Cardiff and Healthcare Learning Company: Smile-on

Cardiff and Healthcare Learning Company: Smile-on

Professor Jonathan Bisson, a professor at Cardiff University School of Medicine, is an expert in the field of traumatic stress. 

He and colleagues have developed a guided self-help tool to treat patients suffering from mild to moderate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Healthcare Learning: Smile-on has enabled the tool to be packaged and further developed as an online self-help solution.

“It has been interesting to be involved in the whole process of developing the programme rather than just the academic side of things”.

The KTP combines the company’s expertise in the production of high quality web-based interactive learning programmes, with the academic team’s experience of developing and evaluating psychological interventions for PTSD. The project was managed by the KTP Associate, Dr Catrin Lewis, who did her PhD with Professor Bisson, and was part of the team which developed the tool.

The partnership has made great strides in the development of a marketable trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy programme which is currently undergoing a randomised controlled clinical trial. For the company benefits include having a subject matter expert on site to work alongside its technical experts. It is also learning about how to produce a clinically effective intervention which meets the requirements set out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. This will help the company gain a share in what is an increasing market for on-line self-help.

The academic team has benefited by gaining exposure to different ways of thinking, for example, the importance of content presentation in interventions. It is also anticipated that the project will result in publishable papers in high impact journals. For Catrin in particular, participation in the project has led to a range of training and professional development opportunities.

Now that the KTP has ended, Catrin has returned to an academic research position in the University having taken with her insights into the benefits and mechanics of industrial collaboration. “It has been interesting to be involved in the whole process of developing the programme … rather than just the academic side of things”. 

Cardiff has a dedicated KTP Office that provides advice, guidance and support from the inception to completion of each project. For more information please contact the KTP team or visit the website

Are you involved in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership? How has your experience been? Join in with our KTP month and share your stories with us online, tweet us @NCUBtweets using the hashtag #KTPMonth.

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