• Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Alpharmaxim Healthcare Communications to develop unique prescribing behaviour tool 
  • Aston University academics apply expertise in behavioural psychology to healthcare communications 
  • Knowledge gained will strengthen teaching in psychology and behavioural sciences 

Aston University has teamed up with Alpharmaxim Healthcare Communications to apply the latest behavioural psychology research to develop a unique prescribing behaviour tool for healthcare professionals. 

At present there is a growing recognition in the healthcare sector that measuring belief change and/or intent to change behaviour can determine the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

The Healthcare Belief-Barrier Identification Tool (H-BIT)will identify beliefs and barriers in prescribing behaviour of EU healthcare professionals in specific disease areas, enabling targeted communication strategies that maximise the reach of treatments.

Alpharmaxim is a long-established specialist marketing communications agency in the healthcare sector that helps pharmaceutical companies create effective communication plans for their products or services.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a three-way collaboration between a business, an academic partner and a highly qualified graduate, known as a KTP associate. The UK-wide programme helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills. Aston University is the leading KTP provider within the Midlands.

This KTP will combine Alpharmaxim’s rich history of harnessing behavioural psychology through their Belief Continuum® (BC) model with Aston University’s expertise in Nominal Group Technique (NGT), a structured method for group brainstorming that encourages contributions from everyone and facilitates quick agreement on the relative importance of issues, problems, or solutions. Applying NGT to objectively evaluate beliefs and behaviours that underpin behavioural change in a defined disease area will be unique in this field. 

The academic team from Aston University will be led by Dr Carl Senior, reader in psychology at Aston University. Dr Senior is a behavioural scientist with 20 years’ experience working at the interface between social psychology and organisational behaviour and was one of the first to develop a framework for applying NGT to understanding effective behaviour change.

Commenting on the project, Dr Senior said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Alpharmaxim in this strategic relationship to lead change that is both focused and relevant to modern day health care.”

Dr Senior will be joined by Dr Jason Thomas, senior lecturer in psychology at Aston University. Dr Thomas has spent the last ten years investigating novel approaches to encourage behavioural change, working with companies such as Direct Line and Starbucks to encourage their employees and customers to eat more healthily. 

William Hind, founder, controlling director and agency principal at Alpharmaxim, said: “We are delighted to be involved with this innovative KTP and hope the partnership will change the face of healthcare communications, ultimately improving the lives of patients with hard-to-treat diseases.”

Notes to editor 

Belief Continuum® is a registered trademark of Alpharmaxim Ltd.

This project is co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Watch our short film to see how it works and visit our website for examples of KTP in action at Aston.

To find out more about how your business can benefit from working with Aston University, please email or call 0121 204 4242.

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world. 

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7557 745416 or email:

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