Dr Naomi Klepacz
Academic and research departmentsFood, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Strategic Research Theme: Lifelong Health.
Naomi Klepacz graduated from the University of Southampton with a BSc (Hons.) in Psychology, and went on to obtain a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and Training from the University of Portsmouth. Naomi has worked as a lecturer and teacher of Psychology and Health Studies in several FE and Sixth-Form colleges. In 2010, Naomi took a break from her teaching career to study full-time for her MSc in Health Psychology at the University of Surrey. On completing her MSc, Naomi remained at the University of Surrey where she completed a PhD investigating the role of packaging imagery in people's understanding of health function, under the supervision of Dr Robert Nash and Prof Jane Ogden, and in partnership with the Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre (FCBH). Naomi Joined FCBH has a Research Fellow in August 2015.
Areas of specialism
University roles and responsibilities
- Senior Impact Officer
Affiliations and memberships
Member of the Division of Health Psychologists
In the media
Naomi's research interests focus on health communication and promotion, and fall under the umbrella of applied health psychology. She is particularly interested in the role of visual imagery in people's understanding of health and memory for health related information. Naomi has lead research into how people use visual imagery to draw inferences as to the potential health function of food and beverage products, and how such inferences affect health related decision-making and behaviour. She has experience of conducting research both as part of both UK and EU funded projects, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods.
More broadly, Naomi is interested in all aspects of health psychology and health care. She has an interested in health damaging behaviour and psychological interventions used for primary prevention, as well as the processes influencing the effective delivery of health care and its impact on individuals, family members and caregivers. She has an interest in the design and implementation of interventions that may be used to improve quality of life and to promote self-management of illness.
University of Surrey
Professor Caroline Scarles - Professor of Technology in Society, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Dr Jean-Yves Guillemaut - Senior Lecturer in 3D Computer Vision, CVSSP
Dr Kayleigh Wyles - Lecturer in Environmental Psychology, School of Psychology (Environmental Psychology Research Group)
Professor Monique Raats - Director of the Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, Associate Dean Research and Innovation, Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences
Dr Bernadette Egan - Deputy Director NIHR Research Design Services South-East
Dr Lada Timotijevic - Principal Research Fellow in the Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre
Dr Charo Hodgkins - Research Fellow in the Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre
Dr Kathryn Hart - Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Biosciences and Medicine
Professor Caroline Nicholson - Pressor of Palliative Care and Ageing, School of Health Sciences
Dr Anne Arber - Visiting Reader in Cancer and Palliative Care, School of Health Sciences
Dr Rob Nash - Senior Lecturer in Psychology (human memory, cognition and social influence)
Chris Delivett - PhD student, School of Pscyhology
University of Strathclyde
Professor Roma Maguire - Professor of Digital Health and Care, Director of the Health and Care Futures Initiative
Glasgow School of Arts
Professor Alastair Macdonald - Senior Researcher, School of Design
University of Exeter
Professor Andi Smart - Professor of Operations and Process Management, Exeter Business School
Dr Laura Philips - Lecturer in Management, Exeter Business School
I teach Health Psychology, Applied Psychology, Health Services Research and Research Design and Methodology to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the School of Psychology and School of Health Sciences.
PSYM006: Psychological Aspects of Health Care
PSY3104: Applied Psychology and Public Policy
PSY3065: Psychology Dissertation (UG)
PSYM034: Psychology Dissertation (Masters)
NUR3171: Research for Professional Practice
NURM141: Research Design and Methodology
NUR2179: Palliative Care Interventions
I also supervise undergraduate and Master's dissertation students in the School of Psychology, School of Health Sciences and Department of Nutrition.
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
A better understanding of food-related behaviour and its determinants can be achieved through harmonisation and linking of the various data-sources and knowledge platforms. We describe the key decision-making in the development of a prototype of the Determinants and Intake Platform (DI Platform), a data platform that aims to harmonise and link data on consumer food behaviour. It will be part of the Food Nutrition Health Research Infrastructure (FNH-RI) that will facilitate health, social and food sciences. The decision-making was based on the evidence of user needs and data characteristics that guided the specification of the key building blocks of the DI Platform. Eight studies were carried out, including consumer online survey; interview studies of key DI Platform stakeholders; desk research and workshops. Consumers were most willing to share data with universities, then industry and government. Trust, risk perception and altruism predicted willingness to share. For most other stakeholders non-proprietary data was most likely to be shared. Lack of data standards, and incentives for sharing were the main barriers for sharing data among the key stakeholders. The value of various data types would hugely increase if linked with other sources. Finding the right balance between optimizing data sharing and minimizing ethical and legal risks was considered a key challenge. The development of DI Platform is based on careful balancing of the user, technical, business, legal and ethical requirements, following the FAIR principles and the need for financial sustainability, technical flexibility, transparency and multi-layered organisational governance. •There is a need to better support science on food intake and its determinants (DI).•DI Platform links consumer, business, science-generated data on food consumption.•Decision-making is based on evaluations of user needs and data characteristics.•The final design balances user, technology, business and governance requirements.•DI Platform supports the Food Nutrition Health Research Infrastructure initiative.
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.
Background: Patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) have a life limiting illness and a short prognosis and experience many debilitating symptoms from early on in the illness. Innovations such as remote symptom monitoring are needed to enable patients to maintain wellbeing and to manage symptoms in a proactive and timely manner. The Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS) has been successfully used to monitor symptoms associated with cancer. Objective: To determine the feasibility and acceptability of using an Advanced Symptom Management System (ASyMS) adapted for use by patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma and called: ASyMSmeso enabling the remote monitoring of symptoms using a smartphone. Methods: This was a mixed methods study using Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) at key time points over a period of 2-3 months with 18 patients. The Sheffield Profile for Assessment and Referral for Care (SPARC); Technology Acceptance Model Measure for e-health (TAM); and the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale-Mesothelioma (LCSS-meso) were the PROMs used in the study. Patients were also asked to complete a daily symptom questionnaire on a smartphone throughout the study. At the end of the study semi-structured interviews with 11 health professionals, 8 patients and 3 carers about their experience of using ASyMSmeso were conducted. Results: Eighteen patients with MPM agreed to participate in the study (33.3% response rate). The completion rates of study PROMs were high (97.2%-100%) and for completion of the daily symptom questionnaire were also high at 88.5% There were no significant changes in quality of life, as measured by LCSS-meso. There were statistically significant improvements from the SPARC domain: psychological need (P=0.049), and in the “Usefulness” domain of the Technology Acceptance Model (P=0.022). End of study interviews identified that both patients and clinicians found the system quick and easy to use. For patients in particular the system provided reassurance about symptom experience and the feeling of being listened to. The clinicians largely viewed the system as feasible and acceptable and areas that were mentioned included the early management of symptoms, connectivity between patients and clinicians leading to enhanced communication. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that remote monitoring and management of symptoms of people with MPM using a mobile phone is feasible and acceptable. The evidence supports future trials using remote symptom monitoring to support patients with MPM at home.
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.
Antimicrobial resistance is of growing concern in human and animal health. The aim of this study was to raise awareness and perception of risk of infection-related behaviours during routine preparation for veterinary surgery. We took a multi-disciplinary and multi-method approach to 'make visible, the invisible' by illustrating how microbial contamination can be spread during the preparation process for surgical procedures. The design-led visualization approach enhanced inter-disciplinary team and workshop participant contributions during the co-development of an innovative digital tool to support training for veterinary practitioners and students. After experiencing the intervention, 92% of 51 participants agreed to change their behaviour and stated an intention to implement an infection control behaviour that aligned with training objectives. The 3D graphics enhanced the delivery of training content by making difficult and abstract contamination concepts easy to understand. A similar approach could be taken for human health applications.
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.
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.
Recent Conference Proceedings
Macdonald, Alastair., Chambers, Mark., La Ragione, Roberto., Wyles, Kayleigh., Poyade, Matthieu., Wales, Andrew., Klepacz, Naomi., Kupfer, Tom., Watson, Fraje and Noble, Shona (2020). Using novel visualisation methods to combat infection risk during clinical practices. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Design4Health, Amsterdam, NL. Lab4Living, pp. 360-363. ISBN 978-1-8381117-0-0
Scarles, Caroline., van Even, Suzanne., Klepacz, Naomi., Guillemaut, Jean-Yves., Humbratcht, Michael (2020). Bringing the outdoors indoors: Experiences of recreation in nature and coastal environments in residential care homes. E-review of Tourism, 17(5). pp.706-721.
Maguire, Roma., Arber, Anne., Klepacz, N., Connaghan, John., 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. S87-S88. 10.1016/S0169-5002(19)30254-5.