Psychology Professor wins Italian Medal for his scientific contribution to society

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An academic from Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences has been awarded with the Medal of the President of the Republic, bestowed by the Italian Head of State, Sergio Mattarella, for his research’s scientific contribution to society.

Phil Reed medal

Professor Phil Reed, who is based within the University’s Department of Psychology, was awarded the honour following his keynote address to the 12th Conference on Applied Behaviour Analysis, held at the University of Milan this June.

Professor Reed was invited to present his latest research on increasing pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) physiotherapy using psychological support.


Professor Reed said: “The symposium itself brought together a really strong collection of research, including ours, which tried to show how health service delivery could be improved for the patients and the health boards.  

 “PFMT is used to help women with all sorts of problems from incontinence to prolapse, and is a safe and effective alternative to surgery.  Getting patients to engage with this programme is difficult, but the success rate is really high for patients who do take part.

“The work that the Women’s Health Physiotherapy team at Singleton Hospital have been doing over the last six years or so has had a big impact on service delivery here in Swansea, and is also beginning to alter the way in which people deliver their service throughout the UK. 

“The benefits for patient recovery, and for the health board, in terms of saving money to be able to treat more people, have been really remarkable.  I think that involving patients in their treatment is now understood to be key for health, and this work, I think, is important and timely across the world, so it captured attention.

Professor Reed added: “We were honoured to be invited to give the keynote address at a symposium tacking a major world issues, and the recognition by the Italian government was a great reflection on the really innovative work being done by the team at Singleton.”