Dr Naomi Klepacz


Senior Impact Officer / Health Services Researcher
BSc(Hons), PGCE, MSc, PhD, CPsychol
9am - 5pm
For REF enquires

Biography

Areas of specialism

Impact and Knowledge Exchange; Health Services Research; Health Psychology; Health Behaviour; Digital Healthcare Innovations; Healthy Ageing

University roles and responsibilities

  • Senior Impact Officer

Affiliations and memberships

British Psychological Society
Chartered Psychologist
Member of the Division of Health Psychologists

Research

Research interests

Research collaborations

My teaching

My publications

Highlights

Delivett, Chistopher., Klepacz, Naomi., Farrow, Claire., Thomas, Jason., Raats, Monique., Nash, Robert. (2020). Front-of-pack images can boost the perceived health benefits of dietary products. Appetite. 155. pp.104831 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2020.104831

Publications

Klepacz N, Nash R, Egan MB, Raats MM, Hodgkins CE (2015) When Is an Image a Health Claim? A False-Recollection Method to Detect Implicit Inferences About Products? Health Benefits,Health Psychology 35 (8) pp. 898-907 American Psychological Association
Objective: Images on food and dietary supplement packaging might lead people to infer (appropriately or inappropriately) certain health benefits of those products. Research on this issue largely involves direct questions, which could (a) elicit inferences that would not be made unprompted, and (b) fail to capture inferences made implicitly. Using a novel memory-based method, in the present research, we explored whether packaging imagery elicits health inferences without prompting, and the extent to which these inferences are made implicitly. Method: In 3 experiments, participants saw fictional product packages accompanied by written claims. Some packages contained an image that implied a health-related function (e.g., a brain), and some contained no image. Participants studied these packages and claims, and subsequently their memories for seen and unseen claims were tested. Results: When a health image was featured on a package, participants often subsequently recognized health claims that? despite being implied by the image?were not truly presented. In Experiment 2, these recognition errors persisted despite an explicit warning against treating the images as informative. In Experiment 3, these findings were replicated in a large consumer sample from 5 European countries, and with a cued-recall test. Conclusion: These findings confirm that images can act as health claims, by leading people to infer health benefits without prompting. These inferences appear often to be implicit, and could therefore be highly pervasive. The data underscore the importance of regulating imagery on product packaging; memory-based methods represent innovative ways to measure how leading (or misleading) specific images can be.
Maringer M, van?t Veer P, Klepacz N, Verain M, Normann A, Ekman S, Timotijevic L, Raats M, Geelen A (2018) User-documented food consumption data from publicly available apps: an analysis of opportunities and challenges for nutrition research,Nutrition Journal 17 59 pp. 1-13 BioMed Central

Background

The need for a better understanding of food consumption behaviour within its behavioural context has sparked the interest of nutrition researchers for user-documented food consumption data collected outside the research context using publicly available nutrition apps. The study aims to characterize the scientific, technical, legal and ethical features of this data in order to identify the opportunities and challenges associated with using this data for nutrition research.

Method

A search for apps collecting food consumption data was conducted in October 2016 against UK Google Play and iTunes storefronts. 176 apps were selected based on user ratings and English language support. Publicly available information from the app stores and app-related websites was investigated and relevant data extracted and summarized. Our focus was on characteristics related to scientific relevance, data management and legal and ethical governance of user-documented food consumption data.

Results

Food diaries are the most common form of data collection, allowing for multiple inputs including generic food items, packaged products, or images. Standards and procedures for compiling food databases used for estimating energy and nutrient intakes remain largely undisclosed. Food consumption data is interlinked with various types of contextual data related to behavioural motivation, physical activity, health, and fitness. While exchange of data between apps is common practise, the majority of apps lack technical documentation regarding data export. There is a similar lack of documentation regarding the implemented terms of use and privacy policies. While users are usually the owners of their data, vendors are granted irrevocable and royalty free licenses to commercially exploit the data.

Conclusion

Due to its magnitude, diversity, and interconnectedness, user-documented food consumption data offers promising opportunities for a better understanding of habitual food consumption behaviour and its determinants. Non-standardized or non-documented food data compilation procedures, data exchange protocols and formats, terms of use and privacy statements, however, limit possibilities to integrate, process and share user-documented food consumption data. An ongoing research effort is required, to keep pace with the technical advancements of food consumption apps, their evolving data networks and the legal and ethical regulations related to protecting app users and their personal data.

Hodgkins Charo, Egan Bernadette, Peacock Matthew, Klepacz Naomi, Miklavec Krista, Pravst Igor, Pohar Jure, Gracia Azucena, Groeppel-Klein Andrea, Rayner Mike, Raats Monique (2019) Understanding How Consumers Categorise Health Related Claims on Foods: A Consumer-Derived Typology of Health-Related Claims,Nutrients 11 (3) MDPI
The Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) EC No 1924/2006 aims to provide an appropriate level of consumer protection whilst supporting future innovation and fair competition within the EU food industry. However, consumers? interpretation of health claims is less well understood. There is a lack of evidence on the extent to which consumers are able to understand claims defined by this regulatory framework. Utilising the Multiple Sort Procedure (MSP), a study was performed (N = 100 participants across five countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom) to facilitate development of a framework of health-related claims encompassing dimensions derived from consumers. Our results provide useful insight into how consumers make sense of these claims and how claims may be optimised to enhance appropriate consumer understanding. They suggest consumers may not consciously differentiate between a nutrition claim and a health claim in the way that regulatory experts do and provide insight into where this might occur. A consumer-derived typology of health-related claims based on three key dimensions is proposed: (1) Familiarity with the nutrient, substance or food stated in the claim; (2) statement type in terms of simplicity/complexity; (3) relevance of the claim, either personally or for a stated population group.
Scarles Caroline, van Evan Suzanne, Klepacz Naomi, Guillemaut Jean-Yves, Humbracht Michael Bringing The Outdoors Indoors: Immersive Experiences of Recreation in Nature and Coastal Environments in Residential Care Homes,E-review of Tourism Research Texas A&M AgriLife
This paper critiques the opportunities afforded by immersive experience technology to create stimulating, innovative living environments for long-term residents of care homes for the elderly. We identify the ways in which virtual mobility can facilitate reconnection with recreational environments. Specifically, the project examines the potential of two assistive and immersive experiences; virtual reality (VR) and multisensory stimulation environments (MSSE). Findings identify three main areas of knowledge contribution. First, the introduction of VR and MSSE facilitated participants re-engagement and sharing of past experiences as they recalled past family holidays, day trips or everyday practices. Secondly, the combination of the hardware of the VR and MSSE technology with the physical objects of the sensory trays created alternative, multisensual ways of engaging with the experiences presented to participants. Lastly, the clear preference for the MSSE experience over the VR experience highlighted the importance of social interaction and exchange for participants.
Maguire Roma, Arber Anne, Klepacz Naomi, Connaghan J., Mcphelim J., Blythe K., Murray P., Rupani H., Mcnaughton L., Moylan A., Clark P. (2019) Determining the feasibility and acceptability of a mobile health application to remotely monitor the symptoms of people with mesothelioma at home,Lung Cancer 127 pp. S87-S88 Elsevier
Macdonald Alistair, Chambers Mark, La Ragione Roberto, Wyles Kayleigh, Poyade Matthieu, Wales Andrew, Klepacz Naomi, Kupfer Tom, Watson Fraje, Noble Shona Using novel visualisation methods to combat infection risk during clinical practices.,Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Design4Health
Delivett Christopher P., Klepacz Naomi K., Farrow Claire V., Thomas Jason M., Raats Monique M., Nash Robert A. (2020) Front-of-pack images can boost the perceived health benefits of dietary products,Appetite 104831 Elsevier
Images on dietary supplement packaging can help identify the products' supposed function. However, research shows that these images can also lead people to infer additional health benefits of consuming the products. The present research investigated the extent to which front-of-pack imagery affects people's perceptions of the health risks and benefits of fictional products. In three randomized experiments, participants saw fictitious dietary supplement packages. Some of the packages included a health-related image (e.g. a heart), whereas others did not. Participants were asked to infer the products' intended purpose and then to rate the perceived risks and benefits of consuming the product. In Experiment 1 (N/=/546), the inclusion of a health-related image increased the perceived benefits of consuming the product, with minimal effect on the perceived risks. This finding was replicated in Experiment 2 (N/=/164), but was contingent on whether each product's assumed health function was confirmed or disconfirmed. In Experiment 3 (N/=/306), which used a pre-registered design and analysis plan, the inclusion of a health-related image increased the perceived benefits and decreased the perceived risks of consuming the product. Again, these effects were contingent on whether the assumed health functions were confirmed or disconfirmed. These findings indicate that health-related imagery could lead consumers to infer additional health properties from non-diagnostic information featured on a product's packaging, perhaps as a consequence of increased processing fluency. This research underscores the importance of regulating the use of imagery in health marketing, to protect consumers from the effects of potentially misleading claims.

Additional publications