Dr Holly Sugg
Lecturer for the Academy of Nursing (Education and Research)
South Cloisters 3.01
South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
Holly is a Lecturer (Education and Research) in the Academy of Nursing. She teaches on the 'evidence for practice' pillar, was the inaugral pillar lead, and has been joint Stage 1 Co-Ordinator for the MSci Nursing. Holly has experience supervising PhD, Masters and undergraduate students. She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Formerly a member of the Complex Interventions Research Group, Holly specialises in mental health services research and, in particular, the development and evaluation of psychological therapies for depression. Her research interests include (1) using integrative mixed methods research to add value to clinical trials and inform the personalisation of treatment; (2) evaluating Morita Therapy (a Japanese psychological therapy for common mental health problems) in the UK; (3) assessing methods to improve the delivery of fundamental nursing care.
During her PGDip in Psychology and MSc in Psychological Research Methods, Holly co-ordinated the University of Exeter Mood Disorders Centre AccEPT Clinic, and contributed to a number of mental health-focused research projects in the department. In 2017, Holly completed her PhD ("Morita Therapy for Depression and Anxiety: Intervention Optimisation and Feasibility Study") in which she used a mixed methods approach to develop and test Morita Therapy, and was the first to demonstrate the acceptability and potential utility of Morita Therapy in the UK.
- Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy
- PhD Medical Studies
- MSc Psychological Research Methods
- PGDip (Conversion for Postgraduates) Psychology
- LL.B (Hons.) Law
Research group links
Holly's research broadly focuses on the development, evaluation, implementation and personalisation of complex interventions, especially psychological therapies for depression. Holly has skills in both quantitative and qualitative research, and in undertaking mixed methods analysis, and experience in both optimising and piloting psychological therapies across cultures. Her specific interests are:
- Fundamental nursing care;
- Integrative mixed methods research;
- Precision medicine, or the personalisation of psychological therapies for depression, and the possible value of an integrative mixed methods approach in this field;
- Morita Therapy, a Japanese psychological therapy, as a potential treatment for depression and anxiety in the UK;
- Cross-cultural perspectives on wellbeing, and the differential experience and treatment of mental health problems across cultures;
- COVID-NURSE Trial, Co-Investigator (http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/covid-nurse/)
- The Morita Trial, Chief Investigator
- Morita Therapy for Depression and Anxiety: Intervention Optimisation and Feasibility Study, PhD Candidate
- Icebreak (Services for Young People with Early Indicators of Personality Disorder), Research Assistant
- The nature and role of mindfulness practice following completion of a Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy Group: A mixed methods, longitudinal, exploratory study, MSc Student
- A Delphi study to define 'Treatment Resistant Depression': The Exeter Consensus Statement, Research Assistant
- PREVENT (Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in the prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence), Research Assistant
- CoBalT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as an Adjunct to Pharmacotherapy for patients with treatment resistant depression), Research Administrator
- 2020 MRC
COVID-NURSE. The development, testing and evaluation of a COVID-19 fundamental nursing care protocol: a randomised controlled trial. Funded by the UKRI/NIHR; administered by the MRC.
- 2014 University of Exeter Medical School
Publications by category
Publications by year
External Engagement and Impact
Early Career Researcher award: NIHR, Clinical Research Network, South West Peninsula, Research Awards 2020.
Above and Beyond award: University of Exeter, 2020.
Institute for Health Research presentations first prize: Annual Research Event, University of Exeter Medical School, 2015.
Peer reviewer for Pilot and Feasibility Studies
Peer reviewer for Trials
Conferences and invited presentations
Sugg, HVR., Richards, DA., Frost, J. Morita Therapy for Depression in a UK Population: Results of a Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial. Invited plenary presentation at the 10th International Congress of Morita Therapy, Wuhu No.2 People's Hospital, China, Aug 2019.
Sugg, HVR., Richards, DA., Frost, J. Morita Therapy for Depression and Anxiety: A Mixed Methods Feasibility Study. Poster presentation at the Postgraduate Research Showcase, University of Exeter, May 2017.
Sugg, HVR., Richards, DA., Frost, J. Investigating Morita Therapy for a UK Population: A Feasibility and Pilot Study. Presentation at the 9th International Congress of Morita Therapy, University of Exeter, Aug 2016.
Sugg, HVR., Richards, DA., Frost, J. Approaches to Outpatient Morita Therapy: Development of the UK Morita Therapy Outpatient Protocol for Depression and Anxiety. Invited plenary presentation at the 9th International Congress of Morita Therapy, University of Exeter, Jul 2016.
Sugg, HVR., Richards, DA., Frost, J. Morita Therapy for Depression and Anxiety: Developing the Therapy Protocol for A Feasibility and Pilot Study. Presentation at the Annual Research Event, University of Exeter Medical School, May 2016.
Sugg, HVR., Richards, DA., Frost, J. Morita Therapy for Depression and Anxiety: A Feasibility and Pilot Study. Poster presentation at the AccEPT Clinic Lived Experience Group public event, University of Exeter, Oct 2015; the Defeating Depression: What Hope? public event, University of Exeter, Jun 2015; and the Postgraduate Research Showcase, University of Exeter, Apr 2015.
Sugg, HVR., Richards, DA., Frost, J. Morita Therapy for Depression and Anxiety: A Feasibility and Pilot Study. Presentation at the Annual Research Event, University of Exeter Medical School, Mar 2015.
International recognition, such as international research collaborations, visiting research posts in overseas institutions, involvement at senior levels in international research associations, acting as referee for national and international research councils.
PhD cited as exemplar of integrative mixed methods research in trials. Richards, DA., Bazeley, P., Borglin, G., et. al. 2019. Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Data and Findings when undertaking Randomised Controlled Trials. BMJ Open, in press.
Invited lectures & workshops
Sugg, HVR. Morita Therapy for Depression and Anxiety: A Mixed Methods Feasibility Study. Invited lecture for the Msc in Applied Health Services Research: Qualitative Methods and Process Evaluations module, University of Exeter, Jan 2018.
Richards, DA., Sugg, HVR. Morita Therapy skills workshop. 9th International Congress of Morita Therapy, University of Exeter, Aug 2016.
Holly teaches on the 'evidence for practice' pillar of the Academy of Nursing and was the inaugral pillar lead. Holly has also acted as Joint Stage 1 (NUR1100) Co-ordinator for the MSci Nursing programme. Holly is a guest lecturer on the Qualitative Methods and Process Evaluations module of the MSc Health Research Methods.
Previously, Holly has co-supervised a PhD student, students on the Masters in Clinical Education, and a Professional Training Year undergraduate student. She has delivered BMBS special study units (SSU1) and critical appraisal workshops, provided one-to-one undergraduate academic writing support, and contributed to undergraduate learning experiences such as Grand Challenges.
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