • Public Health Research
  • Mobile Health
  • RJ101 Child Health. Child health services

Keywords

  • bedtime routines
  • behaviour change
  • psychology
  • executive function
  • school readiness
  • family function
  • child development
  • child wellbeing
  • mHealth
  • text messages
  • public health research
  • qualitative
  • behaviour change wheel
  • dental public health
  • applied research
  • digital technologies

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